Thursday, 28 June 2007

The Straw Man Principle

I’m beginning to believe that the art of verbal communication is becoming redundant. How many times does one start a conversation with a specific focus, only to end up somewhere else, nowhere near to where one started. Both at home and at work. It’s a frustrating experience, and often one surrenders in hopelessness.
Oftentimes the conversation wanders off into other areas, triggered by something that’s said or just happens. This is fine when one is just chirping and talking for entertainment, it’s the serious stuff that irritates me. Cant get one’s point across so you withdraw, let them live in ignorance.
While wandering around I came upon the Straw Man Principle that put everything into perspective. Basically it works like this. If you don’t agree, understand or want to participate in the actual topic, you create another topic within the conversation to switch focus. The original “argument” is misrepresented or weakened. Attack this and you have a good chance of avoiding the issue or winning the watered down topic.
An example I saw was :-
Child: "Can we get a dog?"
Parent: "No."
Child: "It would protect us."
Parent: "Still, no."
Child: "Why do you want to leave us and our house unprotected?"
Now it’s no longer about not having a dog, its about not caring for the children and property. Geez maybe she wants a Great Dane on the 20th floor of a housing complex.
The concept is derived from setting up a “scarecrow” for military bayonet practice. It’s easier to defeat a straw man than a real person.
Pay attention to your conversations, if you see a Straw Dog, attack it before it becomes the focus. It pisses people off, but it can be fun.

Policing or Vandalism?

A SWAT episode on cable. At 5am in the morning the entire squad “attacked” a home in a suburb somewhere. Physically demolished a garage door and pulled out the front door with safety door. A couple of what we would call “flashbangs” were thrown in for good measure. The ceiling was ripped out, plus a couple of other wanton destructive activities. This whole exercise was accompanied by a great deal of shouting and screaming by the “attacking force”. A husband and wife were laid out on the floor and handcuffed, with assault rifles in their faces. The two minor children in the home were referred to but not shown.
End of story? Closing comments on the programme:-
“Unfortunately they were not there”
“We found no drugs”
“We found no guns”
“Can’t win them all”
“Just another day at the office”
Who pays for the physical damage? Trauma implications? Who did the “paper work?”
An Army is equipped and trained to blow things up and destroy stuff. That’s why they are there. When one starts equipping and training a police force with armoured vehicles, assault rifles and whatever, they will behave like an army.
I believe there is a role for this form of policing, but somehow it’s getting out of hand.

Cape Town Freezes

This is Cape Town, not the South Pole. What better proof does one need to understand that Climate Change is a reality.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Salad Animal # 3

Adult Content Rating ...17

I found this interesting. While rambling around I submitted this site for rating, this is the result

Online Dating

· dead (4x)
· bastard (3x)
· death (2x)
· orgasm (1x)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Toe Smokkel Steve Hofmeyer met my kop.......

Anderdag, so teen sonsonder, sit ek by by gunseling watergat met die ander diere van die kontrei en ontspan.
Die musiek wat hier gespeel word is meestal die van die jonger diere wat nog hul bakens moet afmerk.
Anyhow, gedurende die proses het die Bardier nogal lekker musiek laat speel. Toe dit klaar is se ek ewe windgat " Jy het lanklaas iets ordentelik gespeel, jy moet meer Niel Diamond speel"
Antwoord wat ek kry?
" Dis nie Niel Diamond nie, dis Steve Hofmeyer"
" Moenie K%K praat nie BOET, ek ken my Niel Diamond. Ek het Niel Diamond geluister toe jy nog 'n blink gedagte in jou pa se oe was, toe daai Captain Morgan wat jy verkoop nog 'n Korporaal was. Gaan kyk jy daaragter en dan sal jy sien jy het goed omgeruil...poepol"
Toe gaan haal hy die bewys...
Toe sien ek my gat...
Steve Hofmeyer kan Niel Diamond sing.

Bacchus.....God of Wine and Orgasmic Debauchery...

Not much is available on the Internet regarding Bacchus. He was the Roman God of Wine, and was later equated with the Greek God of Wine, Dionysus. Much of a Neptune vs Poseidon set up.
Anyhow, once a year on the 16& 17th of March the Romans had a feast in honour of Bacchus called Bachanalia. The Roman Senate banned this feast after a 100 years or so due to the “ sexual and criminal nature” of the orgies. Given the Roman standards of the time, this must have been a sight to behold.
Most of the statutes, artist impressions etc, depict him as a young, plumpy and effeminate person, usually naked or semi-naked, and surrounded by a great multitude of grapes.
Also known as:
God of Wine,
God of Wine, drunkenness and debauchery,
God of Drunkenness,
God of Wine, grape harvest and fermentation.
Caesar (Julius) met his untimely end on the Ides of March, i.e. the 15th of March, a day before Bachanalia. Must be a connection somehow…..

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

7 Not so random Things.......


I have been tagged by Domestika to do the list of seven not so random things.

Here we go :

1) In Olympia, Washington State I was knocked over by a Father Christmas on a motorcycle….. and I don’t even believe in Santa Claus
2) In Bangkok, I was “locked up” for 4 hours while 2 Lady Customs officials tried to find out whether I was a drug smuggler…..and I have never seen, let alone used, any controllable substance in my life.
3) In Mocambique, I was fined 10 U$ for having the audacity of presenting a dirty passport at an impromptu road block…..and I had left my passport at the hotel, he was looking at my South African ID book.
4) In Uruguay, Los Silos area, I spent a unforgettable weekend on an Estancia with a Gaucho and his family for a weekend….and they could not speak English, and I could not speak Spanish.
5) In Rio, in transit to Chile, I unknowingly arrived during Carnival time and went AWOL for 72 hours……and I have photos with people on I can’t recognize or remember.
6) In Japan, Iwakuni, as the only non- local, sang Karaoke in front 200 local Japanese in the company of 4 ladies of doubtable repute, (Louis Armstong’s “ What a Wonderfull World “ without knowing the words)….and got a standing ovation which testifies to the Japanese hospitality and not losing face culture.
7) In Buenos Aires, at a Piano Bar, near a Police Station…..let’s forget that one

Salad animals

Try making this, it's easier than it looks.....

Braai ( Barbeque) has been cancelled ...logistical problems

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Neptune vs Poseidon

Had a “discussion” recently as to the difference between Neptune and Poseidon, and there was a difference in opinion as to who was the real mythological God of the Seas. No problem, thinks I, will dig around and find the answer.
Easier said than done. Most references state that Neptune was the Roman God of the Seas and Poseidon the Greek God of the Seas. They both had the same job description, give or take a couple of miracles. Both were issued with a Trident. Pictures usually depict Neptune rising from the sea, with a bad morning expression on his face, and the trident resting on his shoulders. A reference to this trident was found. The three prongs, referring to the seas to the North of the earth, to the seas South of the earth and then to the sea as they knew it, the Mediterranean Sea.
The trident was a type of wand, something similar to those that magicians wave around (no pun intended). This was a kind of weapon of mass destruction. By banging it on the surface of the sea terrible storms could be created, devastating winds, Tsunamis and a host of other calamities.
Once I had clarity, an article popped up that maintains Neptune was not the God of the seas. He was the Italian God of water. This was before the Roman Empire and Roman sailors. Would appear as though the Romans took a long time to become mariners. Neptune was then “associated” with Poseidon, and had to multi-task.
Howzat for an answer…..?

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Where you can stick your cell phone.......

Cell phones are really starting to get under my skin. Forget about the advantages of having a mobile phone, which is not debatable. This is one area where technological advance has been to the benefit of everybody. What irks me is the way it is used.
SMS, fine, until one gets one that says “C U 2nite b 4 8”. I can’t handle this. Until now I have flatly ignored any SMS composed this way. If other people need to do it, so be it. Now it’s creeping into e-mails. I returned an e-mail this morning that was composed in SMS language.
“Sorry, cant understand, please let me know what its all about in a language I can comprehend, if its really important, use the phone, that is what it is supposed to do.”
Still waiting for a reply.
A while ago we invited a bunch of people around for dinner. Each one had his cell phone on the dinner table. This was a sign of bad things to come.
Conversation is interrupted and the moron reads the message. “ Ha ha ha ….have you seen this one …?” and the telephone gets waved around like an apprentice seaman practicing semaphore.
Who cares? I don’t…….especially not now, but I keep the peace.
The cherry on the cake, the same evening, was when one retard started composing an SMS during the main course. Pecking away like a starved chicken let loose in a bag of chicken feed. Toe strip my moer. I gave some sarcastic comment I cannot recall, and the sweet answer I got?
“ Have to make time for my other friends as well”.
Enjoy your meal lady, it’s the last one you going to have here.
The last incident I can recall was an SMS received by a father from his adult son, presumably saying “good night”. Geez……how sweet.
There is a story running around of a father and son conversation in a Wimpy. The son was playing with his cell while having lunch. Father asked him to stop. Request ignored. Father told him to stop. Still no reaction. Father asked him if the phone was shaped like a suppository. Son says “no ways…..why?” Dad says “ it will help when I stick it up your arse…”(A bit is lost in translation from Afrikaans, but the message is the same)”
Bottom line… pun intended….respect your hosts and other guests when using your phone.

Thursday, 07 June 2007

How to survive a shark attack.....

E-mail I received :

1: Don't swim in the ocean.
Ninety-nine percent of all shark attacks take place in exceptionally large bodies of water also known as oceans. The way to determine if you are currently in an ocean is to taste the water, which should be salty. (The other 1% is the subject of another discussion)
2: Listen out for the music.
In the event that you are foolish enough to swim in an ocean, listen carefully for the music, as demonstrated in the marvelous documentary film Jaws. All shark attacks are preceded by the "daah-da, daah-da" chords, which will gradually become more rapid as the shark gets closer.This is due to the Doppler Effect.
3: Swim with fat people.Try to surround yourself with more appetizing companions. If you know them well, you might even try to switch their suntan lotion with A-1 Seal Sauce. This will definitely improve your odds.
4: Don't go into the water without a knife.This is not to defend yourself but to stab the person (a.k.a the decoy) closest to you in the case of a shark attack. Once you are sure the "decoy" is bleeding profusely.....swim for your freekin life.
5: Zap the shark in the eye with a turd. Dont ask where you will find one, just feel around, there will be a enough

And finally
.....6: Don't panic.In the event that a shark actually bites you, try to remain calm. This really won't help you survive, but everyone else on the beach will appreciate you not shrieking madly, as this is quite unsettling
Hope this helps.

Monday, 04 June 2007

Is this how we see climate change?

Malthus and Global Change

Nobody wants to be a Doomsday Advocate; life has enough challenges as it is. But…the whole question of global change is rapidly reaching a point where it cannot be totally ignored or played down as something that may happen in the next 2,000 years. Most people seem to accept that it is going to happen; the difference in opinion is when and how bad.
The physical effects of this change will be catastrophic if one listens to the Bad Scenario Advocates, from an ice age to desert formation, flooding, famines and a whole host of terrible scenarios. The possible consequences are as numerous as the predictors. The bottom line is life , if to survive, will be totally different to what we know now.
Most predictions of doom, and there are many, are written or conveyed in a manner that is incomprehensible to Joe Blogg. And if Joe Blogg does not have a workable insight, how can he really appreciate the seriousness of the situation. Most publications are done by scientists and are very specific in the areas they address. The holistic approach is very seldom addressed in a simple and understandable manner.
Given what one sees on TV and the news, if we stop burning fuel, all our problems will go away. It is not as easy as that.
Robert Malthus was one of the original Classic Economists of the late 1700’s. He believed that here was a natural balance between population and the natural resources available to sustain it. An increase in population above the capability of resources to feed it would result in famines, plagues, wars and epidemics that would restore this balance. In a nutshell, he taught us that if population were not voluntarily limited, nature would do it for us, in a savage and brutal way.
His teachings have been dismissed as false. The greatest, and valid, argument against his theory was that it was based on his world being static, i.e. remaining in the 1700’s. He could not perceive the results of the Industrial Revolution, the contribution of fertilizers to productivity, the discovery of combustible fuel and the exploitation of new resources were unknown to him.. This industrial boom raised the ratio of food to population enormously and the population exploded. From the beginning of WW2 to 1970, the world population doubled, and has most probably doubled again.
of the results of rapid industrialization has been pollution in all its forms. The atmosphere and other natural resources are being polluted at a faster rate than can be absorbed and “recycled” by the earth. This has a negative effect on global climate.
The essence of the matter is the exploitation of the earth’s natural resources, or in a nice way, natural resource utilization. If the current trend continues we will reach a point of no return, and the mankind will regress to the point of Neanderthal man.
All this boils down to growth. Is growth good or is growth bad? That depends on each individual, Good will hasten the global change, Bad will slow Mans Development.
The countries exerting the least pressure on resource exploitation, and thereby the least contribution to global climate change, are the underdeveloped nations of the world. Ironically these will be the first to suffer as a result of sustained development.
The increase in population is not the only criteria. It is also a function of the “movement” of levels within the population. Poor people are not happy to stay poor, and over the last 50 years the progress from poor to middle class has been extremely high, and greater consumption is the result. Why would developed nations really want to significantly improve the lot of underdeveloped nations. This would just result in more competition for limited resources and an acceleration in global pollution. It is in their interests to give “aid” in the form of tangible goods “hand outs” to alleviate short term problems rather than a genuine economic development and growth.
This is a Rambling personified. Not much focus.
But, in summary, we are back to Malthus and his model. We are using up our limited natural resources too quickly, and population growth is increasing at such a rate that the balance will soon be too heavy on the population side.
Who knows where and when it is going to end……………….
Climate is an angry beast, and we are poking it with sticks". W.S. BroeckerThis entry has not been well written, on re-reading, it is disjointed, rambling and has no “golden thread”, so be it….

Friday, 01 June 2007

Stupid things said in court......

Quotes from a mail received recently

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Would you repeat the question?
ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p.m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an autopsy on him!
ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?
WITNESS: July 18th.
ATTORNEY: What year?
WITNESS: Every year.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law