Thursday, March 24, 2005

Theory of Trolls

A few hours ago (while I was taking a short break from paper-land) Bill and I were discussing the existence of internet trolls, namely, who are these people?

His theory is that they're actually artificially intelligent programs that were intially conceived by the NSA to annoy the Russians. When relations started to thaw between the Americans and the Russians, these "beings", to prevent their own demise, had no choice but to escape into the 'Net. At first, they lived in Usenet world, but when that environment dried up, they migrated to popular blogs. The jury is out on whether or not they possess capacity for self-awareness. But one must admit that it's a brilliant feat of programming that these creatures can hold two (or more!) logically inconsistent viewpoints at once.

I was amazed that they exist in so many types of forums (forae?), including those discussing relatively mundane topics. I think that's really great evidence for Bill's theory.

I finished!

It's now around 2:30 in the morning, and I am a confirmed "rule consequentialist" (i.e. there's no way in hell that answer is going to be re-written).

Around 11 o'clock this evening I thought I was done, and I thought my paper was on the long side. But then I checked the instructions again. It said each answer (to 3 different questions) was supposed to be ~3 pages, no more than 10. Originally I thought it meant the whole paper. While in some ways this was a good thing (I was wondering how I was supposed to cover each question in such a small space), I was caught off-guard because one of my answers was way too short.

It's my own fault.

On the bright side, I am done. And my professor will have a short paper that still covers the topics pretty thoroughly. Hopefully, she appreciates this. ;o)

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Can anyone help me?

I have a question. This question is targeted toward:

1) those who know me personally
or who have read my entire blog


2) those who know what the terms deontology & consequentialism mean (you're free to look these terms up)

Anyway, the question is:

Am I a deontologist or a consequentialist?

I think I'm a consequentialist, but I have to defend this in writing for my "Bioethics: Conceptual Foundations" class. And I'm finding it very difficult, because I think both notions are quite compelling. Every other day I seem to change my mind as to which one I am, because I think of some new moral question I didn't consider before. And BTW, saying "both" is strictly prohibited, as is saying "neither".

So far, I've written an incredibly disjointed description of myself as a "rule consequentialist" and am having trouble defending myself against my own deontological attacks.

Maybe this explains why I'm part of the "virtuous non-believers" in the Dante's Inferno test (true believers are always deontologists, IMO). Maybe this is the punishment for virtuous non-believers - that they will never know whether they are a deontologist or a consequentialist.

Maybe what I really need is some sleep... ;o)

Besides, it's quite possible that by the time I get any answers (I suppose that's if and when), I will have already turned in my paper. But it will still be an interesting thing to see what others think.

I like this prayer better...

Not that I absolutely hate the Lord's prayer, but this one speaks to me more directly.

Goddess’ Prayer

Our Mother, who are all around us,
Blessed be thy children.
Thy blessings won, thy work is done
On earth and in the heavens.

Give us this day, the strength and trust
To confront our fears
As we challenge those who would use
Our fear against us.

Guide us in this struggle
With love and peace
To create a new world of
Justice, joy and harmony.

For thine is the beauty
And the love of creation
In the circle forever.

Blessed be.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I don't remember it being quite that bad...

This morning I took some medication which said to check with your doctor if you are "beast-feeding". Wow. Hope that wasn't some kind of Freudian-slip.

I decided that Bill should feed the cats this morning, just in case.


Friday, March 11, 2005

New car names

Seems like there's this weird thing about naming cars after disasters. I don't quite get it. There's the Chevy Avalanche, for example, and Toyota was going to come out with the Celica Tsunami (which I guess they recently decided against, thank goodness!).
Anyway, Bill and I came up with a few more "suggestions":

Chevy Plague
Ford Famine
Kia Rain of Locusts
Acura Infestation
Hyundai Massacre
Mercury STD

Actually, we came up with more, but I can't remember them now.
If anyone has any suggestions, please feel free to add them!