fr_defenestrato: (FSM)
or, The Philosophers Stoned

[livejournal.com profile] the_mishka pointed out, during the excellent dinner party she and [livejournal.com profile] jaegerbeast spearheaded at the Clarendon Silver Diner last night, the existence of the word 'ignosticism,' a non-belief system that holds that even agnostics claim too much knowledge about the existence of 'god.'

Now, I have the utter respect for people whose job it is to sit around inventing and then lamenting philosophical problems (usually turning on clever manipulations of language and meaning... they're basically the corporate attorneys of human understanding, but so far nobody's really caught on and lynched them). But friggin' yikes: this term is annoying and I want no part of it. The sentence 'An ignostic cannot even say whether he/she is a theist or an atheist until a better definition of theism is put forth' (from Wikipedia) is sophistry: theism could be defined as the belief in an old guy with a white beard on a throne in the sky, belief in the Force, belief in Santa Claus, or belief that, every time a box of Ritz crackers is sold in a Giant Supermarket with no broken crackers inside, an angel gets a blowjob. What does 'better definition of theism' even mean? (Falsifiable? See below.) Wait, I have one: God is me. Ding ding ding! I'm a theist! (Or 'God is I': I'm a theist and a SNOOT.)

The position seems an utterly made-up one that no human could truly be said to hold except in formal debates or on the grounds of super-principled logical orneriness: i.e., playing Spock. I don't therefore believe that ignostics exist. Call me an anignosticist. I'll also accept 'pugnostic'.

In other words, saying that a cogent definition of god precedes the arguments for or against the existence of god is one thing (to my mind, one irrefutable thing); saying that, because of a logico-semantic loophole, I cannot choose to identify as an atheist based on my opposition to the extant body of known human definitions of god is another (to my mind, horseshit).

...As is the claim by various philosophers that the proposition 'God exists' is meaningless. This is based, so far as my VAST web research reveals, on defining 'meaningless' as 'unfalsifiable'—but this is an empty if not fallacious definition. (I could accept that any proposition that is unfalsifiable is 'useless' in logical terms, but not meaningless.) No human being who would utter the proposition 'God exists' with any sort of vested interest (e.g., her/his faith) would consider it meaningless. Nor would any person who looks at the world and sees the astonishing things, both beautiful and terrible, done in the name of the gods defined by and believed in by other people! Philosophers who derive meaninglessness from meaning can suck my butt just as much as those who force meaning on poor, unsuspecting meaninglessness.< /rant>
fr_defenestrato: (avogadro)
I've decided to compile a set of usage laws that apply in the business of Federal Government contract acquisitions. These apply to generation of text for both Requests for [Proposals, Quotations, Information, what have you] and the [proposals etc.] that would-be contractors submit in response to said requests.

Today I present the first law (that occurred to me; its primacy does not necessarily signify its importance relative to forthcoming laws):

Any document-initial statement of purpose, problem, or intent, in either a Government-issued request or a contractor-supplied response, must include (preferably in its second paragraph) a reference to "meeting these challenges," regardless of the immediately preceding text.

A few modest examples:

Kellogg, Brown, and Root has scored exponentially under President Bush in the warfighting racket, realizing obscene profits as never before under previous administrations. KBR is rolling in filthy lucre and can foresee no change of derailment of the gravy train.

To meet these challenges, KRB is requesting...

Ok, this one's real:

... The NETCENTS2 Services contract will be a companion contract to the other two contracts in providing users total network-centric IT solutions.

The NETCENTS2 Services contract is designed to meet these challenges...

Also real, at least until I edited the following text:

... Navy professionals have paved the way into the future with resourcefulness, inventiveness, originality of ideas, and meticulously planned initiatives.

To meet these challenges, the MPT&E organization...

I swear, it's just automatic. It's a law; people learn it by repetition and after a while it just doesn't matter what the frig you put in the first 'graph: the second talks about meeting these challenges.
fr_defenestrato: (armaments)
All kidding and all politics aside, the most compelling argument for the removal of U.S. military troops from Iraq—indeed, for the permanent disbanding of the U.S. military as a whole—and frankly they can all stay in fucking Iraq for all I care—is the staggering, in-your-face, nine-inch-nails-on-a-chalkboard stupidity that prevails there. Sure the front lines end up populated mostly by kids most unfit for any sort of formal education (typically performing badly in class from grade school up); but what is less commonly known is that at every level of military command and administration the important once are chosen not for their smarts but for the facility with which they can make shit up on the fly to pretend they're smart. That's why the knee-deep bullshit jargon. That's why "to include:" is used even in past tense. That's why every document in the "List of Applicable Documents" in the Request for Information I'm reading right now has the annotation "(current version or later)" next to it.

Support our troops! They need our support! They're too stupid to get out of the way of a suicide bomber!

(The author of this blog would like to point out to anyone who should happen across this entry who has a relative or friend fighting in Iraq, that he really doesn't wish them ill. After all, they are only following the Fourth Reich's orders and fighting for my right to marry, have joint power of attorney with my partner, visit him in hospital, successfully bequeath my property to him, etc.; to not get beaten up, fired, kicked out of my housing, or kept from joining whatever association for being queer; also for my right to be religion-free; for my overall right to privacy without illegal molestation from the feral gubmt; and to ensure all the country's kids are taught according to indisputable scientific facts and principles.)














































(Oh. Wait.)
fr_defenestrato: (avogadro)
I used to read the Reader's Digest cover-to-cover every month. LOVED that shit. All the joke and anecdote sections, all the quips and quotes and witticisms at the bottoms of pages where the story left a wee bit of room... Anyway, one of the quotes I remember to this day (though I forget its attribution) is "We cherish our friends not for their ability to amuse us but for our ability to amuse them." As a whatever-year-old kid that was one of the first little bits of wisdom to turn my ideas of social relationships on they pointy haids.

In that spirit, I just amused both myself and [livejournal.com profile] jaegerbeast:

Haggis McBrylcreem says:
lord, save me from the logorrhoeic
JAEGER says:
?
JAEGER says:
haahahha
JAEGER says:
of or from whom?
Haggis McBrylcreem says:
"EPfM consists of a combination of people, processes, and corresponding information and technology that senses and responds to change by providing visibility into resource availability in order for scheduling personnel and other resources optimally"
JAEGER says:
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Haggis McBrylcreem says:
i mean... "in order for" is just salmon-flavored icing on the 18-layer cake
JAEGER says:
oh, eew. just stop.
Haggis McBrylcreem says:
i'm in my unhappy place
JAEGER says:
(especially since i just inhaled pad thai)

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