Archive for August, 2008

Why didn’t Peter just walk through the door?

Peter has quite a collection of powers by the end of Season Two of Heroes, one of which is phasing. 

So, in “Powerless” episode number 211 of the second season (also the finale) why did he spend most of the episode trying to break though the vault door with telekinesis when he could easily walk though the door? 

I understand that the Heroes (Nathan, Hiro and Parkman) needed time to get there, but couldn’t the writers just make them get there earlier? Hiro actually got there early since he can teleport and all, but Peter knocked him out using Elle’s lightning power. So the question is, Why didn’t he phase both himself and Adam though the door. Even then, all Adam had to do was break the vial with the Shanti Virus, Peter wouldn’t even know what to expect. I considered that If the door was closed the virus couldn’t get out, but the vent is still there, and that leads somewhere(in the original version, the Virus escaped though the vent as well as the open door). Did Adam not know that? and he didn’t how did he get Peter to break the door open? DId Peter forget he could phase? 

I am confused, clearly.

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Thin Air

I’ve just finished reading Thin Air by Rachel Caine. 

My reactions and feelings are mixed. On one hand, the book was great, and the ending was good, as compared to what happened at the end of the last novel. On the other hand, i think she cut it prematurely, she could have told us more about the ritual between the Djinn, Wardens and Ma’at. I guess I understand where she’s coming from, but still, its like she was taking a bit away from us.

Why lowering the drinking age won’t fix anything.

Once again, a response to something I heard in my ENG101 class.

College Presidents re asking for the drinking age to be lowered in order to fix the binge drinking, underage drinking I general I suppose, and help with the high rate of, well, drinking. Many people like the idea, especially many teenagers (go figure) arguments usually go something like this:

I am old enough to be shipped of to war (in case of a draft, which realistically, in our day and age, won’t happen)

I am old enough to join the army and potentially die for my country but can’t legally buy alcohol. (Also note that the majority of the people using this argument are not in the armed forces (some are, but not many) one person also noted that in the state of Arizona, someone under 21 cannot legally gamble.

These arguments along with the popular, “its fun to break the rules, if the rule isn’t there drinking will be fixed” are, in my opinion, completely and utterly wrong. These explanations are weak, and the latter is based on psychology, (I have no respect for psychology, except of course for Evolutionary Psychology and Social Psychology)

The problem is not a love of breaking rules, and it is not because of the suicidal tendencies of self-destructive behavior. The problem has a cultural and social cause, and therefore a socio-cultural solution.

When in a society, any society, restricts potentially destructive and dangerous behavior, it also increases its dangers. Take for instance two examples: drinking (as it is the focus of the rant) and drug use (which I will address on another post.

Drinking

Drinking is a part of the activities performed by Americans, who drink me celebration, in company, for entertainment, and in sorrow. Drinking alcohol is a central and key aspect of American society, and can be observed in the media and at home, but for the young people of the country it is off limits. Drinking is a mark of maturity and adulthood, a rite of passage so to speak. This makes a person’s twenty-first birthday a day of celebration, the last restriction before adulthood. Although this may seem like a good concept, it comes at a price. These new adults have no concept of restriction when it comes to alcohol use, they continue drinking until they can do so no longer, alcohol, a boon of society and a mark of social maturity, then becomes a sign of the immaturity and lack of respectability and judgment in that young person. In essence, it defeats the purpose of waiting.

In a possible solution, one that has been observed and tried as true in other countries, the teenager is introduced to drinking at home, with his family, and learns the dangers of excess under a watchful hand (the parents, elders) and then participates in the celebration with the adults. Later when the now adult member of the family moves on, he already has a sense of limitations and can join in this kind of celebration and in the social aspect of such without danger of ignorance or the feeling of rebellion, which often leads to death or seriously injury, whether it be physical or mental, or in the form of loosing face in society.

This solution has, obviously, two flaws:

First, it will never work in America. The American public has but one sentiment: Elimination and Prohibition, despite the evidence against it, the consensus is that the only way to fix a problem is to restrict, ignore, and punish.

Second, it will not entirely prevent death by alcohol poisoning or accidents caused by alcohol consumption (in this case, restriction of driving while under the influence is the only solution)

Machiavellian Society and V for Vendetta.

Today in English class someone brought up V for Vendetta as an example of a Machiavellian Society. Do the ends justify the means?
I disagree, there is a process, a humane and cooperative process that allows us to discuss and diplomatically resolve problems without conflict or without casualties.
One example that I drew, especially because I have an interest in such things, is that of Rwanda and the genocide of 1994. The ends, a unified Hutu and Twa nation will all the wealth concentrated in one government, the means was the death of 77 percent of the mTutsi population.
Back to V for Vendetta, deceit as a means to achieve power and death or genocide as a way to achieve a unified country. From a purely detached way this makes sense but from a Human perspective it is in no way acceptable or should not even be considered a possible solution or a means to any end.
Clannish groups whether they be in tribes, religion, corporations, or even gangs, always draw a certain type of ideology, a very Machiavellian perspective that needs to be regulated and guided by the idea of cooperation, the Church managed to hold a generally loose hold over the warring City-States or Italy, Spain, Germany and Romania. Now the United Nations and the European Union manage to hold a good way of restriction (obviously this is not without exception, Turkey, a country with a blatant disregard for human rights, was recently accepted into the European Union, and the UN has continuously, as has the USA, ignored the genocide in Darfur just as they ignored the Rwandan Genocide) Although these are examples that are often the exception. The Zimbabwean situation is being dealt through the cooperation of the EU, the OAU, and the UN, if not the US Government. The Civil War in Georgia has been mostly ignored by the GA and the Security Council, although the United States and NATO continue to act outside the UN’s sanction and continue to push toward s potentially dangerous situation (very similar to Machiavellian power play).
It is the division that these organizations create among themselves that defeat the purpose of the organizations.
Although this in no way brings one back to V for Vendetta, it is connected, it is an example of the power play concept as outlined by Machiavelli.
Clearly I disagree with his ideology, as I seem to have a deep love for the spirit of cooperation and unity.

First Day of: Classes, Democratic Conventions and Job Hunting.

First, I have class to go to, which I have to admit right now, I have missed going to.

In ASB 102, a class I think I’m going to hate, I felt at home. Once I was in the Lecture hall and the instructor started talking, it felt like it was all good now, and I was right where I belonged. Maybe it felt odd because last semester I didn’t have a large lecture class, and this semester I have two. After that I went for lunch, and noticed that I had signed up for a class on another campus, which was quite odd. So after lunch I went to the library and fixed it on my computer, read a couple of blogs, and went over the NY Times online. I’m avoiding CNN until tonight, when the conventions start.

I have Biology after this, and I know that I’m either going to hate it or love it. It feels odd taking BIO 100 AFTER ASM343: Primatology. I have the feeling that I’m already going to know everything, or that I’m going to start talking and end up over-explaining the hell out of everything, and therefore making everyone hate me, or asking me to shut up. One good thing about taking freshman classes is that the freshmen this year are hotter than the freshman last year, which of course I had very little classes with.

Now, about the conventions. I am really afraid that Michelle Obama is going to say something stupid (again) and make Obama look bad, not that he needs the help, but she might. Although I don’t think she’s speaking today. I am a Clinton Democrat, but I have to support Obama, because the alternative is McCain, who I hate even more. I respect him as a politician but only as a senator, not as president. Obama has not the experience or the determination to be president; he’s kind of like a little boy playing dress up in his papa’s clothes.

Now about job hunting, I have filled out an application at the library, which I’m going to submit for every possible open position there, I really need a job and I’m starting not to care how much pay is. I like higher pay obviously but I might have to settle for something a little lower. I was also thinking about filling out an application over at Borders but I think I’ve decided not to, I have no idea why, but it think I have. For jobs on campus I actually have a little list of places I have to go, although I’m considering not bothering to go. I actually heard from my first choice in jobs, over at the school of Music but “the position had already been filled” so I was out of luck in that department. My own Department doesn’t have job openings, which is sad for me, because that would make more sense if I got a job there.