Consummate dilettantism!

Sunday, April 27, 2008


In other news, Microsoft Word assumes that people are too stupid to use the verb "effect" properly.

"WHAT?!?!?," you say. "'Affect' is a verb, 'effect' is a noun!"

Unfortunately, the often overdrawn distinction between these words is yet another example of rampant hypercorrection. "You and I" is indeed correct when it is used as a subject; e.g., "You and I went to the store." It is so because here "You" and "I" are both subjects, and therefore are in the nominative case. But too many people make the mistake of assuming that because "and I" is always appended to their unfortunately used "and me"s, "and I" should always replace "and me."

This is completely wrong! "And I" replaces "and me" only when "me" has been used incorrectly a subject. "Between you and me" is grammatically correct; me is not the subject here - it is the object of the preposition "between." "From you and me" is also perfectly correct, for the same reason. "Between you and I" is grammatically wrong and incredibly grating. It is better to use "and me" all the time than "and I" all the time; the latter smacks of ridiculously overdrawn grammatical pretension, whereas the former just indicates a lack thereof (even if the "and me"/"and I" distinction is known). Being grammatically pretentious isn't bad, but being incorrectly grammatically pretentious is absolutely horrible.

Anyway, people are so often told that "affect" is a verb and "effect" a noun that it becomes second nature to them, and the cringing at the use of "effect" as a verb becomes habitual, so much so that even when "effect" is used properly as a verb (and it very well can be), the cries of "LOL THATS AFFECT NOT EFFECT LOL" are inescapable.

If you're going to use grammar properly, use it correctly, and know your grammar before you try to correct others. Screw you Microsoft Word! (For the curious, try typing "it effects it" into Word.)

Sorry, this just really bugs me.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Cross-posted here.
Obama is finally receiving the drubbing he has rightfully deserved throughout the entire campaign cycle. Slick as oil but endlessly obfuscating, he has finally painted himself into a corner, been pinned down, his risible message of “change” notwithstanding.

And thus will fall America’s quickest upstart politician in a generation. It is indeed quite amazing how many people have been utterly deluded by this man, have fallen for his silliness and his charades and his silly little word games.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Knew It

What follows is the best explanation I have yet seen for intelligence. Come to my school on any given day and you will see its truth. I have thought along the same lines myself for a long time, and I have no doubt that it is correct.
The study also lends support to the emerging view that intelligence has both multiple discrete components -- such as, for example, the independent verbal and visuospatial domains -- and an overarching general aspect, which the researchers believe may be "executive function," tapped when the domains undertake more complex or novel tasks. Executive function may also coordinate and modulate the domains' various lower-level processes.
Read the whole thing.

The only question that remains in my mind regards the genetic component of intelligence. In other words, how are these separate intelligences inherited genetically, and how are they environmentally determined? The answer to this question is perhaps one of the greatest hitherto unsolved in all of science.