Consummate dilettantism!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Glass Of Concentrated Stupid In The Morning

This thread is really one of the dumbest I've ever seen. Read some of it here:
Guyper: Do you think it's English which has the largest vocabulary than others?
Zerocrossings: Im pretty sure its Chinese.
FalcoLX: Yeah, I think every cyllable is a word. I could be wrong.
Guybrush_3: Chinese is really funky. It's more of a language family with a bunch of different dialects.

Shad0ki11: Thai and Khmer have pretty big vocabularies.The Khmer language has has 33 consonants and 24 vowels. Thai is similar with 44 consonants and 30 vowels.
irrelevant: you seem to have Vocabulary confused with consonants and vowels, nubcake.
Shad0ki11: You can make so many different words out of those though.
irrelevant: yea, but with more vowels and consonants, you need less words.
Shad0ki11: Bah. Fine.

jointed: at the people saying English. I'd say one of the Asian languages. Just look at Japanese and Chinese...they've got different words describing one thing depending on your mood.
efrucht: So does english. English has everything.

BaraChat:Well I think it's french. It's widely considered one of the hardest language to learn and master, waaay more than English or Spanish or even Arabic.And as far as I know, French has much more words than English. But that's just me. There are over 7000 languages across the Earth.
munu9: REALLY? I shouldn't have taken french in highschool
BaraChat: Yeah I agree I can't put myself in other people's shoes. But I said that French is "widely considered" one of the hardest language to learn.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I Am So Awesome

Chinese girls whispering behind my back again and giggling. Can't say i'm surprised -- it's that certain je ne sais quoi, that animal magnetism that makes me all but irresistible to women. But it is nice every once in a while to be reminded of it.

Then I looked back as I turned the corner, and our eyes met at the exact same time. Coincidence? We both knew that she wanted me -- bad.

I tell you, I've got a career in romance novels if this whole Chinese thing doesn't go through.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If You Smoke Marijuana, You Probably Help Murder Innocent People. Congrats.

Ha ha, hey man, let's get high. It's totally harmless, marijuana, don't you know?

You know where most of that marijuana comes from, right? And you know where your money goes, right? News flash:
Firefighters found six bodies inside a burning car in Tijuana, and 15 people were killed in three separate shootings in another northern Mexican border town besieged by drug violence, authorities said Tuesday. Near Mexico's southern border, meanwhile, the bullet-ridden bodies of eight men suspected to be drug traffickers were found in a Guatemalan frontier town. In Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, four bodies were found in a burning compact car's seats and two in the trunk, according to a police report Tuesday. The victims' identities and the motive for the killings were not released, but the Mexican city is on a major route for drugs heading north and has recently seen a wave of violence between warring gangs. The bodies were found Monday night. In Ciudad Juarez, gunmen killed five people at a car wash Tuesday evening, including two brothers who owned the business, said Vladimir Tuexi, a spokesman for the regional attorney general's office.
Ha ha, such harmless fun!

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being brutally raped, shot in the head, and then tossed unceremoniously into a ditch somewhere? Evidently not, you little shits. This is what your marijuana habit leads to. I'm gonna be real fucking serious and real fucking judgmental for a minute. Why? Because people talk about buying drugs as if it's the most casual, consequence-free thing in the world, and I've had it with it. Strikes me as a bit funny that the people who express such concern about buying from multinational corporations never, ever bring this inconvenient little example up. When drugs are discussed, the conversation is typically: "drugs? yeah, i can do what i want with my body!"

So, if you have ever purchased marijuana from a drug dealer, I'd like to tell you a few things:

1. It's quite possible that marijuana came to you from Mexico. If it did, you probably gave the gangsters a couple of bullets that are now resting in some rotting corpse somewhere. Thanks, bro. Hope you had a good time.
2. If you don't want to keep funding fun stuff like murder and rape, please stop buying from drug dealers.
3. Yes, this means no buying marijuana unless you are sure it doesn't come from drug gangs. Today, this usually means buying only those illegal drugs that you made or that were made by someone you know personally. If that's impossible, then you can't buy drugs at all. Too tough for you? Then either your brain is too small to appreciate even the simplest moral arguments, or you completely lack self-control.*

This post is related, if not in content then at least in spirit.

*If you're addicted, that's another story. If you argue that the more we buy drugs and the more violence we create, the more the government will be pressured to legalize drugs and thus reduce violence, you're smarter than I thought you were. (And if you then make a Singerian argument that not spending all your money on drugs is morally equivalent to murder, then you're way smarter than I thought you were.) I don't quite agree with you, but it is an intelligent counterblaste.

Nothing in this post is to be construed as an argument for not legalizing marijuana, which would solve all these problems. Marijuana should be made entirely legal, along with a lot of drugs. At the age of 18, I should be able to walk into a store, buy hashish, and sit outside and smoke it. The illegality (and the violence, which obviously stems from the illegality) is indeed the fault of the government. While marijuana is illegal, however, buying it usually funds drug lords, so I contend that buying it is usually immoral. And I have utterly no moral objections to responsible marijuana use, nor do I think the world would be a worse place if everyone were smoking marijuana. (In fact, in some ways it would probably be a better place.)

Chinese Communism And Jews

From JCPA:
A third group of Jews in China consists of the "foreign friends," people like Sidney Shapiro who came from the West in the 1940s, particularly from North America, to join the Communist revolution. While these foreign friends were by no means all Jewish a large percentage were.
They're not kidding.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Most And Least Competitive Economies

News from the world:
Switzerland knocked the United States off the position as the world's most competitive economy as the crash of the U.S. banking system left it more exposed to some long-standing weaknesses, a report said on Tuesday.
I met a guy from Switzerland here; he was kind of weird. Smart, I think, but weird.
The WEF study named African countries Zimbabwe and Burundi as the world's least competitive economies.
I also met met a Zimbabwean. Nice guy. His country, though, has a few problems:
In the case of Zimbabwe, the WEF noted the complete absence of property rights, corruption, basic government inefficiency as well as macroeconomic instability as fundamental flaws.
"[C]omplete absence of property rights" gets me every time. But we shouldn't be so quick to judge: according to the prestigious African Studies Quarterly, Zimbabwe's "alternative structures of property rights" (how deliciously euphemistic) are such that "[the] writer does not believe that we are ready to be property rights engineers or even if we should be".

African Studies Quarterly, meet Cato.

More Sinoagitprop

My Chinese textbook includes the following line, which I kindly translate for you here:
As simplified characters are helpful to new students [of Chinese] and aid in advancing the cultures of [Chinese] ethnic groups, they have been welcomed by all.

Oh really, Chinese government? Must explain the resounding success of round two, I guess. Or that people everywhere but those in the glorious People's Republic use traditional characters. Nothing at all to do with the massive, single-minded state apparatus behind their promotion.

Also, I don't get that bit about "advancing the cultures of [Chinese] ethnic groups". It's not a linguistic issue, it's a cultural one; we don't talk about "advancing culture" anymore. The Chinaman's Burden?

[Click here for my somewhat comprehensive takedown of simplified characters.]

[Sinoagitprop = a word of mine own coinage. You heard it here first, folks. At the time of writing, Google records 0 hits.]

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Are Squat Toilets More Hygienic?

This is certainly the claim. Is it true? In a theoretical sense, perhaps; when you use a squat toilet, your buttocks don't make contact with a seat, and feces leave your anus more easily. However, if you've used a squat toilet in a poor country before, you'll quickly see that this is outweighed by several other factors. Tissues must be disposed of in the trashcan, so fecal matter is more likely to be present on the floor and walls. (This also contributes to a terrific smell in most squat toilets. In rural areas, there are no drains in the toilets/troughs, so feces just built up and are cleaned at the end of the day -- I can only imagine what these places smell like.) You're more likely to miss when in the act of defecating. Also, your clothes have a good chance of touching the floor. Most squat toilets, then, are not especially hygienic.

However, there are some nicer squat toilets in wealthier countries like Japan, which leads me to believe that a lot of the problem is that the toilets are in poor countries, not that they're more disgusting by design (save for the clothes-touching-the-floor bit).

Also, there's some evidence that squat toilets are healthier to use, so the verdict is still out (at least in my mind!) as to which type of toilet is superior.