Consummate dilettantism!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

More Bible Fun

Anyone read Judges 19:1-30 lately? I mean, reading the Old Testament every Saturday kinda steels you to some of the more "inappropriate" stories, but I was nevertheless surprised to stumble upon this, which I had somehow missed. Basically, here's what happens:
A Levite (a member of a certain Jewish tribe) goes and gets married to this woman in Bethlehem. She ditches him (they don't say why) and goes back to her dad's house, with the guy in hot pursuit. He stays at the dad's house for a while, eating and drinking, and then starts off on the journey to bring her back to his place. They stop off at a town along the way, where a nice old man lets them stay at his house. Then, in a scene strongly reminiscent of the attempt at gay gang rape in Genesis 19, a mob surrounds the house and demands the man come out (so that they can anally rape him). Instead, the old man, like Lot, offers his virgin daughter and the Levite's wife up to be raped. The Levite then gets fed up and gives the relentless mob his wife (I assume she consented), whom they proceed to rape all night long. She dies on his doorstep the next morning. He takes the body back to his house, where he dismembers it and sends a piece to each tribe of Israel, as a reminder of how terrible things have gotten in the country.
This is almost as fun as the time where Moses kills all men and women in the city and gets the Israelites to take the little girls as virgins "for themselves" (yeah, I wonder what that means...). Oh, and then they sacrifice some of them to God. Sweet.

How To Keep A New Year's Resolution, And Also Informational Content

I've figured it out -- life. How stuff works. How you can use a program like this not only to do well in school and master Chinese, but also to run your life and brainwash yourself. Here's how:

Have you ever read a really good, moving book, movie, or motivational speech? You felt really good about yourself for a few days afterward, resolved to change your ways, but inevitably failed -- am I right, or am I right? (Right. In fact, I'm always right -- get used to it.) Why? Because the enthusiasm faded away. But if you've got an SRS program to remind you of why you felt motivated in the first place, then everything's chill, right? Theoretically, you can maintain a consistent level of motivation all the time, making permanent change inevitable. SRS the quotes, mister! You can SRS quotes! SRS images, moving content, audio! Whatever the hell you want! It's your life -- do what the shit you want with it. Just like you do with Chinese -- remind yourself not of words but of ideas. Like advertising. But for good things.

And the cooler thing is, you can do the same thing with arguments or facts. Want to become a debate master? Just memorize your arguments and your facts -- most debates are just repetitions of old debates anyway. The winner is simply he who's memorized the most steps. (The same with chess; the best players are those who've studied the most old games.) You forget stuff, but you don't have to -- not with your brain in a file on your desktop, you don't! And interestingly, this way, you won't be as easily able to brainwash, because when you caught up in a whole new set of facts or theories or a certain school of thought, you'll always have the other ideas in your SRS to serve as a buffer, keeping you safely away from radicalism and firmly anchored to reality. You'll become a composite of ideas, rather than a parrot of one. I mean, you'll have all the facts at your disposal! You can make your own ideas with them even after you've long forgetten the original arguments! Isn't that cool?!

Sorry, got a bit sidetracked there -- the important point is that we humans only have a limited time here on earth, so we've got to take in as much shit as possible. This is not a trade-off situation here: this is fucking zero-sum, my friend. You waste time watching no-content cartoons, you simply loose time. Boom. Gone. Never gone get it back. It is striking how much time we waste when we could be absorbing information -- while walking (put some informational content on your MP3 player to absorb), while watching TV (watch something fun and at least somewhat informative -- military channel's my pick), and even SRSing (maximize your time -- you're doing Chinese sentences, so make those sentences facts about 70s pop stars; learn about them and Chinese at the same time!).

Maximize. Beat the boss. Win the game.