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Journal Journal: Lies

The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, because the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad.

The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them more easy victims of a big lie than a small one, because they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell big ones.

Such a form of lying would never enter their heads. They would never credit others with the possibility of such great impudence as the complete reversal of facts. Even explanations would long leave them in doubt and hesitation, and any trifling reason would dispose them to accept a thing as true.

Something therefore always remains and sticks from the most imprudent of lies, a fact which all bodies and individuals concerned in the art of lying in this world know only too well, and therefore they stop at nothing to achieve this end.

~ Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

User Journal

Journal Journal: Living The Fountainhead

Architect Douglas Cardinal seems to be living The Fountainhead. I just saw the story on the news, and quickly searched it out on the net for more info. There are a lot of similarities, especially when you see him talking about it on tv. He seems to carry himself like Roark.

From the article:

Douglas Cardinal, the Ottawa architect whose vision is behind the design of the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, has refused to attend the building's grand opening Tuesday. Cardinal, well-known in Canada's capital for designing the Canadian Museum of Civilization, was fired from the Smithsonian project in 1998.
Cardinal says his vision was ruined by those who took over. He calls the building a "forgery" of his work, saying it's similar, with his signature curves, but lacks the details he would have brought to it.
Attending the launch, said Cardinal, would absolve the museum of the wrong it has done to him.
"It would be too hard for me to see how it's been compromised. It's a compromised work of art," he said.
Cardinal said he continued to work on his design after he was off the project, and that the museum relied on his final drawings.
The Smithsonian hasn't paid him for that later work, he said.

Here's another article with more info.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Hemp and Irony

"The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were printed on hemp paper. Thomas Jefferson farmed hemp. George Washington farmed hemp -- and, some say, marijuana for smoking as well.

"Growing either of them today will land a farmer in prison. That's not right. It's not American."

--Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Candidate for President

User Journal

Journal Journal: Comments

I've enabled comments, perhaps against my better judgement, but we'll see what (if anything) happens.

If my last JE doesn't get people thinking, I don't know what will.


Journal Journal: Four More Years! Four More Years! Four More Years! Not.

I'm amazed at the placard carrying trolls I see on tv at political rallies (*cough*RNC*cough*) chanting "Four More Years! Four More Years! Four More Years!"

Listening to their bitter tirades against the Evil Left(TM) who somehow is "running the country into the ground" (despite having no control over any branch of government whatsoever), and noting their earnest attempts to avoid any objective insight to the success or failure of recent Republican actions, I'd say their lives are NOT better off than they were four years ago. If they had a good record, they'd stand on it. Instead they choose to stand on Kerry's throat and hope it will be enough. And Kerry also seems to be avoiding the real issues, instead spending his time responding to attacks on what he was doing 30 years ago. There's only one candidate who seems to be dealing with the issues, but we'll get to that later.

Looking over the RNC crowd, I don't see a lot of smiles. Lots of cheers and clapping when a speaker attacks someone else with a real zinger... Hmmm... They LOVE that whacknut Zell Miller. God, nothing beats an angry sellout for ratings, does it?

Well, seeing how their only delight seems to be the suffering of others, and despite their protests, I'd venture a guess that their lives really *aren't* better off than they were four years ago. Is yours? Would you vote for four more years of this? And more importantly, do you acknowledge that your quality of life has gone down but are planning on voting Republican out of fear?

Interesting thing, fear. It's taken some of the strongest Libertarians I know and herded them like cattle into supporting the Republicans. Sadly, the couple I'm thinking of are (mentally) shells of their former selves. I don't want to sound like a zealot, those days are over, but it's true. They're afraid of everything, and getting moreso. They feel like they've lost control of their own lives, and they need someone to take control for them. They have lost their understanding of the basic universal principles which they once embodied, and which strengthened their wills and guided their steps. With the loss of their courage and independance went their material and relational success. They seem to be wandering philosophically... It's hard to explain.

In discussions, they both admit to still believing most of the things Libertarians believe in, but they think the Repubs represent safety, because that's what Dubya CLAIMS he represents. They think he will protect them from Al Qaeda. Protect them from the Democrats. Protect them from job losses. Protect them from taxes. Protect them from indecency. Protect them from a godless world. And they are willing to exchange liberty for safety.

My friends don't seem to understand that stronger laws designed to close borders don't work.

They have forgotten that the war on drugs is a dismal failure.

They think that if there are laws made to prevent it, people will stop being gay.

They think massive military spending is justified, because we've been pushed into a corner and must *fight* our way out rather than just walk away like grownups do.

They think if they vote Republican, it will stop their neighbour kids from skateboarding around the parking lot at the mall and smoking joints.

They think if they vote Republican their taxes will go down (heh. not unless they're in a higher bracket than I think they're in).

They see George Bush, and to them, his well-scripted and practised public persona exudes a confidence and clarity of purpose that trancends the sheer emptiness and idiocy of his message.

But the good traits my friends see in Bush do not exist in him. They exist in Michael Badnarik.

Badnarik's message is not empty, as Bush's is, and it is not at all idiotic. The only people who can ridicule his ideas are those who are living off a corrupt system.

Badnarik is the sole candidate standing on timeless principles of liberty, individual rights and responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness -- namely through strong private property rights and the unhampered quest for financial independence. And he doesn't give a damn what Bush or Kerry did or didn't do in Vietnam. History is dead. NOW is what matters.

My friends have forgotten about passion. They've forgotten about ethics. They've forgotten about freedom. But thankfully, for every soul lost to fear, another two awaken to reality.

I'm going to buy my friends Atlas Shrugged for Christmas. They've been meaning to read it, they insist, but of course, they've put it off -- for years. I didn't. Maybe that's why I'm typing this and they're wondering fearfully who can save them from the world.


Journal Journal: Confessions of a Former Mac Zealot

Just for the record, I'd like to admit that for a long time, when I had been sucked into the Apple hype and Steve Jobs' RDF, I was one of the people who came on Slashdot and basically pimped Apple to everybody (up until about May of this year). I not only defended Apple every chance I got (whether they were right or wrong), but I also attacked everybody else who competed against them in any way -- that includes Dell. Dells have a very high rating in all of the independent studies and surveys, but I made up "poor quality" stories *all the time* to help people switch over to Apple. Sadly, it was all made up. I never had a Dell, and from what I hear from people who do have them, they're great. Now their reputation here is crap, and it's probably 90% undeserved. Conversely, Apple is seen as "God's Gift to Earth Geeks". But they're not. Buy a good Dell, you get a good Dell; you get what you pay for. Buy something cheap, you get something cheap. A good example is the iBooks, which are some of the cheapest-ass welfare laptops in the known universe.

I voted for Apples anytime I saw a poll (multiple times if I could), even if I knew someone else *should* win. I spent hours every day downloading Mac wallpapers and screenshots from Spymac. I read the Apple news daily (macsurfer, macnn, spymac, As The Apple Turns, etc.) If my boss knew how much I'd stolen from him in lost productivity, I'd be fired for sure. And I'd deserve it.

When an argument broke out, I always supported the Mac guys with "yeah, me too!" type comments that added weight to the pro-Mac side, even if my experience was completely different (G5's faster, Apple's cheaper than PCs, iLife WAY better than PC software, etc.). When someone was promoting any competing product, my strategy was simple: I'd attack them on whatever differentiated them from the Mac offering. This has the unconscious assumption that the Mac is the standard, and the other side is trying to "live up to the Mac". Whereas in many cases, Apple is just plain worse than the PC offerings. But I phrased the arguments to help the Mac come out on top every time. For example, if a guy is bragging about the new Dell Latitude, I would only argue him on the characteristics and traits that the PB won in:

The Dell is just ugly and is a plastic ripoff of the PB.

The Dell is half an inch bigger, and that's a lot when it's a portable.

I don't play games anyway, so the Dell's extra horsepower is just wasted.

Amazing how I can see the Dell as both UGLY and a copy of the PowerBook, at the same time! Next day, when I'm arguing against the Sony Vaio, which is smaller, sleeker, and better looking:

Looks don't matter, it's a TOOL.

The Sony is nice, but it's too small, I'd be afraid to break it.

The horsepower of the PowerBook is a MUST, with all the big creativity/digital photo/music/video apps out there.

And against Alienwares Area51m (which totally blows the PB out of the water in every way) I'd argue:

OS X is the most important feature, so the Alienware is a clear loser.

I don't like the Pentium 4 or AMD chips, I'll stick with the G4 instead.

I want to support creative people, not people like Alienware.

I'm sure you noticed my flip-flopping from argument to argument; I'd make any politician from either of the two big American parties proud.

My basic plan was to avoid all the areas Apple loses in, and give extra weight to whatever was superior on the Mac. Every argument can be won if you claim that Apples only winning feature is the only one that matters; one time, it would be POWER (when the Apple would win); another time, it would be SIZE (when the Apple would win); the same went for PRICE, BATTERY LIFE, WIRELESS, BLUETOOTH, FIREWIRE, ALUMINUM CASING, WIDESCREEN, VIDEO CARD, etc. and of course, the trump card was my refusal to "stoop" to using anything but OS X, which was an automatic win for Apple, since they're the only ones who make it (duh!).

I couldn't lose! And I didn't. And now, even though I've "lost the faith" and realized that Apples are good, but not great, and my next laptop will NOT be a Mac, the mantle of "unreasoning sophist mac zealot" has been taken up en masse. I've created a monster. I've posted at least 2500 posts under at least 10 different nyms, and double that as AC. I honestly spent the great majority of my time as an unpaid employee for Apple Computers, Inc. You can recognize my zombie monster children because they post just like me.

But until this year, I didn't realize that I was lying to promote something that didn't DESERVE to win based only on their brand name, but rather on the QUALITIES of the product.

But I lied anyway.

And so are you.

Stop it.

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Everything that can be invented has been invented. -- Charles Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899