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Dirty Diatribes

“... done dirt cheap.“

Part 4

It’s that time of year again: It’s time to write my term papers. Getting down to work, however, involves a lot more than simply doing the required work. In my case, it requires procrastination. For me, that means doing lots of little things that, while useful, don’t directly benefit the work I’m supposed to be doing. So, for example, I’ll do laundry or clean my apartment. I’ll organize music and/or books, and I’ll sort my email. All worthy tasks, mind you ... just not what is required to get my papers written. Having said all this, I thought I might clean out a few text files I have around here on the computer. The following line is from a Slashdot post a few weeks ago:

I’m still pondering whether i should pre-emptively register ’I can’t believe it’s not Jesus’ as a name for a low-calorie communion wafer, so i get in there before the church [...]

I just copied it down because I found it humorous. That’s exactly the type of humor I enjoy. Or, more exactly, one of the types of humor I enjoy. It also reminds me of the difficulties in marketing “I can’t believe it’s not butter” in Europe due to certain EU “truth in advertising” regulations. Another line, also—I believe—from Slashdot a while back, is:

In German ’invent-a-new-word-where-a-perfectly-good-one-already-exists’ is probably a word.

As a German teacher/student—that is, as someone who has experience both learning the ins-and-outs of German and in attempting to teach these things to others—I also find this amusing. I am tempted to print it out for my students. One other thing that I am reminded of is/was the creation of the term “sitt” to parallel “satt” in German. Strange, yes, but true. I haven’t taught my students “sitt” yet, though.

Now for something completely stupid. One day I simply wrote out a random number. Bored, I decided to factor it. “It” is listed below.

While I’m cleaning things out, I thought I’d post a few links that I had stored away, for some reason, in another text file. I must admit it—I’m a packrat, and I’ve collected hundreds, if not thousands of links to other pages on the web. Every so often I go through my bookmarks and organize things. As a result, I have a whole set of pages of organized links. I have another set of pages consisting of other peoples’ bookmarks. How lame, right?

As is obvious, I find rather random things on the web. Over a year ago I came across a quote I found interesting. It is interesting because it shows the strong belief of the author in the ’objectivity’ of science—specifically that science is beyond ideology, whereas the ‘humanities’ (or, culture in general) are mere tools of nationalism and ideology. It’s a quote that could have come from the 1950s. Below is the quote:

On the side of nationalism are ranged all the powers of poetry and song, language and literature, self-love and pride; in its service are gathered the strongest emotions, worthy as well as base; loyalty and love as well as lust and hate. On the other side we have only the cold light of the human intelligence, warmed by the small fire of complete unselfishness. but on this side is truth, and on this side is God, and either it will prevail or we shall go down into utter darkness.
[ kenneth boulding, quoted by Robert Wright in *Three Scientists and Their Gods* ]

I had also saved—in a text file—and old email to Andrew. 8/13/98 the date says. That day I was simply browsing around, checking out random domain names to see what is/was out there. Obviously, the status of some of the things I’ve found has changed by now.

Today’s URLs include:

I guess that’s about it for now.


Well, I suppose that about takes care of it for now. I cleaned out a few old files. I still have some ICQ chat and message logs to archive, but other than that, I’ve completed quite a bit (with regard to organizing my documents).

—December 11, 1999

[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 ]