:: Thursday, August 25, 2005 ::
I've started school again. In fact, I'm committing educational incest -- I am rudely and against all the rules of propriety getting a higher degree from the same school I got my bachelor's from.
:: Wednesday, August 24, 2005 ::
I expect it doesn't actually count for a Master's, though.
What prompted my triumphant return to college, and my sudden and burning desire to upgrade my worn BS in Computer Science into the shiny uselessness of a Masters? In short: My company is paying for it, and they'll give me a lot of money when I get it.
Best of all, they really don't care if it's work related, so I'm free to focus on distributed computing and genetic algorithms (What can I say? I want to be able to sort of talk shop with PZ Myers) even though my day job has, well, exactly nothing to do with it.
It'll take me about three years (they only pay for two classes a semester) but I officially started graduate classes on Monday. I'll have to decide between the thesis or the extended coursework option fairly soon (probably the latter, as I'm highly unlikely to seek a Doctorate anytime soon) and nail down my plan of study -- which requires me to actually get around to taking my GRE.
:: Morat 2:01 PM :: ::
Ah, that explains it!
Eugene Volokh wants everyone to know that he can't be homophobic, some of his best friends are gay. See? Look at all those examples of him being pro-gay. That means nothing he ever writes on homosexuality could EVER be badly written, though out, or expressing bias because he's on record -- for instance -- already as being all for same-sex marriage, provided it's the will of the people no matter how many generations it takes!
Equal rights for gays as soon as the non-gays decide they're people no matter how long that takes! See how enlightened that is? How libertarian it is?
For the record, I don't think Volokh is homophobic. He doesn't seemed to be scared of gays, or terribly worried they'll stick a dick up his ass or something. He just doesn't really seem to think they're actually regular people, just walking butt-fucking machines. The only difference between him and Pat Robertson is that Volohk doesn't seem to think the butt-sex is anything to get terribly excited about.
Frankly, there's a reason he's getting so much crap for this -- we know he's smarter than he's acting. He's not a moron. He knows how it comes across, and is perfectly capable of phrasing it in a more specific way without adding all sorts of negative implications. He chooses not to. He chooses to use loaded words, terminology, and arguments and then pretends it's okay, because he meant them in another way. Bullshit. He uses words for a living, and he knows exactly what he's doing. The pose of starry-eyed innocence and aggrieved victomhood ring just as false.
:: Morat 12:32 PM :: ::
Athenae identifies Volokh's real problem with his recent writings on gay:
And it all sounds very reasonable and normal and really, in comparison to some of the freaks on Volokh's side of the political fence, almost tolerant for a minute. Until you realize it's built around the central conceit that ALL GAY PEOPLE THINK ABOUT GAY SEX AS MUCH AS RIGHT WING STRAIGHT PEOPLE DO. I've got to admit to wondering -- does Volokh actually have any gay friends? Because I do, and I hear the same shit from them I do from my straight ones: Bitching about their jobs, their mortgage, their car payments, the idiots in Washington, how they and their boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse just went to Austin for a music festival and it rocked....
Volokh's post presumes the chief topic of conversation among gay people and their straight or gay or bisexual friends is sexual intercourse. That their lives are so consumed with having the gay gay gay mansexxorz all day long that when they get together for their extremely homosexual dinner parties or gaybar crawls, all they can talk about is the amazing anal action. And if they're in a room with some straight (or bisexual) people, hell, why would you talk about boring-ass shit like your job or your friends or your house or the stupid thing your pet did when you can tell them about the wonderment that is making love to another person of THE SAME GENDER.
I mean, if you did something other than sex, that would be almost like being a person, wouldn't it? That would be, to quote a button I bought ten years ago in college, having a life, not a lifestyle. And that's what people like Volokh don't ever seem to acknowledge. To them the sum total of being gay is having gay sex. Being human doesn't seem to enter into the equation.
What I don't hear about -- from gay friends OR straight friends -- is the details of their sex lives. (Scratch that -- I DO have a few friends that talk a lot about their sex lives to me, but they're all straight. And I'm pretty sure they're all lying about how much they're getting....)They don't try to pick me up, invite me to orgies or threesomes, or in any way imply they're wanting to have the gay, gay, GAY sex with me (or the straight, straight, straight sex with me).
It's not just my wife stopping that -- I've noticed they're not trying to pick up the singles either.
For all of Volokh's education and deep thinking (such as it is) he still labors under the ridiculous assumption that people are gay for the gay sex. It's the same stupid thinking that underlies the fundamentalist rejection of homosexuality -- they believe gay sex is pure hedonism, done only to satisfy perverted desires.
In the end, though, I have no idea why Volokh's suddenly so obsessed with gays. I mean, what the hell does it matter to him what gays do?
:: Morat 10:39 AM :: ::
Monkey Talk on Larry King
Wait, Larry King actually asked:
KING: All right, hold on. Dr. Forrest, your concept of how can you out-and-out turn down creationism, since if evolution is true, why are there still monkeys? I thought that was a joke. Jesus Christ, no wonder are country is full of morons.
I mean, I thought Larry King was a twit to begin with, but good lord. Have some standards, man. That's like asking a Catholic why they worship Mary. (Hint: They don't, and only someone whose entire knowledge of Catholicism came from reading Jack Chick tracks would be able to phrase such a retarded questions).
:: Morat 10:23 AM :: ::
Oh good lord
Well, Eugene Volokh hasn't actually surpassed "I Love Torturing Criminals" post, but he's decided that this week is anti-homo week.
:: Monday, August 22, 2005 ::
His logic is a wonder to behold -- first he defines "homosexual" as "male-to-male sexual contact". Apparently lesbians are in a league of their own, and I'm not sure whether Volokh is actually aware of the existence of bisexuals or the drunken fooling around we call "College".
So, just to wrap up: Volokh has managed to explain that gays really DO convert straight people, and that they're all dying of AIDs too. But not to worry -- I'm sure he's just ratcheting it up to get that judicial appointment before the midterms. If there's anything we can all agree on about the modern GOP, it's that you simply can't bash the fags hard enough. Stay tuned next week as Volokh explains that blacks really ARE closer to monkeys, and that non-Christians like to drink the blood of newborns.
:: Morat 9:50 AM :: ::
So I've been looking around -- in my copious spare time -- at the Iraqi Constitution process. As you no doubt know (and I am far to lazy to link to at the moment), the Iraqis are writing themselves a Constitution. This, of course, is the pinnacle of the "Bringing Democracy to Iraq" process -- which replaced the defunct "Saddam had WMDs" theory, which itself was merely a repackaging of the "Saddam is like so evil he's virtually Osama Bin Laden, and we can find Iraq on a map" concept.
However, in my particularly evil liberal way, I can't help but notice some of the fine print. Specifically, my eye was drawn to the more....theocratic elements of the Constitution. The whole "Kinda like a direct copy of Iran" bit.
I'm sure, that in Bush's world, this Constitution -- assuming it's finally ironed out -- represents a stunning success in the war on terror. In the real world, the one I sadly inhabit, I can't help but realize that 1800 US soldiers and tens of thousands of civilians have died, untold hundreds of billions have been spent, and for what? For Iraq to go from a military dictatorship to an Iranian-style theocracy.
To be perfectly blunt -- I'm not sure that's actually any more "free" than before. In fact, given the status of women under Saddam and under Iran, it's a hell of a lot less free for half the population. Now, no man with a sense of shame -- or a functioning brain -- would actually brag about the fact that he's managed to spend so much blood and money to create a government that's actually worse than Saddam Hussein's -- but somehow, I expect Bush will be talking a lot about Iraq's new freedom and democracy.
:: Morat 11:55 AM :: ::