Thursday, August 02, 2007
(1) A "Comment Culling"
Since Google took over Blogger, some aspects of Gmail and Blogger's comments have been integrated, but not always well. One side-effect is that sometimes, the same comment pops up twice in the Blogger comment queue, but once in Gmail.
A result of that is that when I look at the comment queue to check for comments missed by Gmail (which happens from time to time), I find duplicates of old comments in the queue. I keep them around for a time in case I mistake a new comment for a repeat of a comment I've already moderated.
So I've piled up a fair number now and as soon as I post this, I'm rejecting the duplicate comments. I don't know whether commenters are notified via email when I reject comments, so in case that occurs: No, I didn't really reject your comment!
(2) How to link to subsections of my roundup posts.
Generally, take the first three letters of the first word of the subtitle (ignoring "a" and "the") and add them to the URL for the permalink after a pound sign. For example, the link to the next section would look something like this: "http://gusv ... html#imp".
I know that this is somewhat inconvenient, but posting these roundups saves me enough time on editing and posting that it is justified.
Improved Communication through Censorship?
Elton John's beating the drum for censorship ... again.
We're talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.While there is something to be said for not spending all one's time seated in front of a computer, John clearly does not grasp (or care) that the whole purpose of the Internet is to foster communication. (It was indeed through the Internet that I learned of his desire to shut it down.)
I mean, get out there -- communicate.
Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.
Let's get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.
Not only that, as I blogged ages ago, the best that could be said for John is that he does not fundamentally understand the purpose or nature of communication among rational entities:
One could understandably chalk up Sir John's professed desire to ban religion to hyperbole, but what of the following? "Sir Elton said people were too busy blogging on the Internet to go out onto the streets to stand up for what they believed in." This is a blatant confession on his part that he regards intellectual debate as futile. In fact, his strong preference for sixties-style protests is a manifestation of his own rejection of reason as a means of communicating with others.My odds of communicating with Elton John from this site are magnitudes greater than were I to pin my hopes on randomly colliding with him in a street protest like some aimless molecule. Furthermore, my words are longer-lasting and far more likely to reach more rational minds than his by being posted here than by being shouted at the top of my lungs in the middle of a crowd.
Whether or not the silence of countless people like myself is John's goal, it would be the result of what he advocates.
Please, Sir John, do stick to what you know, the piano, in the future.
Now They're against Flushing Toilets. And Sewers.
If you thought low-flow toilets were annoying, the Greens are nowhere near done with you yet. Now, they're taking aim at your very health by attacking the whole concept of the modern sewage system. From an article that dismisses the prevalence of flushing toilets in the West as an "addiction" and stumps for squat toilets comes the following.
[W]ith the introduction of sewer systems in major cities and new moral attitudes toward human waste products, the labor-intensive method lost out to the convenience of the flush, according to [Maj-Britt] Quitzau's research, detailed in the August issue of the journal Technology in Society.As reader Dismuke, who drew my attention to this story, stated:
The flushing toilets required water and sewage system to facilitate easy and enclosed removal of waste. Even with its added expense, Quitzau said, "city planners and health personnel became some of the principal spokesmen for flushing toilets. They were troubled about the problems that growing urbanization brought along in the Western cities at this time."
In the city of Stockholm alone, the number of water-flushing toilets rose from 127 to more than 80,000 between 1890 and 1925, according to a study reported in a Swedish Science Press journal.
At the same time, environmentally sound earth closets, considered less sanitary, went extinct.
[N]owhere in the entire article is any mention at all of the word "cholera" which is exactly what people were prone to get and, in some parts of the world, still get as a result of "sustainable" alternatives.Indeed. If we in the West forget John Snow, we stand to pay with our lives.
Not that I'm the best-looking man in the world, or that I'm aging particularly well, but....
This picture and its caption (below), which come from an article about "vegansexuals" -- vegans who say they're sexually boycotting those of us who eat meat -- invite ridicule.
Christchurch couple Nichola and Hans Kriek are vegans. While she would not describe herself as a vegansexual, Nichola Kriek said she could understand people not wanting to get too close to non-vegan or non-vegetarians.What is this? A clever ad placed by the cattle industry? And is it true that a dubbed-in Fred G. Sanford is slated to make cameos with gorilla cookie quips in the television version of these ads?
Cheap shots aside, a vital part of the beauty of a woman is her intelligence and rationality. Not only that, while sex is important, there is much more than that to any worthwhile relationship. The thought of having to listen to endless environmentalist ranting -- not to mention being unable to share a good meal -- would have been enough during my single days to repel me from a vegan.
Hearing of this boycott would have been like learning that raw sewage had spiked at ten dollars a gallon.
New Aesthetic Anti-Concept: "Curating"
[Please see the update below.]
I forgot to mention something yesterday that I noticed when reading Heather MacDonald's article on Regietheater. She also introduced us to what Ayn Rand termed an "anti-concept" (See note below.): "curating".
Wadsworth unapologetically embraces one of the most toxic words in the operatic lexicon today: "curating." The last thing a solipsistic director wants to be accused of is lovingly preserving and transmitting the works of the past. Wadsworth, however, accepts the charge. Those given responsibility for an opera production are akin to those given responsibility for great paintings, he believes. "It is not our job to repaint them. We should only be concerned with: Where to hang it? How to light it? In what context? How do we present it to the public in a way that the public can appreciate what it is, perhaps even contextualize it in terms of that painter's body of work or some other trend or school or idea? The list of curatorial concerns and responsibilities is long. And I think that a lot of productions that we see simply fail to meet them."While the role of the performers and directors in the performing arts clearly not only allows for, -- but also depends on -- some degree of artistic interpretation, Regietheater clearly represents a case of the director violating the integrity of the composer's work -- while falsely claiming that not to do so would be to fail as an interpreter.
The dismissal as a mere "curator" of a director who attempts to remain faithful to the artistic vision of a composer is clearly intended to enshrine the destruction of great operatic works as if said destruction constituted art.
[Update: A commenter raises some good objections to my contention that this really is an example of an anti-concept. I am interested in hearing more opinions on this matter as I now realize I need to consider this question further myself. Note that I will be traveling this weekend, so I may be slower than normal moderating comments.]
Note: Ayn Rand defined an "anti-concept" as "an unnecessary and rationally unusable term designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concept." (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 23)
Today: Added note on anti-concepts.
8-3-06: Added update to last section.