"How fortunate for
governments that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
don't listen to them enough,
but rage against the machine are still awesome in my book.
as busy as ever trying
to juggle so many projects and competing interests. trying to take fewer
jobs and focus on bigger things.
been getting back into
metal lately. judas priest, megadeth and the classics. there's a lot of
stuff i don't really like, but there's a decent amount of really good stuff,
too, if you don't mind being 30 years behind the curve.
i've thought a lot about
the seahawks' loss to the patriots when everyone wanted them to give the
ball to marshawn. i remember them being in that position and saying "just
run the ball four times...actually, a play action would be good right now."
the thought i had was two fold: time was a consideration and a play action
when everyone was expecting a run would be a good way of catching the defense
off guard. well, we all know what happened and pete carroll got plenty
of monday morning quarterbacking on that one. but here's the best analysis
of that play that i've read, and it was from reddit: "On the year, Marshawn
was only '1 of 5' on goal-line (1 yard) attempts. And *only* '1 of 4' on
4th and 1 attempts. Besides Marshawn's poor conversion rates on short yardage
situations (so far that year), the play was 2nd and goal with 22 second
left and 1 timeout. (Barring the interception) with a pass attempt, two
more plays could be run with the full playbook. With a rush attempt on
2nd, not getting in would require burning the final time-out. The
3rd down attempt would *have to be* a pass since no more time-outs would
be available. This limits the play-book and lets the defense *know*
a pass is coming. The pass attempt on 2nd preserved an open playbook for
3rd and 4th down. The Seahawks also went with Lynch on 4th and 1 in overtime
on the season opener in their next game, and [this
so, if you want to remember
that play as a pete carroll blunder, then go for it, but i think there's
strong evidence that it was actually a very good playcall given the situation.
unfortunately the DB made a great jump on the ball and neither the receiver
nor wilson made a better play in that particular instance.
maybe i'm just getting
old, but there seems to be a distinction missing these days when it comes
to earning something vs. deserving something. it sure seems as though a
sizable portion of people these days think that a lot of things are owed
to them by birthright. people have broadened the definition of "deserve"
and "right" so much that it's become almost useless. there's little distinction
now between wants and needs. i think it goes along with a lot of society
lately moving in a generally post modern direction. basically it seems
like a lot of language and traditional boundaries are being pushed so much
and so rapidly, that their meanings are diluted to the point of almost
is sexual assault worse
than regular assault? i think the general impulse is to say yes, but it
might not always be the case. if you think of ray rice punching his girlfriend
in the face then that may be considered worse than a woman grabbing a dude's
ass in a bar. but, aside from some instances on the ends of the spectrum,
sexual assault seems to be a lot worse than everyday assault. so, if someone
punches a guy then that sucks, but it's not considered a life changing
event. if that same guy grabs a woman's breast then that's considered very
traumatic. there are a lot of articles, for example, about PTSD after sexual
assault. and if you google PTSD and assault you'll see stuff almost entirely
having to do with sexual assault, not trauma resulting from a mugging gone
wrong or a bar fight or something. i think at least part of this is because
women tend to be the greatest victims of sexual assault (as far as we know)
and society wants to shelter and protect women far more than men. it's
a weird dynamic because if you're trying to be completely progressive about
the topic you would think that women shouldn't be sheltered because they
can take care of themselves and aren't "the fairer sex." yet, it's because
of that attitude that we place such a taboo on sexual assault and consider
rape against women among the worst things a person can do (child rape and
murder being the only other two that could compare).
is google too big to fail?
there are a lot of people who rely on them as much as they rely on their
bank or power company or whatever.
there was a poll that 538
talked about which asked people which is a bigger threat in the u.s.: nazis
or the media. i don't remember what the numbers were, but maybe 20% came
back and said the media and people were kinda aghast by this. to me, this
is actually the right answer. i rate nazis in america as a very low level
threat to our way of life. nazis are worse than the media, but that's not
the question. the question is about which entity can do, or is doing, more
harm in the u.s. right now. there's no question in my mind that the media
is a huge part of the problem we have right now. from the way they report
on science to politics. the sound bites, the 24 hour news media, the empty
coverage, the sensationalism...there are a million ways in which the media
is fucking our culture and society on a daily basis. so, yeah, they're
doing way more damage than a few thousand idiot nazis.
went to the WSU game the
other week with my dad. we've now seen USC play at all the pac-12 stadiums
except OSU and UCLA. we'll hit both of those next year. the game was good
in absolute terms, but we were on the wrong end once again. i really believed
sam darnold would pull it off. he relishes those moments so much, but this
year his offensive line has been shit and i think he's taking too much
on his shoulders. he has the tools to be great, but he's not making great
decisions right now. the stadium itself wasn't anything special. the town
is out in the middle of nowhere and we didn't drive around much because
it was a 14 hour drive. but the scenery in the surrounding area was really
nice. it was also a good crowd and i experienced both the loudest moment
in a live game and the quietest. when we were down and driving down the
field to try to tie it up (i think) we had a 4th and 7 conversion where
we made a really good catch, but the ball was in the air and it wasn't
clear if the receiver was going to come down with it or not. the crowd
was completely silent for about a second. it was kinda surreal. conversely,
when darnold fumbled the ball to effectively end the game, the crowd was
as loud as i've ever heard. they went absolutely nuts.
so, here's our USC road
trip tally...it hasn't been pretty:
WSU - L (we were ranked
WA - W (WA was ranked #4?)
UTAH - L (close game, nicest
ORE - L (dick fans)
CO - W (coldest game)
ASU - L (90+ degrees at
10p, kiffen gets fired)
AZ - L
CAL - W (most harassment
faced on the pac-12 tour - "take off that red shirt")
STAN - L (great game against
andrew luck. worst parking experience)
i wrote the other day about
getting older and realizing that a lot of the way society works is actually
the way it is for a good reason. part of being a pretty liberal person
is that you question everything and are more willing to change things about
society. that's one of the older definitions of being liberal or left wing
- basically that you're willing to break away from tradition. the problem
with taking this too far is that you can dismantle institutions like marriage
which have some negatives, or are associated with negative things (like
historic oppression of women), simply because there are a few negatives.
especially when you're young you're likely to embrace left wing thought
because the older generation seems oppressive with their idea of how you
should live your life, their crusty old rules, etc. this is what the Graduate
is mostly about, imo. ben and elaine break away from the traditions of
the church and their parents and go their own way. of course the reality
of this hits them
at the end and so they have that somber look. breaking away from tradition
and going your own way is extremely important and this is one reason why
i love that film so much. we shouldn't go without questioning tradition
(shirley jackson's The
Lottery is my favorite example of this).
however, and this seems
lost to those on the far left, we shouldn't throw the baby out with the
bath water. traditional gender roles are harmful to both men and women.
traditional marriage where the woman is basically a piece of property is
wrong in all sorts of ways. this doesn't mean that marriage (or something
approximating it) itself is inherently bad. and now to why i brought this
up... it occurs to me that a lot of people today are putting the cart before
the horse when it comes to sex. i've heard and read of plenty of situations
where the woman (usually) has trouble asking for the guy to use a condom
or where the guy doesn't want to ask the girl if she's comfortable because
he doesn't want to miss out on his chance to get some. but there are a
million issues with sex that aren't brought up between people because they
don't love and trust each other before engaging in sex. because of sexual
liberation and this flawed thinking that you're breaking the bonds of traditional
society by flouting its mores, we get situations where people are having
sex without having trust beforehand. traditionally there is supposed to
be at least some level of commitment and trust before having sex. this
sets things up for much greater success all around. people are less likely
to be embarrassed, pushed into an uncomfortable situation, etc. of course
the most important aspect is that there's going to theoretically be a good
home for the baby should that happen. all this is to say that we need tradition
(conservatives) and we need change (liberals) in order to have a well functioning
a big part of all this
is the journey of figuring out what traditions are there for good reason
and which ones are artifacts of stayed power structures...and which parts
of traditions are necessary, and which parts can change. if we keep marriage,
or some sort of long-term commitment as i'm suggesting, does that mean
that we keep every element of it? dowry? man/woman only? two people only?
the traditional gender roles that are associated with it? and all this
upheaval can be difficult for traditionalists because they think everything
around them is changing and they fear what's next. it's why change must
necessarily happen slowly. this is the genius of the founders' system and
it's the trouble with the expansion of executive power which undermines
things happening slowly and deliberately.
anyway, back to the graduate
for a moment. i've had more than a few people comment on the final seconds
of the graduate when ben and
elaine's expression changes from happy to somber, pregnant even. i've
had people say things like "yeah, but they weren't even happy in the end,
their faces changed." and my reaction is "yeah, that's the best part."
otherwise it's just folly. they've broken away from their parents...that's
hard, but the truly hard part is yet to come. this is sort of the existential
crisis of the post-modernist. there are no rules, we've broken them all.
god is dead, so now i have to make my own rules. "wait, i have to make
up my own rules about everything?" and, "if i'm a thoughtful and good person,
then this is a great weight. it's not the unbridled freedom that the young
me thought it was...it's heavy shit to have to figure out where i draw
the line on everything now."
look again at the scene
where they look back at the church and see that they've escaped their parents.
turn back towards the front of the bus and all the old passengers are looking
back at them, backwards. the past is in the background of the
shot, the bus is moving forward, ben and elaine are looking forward,
and the old people are looking backwards. this is perfect. then
the sound of silence starts. the sound of silence...it's the abyss staring
back at them. they've decided to live their lives on their terms and now
that reality is hitting them. one of the best scenes in film history and
the best film ever made.
so, last night we had another
mass shooting. this one was pretty extreme. 500+ people injured, 50+ killed.
there's a cost of freedom. i think we have to start there. the question
after that just becomes what freedoms are we willing to live without to
have safety? what level of safety is reasonable? we've seen trucks hijacked
and run into crowds in europe (87 died in Nice, 434 injured). we've seen
guns used to kill dozens here. 69 people were killed in a single attack
in norway, where they have fairly strict gun laws. the point being that
dedicated, insane people will always be able to kill large numbers of people.
we have to decide to what extent we are willing to give up freedoms in
order to minimize these, knowing full well that we'll never eliminate them
altogether. we have to have that reasonable conversation. reasonable people
have to say i can wait another two weeks to get my gun if it means guns
will be harder to get for psychos. people pushing gun bans have to come
to the reasonable position that guns aren't inherently bad, they're not
only for killing people, and that banning them altogether is actually a
pretty silly response for a lot of reasons.
this narrative that these
mass killing events are exclusive to the u.s. is no longer true. i don't
know if we have more of them per capita than western europe (i would guess
we do), but it doesn't seem that far apart recently. i think this is just
the new normal and an unfortunate byproduct of modern society and freedom.
i don't know what we can reasonably do to get where we all want to get
(close to zero deaths). maybe japan has some insight.