Friday, August 14, 2009

Logos, Ethos, Pathos, Bathos

If none of those terms makes any sense to you, here's a quick run-down:

Logos is an argument from logic: it's the assertion that the pool is contaminated because there are five confirmed elevated concentrations of strychnine and seven mosquito nests.

Ethos is an argument from expertise (usually moral): it's saying that the pool is contaminated because I'm an expert on water quality and I should know.

Pathos is an argument from emotion: it says the pool is contaminated because of those kids that got sick and had to go to hospital for a few weeks.

Bathos is what happens when you screw up pathos: it's the argument that apparently more kids got sick and/or died from swimming in that one pool than live in the county.

I'm not certain why, but my dividing line between pathos and bathos is really really thin and really easy to cross; see "From the Annals of TV Tropes" for an example (archives on right). And for some reason, pathos is on full display in every area of politics, no more so than in places like Health Care, Global Warming....

This isn't to say it's a completely torrid affair--the Congressional Budget Office has kept its head, and most of the commentors on National Review (especially Krauthammer and Hanson; Steyn is deliberately going for bathos for comic effect) are very calm. But to listen to those people the media love to show in town hall clips, advocacy groups on every side of the line, and the President's media offices is like a big heaping combo dose of laughing gas and ipecac (a vomit inducer).

People, I'm a logos man! Most people, I suspect, are logos men! Argue to my brain, not my heart, and you have a much better chance of getting me to listen to you and not pick you apart.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Thoughts #2

Team Fortress 2 recently released a new "classless update". I'd have waited longer to get a "Meet the Medic" trailer with it...

Where'd Ya Get Your Friends?


Having done some guesstimation I have come to a conclusion.

I have spoken to people whose faces I do not know through chat boxes on Steam for the last three months more than I have spoken face-to-face with people at college for the nine preceding those three, and on much more varied topics.

I'm pathetic.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bookstore Mediations

Bad sides of volunteering at the bookstore annex of local public library:

No profit sharing. (It's not a job, obviously.)

Distressing look at reading tastes of modern America. (Plenty of Self-Help, Christian Fiction, cheesy Romances...we should open a Maple Syrup annex to the bookstore annex to process all the sap!)

Good sides of volunteering at the bookstore annex of local public library:

Sense that you are "making a difference". (So stop bothering me about my cynicism, Obama!)

First pick at all the books that get donated. (To date, I have purchased Clausewitz's On War, Heinlein's Starship Troopers, the second and third volumes of Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago [already got the first], a copy of Don Quixote published 1941, and A Clockwork Orange, along with a near complete collection of P.J. O'Rourke's works from before 1995.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Oh Dear...Heh...
Apparently Canada doesn't feel like donating sperm to impotent couples...

Monday, August 10, 2009

That Valkri is a SPY!

You know the Spy?

Think this guy, but with a red suit instead of a blue one. He has a bunch of fun tricks you can pull on an unsuspecting enemy:

  • He can make himself look completely like a member of the opposing team, even choosing a name that matches the class being played (if available). The only clues the enemy has that he's a SPY are that he's solid to them and he catches on fire.
  • He can also render himself invisible for a period of time, and extend that invisibility by picking up ammunition boxes.
  • He can disable buildings with his "sappers" without dropping his disguise, slowly draining their health and eventually destroying them without engineer intervention.
  • And once he gets behind his enemy...


Boom! One shot kill!

I just racked up twenty of these bad boys without getting killed (my team still lost though), shot one guy, disabled several buildings and generally made a real ass of myself whenever the enemy tried to make a push!

And what does Steam decide to do? It says "Nope! Too bad! I'm not keeping a record of it! Even though I got all these fun numbers to show you, I'm not going to actually UPDATE your records!"

Wah....! Anybody else have this problem out there? WAH......!

UPDATE! Turns out it DID save it! I was just looking in the wrong spot! He he...

UPDATED UPDATE: NOOO! It's gone again!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Random Thoughts

This would go on Twitter...if I had one!

Why, oh why did I close the last comment in the thread below with "nya"?! I AM NOT A JAPANESE CATBOY THINGY!