Worlds & Time

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stories Through Pictures

I've got a couple of pictures that I keep meaning to post. First one is from the hallway of the boyfriend's apartment building:

No, there was no other information nor do we know what was stolen. Mail, perhaps?

This image comes from a Federal building: The Library of Congress. Yes, the title there says "Erotica." No, she's not a Muse, as far as I can tell. I just think that she's a very interesting addition to be recognized.

Something tells me that I would like that soup. 'Cause I like instant soup.

What? Don't you like instant soup?

Finally, I got this the other day. Yes, I've already read it (basically all in two sittings, about five hours total) and it was good. Not his best but definitely a solid Vlad Taltos novel that made me squeal with delight and giggle on the T. I will of course review it, when it gets a bit closer to the anticipated release date.

I may ask TNH if I can post a paragraph from it, just because I have discovered the most spoilerific section of any book of all time.

Why yes, I am a fifteen year old fan girl when it comes to Vlad novels. Thank you for asking. As of this week I'm pretty sure I own just about every piece of writing that Steven Brust has ever published, including a couple of short stories, Agyar, Freedom & Necessity, and now I'm even ahead one book. Yay!

Update: Whoops, forgot one. This one is self explanatory:

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

The End of Mac Fandom

or How Apple Screwed Me with a useless warantee extension.

There are so many ways that I could start this post:

I am having an absolutely miserable day . . .

So yesterday on the Red Line of the Boston T I got shoved at Park Street and fell into a bar. No worries about my stuff, my backpack is padded . . .

I'm a recent Mac buyer and a reluctant one at that but my friend Elliot has always been a huge Mac fan so when I bought my last computer I finally decided to switch . . .

All of these lead to the fact that the screen of my computer is now shattered.

I looked all over but even though I can find receipts for stamps from NYC, I couldn't find the receipt for my Macbook. I couldn't remember if I'd bought the three year extension but AppleCare is good for a year from purchase date though and I know that I bought my mac on October 29 of last year because I still have the email that they sent to me when I purchased it.

So I made an appointment for the Genius Bar for tech support (8:45pm @ the Boyston St. location) and crossed my fingers.

Carlos was my genius and he looked at the damage, scanned the serial number, looked at his screen and then started to apologize.

Apparently I did buy the extended plan, but it doesn't matter because it basically only covers manufacturing issues. So, what is the point for extending coverage for 3 years if it's only going to repair things that are going to be problems out of the box?

So, in order to get my screen fixed it'll cost $750 (to send away or $770 to have fixed in the store). A new laptop is only $450 more, at $1200 which I guess is their way of telling you that it really isn't worth it to replace a screen.

It doesn't matter much. I really can't afford either option at the moment. I'm jobless, out of work, unemployed, screwed.

So much for buying a newer, nicer computer after I finally have a job again. Now I guess I get to buy a replacement for this one and it's going to be a while before I get that dreamy Macbook Pro.

You know, I still feel misled about the extended coverage that apparently doesn't actually cover anything. I looked over the Apple Care and Apple Protection Plan that I apparently purchased for $350. It certain appears to cover repairs, and I guess I got suckered by that vague promise of "global repair coverage" because the fine print of it (warning, PDF) specifically excludes repairing any accidental damage. So much for "Peace of mind."

Of course, that wasn't the only thing that sucked today but it is the thing that is making me sit here about to cry. I'm at Ben's and for the first time in my life I just want to drink until I can't remember this day anymore.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

A Question about Libertarianism

Can anyone think of a libertarian argument against fraud?

It seems to me that in a truly libertarian system there would be no such thing as the prosecution of fraud. Is that accurate?

Specifically, can anyone explain why that isn't the case? Or about copyright? Theoretically, market forces would simply drive people to other vendors, no?


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Understanding Anti-Gay Marriage Arguments

So, as far as I understand it, the three main arguments against gay marriage are:
  1. It's not traditional. (Also seen as: Marriage is the fundamental unit of society)
  2. I don't like the thought of gay marriage. (Also seen as: Gay marriage is icky or I don't want my kids to see it)
  3. Gay marriage is against my religious beliefs.
  4. There isn't any reason that gays should want marriage anyway.
I'm not much for tradition, so I feel that 1. is a hollow argument. Americans try not to legislate our own personal prejudices so 2. is certainly not a valid argument.

3. is more complex. I feel that the best argument against it is pointing out that by legislating a person's religious beliefs you are egregiously violating the first amendment. You see, there are people with other religious beliefs out there that do favor gay marriage. The Unitarian Universalists, the Metropolitan Community Church, the United Church of Christ and many reform Jewish temples all support gay marriage. Those churches represent millions of Americans, all of whom are having their freedom of speech trampled by larger denominations that want to be able to have their own sacraments legally recognized but prevent the smaller churches from doing the same.

The reason for this post is number 4. though. You see, I've noticed that this response is usually related to a single argument against gay marriage. When you ask people why straight people should want legally recognized marriage but gay people shouldn't the answer is usually: for the children.

According to a lot of the anti-gay marriage Christians that I've had the pleasure of being disgusted by over the years, since gay people are incapable of creating a baby, they shouldn't have the legal status that straights have to take care of the child.

Personally, I thought this was ridiculous, and I've pointed this out numerous times. Gay people may not be able to have sex with each other and procreate but the can and do take care of babies through adoption or surrogacy or sometimes even heterosexual sex (we may refer to those people as "bisexual"). Recently, I finally got a response that floored me.

Gay people shouldn't be able to raise children.

Okay, that's a fairly serious negation of my counter argument. If gay (and bisexual) people were not allowed to raise children then that does in fact mean that there would be substantial difference in the necessity for legal protections from gay families.

It would also require tens of thousands of children to be forcibly removed from their parents (sometimes blood parents and often the only parents that the child has known).

Don't forget that this is a Christian that I was talking too. A Christian that apparently thinks so little of gay people that he finds nothing wrong with denying them the ability to raise their children.

You can see him say that in the comments to this post on his blog.

He'll think that I'm being hyperbolic. But I think that when someone gets the point that he is at: denying the ability of gay people to be decent, loving parents, then perhaps a little bit of hyperbolic language is justified.

So, that's his trump argument. Gay people don't need legal protections to protect their children because they shouldn't be allowed to have children. Not only should we not be considered able to make the choice to marry, but we also not be considered good enough to raise children.

If you were curious, that's prejudice. That's what gay people want to get rid of in this world.

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