Nov 24, 2007

Ridiculous Hypotheticals: Hippopotamus Bath

I saw a book today in a store about choosing between ridiculous hypotheticals. These are similar to the "Would You Rather" questions, only they're not specifically designed to be repulsive. 

I have to say it was pretty entertaining... in a bizarre, 'Hey that's very random' sort of way. I could've bought it, but the truth is a book like that has certain limitations. It'd probably only be good for a read-through once. After that it would either take up space, or I'd have to try to sell or give it away.

While I do love random humor (and while giving it away probably would've been nice), in the spirit of commercial-material minimalism I figure I can have about as much fun coming up with my own. So without further ado:

First Ridiculous Hypothetical

Would you rather have to bathe with a hippopotamus every day (the hippopotamus isn't dangerous)


Share your bed that you now have with Dennis Rodman each night? (Rodman is not attracted to you)

The first part I actually remember from the book, which I would credit if I could find it, so if you know the book let me know.

Leave your responses or your own random hypothetical in the comments section.

Nov 17, 2007

The Trigger Woman

A loaded handgun sat on the coffee table. On the couch its owner was slouching back and staring off mildly. Jesus – what time was it? The wait was ridiculous. It’d been at least five minutes. 

Nobody had any respect for timetables anymore. Here the gun had already been fired twice that night and the accomplice for the job was late. Suddenly an idea: Maybe the gun could be used again. That’d teach the prick to be late. Ah but then who would cover the second part of the job? Of course it was just a ridiculous idea. Just felt good to think about...

Finally the door opened.

“Sorry I’m late,” the man stepping in said.

“It’s about God damn time,” she responded.

Nov 14, 2007

'Bout Enough Blue there Boys

The nicest thing about Leopard so far has been the laying off of the blue. A long time ago I took this screenshot when I realized how many icons and how much blue are in OS X. Sure, a consistent color theme is nice in theory — and some people will swear by it — but switching between all these blue applications and reading this constantly blue interface made me realize something: The rainbow rocks!

Compare the screenshot above with the one below, particularly the old dock with the new.

Contrast is a beautiful thing. Remember that if you ever design anything.

Nov 12, 2007

The Silent Shineless Future

I am generally unenthused with the state of academia in America. Just ask yourself this question; Why are you in college?

Is it because you so dearly craved knowledge? I think not. If you are in college, the question of, ‘Should I go to college or not?’ probably never arose in your consciousness. It was simply a thing that is done—college is the place you go to get your degree. But why the degree? Is it for the immense pride you anticipated having after you completed your college education? Or was it because you heard the ‘average’ statistic quoted at you, over and over again, throughout the course of your entire god damned childhood?

What is the average statistic?—You’d surely recognize it if you heard it. The formula goes something like this: ‘You know’ or ‘Studies have shown’ that (on average) ‘persons with a college degree make’ supposedly shocking or thoughtful mathematic expression. For instance, “Did you know people who go to college make 18 gijabillion times as much as people who don’t?”

In my head I often respond to such a statement in the following manner: “Really! You don’t say! – Now why is it that you feel compelled to make such a claim, and that you don’t come right out and say, ‘People who go to college are happier’?” No one would like to state it openly, certainly not the speaker in this situation (lest they seem shallow and materialistic). But we all understand what is meant by this, and it’s because in our minds the two are concretely and nearly irreversibly linked with definite certainty.

Of course the person who makes 18 gijabillion times as much is happier! He wears nice suits to work and has a nice home in suburbia where he lives with his sexually appeased wife and two small boys plus his newborn daughter. He drives a nicer car, exhibits greater equanimity and votes regularly!

That chump who didn’t go to college got a dead-end job at McDonald’s and cleans urinals for the rest of his life (or until he decides to put in the “real” hard work of going to college). He struggles his whole life against the soul crushing force of poverty and regrets every day that he did not go to college. His highest appeal is that his kids go to college after all.

Are you listening?! For the love of God, without college you will contract herpes, experience erectile dysfunction and fall into homelessness! Lack of college degree will leave the toilet seat up—it will drink all of your beer!

College is no longer about knowledge – it is about the knowledge industry. There are only two kinds of professors. The first kind, deep down, knows they are no longer the vanguards of your intellectual awakening. In times past, professors were the watchdogs at the gates of society’s intelligentsia, both keeping an eye on those who would enter and, more importantly, the world without. They would call the bullshit from both sides. And were pivotal in society’s operation.

How disturbed would you be if you were reduced from that to being the managers of the knowledge production line? As a student you pass by on your conveyer belt, and they give you passing acknowledgement to make sure you are not so inferior as to cause problems for the factory – that is, that you are not of such inferior quality that you provide a poor reputation for the factory when it comes to the public at large. Harvard: BMW. Community college: Ford. (You pray to God you’re Lexus, or at least Toyota)

Of course it’s not just their job to make sure you don’t make problems for the institution you join after leaving theirs (yet one more in a long line of institutions you will belong to throughout the extent of your life). For what is a problem for them is also a problem for you! Their responsibility is also to you; me, me, me! To make sure you are up to quality specifications not only for your boss in upper-middle layer management, but for you because you are also the customer! We wouldn’t pay tens of thousands of dollars a year (usually going into that figure of debt to make it possible) to be left to the ravages of being unemployable, would we?

The college company gets consumers on both sides. We are not society’s great shining future – we are its mass-product. You are not gaining access to the greatness that is knowledge, we expect access to its material treasure.

Nov 11, 2007

Tree Short

Interviewer: If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

Interviewee: The kind of tree that would bitch slap another tree for asking questions like, “If you were a person, what kind of person would you be?”

Awkward silence...