Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I have two distinct opinions about Dan Brown’s work:

A)    I love it, because he writes about very important things.  (Such as, why women are ostracized, feared, despised and denied rights within the “holiest” institution in the world.)

B)     I hate it, because Dan Brown talks to me like I’m STUPID, and he writes like all his characters are stupid too.  Dan Brown makes a point, or a joke, or has an observation, but then beats you over the head with it for the next three pages, just in case you missed that really, really clever thing he said.  Via the platform of his writing, Dan Brown is a condescending, patronizing bastard.   This can only lead me to conclude that Dan Brown doesn’t have a very flattering opinion of other people’s intelligence.  He assumes people (other than himself) are stupid, and so he talks to us like this is a foregone conclusion.  I find this very ill-mannered, and it makes me want to abuse him.  He has never met me, and yet he is talking to me like I’m dumb.  He is explaining things to me like I am a child.  Why would he do such a thing?

For example, in The DaVinci Code, he spent four or five pages with Harvard’s top codebreaker Robert Langdon scratching his head, agonizing over what the Orb could be around Isaac Newton’s grave.  In Deception Point, he spent six pages with the world’s leading astrophysicist getting pissed off, because he couldn’t figure out why the world’s top oceanographer kept claiming we had our very own “low gravity environment RIGHT HERE ON EARTH.”  When Dan Superbrain Brown finally graced us with the revelation we predicted nine boring pages earlier, (ooh, the ocean is low-gravity, never saw THAT coming), he then spent another paragraph congratulating himself (via his characters shitty dialogue) on his own tricky brilliance.  “Woo, holy cow TOLLUND, you really fooled us there, if we were only one tenth as bright as you, our world would be a much better place.  Shit Rachel, could you imagine having a brain the size of his?”

In another DaVinci Code Freudian Slip, in order for Brown to explain his point to we the simpletons, (quote):  Most recently Langdon had shared the Mona Lisa’s secret with a rather unlikely group–a dozen inmates at the Essex County Penitentiary. Langdon’s jail seminar was part of a Harvard outreach program attempting to bring education into the prison system–Culture for Convicts, as Langdon’s colleagues liked to call it.

(To which I responded out loud, “Yeah – obviously, uneducated & uncultured folks were BORN in prison, and didn’t end up there because of their actions, you dumb fucking wannabe highbrow classist elitist asshole.”)

It is very unflattering when people assume you are unintelligent and/or uncultured, especially when you have never given them any reason to make that assumption.  And the consequences of this can be pretty sad at best.  When someone treats us like we are dumb, we often concede to this, & conduct ourselves in accordance with their sub-par expectations.  This is easier and more polite than to take umbrage and speak out; after all, their opinion of you doesn’t matter that much anyway, so why act like a dick and risk offending someone who just implicitly and accidentally offended you? It all seems pretty trivial and not worth it when you break it down to this level of detail.  So we let it go, and by proxy, accidentally confirm their idea that we are in fact as slack-jawed as they thought.  From that point forth, we dumb ourselves down, and our relationship & interactions with that person tend to be based on this incorrect assessment of our IQ.   Alternatively we refute the error, point out the flaw and get sucked into a fight which should be entirely beneath our dignity.

But if they had entered that conversation & relationship assuming you were highly intelligent, wouldn’t everything be better?  The conversations would be more meaningful, because they wouldn’t feel a need to explain what the big words meant.  The subject matter would be more involved, because we don’t tend to talk about engineering with 5-year-olds.  Two intelligent people bounce ideas back and forth, whereas in a conversation between a brainiac and a buffoon, the problem may not even be on the table – it is already assumed to exceed your level of cognition.  When Sergey Brin and Larry Page talk, Google happens.  But when Larry Page and his little daughter talk, Spaghetti-Os happen.

The moral of this story is:  Enter every conversation assuming the person to whom you are speaking is highly intelligent, enlightened & cultured. The worst thing that can happen is that they will prove you wrong.  But they will also appreciate that you didn’t talk down to them, and this may be the one deciding factor in whether they think you are either a decent person or a douchebag.   When unintelligent people believe you are a douche, they tend to share this analysis with others, and then it becomes an empirical fact, supported by anecdotal evidence, backed up by all those peons you talked down to over the last few years.


Assume the worst and you will get the worst.  Assume the best and you will get the best.


There is nothing abnormal or heinous about forgetting names – I do it often.  But when you are in a situation where you do forget the name of the person to whom you are speaking, never, ever utter the phrase, “I’m sorry – I’m not good with names”.  This is a terrible thing to say.  Here’s why.

Nobody is perfect; we all understand and accept that. Nobody expects you to remember the name of everyone you encountered throughout your life – it is universally understood that this happens.  But this does not mean you don’t remember the person – you remember them probably quite well.  You recognize their face.  You remember when you last saw them; what you were doing when you bumped into them.  You probably even remember the topic of your conversation, and so the only “crime” going on here is that you forgot their label – big deal.  The person made an impression on you, you made an impression on them, and this is what truly matters.  This means something to both parties; you are secretly thrilled they remembered you, and the same is true in reverse.  Names are immaterial in this equation, when there is so much more going on.

But when you squint in discomfort, cringe, and then declare, “I’m sorry – I’m not very good with names”, you are giving off a very loud, clear and incorrect message that you don’t remember the person, and this is hurtful.  And even worse is when you try to wing it, and get it wrong.  I don’t care if you forget my name, but I care if you forget me.  I have a memorable face, and I say interesting things.  I am funny, and I made you laugh.  We talked about our cats, and I gave you a recipe for cat pie – how could you possibly not remember any of that? 

In addition, the declaration that “I’m not good with names” is purely an excuse, casting off personal responsibility for not making the effort to remember the name, and blaming it on some bullshit personal trait that has no basis in reality.  You’re fine at remembering names you need to remember, and have no problem with names of people you see frequently – remembering names takes practice, usage and requires you to commit them to memory.  We’re not good with anything until we choose to be, and so telling someone “I’m not good with names” is a subversive way of telling them that their name was not important enough for you to remember.  Holy insult, Batman!

Last month, I put this to the test.  I say hi all the time to the janitor at work; he’s a nice guy, and he knows my name, because it’s stuck on my cubicle wall.  I was once formally introduced to him ages ago, but for the life of me I could not recollect his name.  An awkward moment  presented itself where it became obvious I had forgotten his name, so I said:  “Ya know what?  I feel like an asshole right now, because we talk every day, but I cannot for the life of me remember your name.”

The guy laughed so hard he almost fell over, and then he told me his name was John.  He forgave me instantly, and even asked why I felt like I should have remembered his name, when there had never been a single occasion where I needed to know it.  I said I should know it because we speak almost daily, and I felt rude.  I sure as shit remembered his name after that, and the mutual enjoyment of each other’s company almost doubled in that moment.

So next time you forget a name, give it a shot – make absolutely sure that you communicate the message, “I may have forgotten your name, but this does not mean I forgot who you are.” 

This is a very important and powerful distinction.

Alright, here’s the thing: Why the hell would anyone eat Blowfish? WHY? It’s no secret they’re made of poison, and even eating the “good bits” carries about a 30% chance of fatality. Sooner or later, eating Blowfish will grant you the pleasure of a gastronomically agonizing death.  I love diversity almost as much as I love food, but Blowfish aside – some of the things we call delicacies are just foul. Nasty, bad, vile,
evil, donkey-testicle rancid. And when our pampered and overfed socialites eat this stuff, it’s usually done with a pompous “Oh, you and your lowly, unrefined palette” style sneer.

Does Francois McFoofy even realize he’s eating bad cheese full of maggots?
From our love of watching people eat grosseries on TV, we’ve come to learn that pretty much everything is a delicacy somewhere. What they neglect to mention, however, is that by “delicacy,” they mean barely edible, but contains enough nutrients to keep desperately starving people alive for one more day, food-borne bacteria notwithstanding.

As long as something has less than a 90% death rate, some wannabe connoisseur will
snarf it down, suppress their gag-reflex and in superior, patronizing tones attempt to
discern the bouquet of delightful and intricately-sharp flavors.  You leave some fatty gristle on a rib or some slimy skin-blubber on a chicken wing in the lunch-room, and seven people gasp in outrage, claiming, “That’s the best PART!” And god forbid you express distaste at your parents’ war-rationed bread and dripping stories.

Based on this logic, I’ve decided to open a high-class restaurant, to make use of some of the things laying round the place. The trick is:

1 – Make it nasty.
2 – Give each dish an exotic name.
3 – Claim it’s a favorite among Albanian peasants.
4 – Charge a fortune for really, really small portions.

That being said, allow me to present the appetizer menu at Casa de Cox:

~~ Smoky Javanese Shellagoise ~~
A delicately bittersweet used coffee filter canapé, marinated among eggshells, shrimp shells and tobacco ash, in the nurturing organic environment in the lower reaches of the refuse container.


~~ Cultured Cheveux ~~
Fragrant, jellified hair cakes, formed in bite-sized biscuits about the size of a bath-plug, and soaked in our chef’s secret sauce for months.
Warning – may contain Drano.


~~ Cheese Covered Chips ~~
Crunchy and delicious salty chips, made from the humanely-separated and air-dried heel skin of free-range bipedal hominids. Smothered in the natural cheese found between toes, this mouth-watering treat will probably give you an orgasm.
And for the daring, our chef recommends the chunky, fiery and organic Blood
Blister Salsa.


Bon Appetit!!!

Wayward Bus

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

So I found The Wayward Bus, it was in the back seat of the car, and now I have lost interest in reading it. But I’ll pick it back up when I have more inclination to read. Right now I’m too busy winning.

Got back into building my app again, and still having issues mixing the html output with the php variables. I want to spend a solid weekend playing with this, experimenting and wrestling and wrangling all the different and creative ways to display table output data on the page. But I won’t get time today, as work is nuts. By the next update, I will have something interesting to say.

The Final Cornflake

Posted: February 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

I wonder… Maybe getting rid of the specification altogether will work, and instead just tagging the email with the generic publicize keyword will help? (Seeing as my publicize settings are already established in WP, this is not too much of a stretch…) We shall see.

OK, the maiden test-flight of uber-connection seems to have been a raging success. Twitbook, Cracker, WordPress and all that other happy HS is finally coming together into a single-typed-update of wild rice gumbo and hot sauce. Maybe there is a future in (metaphorical) public nakedness after all.

This next test is seeing whether this will still spread the love even when I update using my email. And then… the final cornflake will be in learning how to (dung dung DUUUUNG) use TAGS and PUBLICIZE when I update via email. In fact, this post will be all tests of all things I can think of right now. But I will wrack my brains to think of more ways to use this stuff to remain motivated and quit distracting myself from playing around on the web while I should be building…

Aight, there may be more inane posts about nothing, but I swear, all my content from there on in will be pure goodness and value. It’s kind of like the public transparency Julian Assange is gently encouraging – if I’m going to be a trillionaire this time next year, I’d better get used to it. That, and learning how to use computers to do useful stuff.

Peace out!