Tag Archives: videos

Everything Is a Remix, part 4: System Failure

The fourth and final installment in the Everything Is a Remix series looks at how patent and copyright law, in the U.S. and elsewhere, has grown beyond its original useful intent, and now stifled the very creativity and progress it was intended to foster.

For more on patent trolls, check out an episode of This American Life: “When Patents Attack!

That’s some catch, that Catch-22

Woman’s Last Stand: Dodge Charger Commercial Spoof (via mackenziefegan, which I learned of via ScareHouseScott)

The sad thing is that the more we keep talking about the original ad, the more effective it will have been. But not talking about how unoriginal and hackneyed its theme is comes across as accepting it as correct.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. ‘Orr’ was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

“That’s some catch, that Catch-22,” Yossarian observed.

“It’s the best there is,” Doc Daneeka agreed.

There’s nothing Nietzsche couldn’t teach ‘ya ’bout the raising of the wrist

I had dinner last night with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and eventually the conversation turned, as it will, to philosophy.

Which philosopher’s view is closest to yours? my friend asked.

I said I can’t remember any more which philosopher said what, but that I probably agreed with the thinking of one of the guys in Monty Python’s “Philosophers Drinking Song.”

Never heard of it, my friend said.

Never heard of it? Shock, surprise, lamentation! A classic Monty Python sketch, and so useful if you need a sing-along during a long car ride.

“The Philosophers’ Drinking Song,” Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Of course, this doesn’t address the question of which philosophy comes closest to what I believe. Fortunately, the Internet is here to help us answer that question:

See more Philosophy selector quizzes @ SelectSmart.com®
Ethical Philosophy Selector Quiz
Here’s my top result for this selector quiz by SelectSmart.com Staff:
John Stuart Mill

My “Ethical Philosophy Selector Rankings”:

1. John Stuart Mill (100 %)
2. Epicureans (90 %)
3. Aristotle (87 %)
4. Jeremy Bentham (82 %)
5. Aquinas (75 %)
6. Ayn Rand (75 %)
7. Kant (71 %)
8. Jean-Paul Sartre (67 %)
9. Spinoza (65 %)
10. Prescriptivism (58 %)
11. Cynics (51 %)
12. David Hume (51 %)
13. Stoics (51 %)
14. St. Augustine (47 %)
15. Ockham (45 %)
16. Thomas Hobbes (42 %)
17. Nietzsche (41 %)
18. Nel Noddings (38 %)
19. Plato (37 %)

Interestingly (to me), John Stuart Mill has always been the name I have trouble remembering in the Pholosophers Drinking Song. After today, I shall never have that problem again.

Which philosopher do you most agree with?

UPDATE: If you can’t quite recall what it is that John Stuart Mill proposed, his philosophy is known as utilitarianism. Summary from Wikipedia:

Mill’s famous formulation of utilitarianism is known as the “greatest-happiness principle”. It holds that one must always act so as to produce the greatest happiness for the greatest number of people, within reason. Mill’s major contribution to utilitarianism is his argument for the qualitative separation of pleasures. Bentham treats all forms of happiness as equal, whereas Mill argues that intellectual and moral pleasures are superior to more physical forms of pleasure. Mill distinguishes between happiness and contentment, claiming that the former is of higher value than the latter, a belief wittily encapsulated in the statement that “[i]t is better to be a human being dissatisfied than a pig satisfied; better to be Socrates dissatisfied than a fool satisfied. And if the fool, or the pig, are of a different opinion, it is because they only know their own side of the question.”

John Stuart Mill entry in Wikipedia.

Those were the days

The big blogs all have theme days, and I need to get in step.

I have a plan to start Tuesday Shoe Review, in which I’ll blog footwear worthy of note. I have a great pair of shoes — boots, really — that I planned to write about tonight. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring home the cable to download photos from my camera, and i can hardly do a shoe review without a photo, can I?

So for today, we’ll instead have TV Tuesday, a new recurring theme in which I’ll write about TV shows that changed my life.

Actually, that’s all blather to introduce something that actually did affect my life. Today I saw this photo:


(via “If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger….“)

All in the Family was one of few sitcoms showing on TV when I was growing up, so I didn’t appreciate how unusual it was. And of course I couldn’t guess how influential it would be, how it would affect me and the way I thought, how it would change how sitcoms worked. For me then, it was just funny.

It still is funny. Here’s a stellar episode — the one where Maude (played by the amazing Beatrice Arthur) is introduced as a prime opponent to Archie.

Cousin Maude’s Visit: part 1 | part 2 | part 3

* Well, the Tuesday Shoe Review thing is real. I’ll start next week. !!

Kooky Christmas #12: “All I Want for Christmas” by Timbuk 3

Our next Kooky Christmas Countdown entry finds the atomic cloud inside the holiday’s silver lining.

#12: “All I Want for Christmas” by Timbuk 3

As much as this is an anti-war and anti-consumerism song, it’s also something of a fun flashback for anyone who grew up in the 1980s and had these toys. “Transformers? I had those! They were awesome!”

“All I Want for Christmas” by Timbuk 3

Probably the strangest aspect of this video is the description included by the guy who posted the video on YouTube. He disagrees with the politics of the video but apparently felt obliged to share it anyway. You might call that fair and balanced.

Find this on the power-packed compilation New Wave Christmas – Just Can’t Get Enough.

Up next on Kooky Christmas: The elves who make the toys are none too happy lately.

Kooky Christmas #13: “Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan

Today on Kooky Christmas, we learn that we must be careful what we wish for.

#13: “Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan

Just yesterday, I was thinking that I didn’t know any new Christmas album released this year by artists that I like. More of my favorite bands should make holiday albums, I thought.

And then I saw this video by one of my favorite musical artists:

“Must Be Santa” by Bob Dylan

It turns out that Mr. Dylan released an entire Christmas album in October — Christmas In the Heart (click to buy) — and I missed it.

Some thoughts:

  • Yes, that really does look to be Bob Dylan in the video.
  • No, I don’t know what’s going on with his hair.
  • For me, Dylan’s voice has never been his strong suit, and it has not improved through the years. What I tend to love about his performance is his song-writing — lyrics in particular. So I wouldn’t expect to enjoy hearing him sing other people’s songs. But having listened to the album, I find I rather like some of them. Your mileage may vary. (FYI: “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is not one of the ones I like.) (UPDATE: One of the songs I enjoy is Dylan’s version of “Christmas Island” — the original of which is #15 on our countdown!)
  • When I throw a party, it is not generally like the party in the video. One time, it was — my grad school friends and I threw a progressive party where we went from one of our houses/apartments to the next, all in walking distance, getting progressively wilder and weirder. In my heart, this is the kind of party I always want to throw. (See also The Wild Party: The Lost Classic by Joseph Moncure March.)

Next year, I want there to be a Pixies Christmas album.

Next on Kooky Christmas: Not everyone likes the merchandising of Christma$.