miércoles, 27 de enero de 2010

A Hypothetical Smackdown of Epicstential Proportions


The Pot - Tool
One Headlight - The Wallflowers
Longshot Kick de Bucket - The Pioneers
Especially in Michigan - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Whose Chariot? - O.A.R.


My brother, via skype chat, recently posed me the question:

"If Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Descartes engaged in a philosophical death match... who would win?"

Seeing as I'm hungry, but the kitchen is occupied, and I have nothing better to do than study for a philosophy exam tomorrow, we're going to settle this right now.

However, I do believe we should supplement a few more characters to make this truly interesting.
That said, bring in Kant and Schopenhauer.

First, as I told Patrick (the brother), Descartes is immediately disqualified given the fact that
) 1 He could not possibly understand the situations of the later philosphers
2) Kant would have knocked him out cold in the rationalist v. empiricist round
3) He's French.

That leaves Kierkegaard, Hegel, Nietzsche, Kant and Schopenhauer.
I thought it only fair to Kierkegaard that there be another theist party present, hence Kant.

So. To begin this love triangle...pentagon; we can immediately form teams:

Hegel, on the side of the continental/mass philosophists
Schopenhauer and Kant in the realm of metaphysics
Nietzsche and Hegel for atheism
Kant and Kierkegaard for theism
Schopenhauer for the aesthetic
Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer and Kant for freedom

But then, of course, we have the typical historical philosophical catfights.
Hegel was hated by Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard.
Kant by Schopenhauer and Hegel
and Nietzsche hated everyone.

That means 4 to 1, Hegel and his dialectics hit the road.
HA, how's that for an opposition?...
This leaves Schopenhauer, Kant, Kierkegaard and the ubermensch himself.
Nevertheless, the next most criticized kid in the group would be Kant.
Auf Wiedersehen, Herr Kant.

So. This leaves us with the three most unstable, yet terribly brilliant and interesting minds.

Schopenhauer, I must say, would probably be the first one to go in this case.
Though I do love the guy, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard could certainly out-argue him.
...and he'd probably just start yelling "POST HOC ERGO PROPTER HOC" when he got lost.

So. Death match.
An empty room.
Two chairs facing eachother.
Two men.
Perhaps three, with a translator.
Who gives in first?

Both of these men are terribly spirited and fully engrossed in their works.
I personally prefer Kierkegaard (to breathing on most days...).
Nevertheless, Nietzsche could potentially and indefinitely stall with the whole "I'm more philosophically evolved than thou" argument that he usually throws at people.
And Kierkegaard was kind of sickly, so I don't know how long he could hold out.

Nevertheless, Nietzsche was a nihilist little bugger.

So would he care who won?


Duel of the millenium and I can't even reason this one out.
Well, I'll just resolve this the way all respectable ties are solved.

Pan the audience.

Unfortunately enough, I believe the general public would back Nietszche. Hands down.
They already have.

So good fight, Kierkegaard.
I look forward to the rematch.
Maybe we can invite Heidegger and Dilthey next time.


lunes, 25 de enero de 2010

Apology and Disclaimer

Sorry about the varying fonts below.
Not really sure what happened there.
Also, apparently Mr. Blogspot doesn't appreciate IPA symbols.
That would be why there are gaping holes in some words.
You get the point.


Irrelevante? Quizá.

I should seriously be writing a paper right now.
Or taking a nap.
It's pretty sad that I'm even too lazy to take a nap.

Ah well.
Let's instead go on a journey through English orthography.
Primero, tengo un enlace interesante para los que saben algo de ingles. Or have at least heard of English:

I wish I could take the credit for finding this; nevertheless, it was actually brought to my attention by not-really-syntax professor. It's quite tricky, even for a native English-sprecher like mahself.
Especially since some of the words are apparently archaic Britishisms...
Pero todavía es bastante divertido.

Nonetheless, I would like to clarify once and for all that English pronunciation is NOT chaotic.
There is logic involved, even if 85% of those who speak the language don't even realize it.
For example, this business of -gh/ gh- words such as:

and the like.

Iterestingly enough (<--ha...), the gh- in "ghost" is hanging around because apparently, quite a while back, a Danish printer wasn't fully versed in the actual English "conventions" (as lax as they were at the time) and brought over a few of his own.
Thanks, douche.

As for the words which end in -gh; here is the reason.
(So you can stop writing off English as a crapload of illogical conventions. (...Because that's only partially true.))

So. What would have been the original pronunciation of a word like enough [ənʌf]? Something along the lines of (and forget the vowels, they're not important here) [ɛnɔx]. (The [x] of Scottish or perhaps German --> Bach. That type of thing.)
So. What do phonology and human nature say about this sound?
It's hard to produce. Humans are lazy. Speech is rapid.
Por lo tanto:
[x] -- fronts and becomes --> [f]. Another voiceless fricative.
And there you have the reasoning behind that change.

"But Beccaniles," you might ask, "what about the silent ones?! And what about laughter versus daughter?"
Well. Those are a bit more difficult.
First of all, I'm fairly certain that "daugh" does not exist as a word. At least in modern English. That said, the silent
-gh- in "daughter" can be explained away by some sort of fricative elimination in front of another voiceless obstruent ([t]). Or, it could be that if "daugh" DID exist, the -gh perhaps became silent before combining with -ter or the word dropped away quickly. I don't blame it.
Can't imagine what it would possibly mean.

That said, the little guys like "bough," "through" and "though" can (if another pronunciation or rule didn't apply at some point) be explained away as merely entering English at a different time than "laugh" or "cough." Maybe. This is all just speculation right now. I'm just saying, historical linguistics will always provide an answer similar to this one.
Language is a logical tool.
Why would humans invent something so difficult that is so frequently used?

Oh God. That was such a loaded question.

Point is, through (<--- eeeeey) various miscommunications (thank you, once again, Mr. Danish printer) and spikes of prescriptivism versus descriptivism throughout the history of English orthography, the language has become a nice little catch-all of historical scripts and modern pronunciations.

Shout-out to Noah Webster for instilling a great sense of rebellious nationalist perscriptivism in the American people.

I would also like to apologize (or "apologise," if you're one of the islanders) to all foreign speakers who have undertaken the task of learning this cluster-eff of a language.
Nevertheless, I hope that one day, you can learn to love as I do the historical content present in our seemingly illogical orthography.
Makes reading excedingly boring assignments that much more interesting.
Screw the content.
Especially if it's Thomas Hardy.

Czech ow-t the phun things won can due with Ing-lish letrs.

This is probably why I'm always unprepared with my class readings.


martes, 19 de enero de 2010

el acuerdo estadounidense - a.k.a. my ignorance

Fruitloop Daydream - Linda Perry
Shining On - Big D and the Kids Table
Eggs and Sausage - Tom Waits
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again - Bob Dylan
Motown Never Seemed So Good - Less Than Jake


OBVIOUSLY, I have learned a couple things since leaving the usa ('yoosah').
Just to name a few:
1) Don't smile when walking down the street
2) Potatoes should and do come free with beer
3) The irrelevance of internationally accepted standards on this peninsula (*cough* INTERNATIONAL Phonetic Alphabet *cough*)
4) 3/4 an inch of snow is damn well enough to constitute a national state of emergency
5) Wifi = "weefee"
6) Olive oil will not only help the body; but will also aid in the eternal salvation of one's soul
7) Mio Cid (who is SO not MY Cid. not after that class)
8) Ham grows on trees and is just as healthy as the olive oil. Hell, might as well throw it in with those free potatoes.

This is where it gets a little crazy.

The social, cultural and governmental infrastructure of this great European peninsula clearly differs from that of the new-world semi-continent I call home.
Social collectivism is NOT dead; and neither is the idea of a culturally homogenous nation.
A culturally homogenous nation.
The politically-corrected, euphemized estadounidense in me dodges on-coming bullets every time I even contemplate this phrase.
Ha, I wonder if I should burn this after I write it...

I have always regarded this concept as one that, perhaps, I could only really appreciate from a distance - not as one that I could perhaps understand. POR SUPUESTO the idea had before occurred to me (in text books, mind you). Nevertheless, it remained a solely theoretical ideal.
That, of course, until I received the most enlightening explanation I could possibly desire:
The yoosah began as a pact.
An accord, if you will, amongst the Enlightened (big E) law makers of the colonies.
Yes. I knew this.
No. I did not continue that strain of thought any further.
For all intents and purposes, the yoosah is nothing more than a clubhouse.
Pay your entrance, maintain your membership fees, and there you have it. Your own personal vote to throw in with the other 300 million. We'll just abandon the politically critical direction this sentence is going.
Point is - the world experienced the Enlightenment; the United States spawned from the Enlightenment.
Did cultural homogeneity exist? Certainly.
Hello, 19th century.
Nevertheless, the estadounidense culture had already been formed via a mix of various other cultures before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Thus: the creating of a new culture (and the separation of the races as a means of establishing the guidelines of said culture).
Simply amazing.
And now that I have be come aware of the differences present in this Euro vs. Yoosah mentality, they surface in every single aspect of life - starting with government and filtering down to prevalence of graffiti covered buildings in Spain or the idea of personal space in the Yoosah.

Perhaps I am just a bit late in discovering all of this.
Lo siento.
At least I have another seis meses to reason it all out.
Creo que necesito seis años mas.


lunes, 18 de enero de 2010

Insertad una entrada de blog aqui:

The Downfall of Us All - A Day to Remember
Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters
My Life For Hire - A Day to Remember
The Take Over - Four Year Strong
Prepare to Be Digitally Manipulated - Four Year Strong
Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die - Also Four Year Strong
Dead Men Tell No Tales - Set Your Goals
Mutiny - Set Your Goals
Voices - Disturbed
Stricken - Disturbed
('cause e'r'body needs a little cathartic thrash and B.A. hardcore breakdowns now and then)
Old Friend - Rancid
('cause e'ry cathartic thrash and B.A. hardcore breakdown session merits a little ska rehab)

I really don't have anything to write today; I merely wished to share the majority of the playlist that got me through the day's metro rides.
Sometimes words aren't really necessary. Just jump crazily around your room to this and we'll call it a day.
Plus, homie's got some trabajo finales to pretend to finish.


sábado, 9 de enero de 2010

Otro monologo sintactico - por si os interesa


D.J.s - Sublime
Land Down Under - Men Without Hats
Strictly Rude - Big D and the Kid's Table
Medley Jack & Neal - Tom Waits
California Burritos - Chuck Reagan
Between the Lines - Also Chuck Reagan
Jungleland - Bruce Springsteen

Once again I find myself in that wonderful time of the year known as:

the end of Christmas break.

Sin embargo, this year, I did not have the pleasure of sitting idly and awaiting the beginning of a new semester.
Instead, me quedé con una tormenta de 2 rather large papers and several readings looming over my head for three weeks.
"Beccaniles," you might ask, "didn't you knock a good chunk of that work out in 3 weeks, as you had more than enough time?"

And my answer is no. In fact, the 2000ish words due Tuesday, I have only just begun. Once again, 3 days is more than ample time to produce a comparative syntactic analysis of a book I have read no less than 12 times (Crime and Punishment/ Crimen y castigo) - however, I also have classes to attend and classes to teach within that time period.

-"Back to real life, eh?"
-"Eff that ess."

Qué fuerte. I've finally progressed to conversing with myself aloud.

So. Let us discuss once again the not-really-syntax class.
Usually, at this point in time, I would lapse into an incoherent rant about the lack of syntactic content of the class.
Nonetheless, I have begun to view this trabajo final como una manera de por fin victoriously waving the syntactic flag high above my little linguistic head.
(Feel free insert your own Government and Binding Theory joke here in reference to the use of the word "head". Hahahaaaaah. Linguistics always good for a laugh.)


What not-really-syntax teacher (I would like to clarify that she, as a teacher is quite wonderful. However, I still greatly desire some linguistic content in the class.) has unknowingly provided me here, is not only a solid opportunity for the post-modern literary analysis space-fillers which are easily reflected in sentence structure and the placement/use of certain descriptors, but an unequivocally open forum for the discussion of...

ADJECTIVE PHRASES!!!!!!! (insert Oprah-esque WHAAAAOOOOO here)
What what?! Semantically determined adv location?
Perhaps a little english/spanish comparative head structures?! Joooooder.
Oh, what's that? Perhaps even a little X-Bar Theory, you say?
Now things are just gettin' caRAZay up in here.
Yes. I believe even Steven Pinker himself would be a little envious, were he not hopelessly lost in the cognitive sphere.

That's right, friends, Beccaniles has been given the best gift imaginable, 200o words of uninhibited, unadulterated linguistic meandering (all completely purposeful, meandering, of course. Oxy-moron? Perhaps to some).

Oh man. I don't even know why I am writing this blog instead of that paper.
Yes I do. It's late, I don't particularly want to think right now; not to mention I am thoroughly overcome with ecstacy.
It's moments like these that make the thought of my seemingly futureless academic endeavors worth while.
And I'm pretty sure it's moments like these that actually keep the field of linguistics alive...or, at least in a well-maintained vegetative state.

Uy. Gracias, Reyes Magos. Me han dado ustedes un regalo legendario.

Hmm. On a completely unrelated note, I'm a little erked that I busted a guitar string yesterday. It's not even an E string which I could possibly do without. It's the G. Kind of necessary.
I suppose that was Jesus telling me to put down the guitar and study.

I'm out. Hasta later.