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Mustard watches: an integrated approach to time and food

“Classical watches display time, but can hardly do anything else.  This limitation is artificial: for instance several people confessed to be often in need of mustard… and what is the point of knowing time if you cannot get mustard?”

Includes useful theorems such as that:

1. It is possible to get as much mustard as wanted from a mustard watch.
2. A mustard watch which is its own metawatch is degenerated (using a Gödelian construction and a temporal logic).

By Y.-J. Ringard (Jean-Yves Girard).  Over here.

Sexualization of Girls

The (2007) Report of the APA Task Force on the sexualization of girls is over here.

“There are several components to sexualization, and these set it apart from healthy sexuality. Sexualization occurs when

    • a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior, to the exclusion of other characteristics;
    • a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness (narrowly defined) with being sexy;
    • a person is sexually objectified—that is, made into a thing for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making; and/or
    • sexuality is inappropriately imposed upon a person.

“All four conditions need not be present; any one is an indication of sexualization.The fourth condition (the inappropriate imposition of sexuality) is especially relevant to children.

“Anyone (girls, boys, men, women) can be sexualized. But when children are imbued with adult sexuality, it is often imposed upon them rather than chosen by them. Self-motivated sexual exploration, on the other hand, is not sexualization by our definition, nor is age-appropriate exposure to information about sexuality. “

Monbiot on BAe shenanigans

Interesting article which was published in the Guardian yesterday.  (See over here.)  It begins:

There is a state within a state in the United Kingdom, a small but untouchable domain that appears to be subject to a different set of laws. We have heard quite a bit about it over the past two months, but hardly anyone knows just how far its writ runs. The state is BAE, Britain’s biggest arms company. It seems, among other advantages, to be able to run its own secret service. […]

Nice interview with Michel Foucault

(Over here.)  Extracts:

“I am not a writer, a philosopher, a great figure of intellectual life: I am a teacher. There is a social phenomenon that troubles me a great deal: Since the 1960s, some teachers are becoming public men with the same obligations. I don’t want to become a prophet and say, ‘Please sit down, what I have to say is very important.’ I have come to discuss our common work.”

“I don’t feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think that you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don’t know what will be the end.”

“Each of my works is a part of my own biography. For one or another reason I had the occasion to feel and live those things. To take a simple example, I used to work in a psychiatric hospital in the 1950s. After having studied philosophy, I wanted to see what madness was: I had been mad enough to study reason; I was reasonable enough to study madness. I was free to move from the patients to the attendants, for I had no precise role. It was the time of the blooming of neurosurgery, the beginning of psychopharmology, the reign of the traditional institution. At first I accepted things as necessary, but then after three months (I am slow-minded!), I asked, ‘What is the necessity of these things?’ After three years I left the job and went to Sweden in great personal discomfort and started to write a history of these practices [Madness and Civilization] … It was perceived as a psychiatricide, but it was a description from history. You know the difference between a real science and a pseudoscience? A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked. When you tell a psychiatrist his mental institution came from the lazar house, he becomes infuriated.”

Formal and Applied Practical Reasoning


This design, by Lydia Rivlin, was used for an academic conference poster and book cover. Apparently it caused some controversy. About its design, Lydia says (personal communication, 16 Aug 2006):

“When I had to think of something to illustrate the idea of formal (i.e. mechanical) and applied practical reasoning, this image of a robot chatting up a prostitute sprang straight into my mind. […] I have an idea he is asking her how much she would charge for an oil change – but I could be wrong.”

I want more and more and more and more and …

Trying to decipher the lyrics to I Want More by Can. They’re not online. Here’s what I can get:

(Thanks to Rachel P got the rest – ta Rach 🙂 )

Plays a game
We don’t have to
Say the name
If we take a
Boys say girls just aint the same

I don’t have to
Say no more
You know what I’m
Aiming for
Don’t care if I
Break a law
I want more and more and more

Plays a game
Boys say girls just
Aint the same
You know what I’m
Aiming for
I want more and more and more and more and more and more and …

Bit (1) sounds something like “Ah-fré Descarte” (definitely not a “René”, and probably not a Descarte either – the vocals are badly cut up) and (2) sounds something like “Sanmoré”. Google is failing me. I want it to be the name of a funky author who’s going to say more about playing games (would fit well with Wittgenstein, Laing, and friends), but it’s probably just a cut up copy of some of the other lyrics.