Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ronald McDonald vs KFC

This Halloween
the Super Bowl of Fast Food entertainment...

from Big Mac Island presents: 


Join Ronald McDonald, Colonel Sanders, Wendy, BK, and Gidget (The Taco Bell Chihuahua) for instant analysis, updates and snacks during the show. You are welcomed to chat and eat along and send in your comments and/or questions. 

In the meantime, here's a little pre-game gaming.... 

*Contains violent images

It's a once in a lifetime match between two of the most popular Fast Food wrestlers of their time. It is an epic contest and the two men involved, Ronald McDonald and Colonel Sanders, deliver a sensational performance. 

McDonald and the Colonel start the only way they can, with a tie up displaying each man's strength. McDonald starts out the match with instant blow to Sanders before Sanders strikes back with a below-the-belt move. Playing to the crowd and working the angle, Sanders throws McDonald out of the ring. 

Returning with full force, McDonald drops Sanders down to size before building up a head of steam and letting him have it! Playing to the crowd again, McDonald dogs Sanders then gains momentum and smacks him right back down. 

The Colonel gets fired up and strikes back, showing absolutely no respect for his opponent. McDonald strikes back again with an over the knee lashing, which peeves the Colonel into knocking McDonald right back onto the mat from which he came. The ref can't keep these guys in the ring. Playing to the crowd as they have the entire match, they send the crowd into hysterics...this is what they came to see! 

Using the ring steps, McDonald brutally knocks Sanders silly before throwing his sorry a** back into the ring. McDonald throws Sanders around like a wet blanket until Sanders throws McDonald aside, like a discarded hamburger wrapper. 

McDonald fights back, only to take a major blow to the abdomen. Nursing what looks like a Fast Food tummy ache, he loses steam, and gets a spanking by Daddy Colonel, who pins McDonald and wins the match. 

*Contains violent images

No doubt, they'll be back in the ring again...

Happy Halloween...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Denialist's Farmers Market & Swap Meet

♫♪What's new at Denialist's Farmers Market & Swap Meet? ♫♪
♫♪What's new with Denialists... this week?♫♪ 
♫♪What's new at Denialist's Farmers Market & Auction? ♫♪
♫♪What's new with Denialists... let's take a peek! ♫♪

From climate change to vaccines, evolution to flu, Denialists are on the rise. So, why is it that so many people refuse to accept scientific evidence in favor of ancient religious and ceremonial rights practiced by Neanderthals and Homo heidelbergensis, hominids who deliberately disposed of deceased individuals in funerary caches? 

Clearly, there are lines we must draw between denial and skepticism, but how do we tell them apart? Typically, the Denialist obstinately holds onto beliefs; refusing to listen to any new evidence. Skeptics are merely inclined to question or doubt everyone's opinions. 

Throughout history skeptics have also denied the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief. The leading ancient skeptic was Pyrrho, doubting that any knowledge about the external world was possible. The main difference between skeptics and Denialists is that Denialists take a position in advance of sorting through the data. They then processed new data simply as evidence for pre-existing beliefs - contrary data is ignored or dismissed. 

While skepticism is integral to the scientific process, denial is different. It is the automatic naysaying of a claim regardless of any new information. This is where conspiracy theories seem to arise. 

Have you HEARD the news? The swine flu pandemic was a hoax: scientists and governments are in cahoots with the World Health Organization who, having investments in pharmaceutical companies, just wanted to make a fast buck. (According to Expert Testimony from the Center for Stuff I Heard from Some Guy Who Lives Down the Street from a Friend of a Friend of Mine.)

Every day people concoct conspiracy theories and spread them around social networking sites, which then spread like wild fire. This is an example of denialism, the systematic rejection of science in favor of make-believe. From evolution to global warming, vacciness and the flu. But what motivates people to retreat from the real world into fantastical denial? 

Faith. You can't beat faith as a corporate strategy. Manufacturing doubt, a tactic of the Tobacco industry, is a brilliantly executed defense strategy. While healthy doubt can lead to more objective scientific research, it can also lead to millions of people believing that it is perfectly healthy to smoke. Misusing language confuses the public with shocking success. These techniques are only limited by one's own imagination, and imaginary stories in lieu of proof have been a 5,000-year old favorite pass-time of our species - a habit not easily broken. 

While it's easy to spot a lie, it's not always easy to eradicate it from people's minds. 

"We use less than 10% of our brains." 

The truth is our only friend. Responding to Denialists is a perennial challenge. The best advice I've ever been given is to allow someone the opportunity to be heard. Examine the evidence they offer, consider their interpretations, and look for substance. If it appears that after exhaustive evidence someone still wishes to deny facts, simply smile and change the subject. 

Mental Rotation

Robot Monkey See, Robot Monkey Find Grocery Store 
...on the left-hand side of the street next to Jiffy Lube. 

Primates visualize unfamiliar environments by a process called mental rotation, the ability to rotate mental representations of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects. 

Rotating shapes and spatial reasoning are an integral part of high-level cognition. Using depth information from motion sensors to establish how objects look in their surroundings, robots are catching up with primates in their ability to receive visual instructions and act on them without a map. 

Ronald C. Arkin, in the publication, The Role of Mental Rotations in Primate-inspired Robot Navigation, explores mental rotation in primate and human navigation and takes it to robot navigation - human 2.0. 

Watch out long-time Tetris players... looks like there's a new player on the block! 

Colin Fahey, 2003 clip on TechTV

Heuristic Humor

You play the tough, paternalistic regulator
and I’ll play the laissez-faire one named ‘Nacho Daddy’.

Heuristic humor studies is a "hands-on" or interactive approach to learning more about what makes people laugh. Understanding what makes people laugh involves specific expectations defined as conscious assimilation of one's fore-humor. To the humorous encounter with a novel, or unexplained phenomenon - be it a joke, a humorous event, or a funny question - we bring our experiences (our historical understanding of what's funny), which cannot be dismissed in the process of interpretation and understanding of what's funny. But that does not mean that we should allow things that aren't funny to be passed off as humorous simply because people laugh. These indefensible assumptions bias our understanding of what makes people laugh naturally. Heuristic humor studies mediates between fresh observation and comprehensive reflection.

From a humorously hermeneutical perspective, to explain a humorous experience, observations and analyses must be grounded in historical investigation. What I want to understand and express in this blog is how individuals define humor and how they set out to experience it. I form my observations about humor based on my reading of the major theories on the subject as well as a myriad of popular images, videos, songs, and literary works in circulation on the web. 

A simple image search for the word "funny" makes me consciously and painfully aware of how humor is often times used to mask the negative feelings associated with loss, which ultimately becomes humorous discourse for those who have experienced it.  However, I prefer to focus on the present, becoming more functional in what the world considers funny now without betraying my own sense of humor (and integrity supporting it). 

Such observations point to me a connection between humor and personal identity, vis-à-vis evolvement. In this respect, humor can either undermine or support our personal identity. To make sense of this humorous paradox, I resort to sociological and philosophical accounts, concentrating on the significant shifts, from an understanding of humor as a character flaw to an activity that promotes healing and emotional or behavioral adjustment. 

To define what is not humorous also requires an understanding of what counts as "normal" humor: the quality of being amusing or the ability to make people laugh.

But it is so much more. From a methodological standpoint, my interest in humor is to entertain myself whilst simultaneously generating defensible assumptions that will allow me to proceed with an analysis of humor that is convincing (or at least, humorously intriguing) and theoretically sound. My contribution lies in entertaining others along the way and in showing how existing views of humor can be amended and functionally integrated into a developing model that allows me to define humor in dynamic terms, as a process, rather than a core or a feature. 

It's not a bug; it's a feature.

Admittedly, my "soft" (Sophy "softly" laughing) modus operandi is more sympathetic to a relativist approach. This distinction polarizes my humor toward the positive expression of humor, often trying to define humor in accordance with an immutable personal trait. 

My sense of humor is embedded in social and cultural contexts with no hardened core independent of an interpretive process focused on the aforementioned goals (enjoying myself whilst simultaneously entertaining others). I strive to avoid the pitfalls of seriousness and negativity, refusing to participate in the downing of self by associating my humor with negative traits or features. 

This blog is an evolving interpretation of my own journey into humor... and how humor helps me grapple with solitude in the hearts of so many. Humorous discourse allows me to rewrite stories into tales with funny twists or nonsensical references that confirm one simple fact: laughter is a language we all speak. 

The Future Eye Phone

The new iEye Phone is a smartlens placed on the eye. The iEye Phone runes on ApplePie's iCU mobile operating system, originally named "iPeek-A-Boo". iEye Phone lenses are considered techimedical devices and can be worn to interface with an individual's conscious focus (take photos and videos, send and receive text messages, browse the web for related information on visual objects, and receive visual voice mail).

People choose to wear iEye Phone lenses for many reasons. Instant access to and the capturing of data are the top two motivating factors for people who like to avoid carrying mobile devices or who like to expand their knowledge of the world without investing the traditional time it takes to research such matters.

Other people wear iEye Phones for more visual reasons; capturing visual images, which can instantly  be edited, modified, or enhanced. This allows people to visualize the world in much the same way that the technological software programs of the 21st century has presented it. 

Brad Pitt Chanel No 5 Translation


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wittgenstein's Humor Challenge, 2.2

(Click to enlarge)

Wittgenstein's Humor Challenge, Part 2

Don't Be A Sucker

How many people claim more than they can prove? Since we only have access to our own beliefs with no neutral access to the facts as they are in themselves, we can only compare our beliefs with reality in the hopes that they are accurate. 

Speaking of truth and accuracy, I'd like to invent a time machine and travel back to the moment when the first Bozo said that truth and accuracy were supreme and stuff a lollipop in his mouth before he has a chance to utter those words. Blindly reducing accuracy to a theory ignores the legitimate concerns of finding happiness. It would seem the desire for truth and accuracy clouds our ability to enjoy a simple lollipop without questioning its nature. 

No Joke Zone

In the inevitable frustration of the desire to anchor meaning in jokes lie the seeds of the joke's own deconstruction. 

Jokes are determined by what they refer to, the product of differential relations with other concepts in language. 

Our attempts to interpret a joke cannot step outside of language, rendering jokes forever deferred (i.e., no joke). 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Satire of Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) is remembered for supporting the American colonies' fight for independence from Britain, and for his opposition to the French Revolution: rights, liberties, and restrictions "vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish to discuss them upon that principle." 

In 1750, Burke traveled to London to study law, but gave up his studies to travel Europe. In 1756, A Vindication of Natural Society appeared anonymously in 1756, but he disavowed the work once he was nominated into office, claiming it was a satire. 

Defense of Anarchism:
Arguing for a peaceful social order based upon individual conscience
and mutual agreement, without legal constraint or political authority.

(Burke joined Parliament in 1765 as a member of the governing Whig party, who lost power in 1783. He remained in Opposition until he retired in 1794.)

Burke as Mercury carrying on his shoulders Marie Antoinette 
who in turn carries Louis XVI ©

"Those who would either transcend the concrete conditions of history or ignore the legitimate concerns for the preservation of human happiness in order to take flight into utopian realms of abstraction succumb to a double weakness; their minds blithely reduce reality to theory and, in pursuing a theory, may brutally cause real suffering."

Robiespierre's head in the clouds attitude became his fate...