Thursday, June 11, 2009

A few things that crossed my mind.

Before I die, I am determined to finance a house or car using Todd Davis' identity.

I am conflicted in my feelings about violence. On the one hand, I hate to see it, and would wish it away in all its forms if I co
uld. On the other hand, there are times when sudden, catastrophic violence makes a point that very much needed makingand probably could not have been made in any other way.

Am I the only one who's vaguely aroused by the word

Someone please explain how cheating on your
spouse is any worse than working for a company that you know deceives its customers. Or tell me why beating your kids is worse than buying goods from a retailer that profits by employing the functional equivalent of child/slave labor in Singapore. And if you "can't afford to quit" your job at the tobacco company, why should the dealer on the corner quit selling meth to schoolchildren? We all have these little deals we make with our consciences. be continued at random times and places...


Stever Robbins said...

Consistency of principle is a worthy goal, but it's damned hard to implement.

In the business realm, I'm always wondering why it's considered OK to benefit shareholders at the expense of customers/employees/communities, and not vice versa.

And note, please, that capitalism works just fine in other countries that do not have the "shareholder value is the #1 legal obligation of corporations" law. That's just a smokescreen. I'm not aware of any research that shows any relationship between economic success and shareholder-based capitalism vs. other forms of capitalism. (We're currently living through an economic dislocation that might even suggest that short-term unregulated profit maximization might not produce functional results over a decade or more.)

Anonymous said...

LOL, Steve. All these moral questions that do not have straight answers. How do we get by in our lives without the answers? (No, really?)

But pumice? Hm. What about the word makes it so exciting?

Since we are on the topic of disjointed moral problems, is being vaguely aroused by pumice any better (or worse) than thinking about stealing Todd Davis' identity? Or how does it compare to wishing for violent events to prove a point?

Or to, for that matter, writing (semi-pointless) blog comments when one has other responsibilities to fulfill, like updating one's resume, for example, or answering old e-mails, or grocery shopping?

Or even finally getting dressed and not wasting a day completely until So You Think You Can Dance starts again...

Oh, the endless dilemmas! :)

(No, really. I think...)

Steve Salerno said...

Stever, thanks for adding a little bit of meaningful, pointed commentary to a post that's largely whimsy.

Eliz: What can I say? Pumice just does it for me. And we won't even get into the time that one of my neighbors complimented Kathy on her beautiful clematis and we both turned six shades of purple in embarrassment. (We hadn't known what the plant was called when we bought it.)

Anonymous said...

Clematis I get, Steve, yes. :) BTW, we have one around our mailbox. But pumice is too far removed. For me, that is. Maybe because I associate it with the chunk of graying rock always present near my bathtub.

Anyway, Stever and Steve, speaking of the future of American capitalism (i.e., the corporate welfare system), see this article by Joseph Stiglitz from this month's "Vanity Fair:"

Anonymous said...

Steve, you didn't know Todd Davis had his identity stolen already?

Someone beat you to it!

Debbie said... I don't get it. Even as a geologist I don't get it. Too scratchy to be arousing. ;)

Now, there's a word I refuse to put in my reports in short form and blush when I think about it. Yet the usage is so common in my industry. It's so obvious it used to be a man's world.

Steve Salerno said...

Debbie: Do tell? ;)

Re pumice, it's not the meaning (i.e. the item itself) that gets me. It's just something about the sound of the word, or maybe some vague overtones.

Dimension Skipper said...

Language Log has often touched on the concept of "word aversion" (but "word attraction" only a little bit).

Before continuing reading this comment, see if you can guess which particular word seems to be fairly common in the aversion department for women. I would have never guessed it, but have become well aware of it via my frequent LL browsing.

. . . .

So anyway here are two relevant posts from the "modern Language Log era" (since 4/8/2008 when they switched blog formats or platforms):

May 19, 2009—Word aversion and attraction in the news

May 13, 2009—Word Attraction

Searching their older archive for "word aversion" turns up numerous posts, but there don't seem to be any for "word attraction."

Anonymous said...

As James Bond would undoubtedly say, it takes a cunning linguist to test all these verbal predilections. ;)

Steve Salerno said...

Eliz: I shall hold my tongue. As it were.