A Case-Study Exemplifying In What Manner the English Languag

…fix the character count in the title box Humean.

Dear Gobbo and SAITD v2----my alarmingly paranoid and easily excitable brethren,

Some of what I’m going to tell you may shock you. If it does, I advise you thus: Be calm, and know that I am doing it only because I am a river, and am trying to help you tell yourselves, about yourselves. In a nutshell, my point is about language… how you both use it, where we agree, and where we don’t. And I’ll extrapolate from our disagreements to some surprising conclusions.

Let’s start with a simple point of agreement at the far end of a tangent, and work from there to the heart of the issue…

  1. Some movies are made so as to send a message to the viewer. Indeed this is true, my friends. And I think nowhere is this clearer than in the case of Rudy. The message, as I took it, was that if you are small, and not very talented, you can succeed by hardwork and willpower and overcome even long odds, to make an important difference. Take heart. Let’s all take heart.

As a matter of fact, I would go further, and say that most movies are made so as to send a message to the viewer… and that that is precisely why we go to movies. We wouldn’t go as often if there was nothing to be had but a sensory ride—we want something to take home, and consider for ourselves. —We’re naturally curious creatures, and so on. We like to have a message to affirm, or object to. So, here’s where we agree: Movies can send a message… whether it is that if you are a teddy bear, you can have sex with a prostitute. Or if you are 40 years old, you can still get laid. Or if you are threatened by nihilists, you needn’t givvess zemm zee moneyy.

Here’s a basic language point we disagree on: That calling all of this “propaganda” is in any way helpful, or an effective use of the word’s pejorative connotation. It would be nice to have something to call a children’s tv show advocating blowing yourself up at bus stations, (as is shown to kids in Palestine), that we wouldn’t also use on the movie about the underachieving football player Rudy. —That would be helpful, even. We’ve been down this road before. SAITD has a loose appreciation for the English language, but apparently no problem criticizing others when one of their sentences is syntactically ill-formed.

SAITD doesn’t think someone would ever spend hundreds of millions making a movie except for some sinister function at the call of some villain twirling his mustache. I speak to him thus: What says you about Pirates of the Carribean, then? A movie that cost $300 million. or Harry Potter. Or King Kong. Or Toy Story 3. Hundreds of millions, each. I could go on. But recognize what the point is… whatever the message, sometimes only a quick money grab is the motive. This was probably the case in Batman as well. A movie soo bad, that I find to take it as having a serious message about the global economy is somewhat comical. Or at least it would be if you weren’t so serious.

And maybe you’re not serious. There’s some reason to think so, at least. SAITD just recently substantiated a point of his with the routine of a standup comic, which would suggest to me that he doesn’t even take himself seriously.

Perhaps thus far I have missed your point, because so far your main focus has been on comic book superhero movies like Batman, Ironman, and Transformers. Perhaps here there is something larger and more sinister going on. It’s certainly worth thinking about. But this post is about language, and here’s the point I want to make…

I am currently residing in the United States of America. As I am not an American, I had to travel across the border… this required much paperwork indeed, as well as to pay money to the appropriate authorities. I continue to do this in the form of what are commonly called taxes. And just the other day, I travelled by public government funded transportation to buy an ice cream cone. In the language that Gobbo uses, he would call this a “government sanctioned outting”, as he calls movies that are made with government property (which is just about everywhere), “government sanctioned movies”. Thus, he would tell me that Batman is a “government sanctioned movie”… and indeed he would be right, as far as it goes. But what on earth is the use of language like that? Is the suggestion that the government scripted Batman, or authorized its message, or something such-like? How interesting indeed… and I think the only conclusion we could possibly draw from the truth of that, thereby, would be that the government is entirely incompetent, and intent on making itself look bad. (Since everybody knows that Gotham is corrupt, and its no secret).

What is reasoning and language use like this directed at? (You know, for example, the claims about how Batman has neat gadgets, and the army has neat gadgets, therefore Batman is tied to the army and the movie has the message that you should be in the army… despite the fact that Batman explicitly has nothing to do with the army, and is often at odds with them entirely). Is there something wrong with the government’s propaganda scripters? Or is your head on such a swivel over your shoulder that you can barely see what’s right in front of you?

Gobbo even suggests that the army recruits the best video game players! My god if that’s true!!.. have you seen video game players, at least the ones who are the best and spend the most time at it? …You know you have to be able to do 25 situps as a minimum requirement for joining the army right!!!

“A high degree of precision”? I hate to break it to you, but government is more often incompetent than it is precise. …Be quiet son, I already know what your response will be. You will say that government appears incompetent to keep you from thinking it is precise. Exactly…

And now let me get to the larger issue of what I think is going on in your mind…

In former times there was widely held the religious idea that there was an intelligent agent at the helm of everything that happened in the universe, such that, not even the smallest particle could move except upon the instigation of some wise and benevolent propelling agency. And the secret has always been that there’s never really been any good evidence for such an idea, but we don’t believe it on good evidence, we believe it because we (continue to) have a deep-seated need to believe that there is a reason why things happen. (As I said before, we’re naturally curious creatures, and won’t be satisfied with the notion that the reason why things happen are so much further removed from us than we thought). The belief held in former times was a way of bringing causes and reasons closer to us… not with much precision, but closer nonetheless. We felt like we could get some kind of grasp on the happenings around us.

And then this became harder to continue to believe. I won’t go through the arguments here, but suffice it to say that for every strongly held idea, there is reaction which can become equally as strong to the detriment of the other.

The result for some has been that the wise and benevolent propelling agency has been removed from its celestial perch. And though this has happened, that itself won’t remove our deep-seated need to feel like there is some kind of reason why things happen—that is, some kind of instigator. The old idea has taken a new form. What has happened for these people, is that the instigator has been lowered to a this worldly creature, and has lost his status as wise and benevolent… but no less powerful, and retains all of the same airy, hidden, covert qualities that the former one did. My friends, YOU are people who think such things as this. And I can no sooner point this out to you than have you think that I may be in cahoots with someone who cackles wickedly in the dark of night. —A simple story cannot be told without you divining some message of the instigator, wise perhaps, though now sinister and often malevolent. And you do not mean to say that it is, (and ends with) the government itself either. No, it’s not the government because the instigator controls them, too.

There is much more to be said, but I’ve gotten busy all of a sudden…

I am a river.

It’s true. I don’t see what’s so hard about believing that. They scout out kids who excel in virtual environments to excel in actual environments. Obviously fat kids would be weeded out. Just like kids who have no interest in helping the US army. But the system is there. It’s about social conditioning as a whole also.

Alright well you have me convinced.

Doesn’t this belong in The Academy? :wink:


Could you do me a favor and run this nice idea by the good man, Pav?

God, how utterly unlikely is this… as if video games didn’t fuck more people up from productive lives (and thus more tax revenue for the govn’t) than make them army wizards. In any case, by your rationale, then the game of Battleship is preparation for the Marines, and T-ball is preparation for light infantry division. Yes, it could all be true… there’s just no reason to step up to the ledge of this cliff, and condemn the government as incompetent by doing so.

I’d be happy to have a duplicate OP in The Academy, but it would have to be a new thread because the response lengths to the OP are not permissible.

You can nag all you like, but I don’t have access to the server to change anything. If I had access, I probably wouldn’t know how to. And since you’re the only person who has this problem, and only because you make it a problem to make a point, I’m not inclined to move heaven and earth to change that situation. But it hasn’t been forgotten.

Pav - regarding the Academy, there’s the whole second-person-pronoun thing.

I know, but the way things are going, I’m going to have to start firing OP’s there myself.

Where are all the people that were interested in this idea?

It has until October 1st to reach Ten threads, other than the Rules, or I am proposing we shitcan it. The OP that I may make later this week does not count, either.

I think it’s fair to say that the people who were arguing most vociferously for it - Typist and Drusus - are not the sort of posters who will be populating it with OPs. A case of “someone else has to do something to improve the quality of discussion in this place”.

I honestly think that the effort requirement for a post or a reply under the Academy conditions are too high. Who’s going to spend a couple of hours on a post if no-one’s going to reply because it requires a couple of hours’ work to do so? We’ll see.

Alright so no argument or source, just Mo_ making claims ou of thin air.

I’m super convinced. This -should- be in the academy.

I actually don’t think this thread belongs in the Academy… that’s probably because I read it, and noticed things quite apart from its length.

I also think the Academy is doomed, regardless of whether you put OP’s there on your own or not… and if you were to remove it today… anyone who complained would be not worth listening to—as they never used it.

Mo_ what are you up these days? If you’re not going to try, you can at least answer that. Did you finish your PhD?


You have no argument or source for what you said. If you heard it from someone and want to post their youtube video, make sure that you are not going to hear me just say, “and he had no argument or source for what he said”.

I made an argument…

P1. If kids are recruited as video game players for virtual technology war, then they are just as likely recruited from T-ball for light infantry division.
P2. It is absolutely unlikely that they are recruited from T-ball.
C. Therefore, it is absolutely unlikely that they are recruited as video game players.

Modus tollens beaghtch.

I’m chilling in the deep southern states…“chilling” is a bad word for it, since it’s scalding hot… where people don’t wear shirt sleeves, guns are on everyone’s hip, the beer is cheep and probably made in someone’s bathtub, and not even I vote for Obama, because he’s not a citizen. I do a bit of reading philosophy here and there. But nothing really.


So what state?

I don’t need an argument when I’m claiming something historic. You need one to deny things that are obviously occurring without any reference.

livescience.com/10022-milita … games.html

I don’t need to deny anything. My point isn’t that it doesn’t exist, my point is that it proves incompetence, and that the language you use to talk about it would have people think of a grand sinister plot of mind-control. As I said, T-ball and youth sports are recruiting tools for the army as well… since you need to be able to run to be in the army. Is it helpful to call T-ball a “recruiting tool”? Probably not. What about store bought video games? Same thing.

I’m sure the army uses virtual simulators for training. That’s not recruitment, and is no different than flight simulators as training for pilots.

But what you need to be clear about is whether you think the army is hacking into people’s online games to verify their scores and then send letters to the good players… sort of like the space aliens who abducted that kid who was really good at playing the arcade game of flying a spaceship… (because that’s what your language suggests).

No, they’re not the same thing. I’m trying to figure out if you understand the difference, or are just trying to make some point.

That is 100% what I’m saying. The score are all public. There is no hacking or anything going on.

Read the article.

I read the article. I saw nothing about using video game scores to recruit for the army.

Recognize what my point is: My point is that if it happens, then the government is incompetent. A competent government might use them as training tools, but not recruitment tools. Why would you recruit video game players, rather than athletes and athletic people? You can make athletes a good video game player much easier than you can make a video game player a good athlete. This is common sense. And not only do you want to remove any common sense from the government, you contradictorily want to think they are exercising grand sinister mind control over us. You can’t have it both ways…

On the other hand:

Fast Eddie: Can you make any money playing Stalker?

Vincent: I’ll tell you what I can do off Stalker. Ten years from now, I can go to West Point. It’s all coming down to video-game reflexes. Computerized tanks, Star Wars. In 10 years, a heavy scorer on Stalker is a shoo-in at the Point.

That is answered in the article you supposedly read.

You have to train these people since they are kids. It’s very easy to whip into the shape the people they recruit. What do you think is more important, the body or the mind? I don’t see anything incompetent about this at all. As I said, this broad spectrum social conditioning started in response to China’s superiority when it comes to training. You clearly believe the government is incompetent but I don’t see the evidence for it here, or most places you posit government incompetence.