Thursday, June 28, 2007

I was tagged

I was tagged by Mojoey with the latest meme to make the rounds. Mojoey apologized in advance for tagging, but it appears that it may be some sort of initiation ritual for getting the atheist blog roll. Ok, I'll play.

First I'm supposed to post the rules:

I lifted this formulation of the rules from Atheist

- We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.

- Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

- People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

- At the end of your blog post, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

- Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are my 8 random facts about myself:

1. I instinctively mistrust anyone, any doctrine, any teaching, and really anything that does not recognize the ubiquity of irony in human life. And this goes for this meme silliness. Sure there can a meme about X, but there is nothing about memes or X, that precludes any given use of that meme. An example, in the 1960's it would have been unthinkable for Corporate American to use protest songs to sell their goods and services. Human beings use language for their own nefarious purposes, consequently, a meme is at best a symbol. And like any symbol it has a history of meanings. During that history it can be used to express purposes and meanings that are at odd with its original purposes.

Memes strike me as just more ahistorical philosophical tomfoolery. Linguistic voodoo. Astrology for linguists.

2. Anyone who has struggled their way through Nietzsche will feel right at home in my blog. Nietzsche played a critical role in my "loss of faith" or alternatively phrased, "discovery of autonomy." I am not an atheist because Christianity is irrational, dogmatic, self-contradictory, etc. Ask my wife, I too am often irrational, self-contradictory, and dogmatic. We all have personality flaws. BUT I am an atheist because of the ethics of blind obedience justified by systematizing and reading irrationality, dogmatism, and self-contradiction into the fabric of existence. Humor and the possibilities of humor need to be taken far more seriously by nonbelievers and believers alike.

3. I am a prolix writer.

4. I have some sort of arthritis in my feet. It's rather painful to walk very far. The pain is chronic and at times rather severe. The dr's and I are working on figuring it out. It may be from micro-fractures from when I was doing karate.

5. I've worked out a deal with my older daughter (almost 5) and I'm trying to get my younger daughter (3 yrs old) to buy into it. When trying a new food, I say to my girls, "Try one bite and I'll leave you alone." Of course, the obligation on me is to mostly offer them things that they will probably like and resist the malicious temptation of jalapeƱos. The result is that my daughters will try anything at least once and has been pleasantly surprised more than once.

6. I speak fluent Polish and passable German. I used to speak both much, much better. But here in Arkansas there's little opportunity to practice either.

7. I am a firm believer of "never memorize what you can look up." Why? If it's important, you should look it up. Memory can play tricks. If it's not important, then you probably don't need to waste time memorizing something trivial. And more likely than not, you won't know beforehand what will be important and what won't. If you find yourself looking something up over and over, then you'll remember it from the repetition. I learned two foreign languages well this way and part of a third (Russian).

8. Using a pseudonym is fun.

Eight Blogs. Hmmmm. How perverse. There doesn't seem to be anything in the rules against tagging a blogger who's already been tagged. This nicely illustrates that something unspoken remains with a meme as it it had a tail. Can a meme already encode how it's supposed to be used?

Eight Blogs:

1. Mojoey [note to Mojoey: No need for an apology-- ;) ]

2. Neil Cowburn

3. Jeff Pulver

4. David Airey

5. Atheist Hussy

6. Mom to the Left

7. Blessed with Olive Plants

8. Wholly Devoted


  1. ouch! tagged twice. Thanks.

    I like #7 - that is kind of what Ford did. He did not bother with detail or memorization. With an hour he could find an expert in an subject and get his answer.

    Thanks for posting.

  2. Hey Bob,
    I'm going to pass on the doing the meme. In glancing at your other blog, I want to say that I agree with you, that people who name the name of Christ shouldn't be guilt of such horrible things. It's really a shame.

  3. Becky,

    In case you check back here, I'm posting a notice on my blogs that they are tag free zones.


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