02-02-2010 05:21:04 PM
Since this is the ot thread. I saw this in the really old ot threads. In fact it was the #4 ot. But it is so amazing that I had to repost it so it doesn't get lost in the past. It is so true. Who ever wrote this is an amazing mind.
OBITUARY (The Times, 2/27/02)
Today we mourn the passing of an old friend, by the name of Common Sense. Common Sense lived a long life but died from heart failure early in the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn't always fair.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second (or even last, as long as your best efforts were given).
A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including body piercing, whole language and "new math." But his health declined when he became infected with the "if-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it? virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing regulations.
He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies, reports of six year old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but cannot inform the parent when the female student is pregnant or wants an abortion.
Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, a woman who was stupid enough not to realize that coffee is hot, and was awarded a huge payout for her stupidity, caused Common Sense to finally throw in the towel.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights and lma Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
02-02-2010 05:49:20 PM
I'm not going to go into miniscule detail here, but I think this needs to be said.
While there are many things in the Common Sense obituary that are poignant and true, there is an irony in that the entire concept of being able to boil things down to simple binary choices is in itself a large problem with the world today.
This writeup and many attitudes that go along with it attempt to express everything in black and white terms, when the reality is that the world doesn't operate that way. Nearly every issue one might deal with is not black and white, but rather a continuous gradient of gray shades, with different situations and equally valid opinions dispersed along that entire continuum.
While "common sense" is a good thing to have, the attitude that everything is so simple as to be solvable by "common sense" is fundamentally flawed and usually illustrates a lack of awareness of all the facets of the situation. The entire concept is actually somewhat arrogant, and is an example of the anti-intellectualism that has permeated our society in the last 10 years or so.
02-03-2010 05:54:43 AM
The "Common Sense" this obituary refers to is a the decline of the notion of simple truths and shared values which have been under assault by postmodern moral relativism for quite some time. We used to take some comfort in the belief that our neighbor, whether he be a native or an an immigrant or of a different religion or culture, at least held to some of these truths and values. If there is an "anti-intellectualism" sentiment, it's because some elites have challenged these concepts and shaken the ground they stand on. It's impossible to deal with people if you now have no idea where on the "shades of grey continuum" they may be rooted, of if they have no roots at all.
Can we agree it's not okay to torture puppies? There is probably someone out there who doesn't, as well as someone else who defends this belief. Just don't ask me to be tolerant of either of them.
02-03-2010 06:59:05 AM
Some fairly philosophical ideas on "common sense". Would guess that each person has their own ideas on what common sense actually is since often based on life experiences. Also disagree with the obituary since it's based on the moral degradation of society and a quite pessimistic view. Some tend to think of common sense, and life in general, in much more positive terms.
Guess the only way to tell if we have common sense is to take this "Common Sense Test". Of course based more on intellect, and reasoning, rather than anything else.
02-03-2010 11:17:08 AM
from askbobrankin.com's "Geekly Update:"
AT&T has finally settled an $18 million lawsuit concerning early termination fees. Although they "strongly deny any wrongdoing," they're still handing out money to people who got hit with flat-rate early termination fees, and had service with them or Cingular during the period January 1 1998 through November 4 2009.
02-03-2010 06:12:59 PM
02-03-2010 06:50:34 PM
02-03-2010 11:05:44 PM
I don't know the details of that story about AT&T and the lawsuit over early termination fees but in my day a contract was a contract. A person expected to be held to it....so one considered carefully before signing. Were the unhappy folks maintaining they did not know there would be early termination fees?
Phil, I am old school too and believe a contract is a contract. But also believe it is a two-way-street. A business should be held accountable in providing a service as well as the person being held to their obligation to pay for a service. Here we go again...and I'm referring to Directv. They could not provide a reliable HD signal as promised so I indeed felt that I had every right to break my 2 year contract. I knew there was a severe early termination fee ($360) but I went ahead and broke the contract by canceling. I must have put up a fairly good argument in saying they were not providing a service so I was not going to pay for a service I wasn't receiving. I never did pay them and they never came after me. In fact they must not have held a grudge since within 2 weeks from canceling I was receiving letters wanting me back as a customer. I still receive them every other week and they're great for starting fires in my wood stove.
Looks like there are many different class action lawsuits, against a bunch of companies, other than this $18 million settlement with AT&T. Sprint-Nextel also paid $17.5 mil for ETF, Comcast paid $16 mil for delaying internet traffic and Google paid $90 mil for "click-fraud" false advertising. Wonder if any of them learned a lesson or will just pay these settlements through rate increases.
On a lighter note...
Here's is a neat video on a white deer herd that has been in Wisconsin since the times of early Native Americans. I saw it last year on PBS and a friend just sent it to me. Pretty amazing to see them in the snow, or summer, and agree they look like ghosts.
02-04-2010 12:44:58 AM
02-04-2010 03:39:41 AM
The new Windows Secrets out has an interesting article on EULA the I accept you click on when you download software.
The EULA you click may not be the one in effect.
02-04-2010 06:01:24 AM
i haven't posted in the wott much lately so here's a question and see if it can be answered without google. "what is the difference between table grapes and grapes grown for wine"?Message Edited by showtime48 on 02-04-2010 12:46 AM
Table grapes have larger fruit and higher sugar content than wine grapes. This appeals to the consumer. I also believe that table grape vines (Thompson, Concord, etc) have a higher yield per acre than wine varietals. Of course, you can make wine from table grapes (my grandfather did), but it won't have the complexity.
Next time you visit a winery, ask for a taste. Not bad, but not something you'd add to your kid's lunch box.
02-04-2010 10:26:04 AM
Too funny signboard.