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Tag Archives: stupid academics

I actually saw this awhile ago, but I’m only getting around to posting about it now.  Really quickly, if you haven’t seen the article and don’t feel like reading it, PayPal’s Peter Thiel is helping to fund an initiative to create a free-floating libertarian country out in international waters, where residents can be “free from the laws, regulations, and moral codes of any existing place.”  I don’t know about you, but reading that automatically made me think of the BioShock series.  And apparently, I wasn’t the only one.

For those of you who don’t game or following the gaming industry, BioShock and BioShock 2 are RPGish first-person shooter (FPS) games that are set in an underwater dystopia.  Well, it wasn’t founded as a dystopia.  Obviously, it was intended to be a utopia.  Anyway, businessman Andrew Ryan is fed up with government and decides to form is his own laissez-faire utopia where humanity can work and live without that meddling above-water government.  And then…things turn horribly wrong.  You should go play the game.

Now then, doesn’t that sound very much like what Thiel is trying to do?  The only big difference is that BioShock took place under the water and Thiel wants his utopia to be above water.  It seems to me that he wants to create this libertarian, Ayn Rand-esque, laissez-faire place just like how Ryan was trying to do in BioShock.

Um…do you think that Thiel is really a LARPer?  I wouldn’t really be surprised if he is after reading about what he’s trying to do.  He wants to be Andrew Ryan and form his own underwater utopia.  Only, it’s pretty hard to build stuff underwater and I don’t think it’s been extensively done.  Not in terms of whole cities and the like.  I’m sure it’s more expensive than building above water.  I mean, oil rig technology has been around for a long time.  You’d probably have to research all kinds of new building methods to be able to build a city underwater.  You might as well build a city on an oil rig that’s above water.  You don’t become a wealthy businessperson making entirely stupid decisions, after all.  Now you can spend some extra resources on meddling with the forces of nature.  I’m sure Thiel will have something other than Big Daddies, Little Sisters (and later, Big Sisters), and Splicers to run rampant over his now dystopia, but the idea will probably be there.

The thing is…Rapture (BioShock’s dystopia) was underwater and thus fairly remote and cut off from the rest of the world.  Thiel’s project, being above water, isn’t as far removed from the rest of us.  I wonder how we can contain the dystopia, when it becomes such, from spreading out to the rest of us?  Do you think…this is where the zombie apocalypse is going to start?  O.O

Recently, I read an article about how the term “pet” is insulting to animals.  To which I say “rly??” or perhaps “srsly??”  (I would say “really” or “seriously” but it doesn’t seem to give the same sense of bewildered exasperation over the stupidity of this all [yes, stupid]).

I currently have two dogs.  They are pets.  They are indeed animals that provide a degree of close friendship but that doesn’t change the fact that they are pets.

pet

noun \ˈpet\

: a domesticated animal kept for pleasure rather than utility

My two dogs are domesticated animals that I keep around pleasure rather than utility.  It’s not to say that they aren’t helpful in keeping unwanted solicitors away from the door and keeping annoying wildlife (yes, wildlife) to a minimum in the yard…except for mockingbirds.  They don’t do a thing about mockingbirds (shakes fist).  But anyway, they’re housed and fed and attended to because I like having them around and the other stuff(s?) are just bonuses.  It’s terribly entertaining to observe them going through their normal routines.

So, could someone explain to me how calling them “pets” is derogatory?  There’s nothing in the definition to suggest that the term is derogatory.  I’ve never had any indication from my dogs that they find the term derogatory.  They’ve never tried biting me when I called them pets.  They don’t give me the silent treatment when I call them pets.  They don’t bark incessantly when I call them pets.  They don’t walk off in a huff when I call them pets.  Actually…I’ve never had any indication from any domesticated animal that was kept for pleasure rather than utility that they found the term derogatory.  So where did that even come from?  Apparently not from the animals.

Maybe…don’t you think…just a little…that these academics are overthinking it?  That they’re trying to force their way of thought upon the animals (and just about everyone else)?  If the pets don’t care that they’re being called pets, why should they?

“We shall not be able to think clearly unless we discipline ourselves to use less than partial adjectives in our exploration of animals and our moral relations with them,” they say.

Yeah…so, I don’t see how calling my dog a pet hinders me in treating them morally.  You don’t beat your pets senseless, you don’t expect more from them than what they are capable of (i.e. if you left a plate of food on the counter within reach of your dog and the dog overturns the plate and eats all the food, that’s your fault dummy, not the dog’s…what you expect self-restraint from a dog?), you take care of their needs.  That’s moral.  That’s also my responsibility as a pet owner (yes, owner).  So, I would say calling my dog a pet even helps me treat my dogs morally as it calls to mind the responsibilities I have with keeping them around.  I dunno.  My thinking seems pretty clear in how I should be treating my pets.

I’m sure PETA will pick up this story and run with it.  PETA…well, I won’t go into detail about what I think of PETA.  Suffice it to say that I believe them to be fanatically doing a lot of nothing to support the cause they say they support.  In any case, my dogs are still my pets.  I’ll continue treating them as if they were my pets.  And by the way, have you ever considered that “companion” is already a euphemism for something else?  Now that’s just gross, calling them “companion animals.”