The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

February 22, 2011

With Alice aforethought

The next version of EATS will be able to straightforwardly model the following (from Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There):

The name of the song is called "HADDOCKS' EYES."'

'Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?' Alice said, trying to feel interested.

'No, you don't understand,' the Knight said, looking a little vexed. 'That's what the name is CALLED. The name really IS "THE AGED AGED MAN."'

'Then I ought to have said "That's what the SONG is called"?' Alice corrected herself.

'No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The SONG is called "WAYS AND MEANS": but that's only what it's CALLED, you know!'

'Well, what IS the song, then?' said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

'I was coming to that,' the Knight said. 'The song really IS "A-SITTING ON A GATE": and the tune's my own invention.'

In fact, I wonder if it would be interesting/useful to make a sample set of data for the whole book. That would show off some of features (multiple authorities that make claims about each other, name reification, entities changing type over time) in a possibly amusing fashion.

Actually, it's not clear to me quite what the distinction is between 'called' and 'named' in the above, nor precisely what the status is of the label used to specify what something "is". So maybe it won't be so easy to model after all.

Posted by jamie at 14:48+12:00 | Permalink

January 31, 2010

TV hates good teachers

It appears that television shows that have a school as part of their setting have an aversion to “good” teachers. If ever a new or previously unseen teacher comes to the fore as an inspirational, entertaining, wonderful figure, he (it’s always a he) is actually a bad person and will be discredited and shooed off in short order. My personal theory about this is that:

  1. it's not dramatic to have something bad happen to a normal or bad teacher, because no one will take their side in the first place; and
  2. the writers have no idea what a school would look like if such a teacher stuck around and had an influence on the children.

Of course, as far as I can remember I am basing this entirely off an episode of My So-called Life and an epidoe of Veronica Mars, but I would be not at all surprised to find it elsewhere.

Posted by jamie at 16:20+12:00 | Permalink

September 13, 2009

New Urbanism lecture

I recommend this lecture on urbanism by Andrés Duany. While the talk centres on suburban sprawl in the USA, it is relevant and interesting in other contexts.

Posted by jamie at 11:14+13:00 | Permalink

September 07, 2009

Heard on the bus

Two young women, after a tentative back and forth about whether each went to church, and what sort of church (one used to go to a Catholic church, then to a Presbyterian one because it was the only one nearby), the following:

But they said that my family was going to Hell, and I didn’t want to be the only one in Heaven, so I stopped going to church.

I really want to hear stories about the good clergy, the insightful priests, the pastors who care for their flock and follow in the footsteps of Christ.

Posted by jamie at 20:22+13:00 | Permalink

August 14, 2008

Why listen to this man?

In an interview on Shine TV (an evangelical Christian station) with John Key, conducted by Bob McCoskrie, John Key had the following to say about legalising prostitution:

There was a part of me that said, well look, mainly women but woman and men find themselves in that position and it’s a terrible position and how can we help them. But then on the other side of the coin I thought, what sort of message does it send when parents have to go and tell their children, well technically it's legal and it sends completely the wrong message in our society in my view.

I don’t know, maybe it would send the message that you care about helping people who need help? And society frowns on or would rather not have lots of things that aren’t illegal. Should we think of the children and make being poor illegal? How about divorce? How about telemarketing?

And really, if you’re going to spout off on morality, legality and prostitution from a position of privilege, the least you can do is ask, “what would Jesus Christ do?”, and then shut the fuck up because you’re a sanctimonious hypocrite.

John Key, you fail at living according to Christian principles, at being a decent human being, and you fail at thinking clearly.

Posted by jamie at 20:15+13:00 | Permalink


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