The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

January 20, 2005

Trust and fear

This afternoon I found someone’s wallet lying on the street. There was a high school ID card which gave the name of the owner with a photograph. I rang the school to get contact details for the student, and was told that it was policy not to give out that information — instead, I was to give my name and phone number to the school, to be passed on to the student’s family.

Huh? I have the student’s name, so could use a phone book to find phone number and address, and I have the student’s wallet (complete with bank card, signature, and cash); I am offering to return the wallet. Where’s the trust? Where’s my ‘right to privacy’? Even if I didn’t actually have the wallet and was spinning a line, I still have the name and a phone book. That schools operate from a position of such fear and lack of trust does not surprise me, but it is yet another black mark against their name.

Posted by jamie at 16:17+13:00 | Comments (10) | Permalink

January 16, 2005

What are they waiting for?

So, gun fetishism is one of the United States’ many problems, but one defended because the oh-so-precious constitution allows for the right to bear arms in order to overthrow an oppressive government. So my question to all the gun nuts is, what the heck are you waiting for? And if you’re not going to exercise that right for the intended purpose, can we dispense with that particular defence?

No, I am not advocating anyone kill anyone, with a gun or otherwise. I just wanted to be rude about people who have such a dubious relationship with guns.

Posted by jamie at 09:47+13:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

January 12, 2005

Putting morality aside

It seems that wherever people gather to argue the merits or otherwise of such things as torture or death squads, a number of people will say “Putting aside the moral aspect of this...”, and proceed to debate the practical benefits or otherwise of the subject. This is strange to me. How can one practice putting aside one’s humanity without getting more accustomed to doing so, both in debates and in general life?

Posted by jamie at 10:42+13:00 | Comments (0) | Permalink

January 03, 2005

Re-parsing broken English

The All your base are belong to us text has sparked an interesting example of how English speakers understand their language. One of the original pieces of text is Somebody set up us the bomb. Often, however, this gets remembered as “Somebody set us up the bomb.” As a whole neither version makes sense, but the second is more correct in the particulars — which is presumably why people misremember it as that.

Perhaps that’s not so interesting after all.

Posted by jamie at 15:49+13:00 | Comments (1) | Permalink