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Archive for February 18th, 2009

ohno! noro!

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Ugh, and things were going so well! Seems that, as of 3 AM this morning, I’ve come down with the “winter vomiting bug,” aka a norovirus.

Given how bad it would be if either of the other members of my household came down with this (very infectious) malady, I’ve been quarantined up in our guest room all day. Total consumption: one bottle of Vittel, a few bites of an orange ice-pop (didn’t go well, not at all), one bottle of Lucozade, and two bowls of lovely red Jello.

It’s only been an hour or two that I’ve felt well enough to do anything other than lay in my bed and drift between half-sleep and wall-staring thought. Boring! Hideously boring! Not nice. I shouldn’t leave the house tomorrow, but I might go into the office anyway.

Anyway, viruses baffle me. They’re not quite alive – can only exist parasitically within another cell, the cell that they are infecting. Little more than a strip of RNA or DNA sheathed in fat, their sole purpose seems to be the reproduction of this code strip. Sure, that’s what we’re all for, but odd to think of something that doesn’t have any sort of independent existence doing this. My stomach and intestines are plagued with information bent of self-copying.

If something’s going to make me projectile vomit for hours on end, make me miss work and going out, and keep me sequestered up here with nothing to do but watch BBC News on my computer, I just wish it was a bit more ontologically clear and distinct!

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 18, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Posted in torture

david harvey all up in delong’s comment boxes

with 2 comments

Interesting! Brad DeLong slams David Harvey (at one point as a provisioner of “pointless intellectual masturbation”) and Harvey shows up in the comment box to defend himself. The final paragraph of Harvey’s response:

These are dangerous times and I would have thought the definition of fair and unbiased to which DeLong subscribes might go somewhat further than that given by Bill O’Reilly. What is needed is generous critique, the taking of whatever is positive in competing accounts and a real struggle to come to terms with ways we might better proceed. It will be hard enough to save capitalism from the capitalists but the real tragedy here is that the real message from DeLong’s commentary is that we need also to save capitalism from the economists.

(Ha! Found it after I googled for “William James chronic masturbation” because I was trying to say something funny in the last post about this sort of thing… Much better that I didn’t, I think….)

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 18, 2009 at 12:22 am

Posted in crisis, economics

peril and promise of automatism

with 4 comments

William James in his Psychology: Briefer Course:

The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.

Attractive idea, yes? It’s hard for me to say. No, that has to be wrong and is awful. There are no such things as “higher thoughts.” But of course there are, we all know just what he means. Why do I keep blogging meaningless shit from my life? Shouldn’t I hand my life over to the “effortless custody”?

I am going to work tomorrow for at least eight hours and I am going to think about absolutely nothing but work for those eight hours. I’ll let you know if any “higher thoughts” are produced.

(Ugh… wasn’t even thinking of this when I wrote the kernel of this post… But there it is….)

Written by adswithoutproducts

February 18, 2009 at 12:06 am

Posted in distraction