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[22 May 2009|10:18am]
[ mood | contemplative ]

I often think about what I have been doing with my life and what I have devoted myself to learning. Sometimes I can’t help but think that it has all been a waste of time. I see people like Courtney, and the work she has done and will do for the developing world, and of Lilah’s political work with the Feminist Majority, and my own work seems very distant from the kind of direct positive effect they will have on people’s lives.

But the more I read the newspaper, and read blogs, the more I realize that beyond the needs that they will address, there is also a need for people to be taught how to think, and I hope that that is where I can make a difference. If I only end up reaching people at a college level, that will still be positive, but once I have a position as a Professor, I want to campaign to bring this sort of education to younger children. I would love to go into elementary schools and middle schools and talk to kids about whata I've learned. Not primarily about specific philosophers but about reason, logic, and critical thought.

Kids need to know what a logical fallacy is. They need to know what an ad hominem attack is and what begging the question is (hint: it does not mean raises a question) and the fact that correlation does not imply causation. In ancient Greece people accused Socrates of being a Sophist (which means in ‘wise’ in Greek, but even then had begun to take on its modern negative connotation), and in many ways he was one. But his goal was very different from sophists who made their livings as teachers of rhetoric, instructing their students how to achieve success in politics and law. He charged no fee, and he used the ability to ‘make the weaker argument appear the stronger’ not to mislead but to enlighten. He wanted people to see that much of what they accepted unthinkingly had no evidence behind it.

Criticizing the rhetoric used by politicians, pharmaceutical companies, church leaders, Imams, practitioners of alternative medicine, etc. is fun, and I certainly do it quite often, but ultimately to criticize is a waste of words when the evil can be neutralized simply through understanding.

I am tired of listening to fallacious arguments both from the right and the left, especially ad hominem attacks. I wish I could say it was only the neocons, but it’s us too. I have no ethical problem with them being used in comedy if it’s actually funny, but it is over done and demonstrates a lack of creativity. The endless repitition of "bush is stupid" throughout his presidency is one example. "Ann Culter is really a man" is another. More recently, I have grown tired about hearing how Rush Limbaugh is fat. This is undeniably true, and undeniably not relevant to why he is such a morally repugnant individual (for that matter, neither is the fact that he was addicted to Oxycontin). People are calling Megan McCain fat too, which is not true, not a relevant criticism, and frankly as self-righteous as this sounds, girls have enough body image problems in our culture without the political blogosphere adding to it. I will not even go into the ad hominem attacks launched by the right because there are too numerous to discuss.

I wish that kids were taught how to interpret all the information they encounter everyday; taught how to think rather than memorize). People who have devoted their lives to directly helping those in need are amazing and probably better people than me. But I hope that someday my more indirect route will end up making an impact as well.

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[26 Sep 2008|05:50pm]
[ mood | bouncy ]

This week I
1. figured out my living situation for next year
2. finished both my study abroad applications
3. got a job
4. starting volunteering

It has pretty much been the most productive week ever, and now I have a 5 day break.  Basically, things are going very well.

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Work [30 May 2008|01:25pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I did the first part of my training at Bath and Body Works (Eastveiw Mall) yesterday, and it seems like it is going to be a lot of fun.  Of course, my last job was telemarketing, so I know for a fact that this is going to be better.  The only problem is my lack of car which means I am at the mercy of Rochester public transportation which yesterday meant lurking about the mall for several hours since there is no bus between 9:20 and 2:45 on weekdays and I had to be at work at 1:00.  However, there is a Starbucks in Eastveiw with a nice seating area so I'm looking at it as an opertunity to get some reading done.  I am going to learn how to use a cash register tomorrow, which is more exciting than it should be.  My first day of real work is Monday, 11:00 - 3:00, come visit me!!  Also, my hands are softer than they have ever been from trying out so many lotions so that I will be able to give personal testimony.  Also, I have a discount at Victoria's Secret, because it is owned by the same company.  Yay.

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[12 Nov 2007|05:10pm]
I'm really getting frustrated with my suitmates right now.  I feel like they are increasingly bitchy and vindictive and bitter and I cannot take it any more.  I honestly feel like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls.  I am supposed to be the geek that hangs out with the artsy girl and the gay guy, and I feel like latly I have been neglecting my true self.  I realized that with a few small changes I could fit in quite well with the stereotypical long island majority, and for a while I did that.  I made fun of girls behind their backs for being a little chubby.  I laughed at the girl in line with the pizza and the donut and the chips, I bitched about how the girls that hooked up with the guys that my friends hooked up with were ugly bitches when in truth they were pretty girls and probably had no idea the guy was hooking up with someone else.  I did it all and I had a mini breakdown.  I cried on the phone to my parents and my sister for an hour because I could not take the person that I was becoming.  I told my suitmates I was just not going to participate in that kind of thing anymore, but I feel like half of our conversations are about that kind of thing, and now I feel weird even talking to them.  I have just realized that I can't be that person.  My roommate was gone for the weekend, and I had such a good time going out without her.  She is one of my best friends, and yet we are so ideologically opposed that I'm not sure how much longer I can stand living with her.  I didn't think it was going to be that much of a problem, but it honestly is.  I am an atheist democrat, she is a christian (who doesn't beleive in evolution and thinks people used to live for 800 years) republican.  I know it is hypocritical of me, but those things are just very very difficult for me to get passed.  I have been meeting new people who are really cool and interested in things beyond who is fucking who, and I am so happy about that.  Things are pretty good despite what I just said.  I'm doing really well, and I am really learning a lot.  Honestly, If I only had my own room I'd be so much happier.  I can't wait for next school year.
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[06 Sep 2007|07:21pm]
[ mood | excited ]

I am unbelievably glad to be back at college.  I have great classes, great friends, and a much more social floor than last year.  I've never been so happy to have school start in my life.  Its not even that I don't get along with my parents, just that I don't have any desire to see them anymore.  I do miss Rochester and my friends from home, but for some reason I feel like I become a better person when I have to fend for myself.

I feel like I have finally let go of adolesence and all the assosiated angst and turmoil.  I realize that I know what is important to me, and that it is making sure that I live up to my own standerds that makes life good, not how much I am enjoying myself at any particular moment.  Spending less time worrying about myself, I can actually focus on being a good friend.  There is a lot of stuff I would have done differently in the past that I never picked up on because I was too inwardly focused.

 The future I want now seems in arms reach.  My class work is actually relevent to what I plan to do for a career, and every bit of "legalese" that I learn makes me more excited.  Getting to be a TA this year has also been great, because I have a feeling that I'm going to end up back in academia at some point in my life.  Several of my Professors are former lawyers, and think that I might want to follow in their footsteps at somepoint, and maybe teach and write books on legal philosophy.  

Of course, a million things could go wrong, and I realize that.  I have a feeling that this year is going to have its share of drama, and I'm already worried about some of my friends.  I just feel like everything is going to work itself out in the end.     

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[16 May 2007|10:48am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

Taking my last final this morning I realized a couple more hours of studying rather than hanging out with my friends would have been a good idea.  But honestly, I don't regret it at all.  I'm really glad I spent my last night at Binghamton with the people I love rather than a text book.  Christian, totally wasted again, stuffing grass down my shirt in our huge grass fight was totally worth the shitty grade I'm probably getting on that test.  I know you guys don't use lj, but all of you made my freshmen year better than I could ever have hoped for and I miss you so much already. 

On an different note, I'm done!!  Hopefully, I'll be seeing all my Rochester friends soon.

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Second Semester [05 Feb 2007|08:07pm]
[ mood | content ]

Things are much better this semester.  Townies are still really creepy.  Binghamton is still really ugly.  But it feels like something clicked.  I feel more comfortable with my friends now, more like I do with my cobblestone and high school friends.  My anxiety level has also dropped considereably.  I've definetly grown as a person alot over the past 6 months.  I'm a lot less judgemental then I used to be, and better able to sit and listen to others oppinions.  I realized that half the reason that no one wanted to talk politics with me is that I wasn't a great listener, and I tended to get into arguments with people who had different beleifs.  Just learning to sit back and listen has opened my eyes to a lot of things.  

My birthday was definetly fun.  My suitmates made cookies for me, which I wasn't expecting, and even though it was a small thing it really meant something to me.  I went to a frat party that weekend.  On a whim I decided not to drink and it was actually  a really interesting experiance being with only sober one amoungst dozens of really wasted people.  I ended up talking to my friend Al till 5 in the morning that night and falling asleep in Matt's bed.  It turns out both of them snore and Al talks in his sleep, but it was still enjoyable.   I am hopeing things continue going in this direction, because I am starting to really like it here after all.

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[03 Jan 2007|09:31pm]
I think I did pretty well for first semester

Philosophy: A
English: A -
Political Science: A -
Economics: B +
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Holiday break! [12 Dec 2006|11:26am]
[ mood | ecstatic ]

Guess where I'm going today?  Home!!

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[14 Nov 2006|06:02pm]

Spring Semester Schedual!

MWF History 205: High Middle Ages 9:40 - 10:40

MWF History 207: Reformation and Renaissance Europe 10:50 - 11:50

MWF Geography 101: Intro to Geography 1:10 - 2:10

Tuesday Thursday Philosophy 202: Descartes, Hume, and Kant 10:05 - 11:30

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[11 Nov 2006|09:28pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

Someone just stole my laundry basket...what the fuck?

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[08 Nov 2006|08:49pm]
[ mood | annoyed ]

I was in a really good mood earlier today because of the elections.  But when I couldn't find anyone to talk to who gave a shit about it one way or the other I just got depressed.  It isn't just that, but that reminded me of all the other things that annoy me about Binghamton.  I shouldn't complain, because I enjoy me classes and I have a nice group of friends.  But thats the thing.  My friends here are nice, but with a couple of excptions there is no way I'm going to be freinds with them 10 years down the road.  We don't spend hours discussing life the universe and everything.  We don't talk about politics.  Sometimes I get the urge to shout out that I am a godless liberal elitist.  I don't want to eat at Applebees, TGI Fridays, or Texas Roadhouse.  I don't want to watch She's the Man with you.  Also, Binghamton is the worlds least attractive city, and appears to be full of old people with mullets.

If I could find another athiest who wanted to eat ethnic food, watch independent films, hang out in coffee shops, and talk about politics I think my life would be so much better.  The Democrat club here was very poorly advertised so I didn't realize there even was one till most of the way through the semester.  I'll try joining that next semester.  I also joined MUN.  I'm hopeing those things will make a difference, because I hate feeling like I'm walking on eggshells around people.  I am used to being outspoken about my beleifs, but I don't feel like making any enemies.  I can't wait for Thanksgiving.  

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[08 Nov 2006|02:09pm]
[ mood | excited ]

The Dems picked up 28 seats in the house, and the senate is too close to call.  Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down.  Sptizer is our new Governer.  Massa lost, but losing by 2 percentage points in a heavily republican district is still an accomplishment.  I was expecting something to go terribly wrong.  John Kerry would make another joke which seemed to imply our troops are stupid, Ted Kennedy would be arrested for DUI, or something.  But it all came together.  Rick Santorum looked so sad in the photos from his concession speech I actually felt sorry for him...maybe now he will think twice before comparing homosexuality to "man on dog".   Sometimes I wonder if Santorum is really a self-loathing Ted Haggard type.  I wouldn't be surprized at all, the depths of Republican hypocrisy have lost their abilty to shock.
Although I'm really happy that the Dems won so many seats I can't say I'm really pleased with either party right now.  The republicans made it so easy to win with scandle after scandle that if the democrats hadn't at least taken back the house it would have been pretty pathetic.  I hope that now that they have more of a voice in government they will be able to come up with a positive program, rather than simply anti-bush administration.  It would be nice for congress to actually get something done for once.  I feel optimistic right now, I think that the Democrats will take this victory as an oportunity to stand up for what they beleive and the country will start to move in a different direction.

I'm already getting excited for Obama 'O8!

I stole this from everyone's favorite gay semi-conservative blogger, Andrew Sullivan

Update:  Dems take Montana, and Webb leads with 99% of precincts reporting.  Unless George "Macaca" Allan does better in the inevitable recount, it looks like that Democrats took the Senate! 
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[14 Oct 2006|03:00am]
[ mood | angry ]

This whole week has been a reminder of how fucked up the world is.  First, I have to say I'm so sorry Morgan.  I can't beleive what happened, it is so terrible.  I have been thinking about you all week, everytime I turn on the news.  I also saw Paul Ruseabagina speak this week at Binghamton.  He is the real person who Hotel Rwanda is based on.  This is someone who watched as 15% of his country be murdered in 3 months while the world stood back and watched.  I feel so blessed to have the friends that  I have when I think of all the evil that is out there.  I have to say I honestly don't understand why people do what they do to eachother, it makes no sense to me.  I guess I just want to thank my friends for just being who you are.  All of you are amazing, kind, intelligent people and there are not nearly enough people like you in the world today. 

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College [04 Sep 2006|03:23pm]
[ mood | good ]

So I'm finally posting my first college entry!  Things are good here, I've found it easier to meet people than I thought.  I've actually been to 3 parties and a town fair already, and met some really nice people.  I also lucked out with my suitmates.  Everyone is really nice, and it seems like we are going to get along.  My roommate is nice too, and she ends up staying with her boyfriend alot of the time, so its almost like having a single.  Also, our rooms are a lot nicer than many I've seen, even compared to the other dorms on campus, because our building was only built a few years ago.  I'm liking my classes, and so far the workload has been significant but not overwhelming.  I really like my English Proffessor, so that should end up being a good class.  I do miss my friends and my family alot sometimes, but overall I think that I really like Binghamton.  On a completly different note, I was sad to hear about Steve Erwin, particulary since I know he has little kids.  Its odd that he ended up being killed by a stingray, which almost never fataly injure people.

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[20 Jul 2006|04:20pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

I am quitting my job today.  I can't continue to do something where everyone hates you, it is just too psychologically draining.  I wish I was a different person but I can't be someone I'm not, I'm just too sensitive to be talked to the way people talk to telemarketers day in and day out.  I may be a wimp, but honestly I don't care at this point.

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[07 Jul 2006|05:37pm]
[ mood | stressed ]

I have my 4th day of work tommarrow at DialAmerica, and my first day since I finished training.  I got a sale today and most of the other trainees didn't,  which was exciting, but I'm pretty sure it was a fluke.  The other trainee who got sales was amazing, she couldn't come in yesterday so it was her first day on the phone, and she made 5 sales.  Honestly, I'm really dreading having to work on saturday.  The combination of  constant rejection and bordom is hard to take.  I'm working with Alex Ringo which is interesting, even though we didn't know eachother at Brighton its cool to have another Brighton grad as a coworker.  Also, I have to miss two days next week for Binghamton's orientation, and I'm hoping that doesn't mean I have to work the night shift to make up.  I'm not sure I could handle a ten hour day.  I'm trying to tell myself that a first job is never that easy, but it has been difficult...at least I get my first paycheck tommarow. 

*Update: I didn't even get my paycheck, as apparently trainees don't get paid till next saturday.  God I hate this.

6 comments|post comment

[27 Jun 2006|01:42pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I got a job!  I am now a functioning member of society, albiet a member of the worlds sleazyest and most despised proffesion: telemarketing.  I also just got Dan Klien a 100 dollar bonus for refering me.  Now that I have secured financing, I just need a spot on that India trip...I really hope it works out, Courtney has gotten me really excited about the prospect.

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[11 Jun 2006|11:56am]

Hey guys, I got this on facebook, and I thought I would post it here in case any of my friends that are not on facebook missed it.  I just cut and pasted this, so all the credit for setting it up goes to Nate Kraus-Malett.  Anyway, it would be cool if everybody who is avalible that weekend could get tested, or if you are not going to be around, to check out other donor centers.  Even if you don't end up being a match, you might match somebody else, and it is a great way to have a direct positive impact on someones life.

Bone Marrow Drive for Jonathan Angelone
Tagline: Help Save a Life.
Host: First Bible Baptist Church
Type: Causes - Rally
Time and Place Date: Saturday, June 17, 2006
Time: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Venue: First Bible Baptist Church
Street: 1039 N. Greece Rd.  (map)
City: Rochester, NY
Contact Info Phone: 8882986571101

As you may know, Jonathan Angelone, '05 Brighton Grad, has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a very serious form of cancer. If his stem cell transplant isn't successful, he will need a bone marrow transplant. This is where you can help.

Jonathan Angelone is only one of many others who desperately need to find a person whose bone marrow matches their own in order to receive a life-saving transplant.


It is especially difficult to find a match for minority and bi-racial patients, and urgent help is needed. If you are bi-racial, your help is needed more than anyone.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 60 please get tested for a match, after all, it's free and painless - just a cheek swab and a finger prick.

For more information about bone marrow transplants or to find a drive in your area, visit www.marrow.org and click "Join in Person" or call 1-800-MARROW2.

PLEASE! if you cannot become a doner yourself, inform your parents or people who can. Tell people in your high school, ask your parents to bring the infromation to work, the more people the greater the chance that we will find a match!!!!!


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[17 Apr 2006|05:22pm]
[ mood | bored ]

I did just about no homework last quarter and somehow the lowest grade I got was a B. I need a challenge, but I've lost the ability to challenge myself. I just exist in a constant state of apathy, where the highlight of my day is checking my facebook, email, and livejournal. I'm not upset, but I'm not really happy either...I just know I'm meant to be doing more with my life than this. College cannot come soon enough.

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