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Going home for Thanksgiving tonight. I'm actually fairly excited--I'll get a chance to help out with all the cooking this year, and I like cooking, and I won't have to actually eat all of it. (I've decided that I actually like cooking more than I like eating. Eating is mostly fairly boring. Cooking involves a lot of reassuringly repetitive movement like chopping and also gives me the opportunity to hover about the kitchen.)

Also, Professor Linguistics? I appreciate that you think that historical linguistics is a waste of time. Please stop ranting about it. I'm not a languages person, I could care less about phonetics, but I am doing work on population genetics. That means that given historical linguistics' interesting parallels to evolutionary biology, that's the subject I'd most like to focus on. I can deal with your ignoring it altogether in favor of different aspects of the subject, but if you could stop pissing on it for five minutes that would be awesome.
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So I keep meaning to post, but general insanity have been keeping me from having the time to do so. I am not exactly enjoying my Philosophy course, when normally I take to discussion-based courses like this one like a duck to water, and I've been trying to figure out why. The teacher's discussion style is fairly similar to Dr. M's, at least superficially, and I am very fond of Dr. M and really miss the Political Science course I took with him.

Partly it's this: Philosophy, or at least the aspects that this guy is trying to teach me, are explicitly concerned with what should be without allowances for reality, when I vastly prefer discussing what is and using that as a bridgepoint for thinking about what should be. I'm a scientist, or at least will be; my entire mental framework is based around objectively trying to figure out what is and then do something about it. Reality is important, and it drives me insane when people regard it as just sort of an obstacle to thoughtplay.

Partly it's this: the man is an anarchist, what the fuck, does he realize how unworkable that is? He keeps saying things like "and if the psychologists are right about us being driven by self-interest..." which also drives me up the wall, because I can't interpret human behavior by and large as not being driven by self-interest in the majority of cases. And he keeps attributing Western self-interest to the Western state, which is a whole different level of annoyance, because even in other types of cultures you still see warlords and power vacuums and all the problems that make anarchy impossible. I haven't particularly thought of a way to counter his moral position, but then I'm not concerned with should bes when I can't make is work effectively.

And partly he's just a bit of an asshole, and also he keeps bringing up abortion. It's like a pet topic for him. That and animal rights, which I have issues with because of all the batshittery in the movement. Also the rampant racism and classism in some of the major groups. (PETA, I'm looking at you.) His lack of professionalism in talking about his pet subjects also bugs me. I'm of the opinion that professors, or teachers of any sort, necessarily must have a power divide between themselves and the students in order to teach effectively, and the consequence of that power divide is that you do not get to advance your pet subjects if the class isn't about that. Letting me know you're unprofessional enough to abuse that power divide makes me less inclined to listen to you, and if you don't think there's a power divide there at all I can't shut up and listen in any effective manner.

Also, the one other person in the class who talks at anything like the same level I do (yeah, I'm loud and opinionated) is a physics guy. I don't, as a rule, get on with physics guys. Bleh.
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Last day of class with Dr. M today. Which I am really going to miss, even without the compliments on my amazing arguing skills I get occasionally from my classmates. (Sometimes I worry I took over that class. It was like it was expressly designed for me--so glad L made me take it.) I think compliments are awesome and that people should give them more. I know really well what I am and am not good at, but sometimes it's really hard to remember what my strengths are. Especially when they're so intimately connected to my weaknesses; I know that my love of a great argument and conviction in what I believe in is a big part of why I do so well in that class, but the flip side of it is that I have a pronounced tendency to leap down people's throats without warning. So yes, more compliments! 

In other words, I wish people would stop fucking using evolution wrong. But that's not new. I do not care if you've never studied it before, common sense would tell you not to use it until you do know what you're talking about!


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