I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

April 29, 2014 - 1:09 p.m.

Out and Outlier

I have a little over an hour to write. I remember when I started this It took 20 minutes. Of course I write far longer entries now. I wonder if they are better.

So you know the students who cheated? Um, well now I think they didnt. I totally hallucinated one of them writing the answer I thought was a clear proof they cheated. I talked to the other one and I always found it odd that she cheated as she was one of my best students. I saw that her answer was not identical to another students and I believe her. So for now no cheating. I am going to separate two of the students on the next test. I feel better as the one I "knew" cheated was one of my best students and someone I enjoyed teaching. That made it hurt more when I thought she cheated. It also made me more likely to believe her. But it also took evidence. One problem was that a tutor taught her, and other students wrong. It's so sad that the tutors are not competent including one who is on the faculty here.

The median grade on the test was a 48, yes you read that right. Half the class got below a 48. That's what happens when students come in to a class without the requisite background and then dont' work to overcome that.

There was three articles in the paper that wanted to make me rant about religion. I'm going to not go into the details and just get to the heart of the manner. You can't argue against faith. Faith is believing in things without evidence or even against evidence. That makes faith harmful. If you accept faith then when someone's faith says that homosexuality is evil or that women shouldn't be educated because it's against their faith, there is no point is saying they are wrong. Their faith says they are right. And if your faith disagrees all you can do is agree to disagree. I used two examples that only people of faith would make. I've never seen an atheist, agnostic, or skeptical organization take a position against gay or women's rights. I know there are bigoted individual atheists but they don't organize because it is an irrational feeling. The exception of course is communists but I'm with Russell who lumped ideologies with religions. They are both faith based.

I spend a lot of time thinking about how I fit into the social structure. These things change with time but at the moment I find myself it what seems like an odd situation. The best description I can give is "it's complicated." But thinking about that I have to consider the Copernican principle, that the odds are that I'm not in a special position. So that perhaps most people feel their situation is complicated. I simultaneously feel popular and isolated. It's all about the details. Do you feel the same way? I want to know? Is it simple to others? It is just complicated because I see my life in great detail and others in broad outline. Look at a piece of paper. From a distance it's flat and smooth. If you look close you'll see it's a complex weave. I suspect that's what's going on in my life.

Now I know that I don't sit in a special position but I am an outlier on so many things. I think most people would agree that I'm not a product of mass production. I'm several standard deviations from the mean in quite a few dimensions. Not many people make the intake psychologist gasp when they tell their story. And yes most people aren't three time Jeopardy champs. But we all have our ways of being unusual and it still leaves me in the fat part of the curve in other things.

I have time so I'm going to do some prep for class instead of figuring out what to write about here. I don't have to write 1200 words every day.





Annoying People - September 03, 2016
This Play Was The Pits - September 02, 2016
Banking on Getting Better or Avoiding Katastrophe. - September 01, 2016
Unlike Gilligan I Got Off the Island - August 31, 2016
Call of the Wilder - August 30, 2016




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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. Horvendile April 29, 2014
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