Saturday, February 24, 2007


Everyone likes winning arguments with good, sparkly-clean logic. Like a beautiful Paul Morphy chess game, it’s something that pleases you not only as you execute the victory, but also brings a smile to your face every time you think about it later. Indeed, there’s nothing like a fine logical victory. Nothing, that is, except for one other thing -- an fine ILLOGICAL victory!

“Trust me”, fighting logic with illogic is the funnest thing in the world! You can watch the other person try to reason, convince, argue, yank-hair-out-in-frustration, beat-head-against-wall, and then finally gnaw-arm-off-and-club-self-to-death-with-it, while you sputter forth one illogical riposte after another. And then you experience a warm feeling of tingly pleasure spreading all over your body, because you’ve not only won, but you’ve won by knockout! (A recently conducted survey concluded that 96.43% of the people who love to argue using illogic are also sadists.)

Of course, you can’t just throw in any illogic. It has to be good quality, exasperatingly frustrating, mind-fugging illogic. For that you have to be an illogical expert. You need plenty of experience in this field. You need to hone your skills and master your craft for many years, until you can finally make your opponents try to suffocate themselves to death in exasperation.

To help all you folks get started, I shall present here some gems of illogic that I’ve been blessed to hear about in the past year. No doubt, the purveyor of each of them is an expert in the art -- a veritable pundit, if you may. We can only bow down to such brilliance and try to pick up a few pointers for ourselves.

So without further ado:-


1. “Who's to say that one month is a short time and 10 years is a long
time? Who's to say?? Who's to say???”

2. “I choose not to tell you!”

3. “Things change, people change, I changed...”

4. “Why take the first step when the tenth step is not desirable?”

5. “Everything doesn’t have a reason.”

6. “You can’t argue some things with logic.”

Okay, fine. The last one actually makes sense. A LOT of sense.

(The post above is filled with in-jokes and probably didn’t make any sense to you. If you even understand any of it, you have my utmost sympathies. The list was compiled by a friend. I take no credit in its making. [Ir]Regular blogging will resume from tomorrow. Thank you and good night!)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Lenten Abstinences

Apparently, yesterday was Ash Wednesday. I say “apparently” because I’m not even very sure about whether it was or wasn’t, and I’m really too lazy to check. In other words, we’re currently in the season of Lent. (In case you didn’t know, it comes from the Old English word for “length”, because it was felt that it just SO darned long!)

Now, I’m fairly nonreligious. I’d call myself an atheist, but frankly I’m too lazy to bother. No points for guessing that I don’t go to church, and I don’t plan to indulge myself in any pious acts of abstinence either over the coming few weeks. Good reasons for giving up something I like, for a month, might include the following:

1. I get paid handsomely to do it
2. I get smothered to death by a REALLY fat lady sitting on me if I don’t do it
3. The cool kids around the block are already doing it.

I do not rank “some guy with a beard in the sky, who may or may not exist, will be pleased” as sufficient reason for abstinence from something that I derive pleasure out of. Neither does “the Bible says so” count. The thought of going to hell for not following such stuff scared me for a while until I realized that hell can’t be much worse than driving home from work in the evening traffic. And I’ve managed to survive that thus far.

I guess there are two things you need to keep in mind when you’re selecting something to abstain from. Firstly, it needs to be something you like doing. Promising to abstain from doing the dishes isn’t going to win you brownie points with any God, I’d tend to believe. Secondly, it’s got to be something that you do fairly regularly during the rest of the year. Thus, saying “I’m going to abstain from having sex with all blonde, West Indian females named Fufou” would be equally useless.

I think Lenten abstinences are actually quite like New Year’s resolutions only the term’s shorter. Forty days instead of the rest of your life. Unless you’re a diabetic octagenarian, with a weak heart and cancer of the lungs, or a civilian in Baghdad, in either which case “the rest of your life” can probably be measured in minutes, forty days is probably the shorter period. In fact, I’m pretty sure most New Year’s resolutions are already broken by the time Lent comes around, and are then just recycled as Lenten abstinences. It saves people the trouble of having to think of a new “resolution” to break.

What are you going to staying away from this Lent?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Customary Annual Rant

Happy Valentwhine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Con Jobs That Are Good For You

I’ve always been a big fan of fooling people for their own good. Deciding exactly what is “good” for someone is a tricky issue at best. I might think eating snails for breakfast everyday is good for you. You might disagree. And I’m pretty sure the World Committee for the Welfare of Snails would mind too, but it’d probably take them a couple of years to decide.

Ultimately, most people like making their decisions themselves. Most of the time I think this is a good idea. There are times, though, when I feel more can be achieved by fooling people. For example, like this. Here’s another idea.

You know how they have battery indicators on electronic devices? My cell phone, for example, has a line of bars on the side of the screen. When it’s completely charged there are six bars, and as it discharges, the bars keep disappearing. Zero bars left means that the battery’s done. IPods and other devices have similar indicators.

Now I’ve noticed that I tend to ignore charging the phone if there are at least three bars left. If there are two bars present, I tend to look for a socket somewhere. If there’s one bar remaining, I’d probably shove the damned cord up a passer-by’s ass and hope for a miracle. In other words, I only think about charging the phone when the battery’s on its last legs.

My point is that the indicator should not reduce linearly. The first four bars to vanish on my phone should represent less than four-sixths of the battery life. About 50% seems like a good figure. By assigning roughly half the battery life to the last two bars, the chances of my phone going dead when I don’t expect it are considerably reduced.

A similar job could be done on the fuel indicators in cars. I suppose I could just force myself to fill my motor-cycle tank before the needle actually hits “E”, but I know I’m not going to. I sometimes need people to con me for my own good.

I’m fairly certain this is already being done, at least with charging devices. The only reason it’s kept a secret is so that it actually works!