We explored a bit about different interpretations (meanings, analyses) in some previous posts. I might post a follow-up later if I have the time.
Now, we’ll move on to discussing /how/ we actually arrive at these meanings.
In the study of knowledge, epistemology (I did last year’s science fair project on that! I got 60% on it!), there are two main ways to acquire knowledge: a priori and a posteriori knowledge. One of these two types of knowledge is the name of someone in Catch-22, and so I vividly remember it due to hours of rolling on the ground laughing at how stupid the name was and how painful rolling on the ground laughing is. I would roll on the ground, laugh, and then laugh at my past self being in pain from rolling on the ground laughing. It was an odd activity.
Anyways, a priori knowledge is things you learn from prior knowledge. For example, knowing that the angles in a triangle add up to 180 degrees, that a right-angle triangle has one 90-degree angle, and that two angles are equal in an isosceles triangle, you know that a right-angled isosceles triangles’ angles are 45 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees.
A posteriori knowledge requires experience. You wouldn’t know who the current King of France is a priori; you would have to find that out (there is no current King of France!). You wouldn’t know whether you could play piano or not before testing it. You wouldn’t know that Life of Pi was a movie about the Life of Pi without knowing that.
The difference is like the difference between physics and math:
physics isn’t useless um, knowledge of physical laws come a posteriori, whereas applications of those laws to situations are a priori knowledge. If you were Helen Keller, you would still be able to receive a priori knowledge, but not as much a posteriori knowledge. Well, Helen Keller did, but she’s HELEN KELLER and you’re not.
So, what does this have to do with meaning?
You see, whenever we experience literature, be it a book, a play, an anime, a long-winded incomprehensible puerile diatribe by racist prepubescent teenagers on YouTube, we experience literature. The knowledge we gain is a posteriori.
But after the experience, when you think about it in your brain, you are acquiring a priori knowledge. This is when you synthesize the experiences you’ve received to form a coherent (or incoherent if you’re like me) picture of the meaning you got from it.
But does this actually count as acquiring new knowledge? Here’s my question to you. Is it possible to acquire all your meanings of literature a priori? What would happen to somebody who never experienced others’ reactions to literature, but only the raw work of art itself?
What’s better? Meaning through self-reflection, or meaning through discussion? You can reflect on this or discuss it; just don’t be too mean.
Life of Pi was a pretty recent film. It’s about the life of a boy, Pi. You may have heard about it; it won the most (four) Academy Awards in 2012. You may have watched it. Don’t worry, there’s no spoilers in this post. Or perhaps there is, if you’re planning to see the film; but if you haven’t yet, there’s a good chance you won’t. The spoilers don’t really spoil anything, since this essay isn’t about Life of Pi, and Life of Pi isn’t about its plot
It’s about its meaning.
I always thought that Life of Pi’s ending was a religious statement—just like believers, the novelist had to have faith in Pi, that his story was true. Although reason and psychology may steer one to believe otherwise, faith transcends both. People who value ‘order’ will automatically believe in the metaphoric story with ‘real’ humans—this denies a whole range of fantastic (in a bad way) possibilities, showing logic’s corrupting influence over the flexibility of faith. Furthermore, faith is unique to each person, as are meanings (interpretations!).
Yet, few seemed to agree. Most posts online simply followed the novelist’s connect-the-dots from ‘actual humans’ to their ‘animal representations’. So too did I think, but something was off, it was too obvious. I mean, in the film itself, the novelist explicitly STATES all of these connections! What kind of serious literary work TELLS you its meaning?
That exposes a preconception in our minds: that serious literary works’ meanings are to be found and not given. This is the notion that leads to ‘overanalysis’, when we ‘think too hard’ about something which has an ‘obvious meaning’.
But how do we find this meaning when nobody agrees? Does one meaning to any literary work actually exist? Do any meanings exist at all?
It’s late, but it’s still Tuesday. Any thoughts?
[Remember this poetry post from thirty years ago? No? Well, neither do I, nor do I remember writing this post, but apparently it was half-finished and I guess I never hit publish? I'll write a more eloquent post with an actual argument later.]
Here’s the second poem I chose to recite, ‘Sweet Like a Crow’.
What do you think of after reading this poem? If you’re tempted to give some lofty appeal about the pointlessness of reality and the audio escapism that postmodern music offers, stop right there.
It’s about the poet’s niece’s HORRIBLE singing.
It is a thing. I procrastinated last week, because I was paralyzed from sickness.
That didn’t turn out too well. We (two people; the third disappeared) crammed our planning project until 1:00 last night. We presented it today without rehearsing, and it turned out OK. Unfortunately, we had to hand in our socials essay notes early—otherwise, it’d be unfair to the people who have to write their essays Monday instead of Thursday.
Unfortunately, I didn’t actually have any notes. But before I could go home and start taking them, we had to finish shooting and dubbing our French film project. It was due last Friday, but we got an extension because I was sick until today.
Filming should’ve taken until 6:00, but the cameraman got the wrong extension cord, and we had to go to his house to finish dubbing. Seven hours later…
…it was 10:00 when I got home. With an entire socials essay to finish researching (including outline, bibliography, and citations!), I wanted to get to work. Instead, I’m writing this post because I’m just too goddamn tired.
Tomorrow, I have to start and finish writing an entire English essay, and study for the science unit test I missed last week. Math midterms is on Thursday. Science Fair is due on Monday, and we haven’t started that either.
See, at this time, I always tell myself: stop procrastinating! Finish all of these as soon as they’re assigned! But whenever I get the ‘don’t procrastinate’ feeling… I’m too busy. I never feel busy when the due dates aren’t rushing up at me. All of these were assigned before winter break; yet, I didn’t start until now.
How do you guys deal with procrastination? Do you just roll with it anyways? I know many students just push everything to the last day, and we end up only mildly unscathed… but it surely isn’t the best way to go about it.
The whole point of this post was to tell you: save some homework-related ramblings I wrote and will publish tomorrow, I’m pretty much dead this week. Expect complete radio silence.
My planning teacher inexplicably bumped me up 0.8% to an A. My math teacher likewise augmented my academic standing 3% to an A.
Today’s topic is grade inflation. THIS IS GRADE INFLATION AND I’M LOVING IT
I WAS JUST WATCHING A YOUTUBE VIDEO TODAY WHEN SUDDENLY THE AD THAT APPEARED WAS FOR INDEX
DISCUSS THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THIS VIOLATION OF PERSONAL SPACE
That ‘says’ is pronounced ‘sez’, as in ‘He says that O-New is slowly dying.’ It’s a pun, alright.
Just wondering: how do you guys use your YouTube accounts, if at all? Vimeo’s another popular video sharing website, which seems to be equally valid as a video-sharing source…
Myself, I upload videos of music to YouTube; as YouTube has the largest audience pool, YouTube videos usually get more views than equivalent videos uploaded to Vimeo, etc. I also subscribe to various music channels on YouTube, so instead of keeping a playlist, I can simply flip through my subscriptions’ recent uploads for convenient (and diverse) homework music.
I’ve seen others use YouTube to post gameplay videos, to upload old music archives, to share (private) videos with friends/family/socials teachers, and even as a blogging vehicle. Indeed, anime blogging seems to be slowly morphing into anime vlogging with all these podcasts and such. (I never listen to podcasts because you can’t skim a podcast…)
Other benefits of YouTube don’t require an account, such as watching videos. Even without a YouTube channel, you may still have a YouTube account (associated with your Google account; iirc it’s automatically made).
So: how do you use YouTube? Why do you use YouTube instead of other video-sharing sites? Finally, and here’s the kicker: what kind of impact do you think YouTube (as opposed to any other video-sharing website) has made on our society?
No, this isn’t a school infotech survey project. I’m just wondering because YouTube is so ubiquitous nowadays – I find myself always watching/listening to at least a video every single day. Is that going a bit to far? I don’t know. You tell me.
There are three things taboo on anime blogs: politics, religion, and manga. The first two for their divisiveness; the last one because otherwise, you’d have an animanga blog.
Why is this?
Firstly, there’s absolutely no reason to talk about politics or religion in a blog that talks about foreign cartoons. You don’t see any Chinese bloggers out there talking about the Senkaku Islands, even though anime come from Japan.
Secondly, I was lying. There are reasons to talk about politics or religion in anime blogs, but you must clearly state those at the posts’ beginning (at least, people must expect it, sometimes by virtue of your site itself). Otherwise, if you thought you were just reading a lighthearted Girls und Panzer post but found yourself dragged into a mire of neo-Nazi propaganda… well, let’s just say that you won’t be going back to that blog anytime soon.
Thirdly, politics and religion divide because they’re ingrained inside us. Our political and religious views are part of our identity. When you say bad things about our political and religious views, you’re saying bad things about us. You’re saying bad things about us. You’re doing a bad thing. You’re a bad person.
Politics and religion ruin good relationships. Somebody may completely ignore you if you reveal your political standpoint. You could become an object of ridicule. In a way, politics and religion are like being a girl on the Internet – you hide your identity from people because you’re scared of their reactions, but you shouldn’t have to hide these things. However, politics and religion apply to everybody.
I’m wondering if anybody would be interested if O-New took political questions into You Say Tuesdays – not questions like ‘Do you think Obama deserved to win?’ but things like ‘What kind of impact do harem anime have on Japan’s ongoing sexism?’. Really, politics is the most interesting conversational topic ever. There are so many things to say, things to hear, things to consider and things to learn about. Politics offers a limitless supply of intellectual and informative discussion and debate.
Of course, there will be limits. I never moderate non-spambot comments, but the potential for flaming and frustration will rise up to eleven. Thus, if we ever do this, I will require all comments be relevant (to either the post itself or the comment being replied to), clean (every single objectionable word, including ‘crap’ and ‘darn’, will be censored), and involve no ad hominem attacks whatsoever. If the atmosphere ever escalates to verbal blows, I will lock the thread.
Who’d be interested in this?
Welcome to another You Say Tuesday, where the power is in your hands to make a difference (in O-New’s comment count) by arguing against my incredibly biased claims.
All you have to do is click a button; you don’t even need to think of anything witty or insightful. Just click a button and you’ll have boosted my self-esteem to moderate levels after a crushing math test blow.
Now imagine if, by pushing a button, you could stop a warlord. Yes, a real life warlord – a warlord who’s forcibly recruited over 100,000 child soldiers and sex slaves over the past 26 years. How? It’s simple: by sharing a video, you ‘raise awareness’ of these horrible atrocities, allowing you to lobby the United States government or the Ugandan military to send military forces into the region, apprehending Joseph Kony.
Welcome to another You Say Tuesday. Instead of focusing on all of my wonderful uneducated rambles, today’s post is about you. And your valuable comments. Together, we might be able to solve an amaranthine problem that has haunted countless generations of netizens and Fox News reporters alike.
What makes fandoms creepy?
I’m suddenly one of those not-so-mysterious transfer students in school now. With new students come new relationships, but you can’t be friends with somebody you don’t know. So, the school organizes mandatory social welcoming events.
Think back to the first day of high school. You might’ve known a dozen people from your elementary if you came to high school together. You might’ve known nobody if you were attending a special program. Regardless, there are new people to meet, and the duration of September seemed like the essence of awkwardness.
But was it really?
I shrug these icebreaking events off as cheesy and forced. We spent full yesterday outside meeting new people (it should’ve been a three-day camp, but in today’s economy…), and I was unimpressed at first. Arriving at school forty minutes early to… play a game of chain tag? Run around poking people’s backs? I didn’t know anyone, and was loathe to link faces to names – it took me fifteen months to memorize az’s full name, and after five years, I still don’t know hourai’s.
Yet, at the end, it somehow worked out. Despite forgetting names, I knew they were friendly. Comrades, if you will, comrades in the fight towards university. The awkwardness was dispelled not by the activities’ amusement, but by the activities’ stupidity and our shared contempt of those puerile events. By late afternoon, we were united not by fun, but by groans of disdain. A collective dejected sigh was unceasing during the events.
What about you guys? How do you break the ice with others? Do you go straight up handshake-style and introduce yourself to random strangers in the halls? Do you sit back and wait for people to talk to you (hah, not likely)? Do you just only hang out with people you already know?
The difference between real life introductions and Internet introductions is also interesting, although similarities exist, such as my shouting in all caps and being extremely obnoxious. What do you guys think of that (of the difference, not of my obnoxiousness)?
Reflecting on previous animanga postings on O-New, I’ve realized a stunning fact.
I’ve not watched any anime for more than a month.
No, not more than a month. A year ago, I would watch at least five, six shows in any given season. It’s been more than a year since I ever watched more than three shows at once. When I comment on your Kokoro Connect posts, when I talk about Joshiraku, or proofread Yuru Yuri posts, I actually haven’t seen the show. I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. The only two shows I know are Sword Art Online and Horizon.
No, this post won’t continue to be about me: it’ll be about you. You see, even having not watched anime for a month, and having not read manga for six times that, I still somehow interact with the aniblog community. Really, interacting with the community is something I have not ever stopped doing. This leads into an obvious conclusion:
It’s more fun to talk with the community than to watch anime.
“What the fuck?!” you guys are thinking, “That’s like joining the student council so that you can talk to friends!”
Let’s see whether this is really something out of the norm. Here’s an experiment: don’t watch any anime/read any manga for exactly one week. Record your feelings. Then, don’t interact with the community at all for another week (you can still watch anime, just don’t read any twitter, blogs, irc, videos, podcasts, whatever). Disconnect your Internet or something. Record your feelings.
Are they different? Are they positive feelings? Are they negative feelings? Which one is more intense?
Would you rather participate unknowingly in the community, or watch anime alone?
It’s your say.
P.S. Distribute this to others if you find it interesting. I’m expecting zero participants and one fervent rebuttal as the lone comment. If you ruin my expectations I’ll have to ex-pectate you.
P.P.S. ‘Ex-pectate’ means ‘to remove the pectoralis major muscle from’.
“Wait just a minute!” you won’t exclaim, because you don’t know who’s writing this post. “Mushyrulez is on vacation! And Mushyrulez is writing this post!”
That’s patently untrue, as Mushyrulez is not writing this post; Mushyrulez has written this post. Before he went on his cruise to control. I mean, his caps to lock. My caps to lock. I don’t know.
It’s time for another You Say Tuesday. “What are those!?” you won’t exclaim, because you’re gone. My answer: I don’t even know…
This week, it’s time for a challenge. What’s the challenge?
Write one poem. Every day. For a week.
Who’s doing the challenge?
Probably nobody besides me. I call it ‘Rainbow Poetry’ because these seven poems will each be based around an emotion and a colour, but if anybody else wants to participate, feel free to write any number of poems about any number of things. Feel free to not write any poems at all! You won’t really be participating, but… y’know, it’s the thought that counts (not really).
I’m doing this because there’s been a horrid dearth of posts for the past seventy years, and these seven poems will be just enough to fill up a week at O-New. Furthermore, colours are beautiful and I’ve never explored literary colour before (compared to visual colour and musical colour), so this will be a cool experience. Finally, on my cruise, I’ve nothing to do but to think, and… why not think poetry?
So it’s decided. Furthermore, ’cause restraints promote creativity, I’m restraining myself to 140 words a poem. It’s not too short, not too long, and I can make some unrelated reference to twitter now.
I’ll summarize this post up with my seven poems next week. Will I actually post poems while on my cruise? No. Will I come up with one poem every day? …I’ll probably write them all next Tuesday. WHATEVER, ENJOY YOUR NON-MUSHY O-NEW
Last night (rather, this morning), AdjectiveRecoil divulged a surprisingly profound story concept:
[00:17:59] AdjectiveRecoil: It also involves AIs.
[00:17:59] AdjectiveRecoil: But they don’t know they’re AIs.
[00:18:03] AdjectiveRecoil: They think they’re real people.
[00:18:23] AdjectiveRecoil: And then suddenly, it is revealed to them that their entire world, their entire existence, has been a computer simulation.
[00:18:32] AdjectiveRecoil: And it’s about to be turned off.
[00:18:48] AdjectiveRecoil: Kind of like the Matrix.
[00:18:57] AdjectiveRecoil: Except that it’s not people, but machines we’re talking about.
[00:19:09] AdjectiveRecoil: And they want to exist.
[00:19:28] AdjectiveRecoil: So the dilemma comes up: are they real people, or just machines?
[00:19:34] AdjectiveRecoil: And do they deserve to live?
[00:19:41] AdjectiveRecoil: Or can they just be switched off?
[00:20:01] AdjectiveRecoil: Also, they can be very human, because they’re programmed to think and act human.
And so, today, I’d like to ask you all: would you be interested in this story? Has anybody written something similar to this before? What was the short story called? The whole ‘machines so complex they’re humans’ must have been written about somewhere, right?
a.k.a.: having no posts to write is sufferin’
Edit: OK, I remember the film giving me intense déjà vu around this concept: Moon, about a clone who thinks he’s a real human because he was implanted with human memories. They’re not machines, but it’s close…
Edit 2: Another has suggested the Thirteenth Floor, about [SPOILERS] a person and his conflicts with a virtual reality world, only to find out that his own ‘real’ world is also virtual, and that he himself is just an artificial creation, or something.
Edit 3: The Island is also about clones who think they’re actually human; however, their perception of life is woefully lacking, as they have no memories of their past, unlike in Moon.
Edit 4: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Do_Androids_Dream_of_Electric_Sheep%3F, and its film adaptation, Blade Runner, deal with sentient robots, including one who believes she’s human due to implanted memories. However, the robots only have a four-year lifespan, most are aware that they’re robots, and they generally lack empathy (allowing them to be distinguished from humans by some sort of futuristic polygraph test). Nevertheless, the main character has many problems distinguishing between real people and androids, so…
He ate us? No, he didn’t.
Today’s Tuesday, and it’s time for You Say Tuesdays. I’m not supposed to say anything (besides, I don’t say things here, I type words words words) other than provide the topic for discussion.
The topic for discussion this Tuesday is: should I come back from this stupid twitter/skype-hiatus thing
(That is to say, sorry guys, I’ve been bad with posts lately. DON’T WORRY I’ll have time to post after my piano exams are over and before school st-oh wait, I’m going on a cruise to Alaska then. Haha. Hah.)