Thursday, March 17, 2005

Useless Pastimes

Now, I never intend any offense to those who practice what I consider to be useless pastimes, and this time is no different, it's just that I need a place to rant guessed it...Philosophy. Specifically SYMBOLIC LOGIC.

I have 2 hours to complete the third assignment, which is an exercise in torture when it's really supposed to be an exercise in translating English into Predicate Logic. I've done 11 of 20 questions so far, and I'm certain I've done at least 5 wrong. The 9 questions that are waiting are going to cause my brain to go into nuclear meltdown mode, and hey, this is the EASY stuff when it comes to Predicate Logic. We started to talk about the Magic Circles last class, and I swear to gawd, I was so close to crying it was scary. So I'm terrified of going to class tonight.

But my big question is...WHY THE FUCK WOULD SOMEONE SIT AROUND DOING THIS STUFF???!?!? And what sick fuck in the university hierarchy thought to themselves, 'Hey, you know, this stuff would be a good course to teach ARTS students!' I mean geezuz people! As a person hoping to go into a career in politics and diplomacy, I question the validity of having to learn some of this content...just when in my career will I be called upon to practice Truth Tables and use the rules of Natural Derivations on a semi-regular basis? Just as, I'm sure, a Computing Science student questions having to study the works of Joseph Conrad, I question why some people got bored, decided to ponder a symbolic language, and then determined that it was required for a university degree.

Fuck. Back to work.

PS: Happy Green day


At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Chris Hubick said...

So, I managed to stay on the SCIENCE half of campus for most of my university career. But eventually, I was forced to confront what I had put off for years... the looming Humanities credit I needed. Just walking over to the Arts side of campus gave me the heeby jeebies! Back on the half where I was from, things made sense - Predicate or Lambda Calculus, NO PROBLEM, because it was all black and white, 1 or 0, you were either right, or you were wrong, and you could PROVE it. You knew where you stood, none of this 'I might fail cuz the prof doesn't like my opinion' BS. The arts half of campus is like a foreign planet, full of postmordern emo turtleneck wearing superficial people who take anal retentive notes with a ruler and multi-colored pens. When there is no substance to your classes, taking cute notes is all you have. That's what scared me the most - the pointlessness of it **ALL**! I mean, WHO THE FUCK WOULD SIT AROUND AND MEMORIZE ALL THAT BULLSHIT!! 99% of this crap you can just look up in a book! There is no *understanding* required for any of it! A bloody trained monkey could regurgitate the piles of BS tought in Arts. Do I care what dumb fuck dead guys hypothetical platform on stupid irrelevant-in-the-modern-world issue was? NO!!! In what kind of job would you ever need to know that? These kids are all training for careers as ACADEMICS! Because, you guessed it, the artificial world of 'acadamia' is the only place they are even slightly relevant! Better not venture out into the real world, where about all you have the skills for is 'want fries with that?' Oh well... at least the rest of us on the science half of campus can make it in the real world. That, and when we actually have to *understand* something once in a while, we don't WHINE ENDLESSLY about it ;) ;P

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Fancy C. Poitras said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Fancy C. Poitras said...

1. You spelled 'Taught' wrong...I guess the ARTS side of campus didn't teach you spelling :p

2. Rod says that you actually *did* end up whining

3. MOST IMPORTANT: Business *is* on the ARTS side of campus

PS: Loser(?)

At 1:09 PM, Anonymous olaf said...

The point, my dears, is not that either side of the debate is irrelevant in the "real world", but that these courses teach us to think and engage the world in different ways -- some are more suited to academia, some to business realms, and some in between -- all have relevance. Symbolic logic helps one to evaluate and interrogate the truth statements and arguments others put forward -- a most useful skill in diplomacy and politics. That is it difficult and challenging is precisely its value, but the benefit is that it will enable you to slice through complicated and meaningless political rhetoric and get directly to the heart of the argument (you mentioned this yourself a few blog entries ago). Additionally, the university doesn't just make a decision willy-nilly regarding course requirements and the planning and debate involved in constructing undergrad programs is immense, that symbollic logic is offered is because a great many people thought that you would benefit by it.


At 4:08 PM, Blogger Gail said...

In defense of Arts programs, I have to say that Science is very well-situated in the category called "99% of this crap you can just look up in a book". So, memorising taxonomy is going to get you far in the "real world", huh?

I can't believe I'm responding to a troll.

It would be interesting to see if he thinks it's also possible to make a career in the sciences without "BS" subjects like ethics. Unless he plans to never leave his work cubicle, there's more to life than 1 and 0.

At 7:41 PM, Blogger Fancy C. Poitras said...


Gail, Chris and I have been playing out this argument for about, what...7 years I guess. It's just one of our "fun" little debates that plays itself out randomly.

He does see the world in more Black and White terms than in shades of grey, but that's what we've come to expect. Keeps us on our toes.

But fuck I love your spunk!

At 9:37 PM, Blogger Gail said...

Well Jesus H. Christ! Now I'd *LOVE* to know what you deleted at 10:35!

At 7:53 AM, Blogger Fancy C. Poitras said...

Actually, it was the list of items in response to Chris's comment, but Rod wanted me to add the Loser part and you can't edit comments, so I just deleted and repeated.

At 12:51 PM, Blogger Akaky said...

logic is cool, i think, nothing like a good syllogism or sorites to get the blood pumping in the morning.

1. All children hate dentists
2. No penguins are dentists
therefore, all children love penguins.

i love the smell of syllogism in the morning, it smells like...victory. someday this post will be over...


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