>the identity of indiscernibles

>its snowing/icing/raining/sleeting/nasty outside and I’m pretty much stuck at home, so excuse the multiple updates in one day. not that i don’t sometimes do that already, i just have an excuse today.

i did my first reading assignment for my Theories of Knowledge and Reality class on Friday evening. yes, i was at home reading about philosophy on Friday night. feel free to make fun of me for being lame. my pathetic social life aside, the selection i was supposed to read was out of the book Metaphysics: An Anthology. really really interesting stuff. hopefully the other 700 pages or whatever continue to be equally as intriguing.

the basic question the selection proposed was whether or not two objects can be truly identical in every way. i love thinking about ridiculous and confusing and relatively meaningless questions like that to begin with, so i was hooked before i even opened the book. i was also really encouraged because the majority of the arguments mentioned in the book were the exact ones i’d mulled over in my head before even starting the selection. i actually felt smart.

in the case of this question, as well as similar ones, my gut instinct is to be skeptical of both answers. because the motivation for such a question is solely to get you to think and struggle with answers. but my initial and final answers in this case were the same: i don’t believe it to be possible.

my favorite reasoning is that even if two objects were physically 100% identical, they could never be 100% identical relationally. if you have two objects, a and b, they cannot be in the same place, otherwise they would be just one object, so they must be varying distances from any object c (unless, of course, object c was on the two dimensional plane centered between the objects a and b). for example, imagine i lay the two objects on my “desk” in front of me (anyone who has seen my room knows why desk is in quotes). if i lay them side by side and pick a third object in the room, say my lamp, and were to measure each object’s distance from that lamp they wouldn’t be the same. (the line between the two represents the center plane between the objects.)


object B is clearly farther from the lamp than object A, and thus, in relation to the lamp, they are different. so the only way for them to be entirely identical relationally would be if 1) they were the only two objects in the universe or 2) if everything that happened on one side of the center plane was perfectly mirrored on the opposite side, so if a banana was to the left of A then an identical banana would have to be the same distance away to the right of B. but since neither situation exists then it is not possible.

but even if, lets say, they did exist, neither of those are even possible. both for weird strange reasons, but for reasons that make sense.

reason 1 (or the “only two items in the universe” theory): lets say the universe really does only exist of these two floating objects. first of all we could never label them “object A” and “object B” because then the labeler has made a distinction between them and, therefore, they aren’t identical. the one on the observer’s left is A and the one on the observer’s right is B, that is a difference already. also, they could never been viewed at all. because the moment i see the two objects, then i am in the universe as well and the two are now are different relationally from me.

now you might say “well sure ap. but what if you’re on the center plane?” well, my friend, that would mean that my entire left side would be identical to my right side. i would be ambidextrus, yes, but more importantly to this post, one side of my body would be mirrored to the other. thus, two hearts and two stomachs or two livers and two gall bladders (depending on which side of me was mirrored). that just doesn’t make sense, nor would that work.

but even if we were biologically symmetrical and could view these two objects without screwing up the whole universe, we wouldn’t ever be allowed to close our eyes or divert our sight from the objects ever. because once we did that there would be know way of knowing which object was which when you came back to look at it. A and B could’ve switched, and without knowing which object is which there can be no comparison.

reason 2 (or the “hugely infinite mirror between the objects” theory): the only way this would work is if the objects on the A side had no knowledge of the objects on the B side and vice versa. otherwise you could say that relationally object B is farther from any object c on the object A side, and vice versa.

assuming that to be the case, the objects would never be able to cross the center plane. once they started leaving one side they would start appearing on the other side. there would be morphing and overlapping and all sorts of of wack going on. but even if both of those scenarios were true, then you have two different universes both without the knowledge of the other and with no connection with the other. so how can anyone ever know that there are two objects in the first place? without the knowledge of the other object there can be no comparison.

and besides. even with all these ridiculous assumptions and scenarios, we live in a universe that is not the ones listed above, so whatever. let me know your thoughts.


>Children of Men

>i saw Children of Men last night at the wonderful and regularly overpopulated Seth Childs Carmike Cinema last night. it was really interesting. the movie is set in the year 2027, and, apparently, women have been infertile since the year 2009. the movie starts out with a news program about how the youngest human on earth has died; he was 18 years and 4 months old.

this movie is the most intense film i’ve seen recently. it has a little saving-private-ryan-esque quality about it near the end. yes, i’m serious. thats how intense this movie gets. it seems ridiculous, but lets be honest, if our world all of a sudden couldn’t reproduce and the end of our civilization was inevitable i think things would get rather wild.

a war has broken out. the movie is set in England, but one must assume that the entire world is in utter chaos. England has closed its borders and the British government is attempting to wipe out all of the illegal immigrants in the country. the war is a civil one between the government and a group of “terrorists” in support of a thing called the Human Project. we never really find out what goes on in the Human Project, but we are led to believe that it is the hope of the world, yet there is curiosity as to whether or not it even exists.

Theo (Clive Owen) is called upon by the leader of the terrorist group Julian (Julianne Moore) to help transport an African American girl to the Human Project. initially the entire task seems confusing and overly dramatic to Theo until he finds out the urgency of the situation and the importance of this woman: she is pregnant. Theo takes on the task of transporting the girl himself. They can’t trust the government or the terrorist group, both of them will want to use the baby for political purposes.

this film is creepy, scary, intense, and amazing all at the same time. i’m trying to figure out whether or not i was a huge fan of it. a movie really has to be bad for me not to like it or for me not to at least come away with a slight sense of joy because of it. but i’d say on a scale from 1 to 10…probably a 7. it was really good but the action was over the top. it never stopped either, constant explosions/gunshots/deaths. a very graphic movie – apparently there are so many people dying that they dont give anyone proper burials anymore, so regularly throughout the movie you see huge piles of charred and burning bodies. pitch black arms and legs sticking out of the mangled mess of flesh. sick.

if you’re not a wiener and you can handle some serious intensity then i’d recommend seeing this movie at some point. its a really interesting idea in the least. at one point you see a curbside prophet on a pair of stilts screaming into a megaphone about how “God has taken his greatest gift from us.” a really cool line i think. in today’s society we have a tendency to view sex as a sinful act because of how inappropriately it is manifested in the lives of humanity, but in reality it is an amazing and beautiful thing, and without it we couldn’t survive as a people.

oh man. there is one part when Theo clocks a dude in the face with some 10 pound metal box of some sort and a collective “OHH!” resounded throughout the theater. it was awesome.

anyway, like i said, i give it a 7.


and since every post must have a “ps”, if you are in a movie with three punks from ft. riley three rows behind you talking constantly about how ‘f-ing gay this movie is’ and how it is ‘the worst f-ing movie [they’ve] ever seen’ then you should turn around and do something about it. throw a Jujube at them or something (but not a red one. those are the only flavor worth the trouble of tonguing out of your teeth). i didn’t do anything and it nearly ruined the movie for me.

>i dont know much about computers…

>a little background: if you haven’t seen/discovered/been told about the g.i. joe videos online then you should check them out. it will help you appreciate the the song/video i’m about to share with you. here is a link to an entire list of these types of videos…but if you’ve seen these please read on. actually, read on regardless, but if you don’t quite get the video, well, thats why.

what they’ve done is taken all the old public service announcements that used to air after the g.i. joe cartoons on tv and over-dubbed ridiculous things to the video. so when they used to say things like “dont talk to strange dogs” and teach little kiddos important messages, but now they say “stop all the downloading.”

anyways. my buddy, paul, and i got together and decided to remix the over dubbings and turn them into some sick beats. hopefully we’ll do a handful of them, but the first one we did was the don’t talk to stray dogs one. go here to watch it.

and now what i really am wanting to post on this site: the final product. the remix itself. the song took paul and i a couple nights to do. we took the tune the kid hums at the beginning and made it the melody. i think it turned out real great – my favorite part is definitely when we cut and spliced the tangent the kid goes on at the end of the video into a tight rap breakdown. let me know what you think. here it is:

props to ben hollon for putting the video together.


>Review/Top 10: Heavier Things

>if you’re someone who actually frequents my blog on a regular basis (might be three of you) you are already fully aware that i picked up “Heavier Things” over Christmas break. in this post i expressed my regret for not accepting John Mayer as an exceptional artist years ago. i stubbornly refused to like his stuff. i dissed on him childishly saying his vocals were too breathy and sensual. in retrospect i realize i was just too immature to appreciate him. (sounds like we’re in a relationship. eh. we kinda are.)

but anyways, that view has obviously changed in the last few weeks. so much, in fact, that i am prepared to do another lil review. i’m not going into detail about each track, but i think i’ll rank the songs in order of my likeness (either first to last or last to first – i haven’t decided how i’ll do it yet – probably last to first, more dramatic and i think it more successfully highlights songs individual songs). but i will refer to it as the “Top 10” because just because song number ten is song number ten doesnt make it the worst on the cd. it just makes it the 10th best. thats how i roll at least – optimism and positive vibes. ready break.

(10) 6. home life
(9) 7. split screen sadness
(8) 2. bigger than my body
(7) 3. something’s missing
(6) 4. new deep
(5) 9. only heart
(4) 10. wheel
(3) 1. clarity
(2) 8. daughters
(1) 5. come back to bed

granted this “top 10” might shift and adjust as i continue to live off this album, these are the current AP Rankings, though the Coaches’ Poll might read differently (i’m so clever).


ps: i’d also like to take this post to recommend The Beatles saucy remix cd “Love” it is the other musical masterpiece i’ve been thriving on as of late. apparently the dude that used to mix all the Beatles old stuff decided to break out all the master tapes and throw together some genius. i was skeptical when i first heard about it (“how many albums can they put out after they’re done?”) but this one is great and worth a listen. or even a lot of listens. so so great.

>alveolar osteitis.

>so i got my wisdom teeth pulled on friday morning, and so far i’ve had no problems whatsoever. no swelling, very minimal pain, and i quit bleeding after a couple hours. i am, however, unbelievably paranoid that something will start hurting/go wrong.

it is four days after surgery and my stitches have already dissolved/fallen out and i just have big holes in the back of my mouth now. everything is probably all kosher and good, but it is just such a strange feeling that i can’t help but wonder if everything is going according to plan. but i imagine that if something was wrong then i’d truly know it. so i’m safe to assume, for now, that there is nothing wrong.

i’m wary of these things called dry sockets (or for you dental freaks, alveolar osteitis). apparently they are an common post-surgery issue with wisdom teeth extraction. wikipedia says it “occurs when the blood clot at the site of a tooth extraction is disrupted prematurely.” i’m not sure what that looks like in my mouth though. i’ve just got a big hole back there and thats it, but wikipedia also says that it is “often extremely unpleasant for the patient, as symptoms include extreme pain (sometimes worse than the toothache that indicated the extraction), a foul taste, bad breath, and swelling in the infected area. There may be lymph-node involvement.” i have no pain. my mouth tastes of its usual lovliness, and i assure you, my lymph-nodes are in no way involved. and i’m not even on pain meds. i don’t need those. please. i’m a man.

i’ve been cautious and responsible about it though. jimmy eat world might say i’ve “done nothing wrong” and green day might ask “am i just paranoid, or am i just stoned?”

thanks guys, being stoned is of equal importance as lymph-nodes for me.


>Review: Jay-Z – Kingdom Come

>Jay-Z officially returned from retirement on November 21, 2006, which, coincidentally, was the first day of Thanksgiving Break for yours truly. So I woke up at 9 AM on the 21st and made my first purchase ever at the Best Buy in Manhattan, Kansas: Shawn Carter’s latest work, “Kingdom Come”. I had a 2 hour drive home to KC to allow Jay’s new work sink in (an amount of time i have discovered is necessary to allot if you are ever to truly appreciate and understand an artist. if you want to tackle a cd – drive to Manhattan – you’ll have nothing else to do but dwell on the tunes and make fun of Topeka.)

upon my first listen, i wasn’t terribly impressed. i think i came into it expecting “The Black Album” and that isn’t exactly what i got. “TBA” is clearly one of the best rap albums put out in recent years, and, lets be honest, is hard to top. Jay-Z doesn’t top it in this album, however, this turned out to be exceptional. its not wrong. just different.

1. The Prelude – this first track was shocking. strings and horns and not a lot of groove…on the first track! not gonna lie Jay, but this was a weak album opening. maybe he wanted to start it off on a slow note and work into track 2, but by the 1:15 mark i’m ready to move on to track 2, and about 95% of the time i don’t even listen to The Prelude anymore. i mean, its not a bad track, but it isn’t what i expect and love out of S. Carter.

2. Oh My God – this is more like the Jay i expect. lots of noise and lots of movement out of yours truly. i thought i was going to bust a hole in the dashboard the first time i heard this track. the cymbals go off and it pretty much forces me to do the same. Good Lord. some of the lyrics are weak, i think at least. He actually throws down some Kanye West rhyme early in the track. “if this is your first time hearing this, you’re ’bout to experience some(one) so cold” is the first phrase of the song “We Don’t Care” off “College Dropout”. fun fact for the moment. i like this song, for sure, one of my favorites on the album.

3. Kingdom Come – Jay throws down some serious Hammertime on this song. the keyboard during the verses is straight out of MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This”, it’s just spiced up a bit. okay, actually a lot. I’m a fan of this song too. Again, not the same as “TBA”, it’s a different Jay-Z but i do like it. i think he just puts down more beats and puts less emphasis on the lyrics. The chorus in this song leaves a bit to be desired as fas as i’m concerned, but the keyboard chords during the verses more than makes up for it – plus at 1:39ish he actually says “can’t touch this”. big fan. i did an audio doubletake the first time i heard it – i knew i could place the beat, but i couldn’t figure it out until then, but once i heard it i immediately rewound it 30 seconds and did it again.

4. Show Me What You Got – the single. this song probably got more media than any other this year. between the Budweiser commercials for it and the 9 million internet ads i’ve seen for it i’d say Jay’s gotten this track out to the public rather effectively. though i like the song, i’m not sure how i feel about the video. the video opens and features Danica Patrick racing Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jay-Z through Monaco (which is the second smallest nation on earth after the Vatican). the rest of the video is tight, but i’m not gonna lie, when i think about Jay-Z saying “show me what you got lil mama” i did not picture Danica Patrick (not that she isn’t beautiful, she is, i just more expected…i dunno…Beyonce) nor did i picture Dale Earnhardt Jr. anywhere in the mix (he and his lame-o Wrangler tight jeans commercials. not a huge fan.) but anyway speaking of tight, this song is. a terrific song for Jay-Z to announce his comeback with. love the “and wave” parts. the rest of the video is awesome. here it is: http://youtube.com/watch?v=qopwiGItevI

5. Lost One (feat. Chrisette Michele) – there are a couple songs on this album that are surprisingly low key and are flirting with rhythm and blues. the next two tracks are both examples of this. i especially like the end of the first verse – Shawn starts talking about how “fame is the worst drug known to man”. it is encouraging to hear things like that from a wealthy entrepreneur like Jay-Z. if i were Jay-Z i’d be so full of myself, thats for sure. This song is a winner though.

6. Do You Wanna Ride (feat. John Legend) – John Legend can give any song some serious soul, and this song is no exception. This is a song, much like track 5, that rides the rap/r&b fence for sure. Man. John Legend is just so great. thats all i have to say about this song. just sit back and enjoy the ride cause it is smooooth.

7. 30 Something – this song makes me laugh. Jay-Z is trying to convince everyone that he’s still awesome even though he’s in his 30’s. I find this funny for a number of reasons: first, what is it with rappers and having to explain themselves? eminem is the worst about it. i think he’s great, but half his songs are all about the fact that he’s controversial and why. i dont get it, but Jay-Z decided to do that here. I’m thirty and a millionaire and grown up and mature, basically. he goes on and on about how he used to be versus how he is now. he’s still Shawn. he’s got “good credit and such.” oh, and secondly, i just think its funny that Jay-Z has to let people know he’s awesome. i mean c’mon. Jay-Z will be awesome til he dies, he doesn’t need to prove himself.

8. I Made It – just in case we weren’t aware, Jay-Z made it big. his mom should be proud of him because he’s from Brooklyn and he made something great of himself. it’s a decent song, but it’s got the same message as a bunch of his songs: even a poor kid from NYC can make it big – a good message, but seriously Jay, get some more material. that harsh, but i kinda feel that way. a typical number 8 track – weak and unconnected to the beginning or the end. the mid/late tracks fall off sharply.

9. Anything (feat. Usher & Pharrell) – this is just too much usher and pharrell – this is not the Shawn Carter of old. this song is more like “Usher and Pharrell featuring Jay-Z. Again though, these aren’t necessarily bad tracks, just not what i expected.

10. Hollywood (feat. Beyonce Knowles) – i must admit, i really like this song. probably because i honestly like Beyonce’s sound, but i really like the beat too. There’s this part at the beginning when Beyonce sings something and then Jay-Z repeats it in his own tighter-sounding words: “come to my place (come to the crib) and we’ll discuss it (lets chop it up)”. haha. lovin it. the chorus makes me feel like i just hopped out of a limo onto the red carpet. lights. camera. hollywood. i’m a fan of this track.

11. Trouble – what a club beat this little diddy is. grind on folks.

12. Dig a Hole (feat. Sterling Simms) – go ‘head, bury yourself. this song and the one preceding it land in the roll-up-in-an-escalade-with-spinners category.

13. Minority Report (feat. Ne-Yo) – this song is devastating. it’s about Hurricane Katrina’s effect on the slums in the Gulf Area. it is a cry out from Jay-Z regarding how poorly the situation was handled in New Orleans, it is critical of the government and leaves off with Kanye West’s rather controversial comment to the press saying that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” hopefully and most likely that is not the case, however, the argument is sung beautifully and forcefully: it seems like no one even cares about the many people (predominantly black) in our very own country left homeless in the aftermath of Katrina. many audio clips of the refugees are used and it really hurts to hear. our government ought to be able to help save those in need in the South. this song tugs at my heartstrings terribly and it is one of the best songs on the album and possibly my favorite.

14. Beach Chair (feat. Chris Martin) – the album closes with this harpsichord track. it’s a slow song about life and how S.C. lives his. “life is but a beach chair.” from what i’ve gathered, Jay-Z is playing off the “life’s a beach” phrase and turning it around to a positive and optimistic view. life is but a relaxing day in the sun. fulfill your dreams and do what you want. life isn’t a beach – its a beach chair. its a nice closing song, i think. kinda eerie in parts even, i like it.

a large portion of the cd doesnt excite me too terribly much, but there are a handful of songs that get me going bigtime. tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, and 13, are all terrific – and thats more than half the album. “Kingdom Come” isn’t as great as his past works, but i have trouble comparing cause it is a completely different Jay-Z from his past albums. i do like it though, and overall i think it’s pretty great. scale from 1 to 10…probably a 6.5. but still. there are a handful of songs that make this cd worth it. (plus it comes with a DVD. sizzler.)


PS. i realize my track summaries got worse and worse as the album progressed, that is largely due to the fact that i dont really have any motivation to do things i dont really care about. i tried on the tracks i like and i didn’t try on the rest. so phooey.