Thursday, October 28, 2010

The straw critic

There's a recent trend in GP that so-called 'balance' points get snuck into essays under the guise of reporting the views of the 'critics'. Otherwise, they're called 'detractors' or 'pessimists' or some other appellation.

But who are these critics? What are they critics of? What views do they detract from? Fact is, unless the essayist is targeting a specific criticism held by a known group of people, the critic in the GP essay is a figment of the student's imagination.

It is a convenient device to hang a weak oppositional viewpoint on so that they can assure themselves that they have considered 'the other side'. But once having done so, the better students will offer a counter-counter argument which is irritating, or just forget to deal with the critics' view on the unwritten assumption that they're just critics -- what do they know? Unforgivable!

In most GP essays, the 'critic' is used as a logical straw-man. Bring in some arbitrary, extreme, obscure point and attribute it to some imaginary non-entity. Beat the stuffing out of it, or simply ignore it, it doesn't matter because it isn't real in the first place.

What's real? People who talk to imaginary critics in life are either the delusional homeless or the institutionalized. Whatever has made this batch of students become so crazy?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A small and simple Halloween

I've given up organizing campus-wide Halloween events because the occasion falls during the period when the big kids have finals to study for and the little kids are immersed neck deep in their group projects. If that isn't enough horror for them, I don't know what is.

This year, I kept things really small and simple: host just the drama kids for a little screamfest. There aren't that many of them and they look like they could use a break -- before they get desperate enough to eat each others' brains. And they really don't need any more junk food.

Imagine my surprise when they volunteered to take the event off my hands (along with my hands) and invite the whole world to my proposed do. Ah, such ambition, my little drama kids have. Such hubris.

Have to give them credit -- they did their best. Friday evening, it's back to just us, a small gathering of rowdy revelers gathered 'round yon projector for a seasonally appropriate movie screening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The faintest of heartbeats

My worst fears are realized. It seems reports of Mr L33t's demise have been greatly exaggerated. The poor fellow's not dead, only irreparably lobotomised. Which is worse. No reason to purchase any further upgrades 'cos everything's working just fine -- except the hard drive which has utterly and completely failed.

As I said, all my important data has been backed up on an external drive, though I've lost everything of value within the past month... sort of being in between backups. But my saved games are probably unrecoverable.

Bought a 1Tb replacement HDD but will have to reinstall everything all over again. Painful. I'll have to replay all my games too! Someone's going to be busy over the December hols.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Alas, poor Mr L33t

A minute's silence for the demise of Mr L33t, who as of this evening refused to boot up. Cause of Death looks to be a general mobo failure, though he also showed signs of clogged air vents and an accumulation of dust on his interior surfaces which house sensitive electronics.

Will attempt to salvage still functioning transplantable parts, but it's time for a serious overhaul, maybe upgrades even. The only thing I hope for is that his hard drive is still intact. Too many personal photos and save games to see wiped clean. Yes, I have backups, but it's inconvenient to restore everything.

Think we're about to experience Mr L33t's third incarnation. That's the thing about PCs that die: they always come back better than they were before.