daily preciousness

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

pop-up ads in class

This was a first. I've never seen a classroom completely distracted by a pop-up ad. Until tonight, that is. The professor was right in the middle of n interesting presentation involving idealism, realism, pragmatism and eclecticism. Right in the middle of the Plato/Socrates/Aristotle/Alexander the Great teaching relationship, we got a pop-up right in front of us on the big viewscreen.

Some hot guy was mugging for the camera, gushing about his car insurance or something. It was incredibly hard to focus, since a gif was blinking like a strobe light and caught my eye everytime the professor walked in front of it.

And the after-effects have caused me to now blog about it. (This is a not-so-clever attempt at not studying, so I should end this right here, but I have two more points to add.)

Other oddities in class today: The founder of pragmatism, William James and his mentor, Charles Peirce, reached the thesis of their philogophy "ism" with a story about a squirrel.

It's a picnic. A bunch of academics are sharing potato salad and BBQ out in nature. At some point during the event, James leaves. Another fellow sees a squirrel and endeavors to chase the squirrel around the trunk of a tree. Being philosophers, somebody in the group asks if the guy chasing the squirrel was going around the squirrel. Half the group says that he is -- the man is both north, south, east and west of the squirrel. The other half votes that no -- he was never encircling the squirrel since the animal was always on the opposite side of the tree. The philosopher comes back to the festivities and is posed the question: did the guy go around the squirrel? His answer, so simple yet so profound, informs his major work of philosophy: "It all depends!"

I love that story.

Third notable point of the evening: I got cruised in the library. The Catholic library of the school. Wild, random and vaguely disturbing... makes me wonder if he's studying to be a priest!


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