Archive for June, 2008

Favorite Words

Posted in Favorite Words with tags , , on June, 2008 by melendwyr

Aristocracy

I’ve always had a weakness for words that also mean their opposite. An aristocracy originally was “rule by the best, or by those most suited for the task”. Now it means a hereditary ruling class that usually couldn’t govern its way out of a wet paper bag.

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Why do people backpedal on the ‘Net?

Posted in GIGO with tags , on June, 2008 by melendwyr

Published text is probably one of the worst mediums for people who wish to contradict themselves without acknowledging it. In speech, you can lie about what you’d previously said, and most people won’t retain a clear memory of what was actually stated. But in text, we can simply look it up.

With Internet comments, it’s even easier than most forms of permanent communication: we need only scroll the screen up a bit, or at most click on a hyperlink, and we can instantly review the text.

So why do people still try to get away with it? Is it because that strategy works so well in normal life that most people have never even felt the need to examine it? Human psychology is a mystery in so many ways.

Horror Vacui

Posted in Favorite Words with tags on June, 2008 by melendwyr

Is there anything more frightening than a empty page? As I fill it in, hopefully I’ll find something interesting to say.

See also: the discredited Aristotelian idea that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’, the technique of filling the entire space of an artwork with images, the fear of emptiness (also known as cenophobia), the dread of the ancient Romans of overstepping their bounds, and artist’s block.