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Overcommitment! - Ramblings from Baron von Explosion [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Karlski

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Overcommitment! [May. 8th, 2008|06:43 am]
Karlski
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So it turns out that this glorious, self-aggrandising idea of mine whereby I would hold down a full-time job, study part-time at uni and write an essay-length column each week was maybe a little more than I could handle. Something had to go and, as those of you with better perception than a block of pine can tell, it was the essays.

It's a shame, since I was enjoying them and my writing was improving, but it was just one thing too many. Plus I sort of ran out of ideas towards the end there; or, more to the point, I ran out of steam. Yes, there are things I could write about, but none of them seem to fill me with the level of passion I had at the start. I'm so tired. On the plus side, this new sinus spray I've been prescribed might mean I can start sleeping properly again. We'll see how it works out.

That said, there is one thing filling me with hate right now and that is that people - by which I mean internet users - are still doing that thing where they invoke the almighty "opinion". You know, "It's my opinion that wonk wonk wonk wonk". "It's my belief that crystals have healing properties." Yeah? Well it's my belief that you should go read a fucking book not written by Grand Whyte Wyche Esmerelda Tree-Heart Lothlorien of the twelfth wyccan circle of the wymyn's congryss.

I saw a great one the other day. A link to a video about entomologists studying a massive ant colony was posted on the cracked.com forums. Quite a cool video; the ants have fungus farms, carefully-designed vents to let carbon dioxide escape and others to draw in fresh air. As part of the studying, they fill the ant tunnels with, if I recall, cement, and then excavate the solidified cast to see the layout of the hive. Of course, this results in the death of the hive but given that there are several more of these in the background it doesn't seem to me to be a massive loss.

Then I made the mistake of reading the comments. Yes, I know, it's an amateur mistake. Pure bush league, but still. Cue retard, in discussion about how it's such a tragedy that we destroyed their whole city:

"ok but ants have feelings. They aren't robots. I believe and i am certain they each have a personality and each ant is unique.I believe there is a way to perform science without killing. I believe animals, all animals and life forms have value. Most zoologists and entomologists seem to be so insensitive to animal feelings. Some are very sensitive and i relate to their care and soft touch."

YES

EACH ANT HAS A DISCRETE PERSONALITY AND EMOTIONS AND IS SEPARATE TO THE REST OF THE HIVE.

CLEARLY.

It's my opinion and mummy told me that I'm a special and unique snowflake so my opinion is just as valid as anyone else's and how dare you tell me I'm wrong clearly you are an evil person and I made my opinion through gut instinct without studying or anything because I am just so much smarter and it's only university challenge, Rik, it's only university challenge!

I'm not a religious man but sometimes there are feelings which can only be expressed by an emphatic GOD. FUCKING CHRIST. What the HELL people. Because obviously a tiny insect driven by instinctual urges evolved over millions of years with a rudimentary nerve cluster for a brain can have complex emotions and individuality.

ARGH
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: snugglycuddles
2008-05-07 11:18 pm (UTC)
Perhaps they feel that they're an ant trapped in a human's body, and have a special connection to ants that a "normal" like you could never possibly understand.

Or they've just been watching too many Pixar and Dreamworks movies. And are deeply stupid.
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-05-07 11:20 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I'm going to go with option B on that one. Sigh.
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[User Picture]From: sassamifrass
2008-05-07 11:34 pm (UTC)
Anyway, those ants are always free to opt-out of the research program any time they want. And you have no _idea_ how much their bereaved and distant relatives made after this was all over.

We're talking a lot of aphids here.
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[User Picture]From: ozzyols
2008-05-08 01:12 am (UTC)
The scientists are wusses... if they really wanted to test their theory they should have poured the concrete into the "hive" of their respective parliments... we would have solved two issues... one the ants - who are generally hard working little buggers, get a reprieve... and the pollies - who aren't get a might concrete shafting :D
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-05-08 01:17 am (UTC)
Right. You are, of course, aware that your suggestion makes less than no sense.
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-05-08 02:27 am (UTC)
um

what
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-05-08 07:07 am (UTC)
Yes, but your comments were bordering on the incoherent. I honestly do not know what you were trying to say.
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[User Picture]From: karlski
2008-05-08 07:09 am (UTC)
oh actually having re-read them I think I see what you mean. Yes it's unlikely that every single breed of ant has the exact same cerebral structure but it's also unlikely to the point of impossibility that an ant has sufficient neural mass to have anything approaching a distinguishable personality or even emotions beyond the most basic of instincts - dig, eat, rest.
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