"The democracy arrived, and the subject was for the first time presented with a choice: "Do you (collectively) want to be ruled by Citizen A or Citizen B?" Always the subject is presented with the accomplished fact: in the first case with the fact of his subjecthood, in the second with the fact of the choice. The form of the choice is not open to discussion. The ballot paper does not say: "Do you want A or B or neither?" It certainly never says: "Do you want A or B or no one at all?" The citizen who expresses his unhappiness with the form of choice on offer by the only means open to him - not voting, or else spoiling his ballot paper - is simply not counted, that is to say, is discounted, ignored. Faced with a choice between A and B, given the kind of A and the kind of B who usually make it onto the ballot paper, most people, "ordinary" people, are in their hearts inclined to choose neither. But that is only an inclination, and the state does not deal in inclinations. Inclinations are not part of the currency of politics. What the state deals in are choices. The ordinary person would like to say: "Some days I incline to A, some days to B, most days I just feel they should both go away;" or else, "Some of A and some of B, sometimes, and at other times neither A nor B but something quite different." The state shakes its head. "You have to choose," says the state: "A or B."
J.M. Coetzee, Diary of a Bad Year. (via thelillith)
I was trying to take advantage of this hot deal on a Macbook Air at Best Buy, when I bumped into the following restrictions on international orders:
- International orders are intended for use in the US, and it is assumed that products will be used in the US [italics mine].
- Best Buy does not ship to known freight forwarders, and orders to such will be canceled.
This annoys me to no end, because $200 off a Haswell MBA is a pretty sweet deal. But then I remembered that I did Intro to Deductive Logic at university 6 years ago (and got an A on it). I realised that I can therefore discard my angry emotional response, as I possess the requisite mental tools to really get to the root of the problem. So here we go.
Premise 1: I have to guess whether Best Buy “knows” about the skybox company I use when I purchase US items online.
Premise 2: Best Buy wants to dictate to me where I use a product they sell to me. Kind of like a restaurant that says you can only eat their take-out food within a 7-mile radius of the restaurant. But much, much stupider than that, because we’re talking about electronics.
Premise 3: While competing in the bricks-and-mortar electronics retail business, and doing OK for now, Best Buy is also competing in the online retail space and getting predictably hammered by Amazon.
Premise 4: Despite this, it appears that Best Buy doesn’t want my money, simply because I’m a filthy evil
immigrant non-American who wants to purchase electronics from America at reasonable prices.
Premise 5: Best Buy has therefore imposed sales restrictions on itself, even going so far as to cancel orders going to freight forwarders who bear the vast majority of the transport costs involved in shipping goods to non-US locations.
Premise 6: By acting in the manner described by Premise 5, Best Buy has unnecessarily foregone revenue and denied many customers some non-trivial savings, with no obvious compensating gains to the company or its domestic customers.
Conclusion: Maybe my logic is wrong, but Best Buy sucks.
Upon biting into the first wing, I couldn’t immediately tell what style of cooking was employed to produce this dish. Sometimes this is a good sign, other times it is not; regrettably, this was one of the latter cases.
I probably have the one on the left, but because of some drugs that I got from a doctor who has plaques in his office from big evil pharmaceutical companies, I’m probably not going to die this weekend.
I’ve been on sick leave from work for the last four days. That’s given me a bit of time to think about certain things, and in the last thirty minutes I’ve been thinking about the relative levels of discomfort that office workers would feel over time, as a result of minor illness. Obviously I can only speak for the past based on what I’ve read or heard about from older folks. But it’s occurred to me that this is an unusually not-bad era in which to be afflicted with the common cold.
To be sure, this isn’t a “pull a sickie, hehehe”-type post. I’m definitely sick, and the physiological state of having an upper respiratory tract infection is as annoying as it has always been (and always will be, until scientists conquer the common cold). But thanks to the miracles of late-capitalist civilisation - namely, the pharmaceutical industry, telecommunications, consumer technology and my mother’s cooking - being home sick from work* is both more productive (read some long reports, edited a presentation my colleagues delivered this week) and less uncomfortable (Twitter! Tumblr! Seasons 4-7 of Seinfeld!) than it probably has ever been.
Modern life has been getting a bad rap these days, but it is pretty nice sometimes!
* - At least in a mid-level office job in a relatively wealthy country.
If you’re abroad, and you meet someone who’s never heard of T&T, and the person asks you if they speak English in your country, reply like this:
No. I’m the only one.
And then walk away.
That person will, with probability ~1, look up T&T on Google, Wikipedia, etc, and you’ll have done some tourism promotion with minimal effort.