global issues, language, philosophy, politics, science

On the Definition and Usage of Words

1. Philosophical Underpinnings

As a fledging apologist, my earliest experiences in the debate sector led me to frustration with people who couldn’t quite see the argument I was trying to make. They would often misinterpret and misunderstand what I had to say, taking ideas and twisting them. It seemed we had no common ground, so I endeavored to find that common ground – some set of ideas we ALL know are true. With such a common ground, I would hopefully be able to prove my points.

One of the first things I did was try to define words. In highschool, I read Socrates, and one of his famous lines that I took to heart was “the beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms”. What Socrates found was that people never really had a clear definition of anything, and thus no one really seemed to know what they were talking about. However, as I tried to come up with some philosophical terminology for defining words, I found the whole endeavor fruitless and meaningless. The truth was, words on their own had no exact definition.

That’s an important conclusion that can be and is very often misinterpreted. The underlying problem was that I was trying to find something “exact” and “specific”, defined in terms of words. But defining words in terms of words is philosophically identical to the problem of putting a rigid box into an identical copy of itself.

However, you’re reading this right now, which says that words are not as arbitrary as they seem. Let’s talk about that.

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global issues, media, psychology

National Symptoms, Invisible Causes

Suppose you have an nagging person in your life. They bug you, they irritate you, but they never hit you. Now and then they mock you. If you respond to them in anger, it may start a greater argument, and you might end up being the one criticized by others even though all you wanted to do was defend yourself. Still, if you do nothing, the problem within you only gets worse until you become very angry.

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media, visual novels

Clannad – The Past Path – Review

Last time I reviewed a visual novel, it was Narcissu / Narcissus by Stage Nana. Having been done professionally, it had the benefit of a good team working behind it for custom art and contributions by talented musicians. It was very kind of the company to allow the English translation to be produced and released free to the public. To date, it’s the only professionally-done visual novel for English speakers (at least, it’s the only one I know of).

Those of us working solo don’t necessarily have the luxuries of a professional team or talented artists, but that doesn’t mean something can’t be cobbled together and still provide a quality experience.

This review focuses on a visual novel created by Scope Games, which is for the most part, a single individual. After scrounging the internet for images, image templates, and songs, they pieced together this entertaining this work free for you to enjoy. Download here.

Table of Contents

  • Story – I briefly outline what we’re looking at.
  • Gameplay – What kind of game experience to expect
  • Non-spoiler Review – Basic idea of the content
  • Guide to Gameplay – How to get what you want in the game (without really spoiling it for you)
  • (Ambiguous) Spoiler Review – For if you really want to know what’s wrong with the content
  • Remarks on Realism
  • Rating – The overall quality rating, including content you might want to be aware of (ambiguous spoilers)
  • Credits

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anime and games, art, books, freeware, media, software, stories, tech news and opinions, tv

Nightmare and Serenity: Brief Analysis of Touhou

Since I am so adamantly against this game and yet frequently returning to its subculture, I thought I ought to address it. First, to be sure I wasn’t completely blabbering nonsense, I did some research on the Touhou Project at wikia (UPDATE: use this source instead: the Touhou wiki). This post is divided into two large sections:

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