Uncanny Robots

Writing on the uncanny, a night in first year suddenly popped into my head. Halloween 2001. Robot costumes. Alex dancing at a beer garden upstairs in the sub. Robot dancing is so unexpected, even when you know the person inside the robot costume. It might be the opposite of the dance “the robot”, where you move in such a way as your actions appear mechanical. The dancing robot flows, arms and legs moving in a human way, while the body remains perfectly fixed (it’s made of cardboard).

I’m not sure if Alex reads my livejournal – but a shout out to him for his excellent robot dancing!

A rainy day in Toronto

So, uncanny existence. I’m writing about it, and I’m interested in what you non-Heideggeriens think of when you think of uncanny experience. What’s an uncanny experience you’ve had? What does “uncanny” mean (to you)? I don’t want to say too much so as to bias the responses. Oh also, please respond, even if you think your idea of the uncanny is probably wrong (it’s very unlikely that it’s “wrong”, in fact, if your idea of uncanniness is different or even indeterminable, that could be pretty uncanny itself).

New Team.

With the Canucks out of the playoffs, I have to make the choice of who to root for. Montreal? Ottawa? Calgary? Edmonton? Since Edmonton doesn’t stand much of a chance in the first round, and I hate calgary (not because of the city, but because they play an awful style of hockey), I’m left with Montreal and Ottawa. Ottawa seems like an obvious choice, but without Hasek, do they really have enough offense? Montreal doesn’t have great goltending either.

On the other hand, sure bets fail fast in the stanley cup playoffs.

Emmerson

Harper recently commented that the Emmerson protests were getting “a little old hat”. I’d say, Emmerson’s continued refusal to talk to his constituents is getting a little “old hat”. Either way, I’m certainly not tired at being angry about a former Canfor CEO running for Liberal office at all, let alone defecting to the new conservatives. Still piping mad I am. I’m sure there are many others, they just don’t have time to go to protests everyday.

Cycling update

I took a long ride this evening time up the St. Clair area. I found a nice dead end hill that joggers are going up and down to train. i went up and down twice. Also found a long sweeping hill into a flat stretch where I hit 49km/h (I wish I had the “record top speed” function so I didn’t have to look down). Hard to tell what speed I could maintain on flat from it though, because it quickly changed to an incline. If anyone knows any long flat smooth stretches in TO, please let me know.

And PS – I love biking! I’m so glad it’s summer again!

Biking

Now that the weather is better, I’ve decided to set a personal best speed on my road bike. (Yes! It has a spedometre!). So far – 56km/h down a hill on a city street. At that speed the road is very bumpy, and I was tired at the time. I set a 55km/h record back in cloverdale on my old mountain bike, so I’m hoping I can do better than this. I also want to set a level ground personal best above 45km/h (I hit 42 on my mountain bike on a city street). If anyone else has some personal best cycling speeds – post them!

Thank you for a Smoking movie.

After an enjoyable walk with Dory, which included a stop at honest ed’s where I purchased 15$ worth of 69 cent cans of organic refriend and turtle beans (!!!), I almost died riding my bike at top speed to the movie theatre where I met Kate, her cousin Max, and his girlfriend and her friend to see “Thank you for Smoking”.

Contrary to some, I seem to truly enjoy films that make heroes of “morally reprehensible” characters. Another example might be “Lord of War”. I suppose I don’t have a high flying idea of what people are morally obliged to be, and while I’ll certainly commend genuinly good work I don’t “hate” those who occupy spaces in our society which we find perticularly distasteful. I don’t think it’s “their fault”, persay, despite the fact that I’m certain people who argue for big tobbaco or sell arms to both sides know full well the material harm and suffering which are caused by their actions. For one, to say they are the cause of the suffering is really to reduce the notion of cause to effective cause, as technological rationality does incessantly, but that’s not what I want to say here. Rather, I see these people (who most certainly include in the larger sense almost everyone I see on the streets of Toronto – wearing a suit or not) as those who have not yet for whatever or other grasped the gravity of the situation at hand. Whether you sell cigaretts or won’t spend the extra 30$ a month on organic, fair trade produce etc…, it’s qualitativly part of the same denial. (And certainly the large proportion of people in this rich city don’t make choices such as that out of neccesity but rather out of convinience and poorly reflected frugality). But this is no reason to de-humanize someone or morally berate them for not, as John Stuart said in his famous crossfire interview, doing their duty to the public discourse.

This is not a dead issue. Who to condemn? Who to choose for your heroes? When to simply suspend, or forget judgement, try to see how the other half lives.

Canucks

A bad season on the whole, but understandable because of a few factors.

1) They didn’t really do any worse than Colerado or Edmonton. They missed the playoffs by a fluke.

2) Huge injury problems with Defense

Good things that happened this year

1) The “Two brothers and a brotha” line. Way to go twins and carter!

2)Auld! Also – this other guy! Go away Cloutier!

Why next season won’t suck

1) Bert’s gone. Get some speed

2) Nazzy’s still here.

Why next season will suck

1) We’ll probably loose Jovo.