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Echoex Auditor | joined 16 February 2005 | 114 posts

Movies...? posted 28 September 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionMovies...? by Echoex, Auditor

Ahhh....Sideways. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church.

Two middle-aged men -- both wash-ups in their own ways -- venture to the California wine valley for one last hurrah before Jack (Church) gets married.

Miles (Giamatti) is a recently-divorced Grade 8 teacher with a preternatural instinct for wine and a manuscript that just can't get published. Jack is an ex-soap opera star and current commercial voice-over guy who 'wants to get his nut' while on this trip, in spite of his premarital commitments.

The cinematography is kept rather simple in this dialogue- / situation-driven masterpiece. But this work of art is more like Munch's "The Scream" than it is like DaVinci's "Last Supper". That is, it's the movie's simplicity and what it's lacking that makes it so distressing and beautiful to look at. Consider the sparce soundtrack, Miles' Saub...these things all lend to a sense of desperation. And you'll see that this dankness is cut on occassion by the warmth of Virginia Madsen's character, Maya.

The only disappointment comes from a rather jolted and unnatural performance by Sandra Oh (Stephanie). I can only chalk it up to her inexperience, and this is especially evident by her being cast against the juggernauts of Giamatti, Church, and Madsen.

In spite of Oh, I can't recall witnessing a movie where the characters seemed so natural and 'belonged'.

And by the way, don't try watching this movie without a good bottle of Pinot. You won't be able to resist the need...
.Ex. view post

What happens when your soul leaves your body? posted 13 October 2005 in Philosophy DiscussionWhat happens when your soul leaves your body? by Echoex, Auditor

What happens when your soul leaves your body?

It moves into a one bedroom apartment and sues your body for alimony. Then it meets some other richer, more handsome body and flaunts its new body-friend in the same places your body likes to hang out.

Ex-souls suck. view post

The Nonmen posted 19 October 2005 in Author Q & AThe Nonmen by Echoex, Auditor

Anne Rice is notorious for her blathering descriptions. It's almost as though she feels guilty if she doesn't discuss each and every drop of dew clinging to the bougainvillea. Blech. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I work in marketing. Maybe I'm not so alarmed by this. After all, what is advertising but the study of consumer behaviour, its results, and its theories manifested in sensory stimuli that has the very goal of bypassing rational behaviour and appealing to some emotional need?

Neuroeconomics just does a better job of this. Ultimately, there's an element of caveat emptor. Your job as a consumer is to see beyond the emotional appeal and make a sound judgement.

I look forward to the battle. view post

Scott, I'd appreciate your take on this posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AScott, I'd appreciate your take on this by Echoex, Auditor

I disagree with the assertion that none of your characters are 'likeable'. I think Achamian is one of the most likeable characters in Fantasy Literature. I liken him to Paul from Kay's Fionavar Tapestry. Tragic, essentially good-natured, and seething with a power he can neither embrace nor completely understand. Of course, I can't predict how he'll turn out in TTT (unless you would care to burden me with the pleasure of an ARC). But I was deeply connected to Achamian. I empathized with his betrayal at the hands of Esmenet and I felt his urgency at the knowledge that Kellhus might be the harbinger.

.Ex. view post

Words You Like or Don't Like posted 25 October 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionWords You Like or Don't Like by Echoex, Auditor

Haver. I think it's Scottish. It means 'to talk gibberish'.

"Quit yar bluudy haverin', ya stuupid bastaard!!" view post

New Favourite Review Quip posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & ANew Favourite Review Quip by Echoex, Auditor

I have a great Bush joke:

Rumsfeld and the other staffers are giving Bush his morning briefing.

Rumsfeld concludes his brief with "...and, oh yeah, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed in a skirmish last night..."

Bush becomes really distressed at this news and begins crying and wailing.

"Oh ma god! That's horrible news. The humaninity"...

Rumsfeld and the other staffers are shocked at Bush's outcry and distress.

Bush puts his head on his desk for a moment. Finally, he lifts it and looks at Rumsfeld.

"Remind me again, Don. How many is a Brazilian?"

.Ex. view post

How did you start writing? posted 25 October 2005 in Member Written WorksHow did you start writing? by Echoex, Auditor

I read a few books by Ursula LeGuin and I thought "Jeezus. I can do better than this..."

Actually, some people struggle at it. Others don't. Some of us are one or the other and you play your strength.
.Ex. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I think it's clear that once marketing starts intentionally circumventing rational decision-making that it has become a kind of institutionally sanctioned con game.

All marketing circumvents rational decision-making, Scott. That's why we buy Levi's instead of grow our own cotton. Someone tells us they can provide a service or a product in exchange for currency, and the value-laden benefit is that we get a warm, shit-smothered feeling for agreeing.

Consider this thread, even. It's fear-mongering. Guerrilla marketing. You're appealing to our basic need for privacy. This incites fear. Fear is an emotion. We agree with you because you've scared us. You've essentially manipulated us into agreeing with you. Now, if this was true, true marketing, you would have provided us with a 'call to action'. Some 'rise up and fight' statement to rile us against The Man. But you're a writer and I'm a marketer and we are where we are because of who we are.

Personally, I think neuroeconomics is a great idea. I look forward to the day when retailers know EXACTLY what I want to buy so I don't have to rummage through pounds and pounds of junk mail. I just hope my synapses remember to order the Victoria Secrets Catalogue like I asked them to. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

VERY interesting perspective, echoex! you're so lucid and articulate that i'm forced to consider!!!

Is this sarcasm?
.Ex. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

You become accustomed to having them say "you wanted something like this, here it is", and then when they say "you want this too" you just accept it.

No offence, Murrin, but bully. At this point your mommy and I would ask you if you'd jump off the cliff, too. If you take for granted everything that an advertiser tells you, then you deserve what you get. Sprinkle a little bit of discretion into every decision you make. That's my suggestion.

At some point we have to start taking responsibility for our naiveties.


PS, Lucimay:

(do i have a reputation for being a smart*ss?)

Not at all. But I have a reputation for being an *sshole....
Thanks for the compliment! view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 25 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

(as an aside Echoex, have your read Wm Gibson's Pattern Recognition? it's sort of related to this conversation.)

No, I haven't read it, Luce. I (and watch carefully, everyone) saw the book on the shelf. All its pretty colours enticed me and made me happy (emotional response), but I realized that I only had enough money for some smokes and a six pack of Moosehead, so I decided (rational decision) to give the book a skip (rational decision circumvents emotional response).

Now THAT'S sarcasm...
.Ex. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 26 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

Just for clarity's sake, Echoex, how would you define the difference between conditioning others and rational engaging them?

Which approach do you personally use with your family and friends, and why?

The difference is in the approach, I suppose. Rational engagement requires a presentation of all the facts and an open invitation for the individual to form his or her own opinion on the matter. Conditioning others requires much more propaganda and one-sidedness.

There's no blanket answer to your second question. Different situations call for different approaches. I have a four year old son. I try to steer him away from certain evils. I don't tell him that -- if he chooses candy for dinner -- he'll enjoy the taste much more than broccoli, but if he chooses it, it will make him sick. I tell him to eat his bloody broccoli.

You make it sound as though marketers circumvent our rational side for our own good. Is that what you're suggesting?

That's not what I'm suggesting at all. I'm suggesting that we can't blame an advertiser for doing his or her job. We choose to agree or disagree with what advertising tells us. I market pizza. You eat pizza once a week. I can provide you with a very suitable emotionally-driven argument why you should add one more meal occassion to your week (using various sensory stimuli) and you'll either agree or disagree with me. I won't be held responsible if you spend your last $20 on my pizza.

To agree with me for fear's sake would be irrational. It's an inducement to believe (one mastered by many politicians, past and present), but it isn't a reason to believe. The question, Echoex, is whether the fear follows from the reasons (which it does in this case), or whether the fear does the work of reasons. This is not a fine distinction: it really marks the difference between engaging others in the attempt to reach rational consensus, or pushing buttons in the attempt to get people to do what you want them to do. The first, for example, is the supposed cornerstone of our democratic institutions.

You're absolutely right. There is a very definite distinction between the two. As mentioned earlier, one requires a clear and unbiased presentation of all the facts, followed by an invitation or opportunity for the individual to compose his or her own opinion. The 'pushing buttons' approach is much less forgiving. It invites emotion into the equation long before the facts are presented. The individual is responding emotionally (and has likely made up his or her mind) before he or she has a reason. For example, if R. Scott Bakker had intended the former, he might have titled this discussion "Neuroeconomics: Its benefits and disadvantages to both marketers and consumers." Instead, R. Scott Bakker titled this discussion "You Should Be Afraid...Very, Very Afraid."

Your answer seems to be: If it makes life marginally easier, then hell, yes.
Are you really arguing this?

No. I'm arguing that neuroeconomics does little to make me very, very afraid because I have the good sense to let ration interfer with my emotional responses, and in this instance I see no rational reason why marketers shouldn't know exactly what I want. view post

You should be afraid... very, very, afraid. posted 27 October 2005 in Author Q & AYou should be afraid... very, very, afraid. by Echoex, Auditor

I don't have much time at the moment, but I wanted to reply to a couple of your points. By the way, I'm really enjoying this, so no matter that I'm right, no hard feelings...

Anyone who went back to the old 30's and 40's format of actually providing evidence and facts to sell products would go bankrupt in short order.

Now, I wasn't around in the 30's and 40's. And I was still in bagdad in the 50's, 60's, and most of the 70's, but there's more truth in advertising today than there was in the early-to-mid 20th Century. Cigarette companies, anyone? What was the term used to describe cigarette companies' approach to getting children accustomed to smoking (by introducing candy cigarettes)...early actuation for later realization? Something like that.

My title is my conclusion. But you already know this, since it's the very thing you're disputing! Which makes this argument seem, well... opportunistic.

Your title induces a pre-conceived assumption on the part of the reader that he or she should fear, or respond emotionally, to the contents of your email. You've manipulated the reader's perception by setting him or her up with the notion that the contents of the post are scary.

That is all for now. I am off to make Tikki Marsala Chicken.
.Ex. view post

Echoex is unemployed and whoring his wares! posted 27 October 2005 in Off-Topic DiscussionEchoex is unemployed and whoring his wares! by Echoex, Auditor

Anybody in need of a Public Relations Graduate with more than four years in back-end retail marketing and advertising experience, damn brilliant writing skills, and a nose for pretty ladies, please let me know and I will happily forward my curriculum vitae.

Best of luck to Echoex. May he scrounge together enough coppers to feed his poor starving family.

.Ex. view post

Like father like son? posted 02 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Echoex, Auditor

It also leads one to wonder if the Sranc evolved to protect themselves from the Dunyain. If I recall, they're described as having rather featureless faces. This would prohibit the Dunyain from having that advantage over them.
.Ex. view post

Serious TTT thoughts, predictions, ideas... posted 03 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtSerious TTT thoughts, predictions, ideas... by Echoex, Auditor

Unless he did it to draw out the Consult. It might have been the most efficient way to bring the Inrithi, Fanim, and Schools together to battle the greater of evils. Also, he might have had designs for Kellhus to rule this new hybrid army and he needed the tribulations of the Holy War to allow Kellhus to rise in power. view post

The Nail of Heaven - What is it? posted 10 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtThe Nail of Heaven - What is it? by Echoex, Auditor

It's the moon. view post

Like father like son? posted 10 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Echoex, Auditor

Considering how Kelhuss can still easily sort the consult skin spies from the 'normal people' suggests that either:
1) the skin spies are relatively new (which doesnt support shasheoka being a skin spy..)
2) if the skin-spies arent new, that the consult did not care (!!) to leave them open to recognition.

The Dunyain are trained to read faces. Blushes, twitches, and the subtle changes in musculature. The skin-spies -- because of their unique physiology -- don't respond the same way that humans do. Kellhus would have picked up on that.

I dont think the Sranc are concerned with that, since they are only the grunts/foots-soldiers. Why would they need to hide the emotions on their face if the only one(s) they know is: bloodthirst/fear/anger, without regard for its effect on their prey. So much unlike humans.

Maybe the Sranc aren't concerned with that. But maybe their makers are.
.Ex. view post

Like father like son? posted 11 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Echoex, Auditor

Shockwave: How much do we really know about the Sranc? If you were to design the perfect weapon, would you design it so your enemies could use it against you? view post

Like father like son? posted 18 November 2005 in The Thousandfold ThoughtLike father like son? by Echoex, Auditor

As you say, i cant really know, but i suspect they are foot-soldiers without the emotions or passions someone would need to be possessed by a Dunyain for example. So in a way they are already protected.

Okay, so if you were to create a more perfect weapon to defeat a people who use emotion and passion against you, you would make that weapon devoid of emotion and passion, correct? I think you helped prove my point.

Ex. view post

Do you believe a God exists? posted 26 April 2006 in Philosophy DiscussionDo you believe a God exists? by Echoex, Auditor

I find exsistence a little too tidy for there not to be a creator. Mind if it was not so tidy we wouldn't be here to contemplate.

But that's just it. Existence isn't tidy at all. Everything about the nature of the universe tells us we're not supposed to be here. Everything about the nature of our planet tells us that we're just another bead in the food rosarie.

I think religion is too tidy for there to be a creator.
.Ex. view post

Now Reading... posted 26 April 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow Reading... by Echoex, Auditor

I'm on "Son of a Witch" now... the follow up to the uber-beautiful "Wicked". view post

Now listening to... posted 27 November 2006 in Off-Topic DiscussionNow listening to... by Echoex, Auditor

Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone... Marvin Gaye... view post


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