and/or: "a recent assessment of the collegiate environment of the extremely near future." Yesterday der Freund und ich were talking about a sort of space-dystopian college world of the future, where robots write the students’ papers and robots grade them. Meanwhile, the students sit around totally detatched from the educational process shoving tequila up their asses and then grab their diploma at the end after the robots have done all the work. (Somehow it is extremely important that humans are present at graduation, both to bestow and receive diplomas). Then I asked: well, can students send robots to lecture and class, too? And der Freund said: Only if the robots teach, too. Robot if and only if robot, he said. (He got an 800 on his Logic GRE which means two things, 1) he is in the correct academic discipline and 2) he has been in grad school since they had the Logic GRE, ha). Aber das Wichtige hier ist: ROBOT IF AND ONLY IF ROBOT. ROBOTER WENN UND NUR WENN ROBOTER. So robots attend class for the students, who then hire other robots to write their assignments, who then turn those assignments into other robots, who give them to other robots to grade. OR, the robots only write and grade the assignments, but shells of human beings carry out the tasks of attending and giving class (this sounds like an eerily present near future…). Thus, I repeat: robot iff robot.  Or, in cartoon form:
Robot_iff_1

You may wonder why I am spending Thanksgiving night drawing robot logic cartoons and hanging out with my best frienemy the Internet instead of doing what normal people do on Thanksgiving, and to that I answer: because I am an Axis of Evil made up of the following three parts:

  1. Misanthropy. Menschenhaß des ganzen Menschengeschlechts insgesamt. Eigentliche Leute, d.h., Personen, die in meiner Welt existieren (d.h. der Freund, die Erin, meine wunderschöne Studenten, meine Familie), hab ich eigntlich gern; gleichseitig bin ich Mysanthropin. I’m a walking, shittily-bilingual contradiction in terms! Forced merriment and communal eating of food creep me out! They give me anxiety attacks! I’d rather watch a "Growing Pains" marathon in my room.
  2. My ridiculous new highly-restrictive diet. In the past three months I have suffered from a chronic and debilitating infection whose details I would rather not relate, combined with the aforementioned fainty-dizziness bullshit. This had the medical establishment baffled (and came with a $2000 ER bill), but I recently did some research on my best frenemy the Internet here, and realized that one’s whole body can be overgrown with candida, and this causes chronic infection and lethargy and sugar cravings and depression and…well, all sorts of crap. And the way to fix it is to completely, radically alter your diet to exclude all wheat, all yeast, white rice and potatoes, as much sugar as possible (incl. fructose, which blows, though I cheat on that one and eat citrus, believing, probably falsely, that the acid will out-battle those sugary little fatties), most dairy, anything fermented (ie: alcohol), and…caffeine. This last one, I have decided, is for fatties, though I have pledged to switch to decaf in increments over the next month JUST TO SEE IF I CAN (memo to all people I know: I’m sorry I killed you in advance). So if you add this to my already-restrictive diet (I am a vegetarian) and the experimental three-day veganism der Freund decided would be "fun" (until he got a craving for chili which also involves cheese, chump! Cheese! Cornbread with cheese! We’re missing out and it’s all your temporary vegan ass’s fault, fucko!!), I am on a triply restrictive diet only crazies would be on. It’s a combination of a diabetic’s diet, the fucking Atkins diet (minus the meat, thank God), some crazy Vegan’s diet (minus the sugar), and a celiac’s gluten-free diet (minus the sugar and dairy). So basically all I can eat right now is vegetables, nuts, tofu and soy products, oats, corn and fucking herbal tea. The good news is that I am dropping weight like that process was just invented; the bad news is that I have this retarded restricted diet that makes me a slave to my own often-messy kitchen. My clothes are fitting looser, but my hair is also falling out a little bit, which is causing my bathroom to look like someone murdered a black poodle in it, and people who don’t know me will to ask nosy questions of Erin ("What’s wrong with Rebecca?"). My friend Brittany went through this a few years ago when she was first diagnosed with celiac (she was the first person I called when I started my highly restrictive diet a few days ago because she understands this the most of anyone I know, having had to change her entire outlook on food and everything she consumed or, well…die), and she he dropped a bunch of weight really fast–people reacted all sorts of different ways, from confronting her for having anorexia to telling her she looked awesome. And I would tell people then (and I’m telling them now) that when you realize that you’ve been poisoning  yourself with your own diet, you lose your appetite a lot and are afraid to eat because it will make you sick, and we’re not doing it on purpose! Pleh! All this to say that I have such a retarded restricted diet right now that nobody could possibly cook a Thanksgiving dinner I could eat (plus, the idea of standing idly by while other people enjoy pie, the world’s greatest invention…too painful to imagine).
  3. Johan Georg Hamann, specifically his (sneaky) review of Kant’s first Critique, called Kritik über den Purismus der Vernunft (Critique of the Purisism of Reason), specifically its treatment of Kant’s Transzcendentale Methodenlehre and how their differing treatments of the transcendental reveal their approaches to systematic totality…bitches! That is to say, I have to work on a paper. Because unlike some people (upstairs neighbors, my beloved friends in 8812, this means you and your incessantly partying asses) I like to write papers all the time, and I think writing papers is fun, and I am a huge huge nerd (if robot iff robot didn’t already give that one away).

This is not to say that I am not celebrating Thanksgiving, because I am incredibly thankful for all sorts of shit, plus yesterday I made a MetroCard turkey (no, I’m not going to tell you how). I’m thankful, first and foremost, for the health of my family and friends and Freund, for the retarded new diet that might return my own health again, and, of course, for the Democratic takeover of both houses of Congreses. For "House" and "Law & Order" and pizza (which someday I’ll be able to eat again), for nachos (Flanders style and otherwise), for the Transzcendentale Methodenlehre and the people around me who actually understand it, for stacks of ridiculous theory books and hilarious German melodrama about bears, for the land of perplexing perpetual sunshine and omnipresent strip malls that has become my home, for my sweet and enthusiastic German 1A students, for the return (or advent) of normalcy in my apartment, and for decaf, whose placebo effect will be the only thing that gets me through a decoffification of my life.

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