Cordial Deconstruction

Observations from our shared single objective reality in a materialistic, naturalistic, & effectively macro-deterministic universe.

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Posts Tagged ‘Neurologica’

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 8, Season 3, Entrada

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 2, 2010

A Purple (Both Red and Blue) Episode

As always, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

No Wonder Wikileaks Is So Successful

So the FBI, the top law enforcement agency in the USA, doesn’t have a screen saver password policy (on their MacBook laptops), especially on Fringe Division (defenders of the universe) laptops?  Sure the files were encrypted, but those were Fauxlivia’s special files, not the FBI’s.

For the Search Engines

Na einia kalytero anthropo apo ton patero toy  (According to the closed captioning)

Να είστε καλύτερο άτομο από τον πατέρα σας  (In Greek)

Be a better man than your father  (In English)

I Am Not A Doctor…

But shouldn’t Olivia have supplied Peter with a tourniquet to use to shoot himself up with that paralytic?

Also, if that was a paralytic drug, Peter probably had some damage to his corneas once he was able to blink again since nobody was keeping his eyes moistened.  Also, it was a bit dangerous leaving Peter unattended under the effects of a neuromuscular inhibiter, he might have experienced adverse side affects such as difficulty breathing or cardiovascular problems.  And why a paralytic drug anyway?  It seems an odd choice to be keeping around for a rainy day.  I would think a more traditional sedative would be safer.

Well, We Are All In the Fringe Unit For a Reason

“Eight weeks and none of us suspected anything.”  Fringe team is not staffed with the sharpest tacks in the junk drawer.  Peter, as an honorary member of the Fringe team fits in just fine, although it seemed at times he was more willfully ignorant than unsuspecting of Fauxlivia’s true identity.

If You’re Not Going to Use That Any More, Can I Keep Some Parts to Play With?

If it didn’t matter where the mass came from, why not just send back a sack of potatoes and keep the whole, living Olivia to experiment on and study?

Quote Of The Show

“She tricked my son with her carnal manipulations and he fell right into her vagenda”

I laughed out loud when I heard that line.

Spooky Action Across Universes

So the typewriter is a quantum entanglement telegraph?  Although it’s a bogus application of the science, I won’t call it bad science fiction unless you’re a quantum physicist, in which case you already know quantum entanglement can’t be used to transmit information.

Third Time’s a Charm?

Olivia had traveled back to our universe several times in Walternate’s Fringe Lab, and she always reverted back to the alternate universe.  What made her so sure she would be successful on the next try?

Zed’s Dead, Baby/ I Am Not a doctor Part II

Since when does adrenaline neutralize sedatives, and why the Pulp Fiction stab in the chest?  Her heart wasn’t stopped.

Nature vs. Nurture

“They’re genetically identical, so they think alike”  Not so fast their, Olivia.  Brain development is a lot more than just a result of genetics.

To quote academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, Steven Novella:

The genome provides a set of processes by which brain design unfolds – but that program is dependent upon input from the brain’s environment…

The genome provides more of a template for developing a brain rather than a blueprint for the finished product.  The development of a brain and the resultant though processes is heavily influenced by environment during development.  If you want to argue that their thought processes should be similar because their genes are the same AND their environments during development were similar, fine, but genes alone won’t cut it.

Peter Has a Brief Moment of Deductive Insight

Good work figuring out that was a shape shifter Peter.  Be careful.  If you keep showing such levels of stunning deduction, they may not let you stay with the Fringe Division.

Wow, That was Quick

So normally, you have to shoot Olivia up with a bunch of psychotropic drugs and let her cook in the sensory deprivation tanks for a while, but this time all it took was a little Cortexiphan and a couple of seconds in the tank and pow, she’s home free before she’s even had time to relax.

Are We Really Trusting the safety of Our Entire Universe to these Guys?

Did it ever occur to anyone on the Fringe team that it might be a good idea to take the owner of the typewriter shop into custody for questioning and maybe also search his shop?  It’s not like the fate of the world is at stake and he’s known to be involved or anything, is it?

Posted in Blue Episode, Fringe, Purple Episode, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Origins of My Pseudonym and My Blog’s Name

Posted by Karl Withakay on July 29, 2010

Tonight I decided to do a light and easy post on my pseudonym and blog name rather than the topic I originally planned to blog about, partly because I spent too much time playing Lego Harry Potter to have enough time to do a good job on the topic I was going to blog about.

Origins of a Pseudonym

Tonight I changed the display name for my blog ID to match the name I use pretty much everywhere else on the internet.  It’s the name I use in forums, when making comments on other people’s blogs, and elsewhere.  The name is Karl Withakay.

Until recently I never realized how many people don’t catch the play on words underlying that online name.  In fact, it seems that most people that I meet in person after “meeting” online haven’t caught it.  Perhaps that’s because they first see the name written (typed) online rather than hearing it pronounced out loud.  Once I explain it to them, they tend to say something to the effect of, “Oh, duh, I get it now.”

Apparently I’m not the first person to think up the pseudonym Karl Withakay:  This guy is not me, but apparently he came by the name through a similar process.  After years giving my first name as “Karl, with a K” to avoid any misspelling of my name, I eventually began to joke to my friends that I should change my middle name to “Withakay”.  When I first started registering to post on forums and blogs, I thus had the perfect pseudonym to use for my online persona, Karl Withakay.

Origins of a Blog’s Name

The name of this blog, Cordial Deconstruction was chosen after much deliberation and consideration of various names.  I’d been thinking of setting up a blog for a while and had always intended it to be related to critical thinking and deconstruction of  things like fallacious logic or bad science & plot lines in television shows and movies.

Before getting around to setting up my own blog, I had been commenting on various blogs like Science Based Medicine, Respectful Insolence, and Neurologica for several years, cutting my teeth on logical argument and online discourse.   I always strove to hold myself to the standard of conduct of the bloggers on those sites, keeping the discourse polite and cordial, even when completely deconstructing another commenter’s arguments.

The name I finally settled on for this blog was both a reflection of what the blog was going to be as well as a tribute to the blogs of two other people.  One is probably my favorite blog, Orac’s Respectful Insolence.  The other is the blog of my real world friend, Polite Scott of Polite Dissent.  Thus the current subtitle “(Not Polite or Respectful, just Cordial.)”

Posted in Me, This Blog | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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