Random Curiosity

Focal Point – Thinking is not Entertaining »« Focal Point – Fanning the Fansubbing Flame War

Focal Point – Acting Out Anime

Sorry for being late with this editorial. It’s the end of the school year, so that means finals to grade, report cards to tabulate, classrooms to clean out, and if you think teachers drink heavily DURING the school year, you should see what we do to celebrate the end of it!



When tragedy strikes, most people will try to find a scapegoat; it’s human nature to point a finger and blame someone or something, rather than chalk it up to chance or luck (even saying it’s “fate” or “God’s will” is giving a reason for why misfortune occurs). But when other people with specific agendas (i.e. politicians, and sometimes a lawyer) shift the focus of blame to a particular entity YOU like or are a fan of, then problems arise.

Movies, video games, and anime have been targeted as the reasons for school shootings, the corruption of youth, and even public massacres, like the recent one in Akihabara, and when such atrocities happen, many FANS who enjoy the unjustly accused medium of entertainment rise up in its defense, crying out, “You don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no evidence that watching something violent will make you violent! Don’t take away our entertainment, because some idiot who likes the same things we do did something stupid and tragic.”

What I have a problem with is that these FANS only care about losing their precious entertainment, instead of examining and acknowledging the individual behind the tragedy and the actions needed to be done in order to maintain a smoothly running and orderly society.

I first read about real-life Death Notes 3 years ago, when schools in China were banning the manga due to the implications of teenaged students writing down names of people in a notebook designed to look like the titular piece of stationary as some sort of immature adolescent stress relief, since said action gives them a pretense that they had the power make people die. At the time, there was a lot of outrage among fans and FANS over the ban, and I must say that I agree with said righteous indignation (banning books is never a good thing – at least the U.S. got past all that after some idiot tried to ban Huckleberry Finn for historically and accurately containing the word “nigger”).

3 years later, and with a dub version of Death Note airing in the U.S., SEVERAL similar events are happening here, which (I must say as an aside) is a powerful testament to how awesome the Death Note series is, with its challenging morals and themes that connect enough with today’s youth to make them take action. I mean, if I had such power to influence young people, I would make a show about studying hard and respecting your elders, but that’s just me (although, I have to admit that it has to be a really slow news day to report on how everything has returned to normal after a real-life Death Note incident).

What surprised me, though, considering that there was no report on any of the U.S. schools banning the manga (just that the students who made the Death Notes were being punished, suspended, and/or expelled), was that some reactions defended the students. Some argued that the “kids didn’t know any better,” while others reasoned, “it’s a good way for them to relieve their stress. Would you rather them actually go and kill the people they wrote down in their Death Notes?” However, all defensive arguments could be summed up in, “It’s fictional and not real. What’s the big deal?”



Death Note and Jigoku Shoujo have a lot in common…

Any child psychologist will tell you that playing out one’s imagination is an important part of childhood. The ability to act out a fantasy world either originally concocted or based on something in reality is crucial in helping a human being develop into a fully-functioning, socially well-adjusted adult. The problem is that (like anything) this idea can be abused, and such abuse can easily intersect with anime, known for its fantastic fictional settings that draw many FANS to act them out in the real world.

One type of this abuse involves a child acting out something that is considered inappropriate. It can be funny when a child unwittingly does something not befitting their age. However, children do not necessarily understand the implications and severity of their words or actions, and as such, they may engage in an activity that can be considered morally and/or socially unacceptable (you have to wait until 1:40 in that video), if not just downright offensive.



Do these girls REALLY understand what they look like?

The problem is further exacerbated when a child BELIEVES they understand the consequences of what they are doing, but in actuality, being a child, they do not. I could go into a spiel about the desensitization of sex, violence, and death in the modern age, but instead, I’ll simply point out that kids (and especially teenagers) often just don’t know any better. Before Death Note was even an idea in Tsugumi Ohba’s head, school children have been writing death threats in schools in one manner or another (it’s rather ironic that only in today’s entertainment-fueled media that such events make the news). After all, it’s human nature to wish ill on one’s enemies, and following that thought, many children wish death on those they hate, because “there is nothing more pure, honest, and cruel than a child” (by some wise man). Again, they don’t know any better, which is precisely why we educate them:
“No, sweetie, you don’t pick your nose in public.”
“No, honey, you don’t push people who are waiting in front of you in line.”
“No, dear, you don’t write down the names of people you want dead.”

This effectively counters the defense of “oh they don’t know what they’re doing – they don’t know what it REALLY means to wish someone dead – just let them be – they’re just kids.” After all, if we let such children grow up trivializing death, they will not be socially well-adjusted. On the other hand, I will grant you that maybe some young people DO know the severity of their desires, but that’s all the more reason to correct them! Either of these scenarios potentially results in a society full of impulsive individuals who take brash action at the emotional drop of a hat:
“You short-changed me.”
“Sorry, sir, let me…”
“Die!” *BANG*

Do we really want people growing up with the notion that it’s okay to want to kill anyone they hate or even dislike?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with emotionally venting out one’s frustrations at life (many would argue it’s better than keeping it all bottled in). However, a certain level of mature discretion is necessary in order to remain perceived as some one who is just pissed off, as opposed to someone who is about to commit a crime. Imagine if someone came up to you and said in hushed tones, “I hate our boss,” and compare that to if said disgruntled employee cried out, “I FUCKING HOPE HE FUCKING DIES!!!” while slamming his fist into the wall. I would wager you’d feel a bit more uncomfortable with the latter scenario. Even if you don’t believe that this postman-wannabe would actually go through with it, there are specific socially accepted ways in which someone is allowed to express their rage (case in point, take the second scenario, except this time the person is completely plastered with alcohol – MOST people would be more understanding then…except the boss).



Arima from Kare Kano: “I am in emo angst, because I keep all my feelings bottled in…”

What is specifically ironic and rather contradictory about the defense that some young people are “mature” enough to understand what it means to write a Death Note (even to point of acknowledging that it’s merely a way for them to vent their frustrations as opposed to actually carrying out any action) is that typically, they aren’t “mature” or “smart” enough to go about it so that they’re not caught. If you hate someone so much that you need to wish them dead IN WRITING, then have some common sense and put that stuff in a non-descript diary with a lock or something so that no one will be able to read it. Brandishing a black notebook with the words “Death Note” emblazoned on the front is just asking to have an eye-brow raised. It’s stupid to think that SOMEONE won’t recognize the cultural icon and what it stands for. And let’s not kid ourselves: writing a Death Note is very much like writing a death threat; no one in their right mind would not want to find out the reasons for their name (or the names of their children) being written down in such a manner.

“But it’s just playing out some fantasy! The students know it’s not real, so it’s not really a death threat.”

For a mature individual (even, dare I say, an adult), acting out anime or anything fictional falls on wide spectrum from “you must live in your parent’s basement” amusing to downright grisly and disturbing. Cosplay and cosplay skits are probably the most socially acceptable forms of acting out anime, but who hasn’t cosplayed and felt the bewildered if not critical stares of “normal” people? When someone engages in an imaginary activity that involves HARM on someone else (with the exception of all parties being aware and/or fully participating in said imaginary harm), then we’ve crossed the threshold of propriety. Can you really imagine two fans of anime being okay with one of them writing the name of the other in a Death Note?

Fan #1: Subs are the best!
Fan #2: Sorry, but I like dubs better.
Fan #1: That’s it! I’m SOOOO writing your name in my Death Note!
Fan #2: Hahah! That’s funny.
*Fan #1 pulls out his Death Note*
Fan #2: Uh…you actually have a Death Note? Um….what are you doing?
Fan #1: (mutters to self as writing) …dies by choking on Pocky…



What if someone acts out Higurashi no Naku Koro ni?

The worst part of people who act out anime too far beyond the borders of acceptability is that they ruin it for the rest of us. This can be as simple as bad cosplay, where all that happens is the blinding of anime fans, but there are so many agendas out there with opportunistic politicians ready to take up a cause and blame the whole of society’s problems on one single thing. I mean it only took one man to change the Japanese meaning of the word “otaku” from just a socially awkward and introverted hobby enthusiast to a dangerous and deranged deviant. As mentioned earlier, the Chinese school ban of the Death Note manga was not the best response, but it’s perfectly understandable why they would implement such an initiative in order to help students and faculty who were disturbed by the real-life Death Notes feel more secure. And the U.S. punishment (suspension/expulsion) of students who wrote real-life Death Notes is unquestionably justified – undesirable actions require consequences in order to correct and educate. You’re not going to stop such reactions, so why do something to generate them in the first place? I guess some FANS really need an outlet for their emotions by acting out some anime, but if this comes at the expense of having anime fall under even heavier political and social scrutiny, I find such an act incredibly selfish.

STORY TIME!

I was on staff at an anime convention, and around 2 AM, I was roaming the halls near the video games room. A rather large fellow was walking around with no shirt on, having a grand old time, smiling and posing for pictures with people touching and handling his “man-boobs.” In addition, he had terrible body acne, which is just unfortunate, but people did not need to be forced to see that. Another staff member and I looked at each other, and I decided to go over there to ask FTG (Fat Topless Guy) to put on his shirt.

FTG: “I’m security, it’s cool.”
Me: “Can I see your badge?”
*with a scoff and an arrogant face of “I told you so” he showed me his security badge*
Me: “Well, I’m pretty sure you’re not wearing cosplay, and there’s probably a rule somewhere anyway saying people can’t be topless.”
FTG: “Show me the rule.”
Me: “I’ll do something better. Let’s both go to the Head of Security. I’m sure you know him, since you work for him. We’ll ask him if it’s okay to go around the convention topless.”
FTG: “Fine, ruin my fun.” *puts the shirt back on*

Fun at the expense of others is not fun.

- Natron-e?
who makes fun of his students performing Naruto moves in the classroom

June 18, 2008 at 8:24 pm
113 comments »
  • June 21, 2008 at 9:25 amAishin

    Perhaps I do take things too seriously. I make it a goal to take honest blogs/articles that bring up points that interest me seriously, and honor them with honest contemplation. I have been accused of being a Vulcan before. I take that as a compliment, because the idea if idolizing irrationality is just too sad for me to accept.

    I’m glad you take such delight in my assumption that I had been banned.

    I can only assume that the Spam protection has more to do with the length of the text in the post then the frequency of which they are submitted seeing as how the intervals on the time stamps are as great as an hour in some instances. Hardly “Freaking out” if I may say so.

    “So, can I now say: “Without that biological innate empathy, there wouldn’t be the natural “might makes right” that is inherent in all societies?””

    No. That would be Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. Just because societal dictation of morals follows empathic ability does not mean it is caused by said ability.

    Why do I think you are propagating Ad Populum Ideas? The following;
    “those who are in power decide what is just and moral is a fact of human society.”

    Its up to the person to decide. Its that simple. I’m not saying to go for anarchy myself. Its perfectly normal to follow societies rules to a point. the key here is-

    It is up to the person to decide.

    The individual should decide on his own what is moral and how much to follow what others may attempt to dictate to him. He who would blindly follow is not moral. That is my case.

    Okay. I think you are a little confused as to what Ad Populum means.

    Ad Populum is “argument to the people”. An argument that assumes a statement to be true because it is the majority view.

    That is to say it is not the belief itself that is fallacy, but that any argument that is assumed to be true BECAUSE it is consensus is a fallacy. The emphasis here is on the argument.

    Ad Populum cannot be whatever people hold as a consensus view at the time. What I dislike and argue against is the acceptance of this faulty argument. If tomorrow people could accurately recognize and ignore such arguments it would not be a logical fallacy such as Ad Populum. It wouldn’t be an argument at all.

    In the context of the slashdot example there is proper, documented, readily available evidence that global warming is effecting climate as we speak (I didn’t think I would have to point this out). When those, usually with a religious background, refute this they are given that evidence quite readily. I find this refreshing, not because it is the consensus view, nay they are still heatedly debating it in many circles, but because evidence is given so comprehensively and succinctly that it effectively shuts them up. This is not the work of might. It is the work of one of the few valid tools we have to understand our world. Logic.

    I am curious now as to how specifically you thought it was you who were being insulted personally and not your points that were being addressed.

    I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to be learning here. Understand webpages better? Okay done. Wait more than an hour between posts… um sure. Regardless it has little to do with the validity of your or my points. I do not confuse fantasy with reality, and I stand up for what I believe in. That is all. I think comparing that with Death Note sensationalism is a bit of a stretch at best even if I was “over-exuberantly” hitting refresh here like a madman. Which I assure you is not the case. I’m actually supposed to be working.

    Give your wife my regards. Tell her that ideals matter.

  • June 21, 2008 at 12:06 pmNatrone

    I make it a goal to take honest blogs/articles that bring up points that interest me seriously, and honor them with honest contemplation. I have been accused of being a Vulcan before. I take that as a compliment, because the idea if idolizing irrationality is just too sad for me to accept.

    This is your problem: you counter one extreme with another. You take it as a compliment that someone accuses you (mostly in jest, by the way) of being EXTREMELY logic (to the point of labeling you as a fictional race from a sci-fi series), and you offer as a reason the idea that the opposite extreme (idolizing irrationality) is a very, very bad thing in your eyes (and not even in a joking fashion). Why can’t there be a balance? If that’s how you honestly are, then I honestly feel sad for you. Must be the cult up-bringing (yeah, again, probably a joke I took too far, but I can’t help but find this whole thing funny…)…

    I can only assume that the Spam protection has more to do with the length of the text in the post then the frequency of which they are submitted seeing as how the intervals on the time stamps are as great as an hour in some instances.

    Nope – it’s time intervals and frequency of the post. There are spam bots that spam something once every hour or two. Omni, I would guess, just doesn’t imagine someone to carry on a conversation this long on his blogs. Although, to be honest, if we merely kept up our current pace of discussion, you probably wouldn’t have been spam blocked. It was the fact that you posted at 11:03 pm (PST), then 11:19 am, then 11:23 am that you got the automated spam messages. And then you felt you had to post AGAIN at 12:25 AM, which removed your comments and blocked you for awhile.

    Hardly “Freaking out” if I may say so.

    Then why be so “snippy” with your remarks:
    It seems my posts or name is now cosidered spam. So congrats,
    It seems that I am blocked from replying. Conrgratulations.
    Besides, you seem to freak out (by your own admission) enough due to my harmless “propagation” of ad populum (because, it’s not really promoting the idea) that it’s so easy for me to mistake you freaking out over being silenced or censored….

    Just because societal dictation of morals follows empathic ability does not mean it is caused by said ability..

    So do two things for me as a homework assignment (TEACHER MODE :P):
    1) Take me on the train that goes from empathic ability to societal dictation of morals (you said one follows the other – outline the path).
    2) Tell me what causes societal dictation of morals (HINT: there is more than one answer -in fact there are like a “billion of them- and one of those, to me, involves empathy)

    Why do I think you are propagating Ad Populum Ideas? The following;
    “those who are in power decide what is just and moral is a fact of human society.”

    Its up to the person to decide.

    This is quickly dissolving into a semantic argument. Look, it’s called perspective. Would you rather me to say: “those who are in power decide what is just and moral as perceived by the large majority whole of society”? When a person decides that what those in power deem as immoral to be moral, that doesn’t stop said person from being judge to be immoral. It’s all relative and subjective, in the end, anyway. Can’t you imagine years from now, our descendants will look back at our ideals and think how outdated and primitive we were in our thinking? Culture and society constantly changes. And if you’re SO arrogant as to think you can find the TRUE TRUTH (hmmm…Full Metal Alchemist….) about what is right or wrong, moral and immoral, logical and illogical such that these TRUE IDEALS will last the entirety of civilization, or even better yet, sentient thought across the universe and all cultures contained therein, then you have more problems than arguing with a school teacher on an anime blog…
    (see, I can be extreme and even insulting, but I try to be funny with my hyperboles)

    Ad Populum is “argument to the people”. An argument that assumes a statement to be true because it is the majority view.
    Ad Populum cannot be whatever people hold as a consensus view at the time. What I dislike and argue against is the acceptance of this faulty argument. If tomorrow people could accurately recognize and ignore such arguments it would not be a logical fallacy such as Ad Populum. It wouldn’t be an argument at all.

    Okay, so let me give you this hypothetical situation:
    Let’s pretend that tomorrow, the majority of the people of the world become much more enlightened and philosophical than they currently are (or possibly could ever be) and say to themselves, “You know what? We should really stop believing in things just because the majority of the people believe in them. That’s Ad Populum – that’s a logical fallacy.” Now, then said majority runs in to small group people who still think it’s correct to believe in things just because others say it is so. “No,” say the detractors of Ad Populum (who, I remind you are the majority of people), “You must not follow Ad Populum! Why? Because it’s a logical fallacy. Oh, you simple minded folks do not even understand what Ad Populum and logical fallacy even mean? Well let us explain” *SEVERAL LONG HOURS LATER* “WTF you cretins, you still don’t get it?!? Fine, just don’t do it because we say so!!!” And so the small group of minority agrees and believes ad populum is wrong to practice because the larger group told them so.

    You DO see the irony of this, right? Again, I’m just remarking on how ad populum is real, part of human nature, is probably isn’t going to go away any time soon (because humanity as a majority whole is dumb). I understand your ideal to remove it (or, I guess if I have to be so specific, because you tend to semantically pick apart every sentence I write, arguments that utilize it), so, again, I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.

    In the context of the slashdot example there is proper, documented, readily available evidence that global warming is effecting climate as we speak (I didn’t think I would have to point this out).

    Don’t bring an scientifically-observable phenomenon to a discussion table about what’s morally right and wrong. I’ve told you already (and you seemed to ignore it) that what we’re discussing here (“when people act things out TOO FAR”) is really outside the realm of science. I will admit that in some cases, morals and science mix (i.e. discussions on abortions), but topic of the editorial I wrote is certainly not one of them…

    I am curious now as to how specifically you thought it was you who were being insulted personally and not your points that were being addressed.

    *ahem*
    For Christ’s sake no! Ad Populum is not true! It cant be used! You’re a teacher for crying out loud its called a LOGICAL FALLACY for a reason.

    Here, I felt you were calling into question here my ability to be a teacher…

    If by looking at things “differently” you mean “Logically” then yes we do see things differently.

    Here, while I was trying to play nice by saying “you say to-MAY-to,” and I say “to-MAH-to,” you basically told me, “no, you’re just being illogical – it’s to-MAY-to…”

    And again, I probably would not have felt insulted or attacked if the tone of your post went on a diet (i.e. “lightened up” – GET IT? yeah, yeah, bad pun) and included some humor in it. I appreciate a good ribbing, every now and then, as long as I don’t sense any maliciousness in the jokes. To be honest, I don’t really sense any maliciousness from you, either, but the way your are phrasing your arguments can be offensive not just to me, but to other people. So, in one perspective, I’m trying to educate you on the art of arguing without angering the person you are arguing with (you probably don’t care, since this is the all powerful internet which shields you in the shadow of anonymity – your trollops into slashdot are evidence enough for me on that assumption)….

    I do not confuse fantasy with reality…
    I think comparing that with Death Note sensationalism is a bit of a stretch

    I think pretty much everyone else who read the article completely understands the connection between someone who confuses fantasy with reality and real-life Death Notes. Oh, wait, sorry, did an “ad populum” there, didn’t I? :)

    Give your wife my regards. Tell her that ideals matter.

    You know, it was actually funny, because we just recently had a discussion over dinner about college degrees. Since going to college is all about opening as many doors and opportunities to a successful life (as opposed to pigeon-holing yourself down one fate that might end up with your pension being taken away from you), we were trying to figure out which type of degree would provide an avenue to the most possible jobs or careers. I mean, honestly, what can a person with a degree in French language do? Either teach French or translate it, and in regards to translating it, you could have other better degrees (M.Ba. if you’re translating for business or Poli.Sci. if you’re doing international politics) and just make sure you know the French language as a skill to pad your resume.

    Our conclusion: the engineering degree. Because the world cares more about building something practical than the ideals behind it that are taught in the classroom. For me personally, I don’t think it’s fair to say that practical reality is MORE important than ideals. I just like to have a healthy balance between the two. And you, fine sir, seem to like living in your little cave of ideals, shouting at the passerby’s about what they should be THINKING while they’re too busy DOING something with their lives….

    I do applaud you for it, but like one commenter (basically) asked me in this very editorial, “What do you want me to do about it?”

  • June 21, 2008 at 12:29 pmDorota

    Aah, the last example dumbfounded me a little, but I guess it’s the question of local laws and morals (and let me tell you one thing – for how much America poses as a free country, there sure seem to be a lot of rules forbidding something. But I digress).

    I do think people should be allowed to have various fantasies, even if they include doing things that are inacceptable. Because sometimes you just feel so powerless and angry and frustrated you need to vent it out somehow. Of course it’s sad, that those kids can’t think of no better way to do that, but it’s still better than bottling it in.
    But also, on the other hand it’s important to discuss this with children (I’m intentionaly using the word ‘discussion’, because the older the kids are the more suited the discussion is as a communication medium).
    But things like expulsion – that seems a little harsh – never forget how much of a social stigma that can be.

  • June 21, 2008 at 3:13 pmkittyrotten

    ugh… Yeah some missguided anime fans wrote stuff from deathnote on antanomy figures in the science building. Sigh….

  • June 22, 2008 at 11:07 amAishin

    You’re absolutely right. I used a false dichotomy there to justify my belief in my idolization of logic when really it needs no justification.

    Logic is the best tool we have to understand our world. all else can be subjectively interpreted. Empirical evidence and reason based there on cannot. It is especially necessary in discussion of this type.

    “Then why be so “snippy” with your remarks…”

    Okay you got me. Your verbatim replaying of my sarcasm indicates that I was mad with rage. Moving on.

    Yes I would rather you say; “When a person decides that what those in power deem as immoral to be moral, that doesn’t stop said person from being judge to be immoral.” Instead of “those who are in power decide what is just and moral”.

    They are different sentiments entirely. One seems to advocate doing what the powers that be tell you to. The other says think for yourself. This world has a lot of complex moral questions that people get presented with whether they like it or not. And from what I see people are just doing what they are told instead of figuring out how to live themselves. So it must be up to someone to educate and raise awareness. If only the idea is present in -say an article about current events- it may help to raise awareness.

    “Okay, so let me give you this hypothetical situation…”

    Your example doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because a group that understand what a logical fallacy is and why it is bad would not propagate it, lest they would be identified as hypocrites.

    Yes people believing in stupid things is real or human. I know that even in the best case scenario that cannot be educated away. But that doesn’t mean that we should do nothing. I don’t preach despair.

    “Don’t bring an scientifically-observable phenomenon…”
    I’m only mentioning this slashdot example as a reference to you request for clarification here:
    “By who? Just by you? Or by everyone? If by everyone, because they agree with your logical arguments, then isn’t that “might makes right”?”

    “Here, I felt you were calling into question here my ability to be a teacher…”

    If indeed it was a jest as you have alluded to, then I readily retract those statements. However if you are a science teacher that readily advocates faulty logic, then yes ability should be called into question. Don’t take it personally.

    You are correct, here I was being short. To imply subjectivity where none applies is a cop out as old as time. It made me somewhat annoyed.

    You’re right I don’t care to some extent. But its not the anonymity of the internet that causes me not to care, infact id be quite happy to talk to you VOIP if you wish. Its the simple fact that I’m not going to coddle people, especially if they should know better. This is not a direct reference to you, before you explode. However you have to get used, as writer to people taking issue with what believe and learn to let it roll off your back without getting personal about it. Its unprofessional if you don’t.

    Before you begin, yes I have my own blog. I have written for webpages before. As aside, I have never actually posted on slashdot before, I just read there to soak in the conflicting views.

    “I think pretty much everyone else who read the article completely understands the connection between someone who confuses fantasy with reality and real-life Death Notes. ”

    NO. This IS NOT actually an Ad Populum argument. I don’t know if its an argument at all actually.

    I would be if you said, “(person x) should understand the connection between someone who confuses fantasy with reality and real-life Death Notes because everyone else who read the article does.” THAT would be Ad Populum.

    I agree with the engineering sentiments. Of all the ideas I have I only have one that I think can change the world and shape the very way future generations will interact with life and each other, and its based on building something.

    What do I want you to do… Learn and propagate accepting things on logic and evidence as opposed to how you feel or what you are told. The world would be much more beautiful that way.

  • June 22, 2008 at 12:54 pmNatrone

    Logic is the best tool we have to understand our world. all else can be subjectively interpreted. Empirical evidence and reason based there on cannot. It is especially necessary in discussion of this type.

    Logic is subject to interpretation, at times, as well. That’s part of bringing up the whole “good of the many outweigh the good of the few?” conundrum. With the whole Star Trek and Vulcan reference (did you even see Star Trek the movie II, III, and IV?), the idea was that Spock found it highly illogical for Kirk to rescue him and place the good of the few (or one, in Spock’s case) over the good of the many. I mean, the Enterprise got destroyed due to those actions!!!

    How about this for another example? In a hostage situation, where terrorists are holding innocent civilians captive in exchange for the release of terrorist leaders, what is the LOGICALS course of action?

    1) Submit the terrorist demands (and be viewed as weak so that more terrorism occurs)?
    2) Refuse (so the hostages get killed)?
    3) Send in an elite-commando squad to rescue the hostages (which doesn’t always work out as nicely as portrayed in the movies)?

    You are ILLOGICALLY praising logic as the be-all-end-all to EVERYTHING. That’s arrogant and irrational, in and of itself. I wish you could see that, but apparently, you cannot.

    I mean, if you really believe logic to be so-powerful, then please, logically explain love. Explain how love works, in all its forms (from the benign love of two young people frolicking in the meadows to the grotesque love of S&M to the bizarre love of incest to the normal-but-frustrating “why do the good girls almost always end up with the bad boys?”).

    Yes I would rather you say; “When a person decides that what those in power deem as immoral to be moral, that doesn’t stop said person from being judge to be immoral.” Instead of “those who are in power decide what is just and moral”.
    They are different sentiments entirely.

    They’re not different sentiments ENTIRELY, one just is simply shorter than the other. “Those who are in power decide what is just and moral,” doesn’t close the door on a person rising up to decide what’s moral for themselves. Do you REALLY need to have everything spelled out for you in completely correct semantics like some law, bill, or contract written in that god-awful legalese? Hell, you’ve admitted yourself that you’ve been terse with your statements, when I called YOU out on it (mostly because you’ve been calling me out on it from your very first reply): You are correct, here I was being short.

    So it must be up to someone to educate and raise awareness. If only the idea is present in -say an article about current events- it may help to raise awareness.

    I have raised awareness. I’ve raised awareness on what this editorial was really FOCUSING on: people who act out anime too far. There are some readers, I’m sure (and verified by the comments) who didn’t realize how bad it was. You’ve just taken us on a tangent, with your claim that I’m propagating Ad Populum…

    Your example doesn’t make a whole lot of sense because a group that understand what a logical fallacy is and why it is bad would not propagate it, lest they would be identified as hypocrites.

    OMG! Do you REALLY think that there exists a perfect group of humans who have never fallen into the trap of hypocrisy!? Are you going to claim to be one of these perfect individuals who has never made a hypocritical statement!? I will readily admit that I’ve been a hypocrite before (and probably still am in certain statements). THAT’S BLOODY HUMAN NATURE!!! (see? I can freak out, too!)

    Yes people believing in stupid things is real or human. I know that even in the best case scenario that cannot be educated away. But that doesn’t mean that we should do nothing. I don’t preach despair.

    I do, because that’s the reality of things, and my take on it is that if people really realize how bad the situation is (after all, most often, people are living in blissful ignorance), then they’re more likely to do something about it. You seem to think that if someone is told how bad it is, they’ll just shrug and say, “Oh well, that’s life,” and remained imprisoned. Both are valid LOGICAL views, and it really depends on the person receiving the sermon to see which path they go down….

    However if you are a science teacher that readily advocates faulty logic, then yes ability should be called into question. Don’t take it personally.

    Why does me saying faulty logic exists and we have to deal with the real-world effects of people employing faulty logics (WHICH WILL NEVER CHANGE) suddenly translate to I’m ADVOCATING it? Suddenly, I’m thinking of one of your Latin terms…..

    Its the simple fact that I’m not going to coddle people, especially if they should know better. This is not a direct reference to you, before you explode.

    Sorry, too late! :P

    You’re not coddling me, you’re antagonizing me. It’s one thing for me to ask you after I wrote this editorial, “Was it a good editorial, Mr. Logic-Is-EVERYTHING-and-all-my-arguments-are-correct-because-they-are-based-in-logic? Were there any faulty arguments or logical fallacies in my editorial, sir?” and you responded with, “Uhhh….no….it was a….uh….fine…piece of writing…” That would be coddling. No, you took the time, effort, and energy (to the point of being assessed as spam by the automated spam filter) to come at me again and again. YOU think I should know better, so YOU’RE attacking ME. You really need to come to grips with your own emotions. That’s why I’m getting frustrated at you – you don’t even realize what you’re doing – you’re being ignorant of what you’re really feeling or, at the very least, the effects of your words and actions….

    However you have to get used, as writer to people taking issue with what believe and learn to let it roll off your back without getting personal about it. Its unprofessional if you don’t.

    I have no problem with people taking issue with what I wrote, as long as they respond nicely about it. And even if they are not nice, I have “professionally” ignored many trolls and those “TLDR” comments (would you have preferred I ignored your first comment?), and I respond to comments I feel might bring about a healthy discussion. But, this is starting to become unhealthy, because we’re straying further and further from what the editorial was really about (you have to agree with that, right?). You’re so caught up in your semantics of what each and every phrase I write means AND your “I was raised in a cult so I have a personal issue with how you are making your arguments using a latin term that half the people of the United States don’t even know what it means” that you probably don’t realize that YOU are making it personal FOR YOURSELF!

    And WTF? Just because I’m the writer in an anime blog, that solely places the responsibility of being professional on me, and you as a commenter get to say whatever you want without any bounds? You admitted yourself that you write a blog, so why don’t you exercise some professionalism in what you write? You really want to know what the problem is when we start talking about “professionalism” here? YOUR professionalism probably differs from MY professionalism. In MY professionalism, I can use anecdotal evidence (provided it’s funny) and I can insult my readers (provided they get the joke). That’s my writing style, and if you don’t like it, then all you’re having a problem with is how I write NOT what I write (which is what you’re disguising your beefs with me as). You keep saying that I’m writing erroneously about Ad Populum or whatever, but in the end, you probably just don’t like the tone and manner in which I make my arguments.

    Although, now through these conversations, I’m sure you have a beef with WHAT I’ve written and my feelings that logic is not the be-all-end-all of everything.

    NO. This IS NOT actually an Ad Populum argument. I don’t know if its an argument at all actually.

    Holy geez….IT WAS A JOKE! Are you really blind to emoticons? Let me repost what I said to elicit that response:

    I think pretty much everyone else who read the article completely understands the connection between someone who confuses fantasy with reality and real-life Death Notes. Oh, wait, sorry, did an “ad populum” there, didn’t I? :)

    Seriously, do one of two things with your life in order to succeed (and by “succeed” I mean what the majority of society views as success in life, and maybe not what YOU view as success) : 1) be a politician or 2) be a lawyer. You’re ability to continue to push your agenda without ever looking at the other side is perfect for politics and your nit-picking of semantics is perfect for law. Do THAT instead of just philosophizing about ideals, which won’t really get you anywhere in life. Years from now, when you’re retired at 40 or 50 instead of 60, you’ll thank me for it…

    What do I want you to do… Learn and propagate accepting things on logic and evidence as opposed to how you feel or what you are told. The world would be much more beautiful that way.

    Sorry. That sounds boring. I’d much rather be writing about my view on anime and its fandom and using what evidence I find to be the most pertinent, helpful to my argument, AND funny (be it logical or anecdotal in its nature) in order to support what I’ve written.

  • June 23, 2008 at 1:47 amAishin

    Yes it seems the conversation has degenerated (I would prefer to think of it as elevated) to a discussion of ideas that the original article barely touched on.

    Now you seem to be getting quite worked up to the point where you attempt to be characterizing my motivations and emotion behind my statements.

    I’ve been thinking about what my goal here is, and has been, in trying my best to point out illogical arguments and combat certain ideas. We haven’t received many other replies so I cant say that there is a third party that I might sway.

    The question is how much do I want you to understand the importance of believing things that are actually true, and not just the accepted idea, and what logic is.

    It turns out quite a bit. You are in a position to help and influence many people, both in writing and teaching. Its worth a little frustration on my part.

    However I believe I came about it the wrong way. The best path would have been to counter with examples and evidence of my own. The problem was I started as a critique of the original piece, for that is the nature of comments.

    I am not going to guess what your motivations might be as that would be highly presumptuous of me.

    I beginning to think that, at this point, VOIP is required as you seem to be, as I mentioned, misinterpreting my tone and motivations. And I as well seem to be blind to your jests. So I will end the text debate here.

    If we are to continue this in another venue, would you agree with the following summary of your last post;

    _
    Logic is open to interpretation.

    Explain these complex examples with Logic.

    There is no distinction between implying that power decides morals, and people decide morals.

    My musings on Death Note is considered raising awareness.

    People are hypocritical therefore it is valid to say they could be hypocritical on mass

    I preach despair.

    I was only implying that Ad populum exists, not that it is a valid argument.

    You are antagonizing me.

    You need to come to grips with your emotions.

    If I don’t perceive people as being nice, I take issue with what they write.

    You are taking it personally.

    You probably just don’t like the tone and manner in which I make my arguments

    You don’t get my joke.

    Become a Lawyer or a Politician.

    Being logical means not being funny or anecdotal in my writing.
    _

    I would be quite happy to address these on Google Talk. Preferably with a microphone using voice. I can be reached hexus13th@gmail.com. Hope to hear from you.

  • June 23, 2008 at 8:21 amNatrone

    I beginning to think that, at this point, VOIP is required as you seem to be, as I mentioned, misinterpreting my tone and motivations. And I as well seem to be blind to your jests. So I will end the text debate here.

    I have neither the time nor the inclination to talk to you “live” over the internet. Part of the reason why I partake in internet discussions over comment threads and message forums is for the sake of convenience. I’m a working adult (although, as a teacher, I do have my summers off, although with my paltry pay, I do try to find part-time work over the summer to help make ends meet) with a family to take care of. If you notice, I’ve only responded back to you a certain times of the day, because that’s all I can afford. Trying to coordinate a convenient time for us to have what I view as pointless discussion (even though YOU think it’s meaningful) is a waste of time for me. I still have to write the next editorial!

    Furthermore, my attempts to characterize your emotions and motivations behind your statement were mostly in jest (i.e. the cult-upbring “going-too-far” jokes). What IS real is the effect of how you speak. When I say you were antagonizing or attacking me, I’m almost 100% sure (almost, because this IS the internet) that you don’t even realize it or mean it (I DID say before that I think you’re not trying to be malicious). But the result is the same. And, so, my prerogative in this debacle of a debate has devolved (or evolved, as you seem to see it) into showing you how to communicate in a text-format WITHOUT pissing off the other person. Thus, going to VOIP is “copping out” and loses what little motivation I have in keeping up this discussion.

    You seem to have a hard time reading subtle jokes in a text-format, and you seem to not realize when you writing in an insulting manner in a text-format. It’s a damn good thing you don’t actually respond in slashdot.

    would you agree with the following summary of your last post;

    Logic is open to interpretation. Yes and no, it depends on your point of view :P

    Explain these complex examples with Logic. Oh, yes, please do…especially the love on, but the terrorist one is more “practical”

    There is no distinction between implying that power decides morals, and people decide morals. WTF? No. Never said that (you’re probably taking things too far there). I DID mention how the “POWER” that decides morals comes from people (in power)….

    My musings on Death Note is considered raising awareness. Yes. Some people didn’t even KNOW about the real-life Death Notes at all!!!

    People are hypocritical therefore it is valid to say they could be hypocritical on mass I don’t like the “therefore.” People as individuals CAN be hypocrites. A mass of people can follow a hypocritically idea. However, no individual can possibly live their life without any hypocrisy at one time.

    I preach despair.I preach reality, and a lot of reality is despair. When I get a dumb kid who thinks they don’t need a high school diploma, because they’re going to be a sports star or a rap star or a drug dealer, I don’t necessarily encourage them by painting a picture of rainbows and lollipops for them. I say, “I’m glad you have that dream and I wish you luck if you really want to pursue it, but if things don’t work out, you will definitely need this high school degree. Here’s some things to think about, in terms of how it might not work out” (and then I “preach” REAL despair)

    I was only implying that Ad populum exists, not that it is a valid argument. Yep. I know it’s a logical fallacy, but humans are logically fallible, so Ad Populum and the effects of it will always be around. Therefore, I see no problem in explaining why something exists (as opposed to JUSTIFY why it exists) by citing something that is Ad Populum in nature. Same applies for actions. I could explain why someone did something (and not JUSTIFY it) by Ad Populum. Reasons are not the same as excuses.

    You are antagonizing me.OH HELL YA!!! You might not be doing it on purpose, but you are pushing my buttons OMFGWTF@#!@)(*%$!!!!!!!111111111

    You need to come to grips with your emotions. This might be going too far, but by your own admissions, you had a traumatic experience with your cult upbringing. By bringing this to the table, you cannot state as a human being (not a Vulcan) that some emotional baggage from that is not tainting how you handle your arguments, what tone you write with, and/or possibly how wound up you are getting on the inside, even though you might feel calm and collected on the outside.

    If I don’t perceive people as being nice, I take issue with what they write.Somewhat of a simplification here. How about? If I perceive people as writing NICELY (i.e. with nice intentions), then I will respond back. However, if they are not writing nicely (and I don’t do the mature thing and ignore them), then I will take issue with how they write. Communication is vital in human society, and too many people do NOT know how to communicate properly ESPECIALLY on this stupid internet.

    You are taking it personally. You might not realize it, but I think you are, especially when you look at your anti-Ad Populum stance in the context of your cult-upbringing.

    You probably just don’t like the tone and manner in which I make my argumentsI’ll admit I’m going out on a limb here, but you probably take some umbrage over how casual I am, with my jokes and stuff. I’m probably not serious enough with my discussions, which probably frustrates you, at least I would presume as such (and, yes, I am presuming with some evidence, like your freak outs).

    You don’t get my joke. You don’t. At least you don’t properly convey you do…

    Become a Lawyer or a Politician. Yep. Would be a good career choice for you. Would put all those skills you are harnessing at me into something practically useful that could make you decent money and give you a nice lifestyle. Better than being a teacher….

    Being logical means not being funny or anecdotal in my writing. GAH! NO! Don’t know how you jumped this far (although, I do have to admit there is that school of thought that says anecdotal evidence cannot logically be generalized). Some of the best logicians who point out the contradictions or ironies are life do so to be intentionally funny. You, however, have yet to achieve this skill (which is incredibly helpful in making friends and interacting positively with human society.

    I have no problems with you NOT replying back to this (as you said you would end the text debate here). I don’t have time to do VOIP (I can write incredibly fast – this reply took me less than 8 minutes, which is why I prefer text communication). But, I decided to respond to each and every issue you brought up, because I’m stupid…..er…that is, I mean to say I don’t want there to be any misconceptions in how I presented myself.

  • June 26, 2008 at 5:14 amAzar

    I agree with you 100% on what you had to day. It seems that anime is now taking the blame for why violent actions occure. I often question what goes through these peoples minds that points the finger at somthing rather then admit fault on there behalf. I’m also curious about whats goes through the minds of the people that agree with this twisted logic and reason.

  • November 5, 2008 at 2:29 amtycoex

    I think the real problem is that CHILDREN should not be watching Death Note in the first place. It needs *at least* a pg-13 rating.

  • June 7, 2009 at 2:39 pmKira

    I absolutely adore Death Note ^-^
    It’s deffinitely my all time favorite anime (well, that and Code Geass)
    If I had to choose a side, either L or Kira’s, I honestly don’t know which one to choose. I without a doubt loved Light from the beginning, and thought L and I had numeruous aspects in common; but it wasn’t until L’s death scene that I realized how brilliant L really was. I despise Mello and Near and see them as nothing more than pathetic attempts of L clones. All in all, I think Death Note is one of the greatest animes :)

  • July 24, 2009 at 11:25 pmcan’t tell

    i completely agree, i do watch death note and i myself helping out on making a different ending to the manga with a friend of mine. i do understand why someone would write something in a death note but if i had a death note (fake) it wouldn’t be used, maybe 1 or 2 names if i’m REALLY upset. so the owning of a death note in general is absurd. i AM going to get one for a friend of mine though, because he would think it funny.

  • September 14, 2009 at 3:54 pmScorpio

    This world is cruel and rotten and all the evil people deserve to die whether it be now or soon because we all know that all hell will break loose soon.

    P.s. I have heard alot of news about kids writing classmates names in a Death Note. This might actually not be a bad idea as it shows that this child is indeed being attacked by the kids in question or bullied in other ways. In my opinion if kids want to do this then let them. I am definently going to be doing this myself with other people who hate me. And maybe i might deal out some of my own Rightous Judjement.

  • « Older Comments