Watched the first two episodes on the fourth Witch Hunter Robin DVD. Very interesting! The plot is starting to twist. I was intrigued by the way they used a totally new costume for the main character to signify a major change of state.
The big topic of the day, though, is even more interesting things that Perlick [nehrlich] has brought to my attention through his blog. This article (Phil Agre on conservatism) should be required reading for everyone. I'm only partway through it (lots to absorb) but it's just revelatory. It presents a model of the world that explains a LOT of things.
I have been wishing for some way to make sense of how the conservative mindset works, because I Just Don't Get It™, and I think this is a really big step. Also interesting is this older post of his on George Lakoff on moral politics. The two paragraph summary of the idea is so important that I'm just going to quote it myself, to try and spread the idea even further:
...the progressive worldview is modeled on a nurturant parent family. Briefly, it assumes that the world is basically good and can be made better and that one must work toward that. Children are born good; parents can make them better. Nurturing involves empathy, and the responsibility to take care of oneself and others for whom we are responsible. On a larger scale, specific policies follow, such as governmental protection in form of a social safety net and government regulation, universal education (to ensure competence, fairness), civil liberties and equal treatment (fairness and freedom), accountability (derived from trust), public service (from responsibility), open government (from open communication), and the promotion of an economy that benefits all and functions to promote these values, which are traditional progressive values in American politics.
The conservative worldview, the strict father model, assumes that the world is dangerous and difficult and that children are born bad and must be made good. The strict father is the moral authority who supports and defends the family, tells his wife what to do, and teaches his kids right from wrong. The only way to do that is through painful discipline - physical punishment that by adulthood will become internal discipline. The good people are the disciplined people. Once grown, the self-reliant, disciplined children are on their own. Those children who remain dependent (who were spoiled, overly willful, or recalcitrant) should be forced to undergo further discipline or be cut free with no support to face the discipline of the outside world.
Heavy stuff, a lot of work to take it all in, but it encourages me. All problems are solvable if you can just get a good enough understanding of how the system in question works, and these are important pieces.