Archive for July 7th, 2005

The Joys Of eBay…

I just have to vent my frustration with some eBay/Half.com orders that have all gone horribly wrong in different ways…

Exhibit A: PS2 game never shows up. I wait 3 weeks and finally message the seller. No response for a week. I check my eBay messages: Nothing. I try to check Hotmail: Down. Finally leave negative feedback for seller, who it turns out finally did e-mail me today, asking if I got the package. Fab. She left me negative feedback and called me unprofessional, and now we’re trading pissy e-mails (she just got out of the hospital, she was just about to send me a replacement…). What fun.

UPDATE: This one may actually work out okay – she sent me a mutual-negative-feedback-removal request form, and will send me a replacement with tracking and everything.

Exhibit B: Xbox game shows up, but is massively cracked and completely unreadable, much less playable. I message seller asking for replacement or refund, and he says it must have been cracked in shipping. I point out that the case is perfect, and that the disk looks fine from the front, and suggest that maybe they didn’t inspect the back. No, no, they respond, they inspect everything before they send it – perhaps I somehow managed to crack the disk from hub to rim while removing it from the case, without even noticing it… Oh, and that Half.com has a process for resolving these sort of things. Yes, I’m sure that will go well. I suspect another exchange of negative feedback and pissy e-mails is in the offing, especially since they had perfect feedback up to now…

Exhibit C: Seller does everything right, but I have to redirect package to apartment leasing office so UPS will deliver. UPS tracking claims package was delivered and signed for by an actual leasing office person, but no sign of package; leasing office says UPS never even showed up on the day they supposedly delivered my package. Fabulous. I’ve asked the seller to open an investigation with UPS (receivers can’t open investigations), God only knows how this one’s gonna turn out.

3 comments July 7th, 2005 at 07:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Wankers

Wanker(s) Of The Day

With apologies to my religious friends (RMJ, Prior A, left rev), yet another reminder of why I’m not religious – from an op-ed piece by the archbishop of Vienna. Count how many times your head explodes:

Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection – is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

(snip)

[Pope John Paul II] went on: “…To speak of chance for a universe which presents such a complex organization in its elements and such marvelous finality in its life would be equivalent to giving up the search for an explanation of the world as it appears to us. In fact, this would be equivalent to admitting effects without a cause. It would be to abdicate human intelligence, which would thus refuse to think and to seek a solution for its problems.”

Yes, that’s right – evolution is ideology, and creationism/intelligent design is science. Invoking evolution means “giving up on the search for an explanation,” but saying “It’s God’s will” does not. Just spectacular.

As a side note on the topic, there is an insidious aspect of intelligent design that I don’t think I’ve ever seen mentioned anywhere: If the development of life on Earth is all according to God’s plan rather than natural selection, then the same is true of extinctions. This effectively absolves mankind of all responsibility for protecting endangered species, because if they die out, well, it was just God’s will, can’t be helped. Kind of a Christian Scientist approach to the environment…

3 comments July 7th, 2005 at 12:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Religion,Science,Wankers

Corporate Cellouts

NYT addresses a subject near and dear to my heart… sort of.

In the great American debate about cellphone etiquette, some of the early turf battles seem to be settled, with winners and losers falling into camps familiar from Western Civ classes. Movie theaters, funerals and libraries appear to have been carried by the cell Rousseauists, who believe the social contract forbids such things as shouting intimate details into a piece of plastic in a room full of strangers.

Most public transportation systems, on the other hand, appear to belong to the cell Hobbesians, who believe that since life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short, there’s no need to give the rider engrossed in her newspaper in the seat next to you a quiet commute. Restaurants constitute a middle ground, in a state of détente. Everyone knows it’s rude to use a cellphone at dinner, but civilized people do it anyway.

The workplace, though, remains unsettled territory….

(snip)

The points of friction… are numerous: the executive who takes a cell call in the middle of a meeting; the phones that blast impossible-to-ignore ring tones in a busy office; the seminar leader who interrupts his speech to take a call on his cell; the co-worker who, like clockwork, answers hers to discuss lunch choices with a child.

(snip)

One reason office cell etiquette is so scattered is that different people use the phone differently. Some people flaunt their cellphones at work to show how important they are, said Ms. Hastings, whose office takes 400 calls a day for help with workplace issues. “In some office cultures, the more calls you get, the more powerful you seem,” she said.

Others use the cell as an alternative communications network for the people they really want to talk to – children, paramours, baby sitters, plumbers, gurus – while the land line carries all the calls they want to screen out. “People tend to give their cellphone number out less frequently, and it’s not printed in a phone book,” Ms. Hastings said. “So they feel it’s a little more direct to them. Whereas the desk phone, anybody could be calling you.”

I’m amazed that talking on your cellphone is still considered a sign of status and power – any yahoo can get a cellphone and blather on it all day long, and it doesn’t mean they’re important, just narcisisstic and rude. I’m still waiting for a backlash where flaunting your cellphone is considered desperate and gauche, like someone obsessively showing off their keen digital watch.

Oh well, what do I know – I’m just a Luddite with three computers, a wireless network, and a digital camera…

July 7th, 2005 at 01:18am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology,Wankers


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