Monday, November 05, 2007

My Appointed Rounds

CKR on the “ticking time-bomb" scenario that supposedly justifies legalizing torture:

The simple and justifiable response to the extreme scenario, whatever its details, is that the person deciding to use torture assumes responsibility for his actions. Later examination of the scenario determines whether or what punishment is suitable. Making law to suit the most extreme situations is always a bad idea.
Bryan Finoki on Camp Justice:
‘Camp Justice’ is – to its credit – just what it says it is: justice in the form of a camp. There is absolutely no pretense here whatsoever, nor can it be mistaken for anything else either, really, which is partially what makes it so disturbing. Not to mention how obnoxious and arrogant it is in its crude declaration of itself.
Question Technology on "techno-globalization hype" circa 1920, which includes this timely quote from George Orwell:
Reading recently a batch of rather shallowly optimistic 'progressive' books, I was struck by the automatic way people go on repeating certain phrases which were fashionable before 1914. Two great favourites are the 'abolition of distance' and the 'disappearance of frontiers'. I do not know how often I have met with statements that 'the aeroplane and the radio have abolished distance' and 'all parts of the world are now interdependent'.
Smokewriting on Richard Dawkins and the Sokal Hoax:
The strategy Sokal and Bricmont employed in carrying out this assault, and which Dawkins (whose entire review amounts to little more than fawning submission to the argument from authority) takes as some sort of model of academic practice, basically runs as follows.
  1. Take a short extract from a text, chosen more or less at random. I have selected Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
  2. The contemplation of the world sub specie aeterni is its contemplation as a limited whole.

    The feeling that the world is a limited whole is the mystical feeling.
  3. Say ‘what the fuck was that about?’

  4. Wait to be accepted as a new intellectual authority, whose name defenders of the Enlightenment everywhere can invoke in order to shut people up.
Roy Edroso on the poverty of conservatarian conspiracy theory:
Ad agencies don't get their strategies from Satan or the Democratic Party -- they get them from market data, laboriously collected and analyzed. And they employ them because they bring in money.

Conservatives often seem to miss, when raging about the stuff on their teevees, that it's really their beloved Invisible Hand that's slapping them in the face.
Last, but assuredly not least, The Disposal of Surplus Sodium, 1947. (Via Danger Room.

(Photo at top by Amy Stein, via Coudal.)

1 comment:

olvlzl said...

This post is the confirmation, I'm wasting my time arguing on those other blogs. Thanks for the Smoke Writing link and the rest, food for thought for someone who has been on a junk food diet too long.

I'm tossing out the cookies of those other blogs right now.