Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Other Stuff

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Other stuff.

* Jaimee has a piece in the Indy Green Guide this week comparing dueling energy initiatives in the North Carolina State Legislature.

* Begging as labor: Alex Greenberg thinks it over.

* Science fiction’s most evil corporations.

* Hope for Dollhouse? Prison Break return disappoints,’ scoring 75% of Dollhouse‘s regular audience in the Friday night death slot.

* Making Samuel Beckett.

* The Brick Testament has reached The Book of Revelations.

* “Metaphysics in a Time of Terrorism,” by Terry Eagleton. Via MeFi.

The distinction between Hitchens or Dawkins and those like myself comes down in the end to one between liberal humanism and tragic humanism. There are those who hold that if we can only shake off a poisonous legacy of myth and superstition, we can be free. Such a hope in my own view is itself a myth, though a generous-spirited one. Tragic humanism shares liberal humanism’s vision of the free flourishing of humanity, but holds that attaining it is possible only by confronting the very worst. The only affirmation of humanity ultimately worth having is one that, like the disillusioned post-Restoration Milton, seriously wonders whether humanity is worth saving in the first place, and understands Swift’s king of Brobdingnag with his vision of the human species as an odious race of vermin. Tragic humanism, whether in its socialist, Christian, or psychoanalytic varieties, holds that only by a process of self-dispossession and radical remaking can humanity come into its own. There are no guarantees that such a transfigured future will ever be born. But it might arrive a little earlier if liberal dogmatists, doctrinaire flag-wavers for Progress, and Islamophobic intellectuals got out of its way.

*Think Progress says “Obama’s Immunity For CIA Agents Still Leaves Prosecutions Of Senior Bushies On The Table.” People need to accept that Obama’s going to let us down on this. He told us he would. He will.

* Your taxes at work. See also.

* A major EPA ruling this week declared carbon dioxide a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. More analysis at the Oil Drum.

* Imagine finding yourself aboard a burning ocean liner. An increasing number of people are trying to put it out — and they stand a good chance, if they can get access to the fire axes and hoses. Unfortunately, some rich old fat guys are sitting in deck chairs blocking the equipment, enjoying drinks and appetizers, and every time the other passengers try to get them to move, the rich old fat guys say they don’t really believe in the fire, and even if it does exist, it probably can’t be put out so we should just trust in the new lifeboat being built. And, sure enough, there on the deck is a guy is a brilliant, somewhat unworldly professor, busily sketching a design for a new lifeboat as the smoke billows in larger and larger clouds.

That’s a pretty fair analogy for the situation in which we find ourselves, and for the role geoengineering is playing in the climate debate.

* The Wire series bible.

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