Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Candide

Rising from the Ashes Thursday

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* Confusion Reigns Over Legality of Anti-Union Bill Passage in Wisconsin. I offered in the MetaFilter thread last night my suspicion that having this bill overturned on procedural or state-constitutional grounds could be Walker’s face-saving exit strategy at this point; it’s been very common over the last few decades for Republicans to pass transparently illegal or unconstitutional legislation as red meat for the base, only to raise additional cash when “activist judges” throw the legislation out. If the lack of quorum genuinely tied his hands, illegitimately claiming to have passed the law anyway lets Walker still claim to have won. It’s certainly being reported that way.

* Watching Twitter last night was inspiring, despite the defeat. Calls for a general strike in particular are exiting; that’s something I’d never expected to see happen here. (The last was apparently in 1934.) The class war is definitely happening out in the open in the moment: Wisconsin GOP Bill Allows State to Fire Employees for Strikes, Walk-Outs. No strike yet.

* Elsewhere in union-busting news: The many lies of Chris Christie, in the New York Times.

* So what is this Manifesto? In essence, it is a vindication of the arts and humanities as the most valuable of social and cultural practices.

* Flying cars: just one year away.

* And you always knew it: science proves running a lot will kill you.

Candide 2.0

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All Possible Worlds is the digital extension of the New York Public Library’s current “Candide at 250: Scandal and Success” exhibition; one of the highlights is Candide 2.0, a “networked edition” of the text annotated by professors, novelists, playwrights, and translators. I’ve been having an email conversation with the curator, Alice Boone, about reading Candide as a kind of proto-science-fiction novel, which I’ve always thought it was; something between a thought experiment and a dystopia, Candide was even on my “SF, Modernity, and Empire” exam list at one point.

More than that, though, Candide is one of those books I read as a teenager and could just never forget; it’s probably one of the ten novels most responsible for building my young leftist, atheist self…

Written by gerrycanavan

February 25, 2010 at 9:34 pm