Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘dialectic

Thursday Night Links!

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Being a collection of things I may or may not have forgotten to include in today’s Thursday links.

* Postcolonial Catan. The English version of the piece starts about halfway down the page.

* A defense of Contemporaneanism. Typical tripe from the rearguard forces of retro-Contemporaneanism. Search my blog archives for a definitive rebuttal.

* Athletics forever! New Rutgers report reveals subsidies for athletics are not declining as originally forecasted.

* In short, when institutions invest in pools and climbing walls, they are catering to the needs of their least motivated, and least needy, clients — good for the colleges’ bottom lines but the opposite of society’s priorities. I’d need a lot more evidence even to grant these were “good for the colleges’ bottom lines.”

* The sky was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel, and the clocks were striking thirteen: Ms. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender, C.A.G. Acceptance of Mesa, Ariz., remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting.

* Dialectics of Obamaism: Campaigners said the Pacific Remote Islands reserve – because of its sheer scale – would cement Obama’s conservation legacy. However, they noted that Obama had dramatically scaled back the reserve following opposition from the commercial tuna industry. I dunno, that seems to cement it pretty well.

Making use of PSID data for 1984, 1989, and 1994, we examine race differences in patterns of asset accumulation. Our results indicate, as expected, that inheritances raise the rate of wealth accumulation of whites relative to that of African Americans. But, while whites devote a greater share of their income to saving, racial differences in saving rates are not significant, once we control for income. Though our results may be period-specific, we also do not find evidence that the rate of return to capital is greater for whites than for African Americans. Simulations suggest that African Americans would have gained significant ground relative to whites during the period if they had inherited similar amounts, saved at the same rate, had comparable income levels and, more speculatively, had portfolios closer in composition to those of whites. And thus.

* All in all it’s a good time to be rich.

* BREAKING: They looted the public pensions but good.

* What we need now, more than ever, are technologies and organizations that are not only equally useful, but also more desirable than the status quo. Too often, leftists engage in a strange kind of doublespeak—on the one hand, we describe an insidious marketing machine that can produce want-product binaries with ruthless efficiency and efficacy, and on the other offer up restricted diets and buggy open source software as alternatives. How do we expect to win the hearts and minds of future generations?

* CCSF Accreditation Case Will Proceed to Trial.

* Inside the Koch Brothers’ Toxic Empire.

H.P. Lovecraft Stories Retold As Goofy One-Page Comics.

* F.B.I. Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000.

* I don’t know that the state really needs to fight every case: Pennsylvania Attorney General Blames Woman For Her Own Rape.

* U. of North Texas Took $75-Million Extra From State, Auditor Finds.

* And you think things are bad now: Venture Capitalists Are Poised to ‘Disrupt’ Everything About the Education Market.

* But it’s not all bad news: Bill and Ted live!

Hegel, Master, Slave

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As contingent faculty at Bentley prepare for their union election, however, Dempsey is hopeful that it will be the adjuncts who find themselves in a position of power. Universities “have become so addicted to the profits of using adjuncts that … they’ve overextended themselves,” he says. “If we strike, the school stops.”

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June 6, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thursday Night Links

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Quick Hits

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Quick hits:

* ‘To shoot a man because you disagree with him about Hegel’s dialectic is after all to honour the human spirit.’ —George Steiner

* Via Posthuman Blues, Centauri Dreams looks at Stephen Hawking’s recent speech on space exploration and ‘the long result.’

“We cannot envision visiting [Earth-like planets around other stars] with current technology, but we should make interstellar travel a long-term aim,” he said. “By long term, I mean over the next 200 to 500 years.”

* Attention universe: please stop making me sort of respect Jenna Bush.

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April 24, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Sunday Morning Links, Including Proof I Would Have Never Cut It in Law School

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Some random links I’ve been hanging onto this weekend:

* Congratulations to Girl-Wonder.org, finally getting their memorial for Stephanie Brown (Robin IV) in the Batcave. Finally, there’s no more sexism in comics. At last.

* Here’s Shift, a quick but enjoyable platform game that relies on rotating the playing field for its gimmick.

* Deal to end writer’s strike near?

* There were five accidental taser deaths in January. It’s a good thing these things are non-lethal…

* And finally, via MeFi, here’s an interesting article wrestling with the tough questions at the margins of of attorney-client privilege. The MeFi comments have a lot of other good links on the same subject. I recognize intellectually the reasons why one ought to be a absolutist in favor of procedural protections like attorney-client privilege, but I have to admit that in practice I feel willing to sacrifice ironclad rules in favor of results that seem plainly more just. The important point for me is that the Law is only a proxy for justice, an approximation of it; the Law and justice are not the same thing.

The question, always, is where the move away from strict legal proceduralism stops—and the impossibility of drawing any sort of line short of pure absolutism inevitably pushes me, dialectically, back towards absolutism again…

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February 3, 2008 at 3:19 pm

His Dark Materials and the Negation of the Negation

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moreintelligentlife.com has a mildly slavish interview with fantasist-of-the-moment (and notorious atheist!) Philip Pullman that’s worth reading if you’re interested in either children’s literature or religious controversy. Here’s a bit where he rags on Lewis and Tolkien:

Several times Pullman reminds me that a work of fiction is not an argument. Perhaps it’s safest to say that in “His Dark Materials” he has constructed his own imaginative world so as not to submit to anyone else’s. He likes to quote William Blake’s line: “I must create a system, or be enslav’d by another man’s.” His story is a rival to the narratives put forward by two earlier Oxford writers, J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” and C.S. Lewis’s “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Pullman loathes the way the children in Narnia are killed in a car-crash. “I dislike his Narnia books because of the solution he offers to the great questions of human life: is there a God, what is the purpose, all that stuff, which he really does engage with pretty deeply, unlike Tolkien who doesn’t touch it at all. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is essentially trivial. Narnia is essentially serious, though I don’t like the answer Lewis comes up with. If I was doing it at all, I was arguing with Narnia. Tolkien is not worth arguing with.”

1) It’s a train wreck, not a car crash, though this was probably the interviewer’s error and not Pullman’s. (The Problem of Susan is worth footnoting here as well.)

2) This is a strange thing that seems to happen to a lot of atheists and agnostics, and I say that certainly having recognized the impulse in myself at times as well. Rather than exiling religious and metaphysical questions to the margins, as you might expect, the recognition of the non-existence of God has the exact opposite effect: the question of God becomes the only one worth asking and the only thing worth talking about. Hence the ludicrous claim that Tolkien is “essentially trivial” because Lord of the Rings is neither a theistic nor atheistic polemic.

I don’t quite know what to make of this, but it’s very interesting. Clearly, Pullmanistic atheism has mastered the negation, but just as clearly it needs to find some way to move forward into the negation of the negation. I think that’s what actually existing atheism would have to be, rather than the cancerous anti-theism that so thoroughly dominates the category today.

Written by gerrycanavan

December 8, 2007 at 7:45 pm