Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘truth

July 3 Links! Accept No Substitutes!

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(an addendum)

* CFP for ICFA 2020: Expanding the Archive.

* Forgot to link this yesterday: If The Democratic Primary Field Was a University History Department.

* Cory Doctorow: What is it that makes some people vulnerable to anti-vax messages?

I think it’s the trauma of living in a world where there is ample evidence that our truth-seeking exer­cises can’t be trusted. That’s a genuinely scary idea, because if the truth is open to the highest bidder, then we are facing a future of chaos and terror, where you can’t trust the food on your plate, the roof over your head, or the school your child attends.

Fake news is an instrument for measuring trauma, and the epistemological incoherence that trauma creates – the justifiable mistrust of the establishment that has nearly murdered our planet and that insists that making the richest among us much, much richer will benefit everyone, eventually.

* ‘They Set Us Up to Fail’: Black Directors of the ’90s Speak Out.

* Medievalism goes to war with itself.

* Milwaukee County absolutely determined to destroy itself.

* In the world’s northernmost town, temperatures have risen by 4C, devastating homes, wildlife and even the cemetery. Will the rest of the planet heed its warning? Welcome to the fastest-heating place on Earth.

Amazon destruction accelerates 60% to one and a half soccer fields every minute. Bolsonaro is the greatest crisis on the planet right now and everyone has agreed to just let it happen.

‘Families belong together’: Hundreds gather in Milwaukee to protest migrant detention centers.

Watchdog Slams ‘Overcrowding’ At DHS Detention Centers.

Trump’s Apparent Decision to Drop the Citizenship Question Is the Biggest Legal Defeat of His Presidency.

* Another ICE detainee has died in custody.

* Whatever the merits of her criticism, when those in power are caught abusing that power in ways that are morally indefensible and politically unpopular, they will always seek to turn an argument about oppression into a dispute about manners.

‘Unprecedented in Our History’: One State Is on the Verge of Slashing Higher-Ed Funding, Leaving Public Colleges in a Panic. Alaska Governor’s “Unprecedented” Higher Education Cuts Could Shutter Entire Departments.

* Will Donald Trump’s Fourth of July Parade Break the Law?

* Must have absolutely broken their hearts: FBI claims it lost file on neo-Nazi website Stormfront ‘after a reasonable search.’

The Single Most Reliable Recession Indicator of the Past 50 Years Has Officially Started Blaring.

* The madness of factchecking. The hits against Sanders this week are especially incredible even by factchecking’s already low standards.

Teenager Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency Because He’s From a ‘Good Family,’ Judge Says.

The Democrats Aren’t a Left-Wing Party — They Just Play One on TV. And a truly evergreen tweet.

 

* We had our time. The world belongs to the humanzees now.

* Sympathy for the devil.

* Why did octopuses become smart?

* Couldn’t hurt.

* They say time is the fire in which we burn.

* At least Discovery season three starts filming in two weeks, which means I should be good and disappointed by the end of the year.

Sunday Night Links

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* The New World Order One World Government wants to ban golf! Wake up, sheeple!

* …if we look closely enough, we’ll have to conclude that poverty is not, after all, a cultural aberration or a character flaw. Poverty is a shortage of money.

* From Aaron’s latest Sunday Reading:The Intellectual Situation of n+1. For U.S. universities, a failing grade in economics. The Irish Begin to Wake Up to the Fact That They are Repaying Money That is Then Burned. The Hand That Feeds. Historicizing the Conservative Think Tank. A short history of the vibrator. The Inside Story of How John Carter Was Doomed by Its First Trailer.

* Longform.org flashes back to another This American Life truth panic.

* Roland Barthes’ last doctoral student describes the writing of his dissertation. Via MeFi.

* Scientists think they’ve figured out what’s causing Colony Collapse Disorder (again). Surprise! It’s pesticides. Also via.

* Crooks & Liars has some advice for Lakoff-style reframing.

1. Never say Entitlements. Instead, say Earned Benefits.
2. Never say Redistribution of Wealth. Instead, say Fair Wages For Work.
3. Never say Employer Paid Health Insurance. Instead, say Employee Earned Health Insurance.
4. Never say Government Spending. Instead, say The People Are Investing.
5. Never say Corporate America. Instead, say Unelected Corporate Government.

* And here comes the Romney shadow cabinet. It’s even worse than you think!

Superman, Socialist

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Superman, socialist. As the link notes, he’s an illegal immigrant, too.

Written by gerrycanavan

August 26, 2009 at 12:51 am

Monday 1

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Monday!

* The trailer for the SF-infused Paul-Giamatti-as-Paul-Giamatti comedy Cold Souls causes io9 to ask whether “Charlie Kaufman” is officially a genre yet.

* Kari in the comments directs us to a defense of Holden Caulfield against the spurious assertions of irrelevance I blogged about yesterday.

* Bruce Schneier: SF Writers Aren’t a Useful Aspect of National Defense—a followup to an article I posted last month. Via Boing Boing.

* Also not useful: classifying “protests” as “low-level terrorism activity.”

* The Art of the Title Sequence considers the end of Wall-E. Via Kottke.

* What’s wrong with the American essay? I’m not sure anything is, but certainly not this:

The problem, of course, is not merely our essayists; it’s our culture. We have grown terribly—if somewhat hypocritically—weary of larger truths. The smarter and more intellectual we count ourselves, the more adamantly we insist that there is no such thing as truth, no such thing as general human experience, that everything is plural and relative and therefore undiscussable. Of course, everything is plural, everything is arguable, and there are limits to what we can know about other persons, other cultures, other genders. But there is also a limit to such humility; there is a point at which it becomes narcissism of a most myopic sort, a simple excuse to talk only about one’s own case, only about one’s own small area of specialization. Montaigne thought it the essayist’s duty to cross boundaries, to write not as a specialist (even in himself) but as a generalist, to speak out of turn, to assume, to presume, to provoke. “Where I have least knowledge,” said the blithe Montaigne, “there do I use my judgment most readily.” And how salutary the result; how enjoyable to read—and to spar with—Montaigne’s by turns outrageous and incisive conclusions about humankind. That everything is arguable goes right to the heart of the matter.

“The next best thing to a good sermon is a bad sermon,” said Montaigne’s follower and admirer, the first American essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson. In a good sermon we hear our own “discarded thoughts brought back to us by the trumpets of the last judgment,” in the words of Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance.” In a bad sermon we formulate those thoughts ourselves—through the practice of creative disagreement. If an author tells us “love is nothing but jealousy” and we disagree, it is far more likely we will come up with our own theory of love than if we hear a simple autobiographical account of the author’s life. It is hard to argue with someone’s childhood memory—and probably inadvisable. It is with ideas that we can argue, with ideas that we can engage. And this is what the essayist ought to offer: ideas.

It doesn’t seem to me at all that American letters suffers from a lack of hypotheses confused for certainties.

* And Shia Labeouf may live to ruin Y: The Last Man after all.

Another Round

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Another round: religion and politics.

* The U.N. has apparently passed a resolution banning the defamation of religion. In the U.S., at least, truth is absolute defense to defamation…

* Don’t tell the U.N.: quantum theory may make omniscience mathematically impossible.

* Richard Nixon analyzes an episode of All in the Family. Those White House tapes are a national treasure.

* Truth commissions vs. prosecutions.

* A visitor’s guide to Chinese conceptions of hell. Via MeFi.

* And are video games teaching kids the skills they need for the Apocalypse? The Onion reports.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Wikipedia and Epistemology

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Wikipedia and epistemology.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 23, 2008 at 8:57 pm

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Dreaming Up Our Own Worst Enemy

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Tim has some nice thoughts on enmity and honesty in the context of Al Qaeda’s supposed endorsement of McCain.

The point here is that the war on terror, in a historically novel way, abrogates the basic conditions of veracity that make politics a meaningful category of human discourse. If the possibility of a “terrorist” uttering a true statement is permanently witheld, there is no real enemy to fight at all–there is only our mirror image of who we are as a people. We are damned to perpetually dream up our own worst enemy–and fight ourselves to the death.

We didn’t need additional proof that I was a much less sophisticated and much more juvenile thinker than Tim, but my first reference for this incredibly silly argument was the Sicilian in The Princess Bride:

But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me…

Written by gerrycanavan

October 23, 2008 at 1:46 am