Apparently, he passed away today from complications due to cancer, first diagnosed ten years ago.
This is my favorite:
Also, a dirty Johnny joke:
Apparently, he passed away today from complications due to cancer, first diagnosed ten years ago.
This is my favorite:
Also, a dirty Johnny joke:
Alas, Arecibo. So many findings.
Maybe we can start thinking about building a telescope on the dark side of the moon?
There are reasons for hope and optimism.
This, perhaps, is one of the more important developments in recent history: Reusuable rockets mean much cheaper payloads mean much cheaper space travel:
On to other things…:
Ladies and Gents, here are my two cents: Getting political means having a principle and choosing a position about moving around limited resources. This competition is formalized through the political process, with boundaries set by our Constitution, from elections to lobbying to policy implementation to street-level politics. Washington D.C.’s a two-party town where the business is politics, and where there are some decent people and some pretty ugly people looking to be celebrities.
For old media outlets like Fox/CNN, getting political means serving a product to viewers once you’ve made certain ideas and political opinions an explicit part of your business model. This might work better during periods when our Republic has deeper reserves of institutional competence and public trust.
For NPR, who claim to speak for all the public, it means having some built-in incentives to neutrality and impartiality, but also similar capture by highly political actors and loud-Left activists, while succumbing to the same incentives of audience feedback-looping and gang-like rivalry we’re seeing elsewhere.
Merely gesturing towards your high ideals probably won’t put the genie back in the bottle, especially if politicizing your personal life and then formalizing this into a political coalition is your path forwards.
For the new, increasingly walled media gardens of Google/Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, it means creating and innovating the technology upon which people increasingly communicate, but also increasingly dealing with the politics of Washington D.C. and the politics of…people.
Business decisions are usually the primary guide, but all are subject to the biases of the people within them and the places in which they operate. In my opinion, it would have been nice if more of them choose the harder, higher road of more speech.
The restrictions could get pretty serious, pretty quickly. Follow the money.
What I expect: The older and more principled Left (Weinsteins, Greenwalds, Taibbis) have already moved to different platforms. As much as I don’t agree, there will likely be an American cultural and political center further Leftward, with a slower-growth economy and more ‘class’ resentment than before. The New-Old Left will push back, somewhat, against the New-New identitarian Left:
Ever more vigilance against the inherent autoritiarian/totalitarian consequences of the radical Left (unresolved philosophical foundations) will be required, as they push up into a new majority which will involve increasing technocracy.
Beware the Men Of System.
For me, the Trump split is a sign of the fracturing of the old Republican coalition, the likely movement of Christian America to a minority or a plurality, and people who’d like a more limited government into a fighting minority.
Basically, I’m okay with religious belief as an agnostic, would like a limited government, and support the 1st and 2nd amendments vigorously.
Maybe you disagree?
In the meantime, let a thousand Gretas bloom. [They’re coming…]
In my view, if you’re not getting a lot of reality and human nature right from the jump, reverting to authoritarian and hare-brained means of control once you co-opt institutions is a feature, not a bug.
Utopia and dystopia tend to go hand-in-glove.
In Seattle the City Council Of Nine is where the radical action happens.
‘In October, the Seattle City Council floated legislation to provide an exemption from prosecution for misdemeanor crimes for any citizen who suffers from poverty, homelessness, addiction, or mental illness.‘
Don’t count on some journalists to support your right to speak, as they….speak. Other ideas, incentives and pressures matter more to them:
If you’re thinking diversity is enough to unite a Nation under its laws, in order to keep things civil and not violent, I have my doubts.
Heather MacDonald has a new book out, and I think it’s generally correct about what mid to longer-term solutions might actually unite us: ‘The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture‘
Thanks for stopping by, and to everyone that has!
I think these will be relevant for a good long while…
“That’s the difference between governments and individuals. Governments don’t care, individuals do.”
“Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.”
“The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop.”
I think the red-headed girl’s reaction is what jokes are for.
Addition: Oh yes, it’s vulgar.
One of the better ways to deal with Antifa.
Does a public park belong to the loudest, most violent people in it?
Upsides of political idealism: Identify an injustice–>Organize like minds on the issue, forming a political coalition–>Peaceably assemble and protest within our Constitutional framework–>Pursue the truth and use your speech to persuade, as many people as possible, for as long as possible, eventually drafting new legislation.
It ain’t easy but it can be done. No one can fully right past wrongs. Not all new laws are good laws. Oh, the suffering.
The downsides of political idealism: Individuals, especially groups of individuals, identify with what they’re against as much as what they’re for. Politics occurs in a world of limited resources, is factional, and often divides as much as unites. Human ignorance is pretty much the rule, not the exception.
I see a lot of rapid change, and continued pressure and buckling of our political parties and many of our institutions, and some kind of new secular, religious ‘woke’ glue now binding many of the cracks.
Under the presumed universal ideals of (M)an, (H)umanity, Enlightenment (R)eason and Atheism (in which I have a foot), travel political ideals like (D)emocracy, (P)eace) and (E)quality.
Beneath (D)emocratic idealists are many Democratic (S)ocialists, nihilists, anti-fascists, anarchists, and people who just want to tear a functioning democracy down.
Beneath (P)eace idealists are people behaving…not so peacefully.
Beneath the (E)quality idealists are various ‘-Ismologists’ (race, gender, anti-human, anti-Nature environmentalists) who only see the world through narrow ideological lenses, full of many questionable knowledge and truth claims about reality and human nature, perfectly willing to take control of our existing institutions until they bring about utopia.
Don’t be like this lady.
James Lindsay further discusses exposure of the specious knowledge claims behind targeted postmodern grievance studies programs (if it has ‘studies’ after it, you should probably study something else).
Do you remember the Sokal hoax?
Other constantly recycled humor links:
–Zombo.com. You won’t know unless you click.
-Via David Thompson, if you don’t have time to watch Gymkata, this is the next best thing.
-Click here to experience ‘The Gobbler.‘
‘If you’re ever wondering what the War Room of “Dr. Strangelove” would look like if the movie had been directed by Prince, here you go.’
“You can’t be a successful dictator and design women’s underwear. One or the other. Not both.”
I could not find it for free, but you can check out the first few pages at the above link.
Also, this piece discusses some of Wodehouse’s darker characters. There’s a polished musicality and a keen ear that leads to superb comic timing and great depth. It’s farcical and moves along nicely, but also a provides a look at a whole society and generation through the goings-on of a lovable fop.
You don’t have to be Anglo, nor an Anglophile, to appreciate such writing I don’t think.
What a ghastly Youtube still:
***I got nuttin’ these days but reposts. This blog doesn’t pay!
The following is absolutely, 100% true: Dale Lonagan is back in the news, and the usual ‘Cult Leader or Visionary of The Modern Age?’ rumors have resurfaced. I thought I’d add some color to this barely sketched tale of peace and progress (how did The Human Pagoda come to be)?
Not Dale Lonagan!:
By Nancy Wong – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=44427361
The backstory (indoor gamin): Dale Lonagan is the illegitimate child of an international bureaucrat and the climate change journalist sent to cover him. Like so many orphans, Dale’s early life is one of hardship. He was abandoned and neglected, but fortunately for humanity, he was cast adrift within the bosom of collective progress.
The lad learned to survive within the corridors of diffuse economic and unelected bureaucratic power, selling stolen hand-soap at the bathrooms and cafeterias of 405 E. 42nd St.
‘O Global child, brilliant and wild, Earth calls before the Fall‘
Vincent van Gogh [Public domain]
For years, the boy knew only the touch of linoleum and cold marble, drifting off to sleep to the soft sursurrations of motions passing the floor. How such bureaucratese might have nested in his brain is anyone’s guess, but I once heard him recite nineteen climate resolutions consecutively from memory.
***How the outside world may have looked to a young wharf child, peering out from within The International Style:
Giorgio Galeotti [CC BY 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
‘I’d just grab the gallon bags off a the truck at the loading docks. The 10 gallons were bigger than my head. I’d stash ’em alongside my bed (a bed made of shredded U.N. resolutions). I slept myself the world.’
Enter Marine Stroop-Gruyere, Ambassador Minister Undersecretary for the Culture Of Peace. This committed global citizen noticed a young boy darting and wrapping himself awkwardly within a row of global flags.
He wore no socks, nor shoes, and the flags seemed to keep him warm.
After months of debates within her own heart and mind, she took action. She coaxed the young savage from a translator’s booth with morsels of locally sourced honey graham crackers sold for $13.99 a package. She took young Dale to her bosom. Stroop-Gruyere enrolled Dale in the United Nations Tour Guide Program.
After some months, Dale blossomed, soon becoming the youngest ‘Ambassador to The Public‘ in the history of the institution.
Year after year, watching the gavels lift and drop, seeing the commmittees come and go, a long view developed within this growing visionary leader’s heart and mind. Dale began to see that his thoughts, words and actions could make a difference.
He was becoming fully human.
To Be Continued
I don’t want to overlook the actual freedoms, innovation, tolerance, and open-mindedness West Coast cities can offer, but, boy, there sure are a lot of fruits, nuts, flakes and dreamers out here. Across the nation, one wonders about character formation and institutional stability under what I’ll call doctrines of Liberatory Self-Help, and all the ways it can go wrong:
The idea of love toward into a political force shouldn’t seem absurd, given that hatred turned into political force is wreaking havoc with the world even now. Gandhi and MLK Jr. spoke of love turned into a large scale social force for good; creating that force is our task today.
— Marianne Williamson (@marwilliamson) July 1, 2019
In the meantime, I’ve joined a great new group: We can be pretty aggressive about recruitment goals, but we’re making progress:
Excuse me, sir. Do you have time to talk about our lord and savior, Godzilla??? pic.twitter.com/L1GCJ7XS6x
— Nyoman Indra K. (@nyombek) July 4, 2019
Around Seattle, I’ve heard talk of the Ramtha School Of Enlightenment:
‘Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) is an American spiritual sect near the rural town of Yelm, Washington. The school was established in 1988 by JZ Knight, who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old being called Ramtha the Enlightened One.’
Let’s just say if you don’t believe there are lizard-people out there, waiting to remorselessly devour tasty human flesh after the impending and catastrophic eruption of Mt.Rainier, well, buddy, you’re the one with problems.
This stuff is funny until you’re on your own, wandering an unknown road at dusk, just trying to find a source of warmth to regulate your body-temparature for the night:
Dear Reader, this means I may have to leave The Human Pagoda. Please click through to read about our spiritual and material Leader, raised in the ducts of the United Nations.
By all means, please skeptically assess the level of your own skepticism, admitting new knowledge and experience, but with the ol’ bullshit detector constantly running:
Yoram Hozany at The American Mind: ‘Conservative Rationalism Has Failed:
‘In recent decades, American and European elites have devoted themselves to the project of rethinking society from scratch.
What were once linchpin concepts such as family and nation, man and woman, God and Scripture, the honorable and the sacred, have been found wanting and severely damaged, if not overthrown. The resulting void has been filled by new doctrines, until now mostly neo-Marxist or libertarian in character. But a racialist “white identity” politics in a Darwinian key is gathering momentum as well.’
What the hell is going on here, anyways? What is a ‘flower crime-scene?’:
If we are coming apart, who’s putting us back together? : Via Youtube: ‘Are We Really Coming Apart?’ Charles Murray and Robert Putnam Discuss…Repost-Charles Murray Lecture At AEI: The Happiness Of People
Related On This Site: Once you take apart the old structure, you have to criticize the meritocracy you’ve helped create: David Brooks At The NY Times: ‘Why Our Elites Stink’
The anti-intellectual’s intellectual: Repost-Via Youtube: Eric Hoffer-’The Passionate State Of Mind’…
A deeper look at what education “ought” to be, which is remarkably like it is now: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.
Still reliving the 60′s?: A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”
The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”… From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…Looking to supplant religion as moral source for the laws: From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum.New liberty away from Hobbes?: From Public Reason: A Discussion Of Gerald Gaus’s Book ‘The Order of Public Reason: A Theory of Freedom And Morality In A Diverse And Bounded World’…Richard Rorty tried to tie postmodernism and trendy leftist solidarity to liberalism, but wasn’t exactly classically liberal: Repost: Another Take On J.S. Mill From “Liberal England”Via Bloggingheads-Helen Andrews On Meritocracy
Plot(s) of the 1st and 2nd ‘Poltergeist’ movies: A naive surburban family buys a house from greedy speculators who’ve built atop an ancient Indian burial ground. Horror unfolds as they discover the truth about their home, the past and the supernatural as they must act to protect their innocent daughter.
Later, it turns out the spirits were just wayward souls moving Westward across America, having blindly followed their religious leader into a cave for eternity. Slowly they rolled a boulder over the only entrance in preparation for the coming End times.
No more sunlight.
Let’s do a quick re-write: The shabby, itinerant preacher wandering the countryside is actually just a Marxist. Released from a local university due to recent budget cuts (evil oppressors), his trust fund is nearly gone. Moving from town to town on the fringes, seeking (P)eople, (M)ankind and (E)quality, [others] don’t seem to want the light he has to bring. Why can’t they see the material world as it really is?
Critical theory is actually a very valuable tool, [he says].
He knows a lot about art and the avant-garde, (S)cientific progress is coming and in fact his ideas are (S)cientific, too. Some kids think he’s cool. Maybe he’ll get into politics.
‘They’ don’t want you to succeed, he says. Your identity is sacred. Liberation is next.
The Environmental End Times are nigh!
All the inequality and suffering in the world can be explained by this here doctrine:
It’s interesting to see where Bernhard Henri-Levy is headed:
On Jeremy Corbyn:
‘He is that “pilgrim of peace” shown in shocking videos, dug up by the British press this summer, meditating at gravesites in Tunis, at least one of which being that of an organizer of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
He is that easy-going politician who has welcomed as a major donor to his campaign the same Ibrahim Hamami who, after years as a columnist for Hamas’ official newspaper, became an advocate for the knifing of Jews in Israel.’
Andrew Sullivan had a decent piece on Corbyn’s rise through the Labor party in Britain.
It’d be nice if the satirical impulse currently hovering over the safe targets (Christians, corporations, white men) were unleashed upon religious restrictions as found in Islam, the excesses of feminism, or say, a certain shabby, itinerant socialist preacher wandering the global countryside in search of his oppressed People.
It’d be even nicer if a lot of people with relatively [little] meaning in their lives weren’t looking to cartoons, comics and children’s books to be the sole source of meaning. Or at least, that many ‘thought-leaders’ didn’t end up policing the cartoons, comics and children’s books they once enjoyed and now claim to be sacred and meaningful.
It seems there are taboos, here.
Converting important information channels into ideological echo-chambers is unsurprising given human nature (Twitter), I suppose, but converting laughter into ceaseless ‘explanation,’ artists into ‘celebrities’ and art blurbs into entire careers is a deeper offense.
How do you avoid getting sucked under muddy waters?:
One way is to go in the direction of nihilism, or the freely associative, and surrealistic:
That, too, has its dangers.
Perhaps we simply aren’t ready for Henri-Levy’s more libertine, radical, French liberalism, which he displayed by coming over in the spirit of Tocqueville and pissing on the sides of our highways. Why, he even helped Obama and Hillary Clinton pursue a course of action in Libya.
As previously posted:
More On Nietzsche’s influence-Part of Bryan Magee’s series:
Nietzsche directed his thought against Christian morality, secular morality (Kantian and utilitarian), was quite anti-democratic, and anti-Socratic Greek (the beginning of the end).
Quote found here at friesian.com (recovering Kantian idealism and moving in a libertarian direction):
‘Oddly enough, it is the intellctual snobbery and elitism of many of the literati that politically correct egalitarianism appeals to; their partiality to literary Marxism is based not on its economic theory but on its hostility to business and the middle class. The character of this anti-bourgeois sentiment therefore has more in common with its origin in aristocratic disdain for the lower orders than with egalitarianism.’
Related: From Darwinian Conservatism: Nietzsche-Aristocratic Radical or Aristocratic Liberal?
The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”… From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…Looking to supplant religion as moral source for the laws: From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum.…