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Tue, Oct. 2nd, 2007, 08:59 am
Omnipotence and Benevolence, or Why Theodicy is the Best Case for Atheism

Heard an interview this morning with Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Click here for rant.Collapse )

Thu, May. 31st, 2007, 10:35 pm
On Institutional Culpability for Nine-Eleven

I promised mojave_wolf a post about the destruction of the World Trade Center and the explanations of it, to spare ataxi from hosting a discussion of it on an unrelated post of his.

And this cut spares you, the reader, from having it on your friends page!Collapse )

Fri, May. 25th, 2007, 09:06 am
When choosing a whore, obviousness is a plus

As the candidates jockey for ideological position, we'd do well to remember:

No matter who takes office in 2009, good policy and moral policy will only come about through mass public pressure.Collapse )

Yes, I know that I still owe you all a follow-up to my post about the Greens. It's coming.

Thu, May. 24th, 2007, 07:26 pm
Ah, what the hell

You know those hypothetical moral dilemmas that people use to illustrate ethical principles? For instance, would you kill one child to save a thousand of them, or let the thousand die through inaction? Is it acceptable to steal bread to feed your children? Objectivists love these things, since they let you pour energy into debates without having to look at reality. And I think they're the proper lens through which to view the past few days of political maneuvering.

Once again, the Congress has decided that being insulted by crypto-fascists and possibly losing elections someday is a worse outcome than killing a million innocent people.

All of which is merely my excuse for posting this:

Join Russ Feingold to help end the war

Click it to tell your Congresspeople that their constituents want them to stop committing the supreme international crime.

Sat, May. 19th, 2007, 11:44 am
Big Lies and Bigger Lies

During his recent Colbert Report appearance, it was subtly revealed that Tom DeLay made a common error in his new book: 'I believe it was Adolf Hitler who first acknowledged...'Collapse )

Wed, May. 9th, 2007, 11:13 pm
Enjoy!!!!

David Noble says that the corporation was deliberately constructed to be the "economic man" that mere humans could never be, interested only in its own monetary gain. Undistracted by familial ties, religion, solidarity with others, or a search for meaning in its existence, the corporation's legally-mandated psychopathy was seen by some as critically enabling it to bring to life Adam Smith's invisible hand.

If this is the case, then corporations are definitionally incapable of acting except in their own self-interest in the economistic sense. One can then invert this notion and define self-interest as "What would a corporation do in your shoes?" This is enlightening; indeed, in my shoes, Exxon-Mobil would work 20 hours a day, sleep in my office, pay food-delivery fees (to my office!) rather than going to the store, and so forth.

Todd McGowan says that we get enjoyment from things which go against our self-interest. If this is true, then since corporations are incapable of acting against their own self-interest, they would also be incapable of experiencing enjoyment.

Slavoj Zizek says that whereas early Victorian industrial capitalism was ruled by repression, modern late capitalism is permeated by an "injunction to enjoy". If so, this means that the social order which is demanded is one of total dichotomy between the purely self-interested corporations on the one hand and the pure-enjoyment public on the other.

The slogan "Enjoy Coca-Cola!" takes on a new meaning in this light; it might be continued, "... because the Coca-Cola Company cannot enjoy itself!"

Notably, this also effectively reserves the realm of productive work as the exclusive domain of the corporation.

Wed, May. 9th, 2007, 11:05 pm
Labor Theory of Investment and Research?

If every individual received the full value of his or her labor power, rather than being exploited by an owning class, then how would we realize public goods like infrastructural investment and research? Perhaps this is why every instance of "really existing socialism" has had a strong central state.

It's not really a rhetorical question, of course. All sorts of "voluntary associations" may be put forth to fill this void. But if you sell the revolution on the labor theory of value, what worker would then be interested in giving up the surplus he just won back?

Wed, May. 9th, 2007, 09:18 pm
I has a on-lyin' diarrhea?

I took fifteen months off out of guilt and embarrassment at my previous post. Rereading it just now, it wasn't nearly as bad as I remembered it. You guys made some good points which I want to respond to at some point. Sorry for not reading your LJ in the meantime. I'll try to catch up somewhat, but I was barely able to tread water on my friends page back in the day anyway, so don't hold your breath.

I have transitioned from webcasts to podcasts, using my new MacBook Pro and iPod. Yes, I am now one of those people, at least if you define one's fundamental character in terms of products consumed.

The main podcast I now collect is Against the Grain, a really good radio show on KPFA.

Against the Grain introduced me to Slavoj Zizek, a Slovene Lacanian Marxist philosopher-psychoanalyst. Watch him talk about toilets and shit.

I was pleased to discover that Camus also thought the leap of faith was a crock.

I have addicted myself to World of Warcraft. There is nothing redemptive in this.

I have internalized the algorithms involved in Sudoku-solving such that it's now finally as mindless as playing Minesweeper. And yet it's still the most stimulating part of USA Today.

Having bought a house about a year ago, I have been practicing human-powered lawn-mowing and snow-shoveling on a fairly large lot. Today was my fifth consecutive work-day of bus-ridership, so I feel like I'm starting to build up some eco-cred.

My new userpic is from this spring's vacation with my significant other.

LJ's spellchecker remains worse than useless.

More later.

Wed, Dec. 21st, 2005, 05:53 pm
Fuck Yoo

http://rwor.org/a/027/yoo-crushing-innocent-child-nazi.htm
http://rwor.org/a/026/torture-victims-confront-advocate.htm

I'm pretty sure that "revcom" stands for Revolutionary Communist Party. So, I am thus far taking this with a grain of salt. I don't know what this organization's precise history is, but if these guys had an affilitation with the Soviet Union (which seems plausible given their name), I wouldn't put doctoring a clip past them.

However, I haven't seen anyone allege that yet, much less prove it. Does anyone know for sure who runs rwor.org? Are they generally trustworthy? More importantly, can you find any corroboration for the specific story here? I would think there would be official transcripts available for a debate between public intellectuals like this.

So far, all I can establish for sure is that the debate took place:
http://www.gapersblock.com/slowdown/archives/2005/12/01/

... and it looks like Andrew Sullivan, at least, is willing to take rwor.org's word for it.

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