Re: Denial is an illocutionary act

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So Ben is gonna help me with my math homework?

Weird, but okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 10:54 PM
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All the beer is still in the fridge, right?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 10:57 PM
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I guess that depends on whether you have a pro-attitude regarding obtaining beer and the belief that beer is in the fridge, or are making an allusion I don't get.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 10:59 PM
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What class are you taking, Sifu?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 11:00 PM
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It had better not be to Grice. God.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 11:00 PM
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4: I am taking two relevant classes, one of which is Introduction to Probability, which is a uh upper division uh kind of a math class, the other of which is, uh, Statistical Methods in Artificial Intelligence, which is I think a grad class?

In both of them any and all of the commentariat are welcome to help me with my homework.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 11:20 PM
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"Did you threaten to overrule him"?


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 10- 8-08 11:57 PM
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So, is it the anti-trust laws that keep the MSM from meeting in a room somewhere and deciding that, with respect to spectacles like Cullen Sheehan's, "the next time one of these mutherfuckas pulls this shit we're rushing the stage stompin' his ass", or is it more of a "gee, my ultimate goal in life is to fellate a politician in private while lying to the public in public"?

Also.


Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 1:09 AM
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If the dude had been the slightest bit ashamed of what he was doing, or if he'd struck up some 'Look guys I'm just doing my job' cameraderie with the reporters, I'd feel some sympathy. But he's just being a smug asshole about the fact that he's stonewalling the press.

Okay, now googling reveals that he's the campaign manager, not just some hapless press flack. May this haunt him to his grave and taint all his future clients.


Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 3:09 AM
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I wonder what reporting resulted from this. I hope the story didn't say, "The Senator has reported every gift he has received" without some explanation that this is pretty clearly a false statement.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 4:44 AM
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Ah well, whatever the MSM does with this sort of thing, the bloggers and Youtube are on the case.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 4:51 AM
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Actually, what Neil says shows that the guy isn't on top of his game (lying) yet. Getting the reporters into a sophisticated, jokey, cynical "we're all in this together" mood has been a big part of the media game. It's succeeded disastrously well; by now most of the political media are worthless and actively harmful. It's not possible to disgrace a political consultant or a political reporter (they switch roles a lot) because they're all assumed to be liars and in someone's pocket.

I've seen interviews, though I didn't bookmark them, where a media guy has said that it would be unprofessional to call a political spokesmen on their lies rather than just stenographing their statements, because that would be non-neutral and "injecting personal opinion". Some of those guys firmly believe that they are scrupulous professionals and that their critics are ignorant populist goons.

It's a neutrality of result, that is, rather than a neutrality of method. Fact-checking both sides would be neutrality of method, but if one side were lying but not the other, it wouldn't get you neutrality of result. That's where the parity game comes from too -- "both sides have done this".

On the professionalism thing, I recommend Schmidt's "Disciplined Minds". Mostly about academia, but it applies to other so-called professionals too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 8:15 AM
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I wonder what reporting resulted from this.

Yeah, exactly.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 9:15 AM
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Clearly he's giving a "no" answer, even if he doesn't actually say "no", just as I would be giving a "no" answer if you asked me "do we need eggs" and I said "I put everything we need on the shopping list", eggs not being on the list and the list being available to you.

But in the first instance, he's giving a positive answer to a question that nobody asked ("Has the senator reported every gift he has ever received?"), and in the second instance, you're just being passive-agrressive about shopping. I try to avoid being that way, but I know some people don't find it worth the effort.


Posted by: dave | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 9:16 AM
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if you asked me "do we need eggs" and I said "I put everything we need on the shopping list", eggs not being on the list and the list being available to you.

I really, really hate people who respond to questions like that.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 9:35 AM
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Obviously, the correct thing to do here is to replace spokespeople with a semi-structured database of gifts, donations, and the formal ethical requirements regarding such, and then provide the reporters the ability to write recursive queries in some suitably powerful language (let's say: datalog), to get all the answers that they need.

"Unlike Marc Ambinder, I've never met the Oracle database which serves up answers on Senator Coleman's professional activities..."


Posted by: arthegall | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 10:07 AM
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re: 16

In the UK there are things like this:

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/evan_harris/oxford_west_and_abingdon

and

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=10261

Which let you check up on that sort of stuff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 10:21 AM
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The publicist is keeping open Coleman's defense that the suits weren't gifts, either because he expected his friend to bill him for them sooner or later (Stevens' defense in the ongoing trial), or because they are loans and he has every intention fo returning them.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 1:38 PM
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One way to keep that open would be to say "the suits weren't gifts because ...".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 1:43 PM
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Isn't one common theme among professionals that they think their time is valuable?


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 1:59 PM
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or because they are loans and he has every intention fo returning them

Oh, the underutilized Nancy Reagan defense. Truly a classic.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 2:11 PM
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Personally I prefer the old-fashioned "No comment."

As 'unimaginative' says, I think there is an attempt at legal tap-dancing going on. If that is the case then a simple "no comment" would suffice, but maybe from a political standpoint "The Senator reported every gift he received" sounds better than saying "no comment."

That is my guess. And, yes, watching a grown man perform a legal tap dance is embarrassing and cringe-worthy. But hey, if the money is good enough maybe I'd dance for da man too.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 2:18 PM
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Much as I enjoyed the typesetting of this post, I think I might enjoy it more, were it to be rendered in Hagy's Indexed.


Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 10- 9-08 10:26 PM
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