Why does Kant think that I must regard my rational nature as an end in itself? If I knew this I could totally understand the transition from the Universal Law formulation to the Humanity as Ends formulation, and that would be a happy result.
It's hard to get away when you have to spend an hour a day de-spamming the damn site, so I've finally taken the apostropher's advice and turned on comment moderation for entries more than two weeks old. If you comment on an older entry, it won't show up right away, but you don't need to repost. (There is a nifty feature that lets people comment freely if the thread becomes live again; in this case, "live" means that a comment in that thread has been approved within the past two days.)
Hey, now that I'm the only person who ever posts on this blog, d'you think I can reinstate BitchPhD? I find her congenial and shit. I'll have to sneak the keys off Ogged's dresser while he's sleeping or something.
I'm basically in love with Pandagon's Amanda Marcotte. Go thou, and read as she puts the righteous smack-down on Camille Paglia. This is my favorite part:
Luckily for me, Paglia makes it through the entire interview without insinuating that those of us who dislike being raped secretly hate men and sex, so I didn't bash my head against the wall. Of course, there is something really miraculous about a lesbian rhapsodizing about the beauty of male cruelty. I'd hate to break her heart and let her know that men who push women around are, in reality, not magnificent beasts but usually pathetic turds and bullies.
Oh, snap! The comments are good too:
From what I can recall of Paglia on sexuality, she first made a name for herself by insisting that date rape wasn't rape at all, and that mean-spirited feminists were denying the essence of women's sexuality, which was the excitement of doing something dangerous -- which is what women are after when they go to frat parties.
Also, she'd kept complaining that she despised lesbians, because they had safe, gentle, boring sex. She later admitted that a) she was a lesbian, and b) hadn't been sexually active in (I think) seventeen years (as of that interview).
Husband X and I were discussing the odd Schiavo memo thing. On the one hand, who would ever reach into his pocket for a piece of paper he has never read, and then hand it to an opposition senator? Really, that's very implausible indeed. On the other hand, why would a Republican who had read the memo hand it to an opposition senator, given that it makes Republicans look so bad? Martinez can't have been thinking that Harkin would be filled with the spirit of bi-partisanship after reading the thing. So, it's kind of a mystery.
Husband X's diagnosis: Martinez got handed the paper and his staff was like, "here's the talking points", and then before actually reading it he handed it on to Harkin. Hmmm. I really don't know. Nice to read in today's Post
that "A Martinez aide who refused to be named said the departed aide, counsel Brian H. Darling, "may have disseminated to other offices" a memo that discussed the political ramifications of intervening in the case of Schiavo." If Powerline et al weren't unrepentant hacks it might be nice to see them squirm a little at how so many, many people seem to have lied about this. Also, Mickey Kaus? You should probably just shut up now too. Write about cars or something till this blows over.
Charlie Trotter - superstar chef/irritable jerk - has gotten into some kind of kerfuffle with another chef about the cruelty of foie gras production.
You know what? If I hear something that I don't like, I will say whatever it takes, and I'll send a message," Trotter said. "If I have to use some sarcasm or open a can of whup-ass or do whatever, I'll do what I have to do.
Once can only assume that Charlie Trotter uses only the most select cans of whup-ass, available only from finer specialty food shops.
MY commenter def has made a point I've never thought of before:
Matt- Unfortunately, without the beard, you look like the next host of Blues Clues rather than a CNN strategerist. Spend more time in the sun. Get some leathery wrinkles.
I hate to say it, but Matt would make a kick-ass Blues Clues host. Cool, like Steve, rather than totally weak, like Joe. Steve always seemed like he was tripping really hard, and could barely get it together to figure out what Mr. Salt and Mrs. Pepper were saying. I like that in a kid's show host.
Thanks to all who contributed to our GF fundraiser (and ogged for organizing the paypal thing, and our many linkers). We got almost $1500! (That's pre-PayPal rake-off, though; those people must be rich.) I've been fighting with my computer a little about printing labels, and I think it's going to win. Aw, hell, I write fast anyway. So, I should send all them amazing mystery gifts out by the end of the week. Airmail from Singapore to the US (and everywhere, really) takes about a week, so if it doesn't come a week or so after this monday, you can email me to kvetch...
My co-bloggers, if they still read the site, are probably thinking, "When is he going to go away?" It's been almost a month since I emailed them, and two months since I decided, to take some time away from the blog. I wanted to finish up the Farber Fundraiser, and now that's done. (We raised around $1500, which is amazing. Thanks so much to all who contributed. Alameida is whirring and burning as we speak.)
I'm not burned out, exactly. I love the blog and the comment threads, and that's kind of the problem. I'm not doing much else. So, I'm going to take some time--at least a month, probably a few--to read things on paper and have thoughts longer than a paragraph. I'll still check in, maybe post occasionally, try to keep the site spam-free, and yes, of course I'll blog the date with profgrrrrl.
...the four of them can manage one post a day between them, don't you think?
The Tom DeLay shit is hitting the fan (it's actually that third article, about Russia, which Atrios hasn't excerpted yet, that'll really sting). If you haven't been following, Kirsten Powers has a good, short rundown.
One of the really good things about blogdom is the existence of single-issue, or specialist, blogs. I've just come across the Oil Drum, which is, yes, all about oil. It would be nice to know a little more about the writers (experts, or what?), but they seem to be doing a good job, and one suspects that we'll all soon be caring quite a bit about the topic.
Saul Bellow has died. A long, rich life, and what a writer! I can't add to what will be said, but I do remember reading Herzog, a scene the particulars of which I can't recall, with an officious woman bustling in a kitchen, and Bellow writing of "the military clatter of her heels" on the hard floor. Genius. And so much of his work yet to read...
I'd like to thank the big Japanese lord god in the sky for karaage udon. Karaage, as you might know, are fried chicken balls. Udon is a style of noodle, of course, usually served in broth. I know it sounds wrong, but karaage udon is fried chicken balls in broth, with noodles. The fried chicken taste infuses the broth, the crispy outside keeps some of its texture, and it's just so damn good.
One senator wants cable and satellite broadcasts to be subject to FCC oversight, a representative
another wants to criminalize violations of indecency rules. Truly, our very own mullahs. I'm having a hard time dismissing this as post 9-11 hysteria.
UPDATE: Matt Yglesias explains.
We're trying out office chairs here at Ogged's work, and I'm the one choosing which ones we'll try and buy, so I take the demo chairs to everyone, show them how to make adjustments and get feedback after a day or two. So far, we've tried the Humanscale Freedom, Vitra Meda, and Steelcase Leap chairs (we have a Keilhauer TOM coming too). One of the "features" of the Freedom and Meda chairs is that they don't require many adjustments. This is the pendulum swinging back from the Aeron sophisticated machine aesthetic, I think. The Leap chair, on the other hand, is very much a sophisticated machine. And the last two people I've given it to, the first a secretary, the other an equity analyst, have both said, in starry-eyed wonder, "how much does this thing cost?"
I told them that, of the three, the Leap is the cheapest, which shocked them. Now, it might be that doodads=expensive=quality is just a failing of the human mind, but this might also be a case where knowing the right answer is perhaps not a reflection of good character. It seemed perfectly obvious to me that the Meda was a chic premium European chair, and the Freedom targeted to people in the Aeron crowd who don't want to get the faddish Aeron, and that both would cost a pretty penny. But knowing that seems a bit like knowing where all the good nudie bars are.
Maybe there are no innocent victims in shopping. The unsophisticated perspective is unsophisticaed, but the knowledgeable perspective is, what's the word, exactly?
And you know the worst of it? The Leap chair is the most comfortable.
Wow. What a game. I was rooting for Illinois, being an Illinoisian of sorts, and having gone to kindergarten in Champaign. But credit to the Tarheels, who didn't fold even when Illinois couldn't miss.
Adam Kotsko has written an excellent piece on his misgivings about academic life. Well said.
Given our recent fundraising, I read this article on acceptable uses of music files with interest. The restrictions are really unbelievable.
It's as good a time as any to discuss religion.
There's a presumption that we lefties are godless, but my impression is that that's not the case. While the left is where you're most likely to find the anti-religionists, most of the liberals I know take religion seriously, and are trying to find or work out a congenial articulation of their beliefs. They understand, as Max so pithily puts it, that
Religious doctrine is philosophy, it's politics, it's literature, it's about the Meaning of Life. It's not about some bearded dude in the sky that can't exist because you've never seen him.
Or, as Jonathan Ree put it, beautifully, in an article that you really should read that I linked to a while back,
It all comes down to what Soren Kierkegaard—perhaps the wittiest Christian of them all—used to call "incommensurability." Incommensurability is a feature of all those areas of existence in which, as Kierkegaard put it, everybody begins from the same place and each generation starts off exactly where every other generation did. There is no such thing as progress when it comes to contemplating the immense disproportion between our puny individual existences and the vastness of the natural and historical worlds in which they fleetingly take place. Nor is there any stockpiling of knowledge when it comes to wondering what place parenthood may have in your life, or pain or illness or indignation. The fact that our lives and the lives of those we care about are matters of all-consuming interest to ourselves but of absolute indifference to the universe should be at least as thought-provoking for an atheist as for a believer. And when calamity enters our lives it is impossible not to long for the kinds of tact and thoughtfulness that, historically, have been the specialty of religions. It is religion that has supplied practically all the phrases, concepts, stories, and images that help us with such impossible tasks as remembering the unthinkable, forgetting the unforgivable, and lingering for a while over a fleeting instant of time. Religions have created prayers and liturgies and buildings and open spaces that may help us see our griefs and perplexities in their indissoluble individuality, but without forgetting their continuities with those of other people and other generations. The shocks and aftershocks of love and death call for occasional suspensions of our daily, weekly, and annual rounds; and off the top of our heads we are unlikely to dream up new forms of interruption as well suited to our needs as those that we have inherited from religions.
The religiosity of liberals is a mostly hidden, personal reflection; because we're alienated from our congregations, because we have more doubt than belief, because public religiosity has a meaning in our culture that makes us uncomfortable.
But it's not a bad time to come out of that particular closet; to take some of the language of faith back from the undoubting crazies, and to restore a bit of what's humane to religion itself.
From the Washington Post:
Vice President Cheney says he opposes revenge against judges for their refusal to prolong the life of the late Terri Schiavo, although he did not criticize House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) for declaring that they will "answer for their behavior."
It's like he is pretending to have one scintilla of love for an independent judiciary! Nano-kudos to Cheney!
It's a good bet that by morning everyone will be convinced that San Francisco is trying to regulate bloggers. That's what happens when Insty and Slashdot link to a story. But if you take a look at the text of the proposed ordinance (PDF; go to the bottom of page 11), it's not at all clear who's covered. There's an exemption for
...news stories commentaries or editorials distributed through any newspaper, radio, television station, or other recognized news medium...
Are blogs a "recognized news medium?" Doesn't say. And it's also not clear whether, even if blogs aren't covered by that exemption, they would only be subject to regulation if they were paid to make a statement. Sloppy sloppy. In any case, given that poorly worded laws are usually construed to give the authorities more, rather than less, power, it's probably still not a bad idea to write to the sponsor (particularly if you're a San Franciscan) to ask that the law be clarified or rescinded.
Chris Nolan has more local background.
What Digby says.
And a small addition: the view of life as--as Kevin calls it--"mere respiration," is of a piece with the enthusiasm of "culture of life" people for a regime that promises security with little regard for liberty. When just drawing breath, regardless of any--and clearly they do mean any--other contingencies is the highest and most sacred good, respect for civil liberties is just a nicety that's easily ignored
Wow. I know what I'll be doing for the foreseeable future. This is really amazing: the Smithsonian has put its music collection online and made it available for sampling and purchased downloads. You can search, or browse by region, ethnic group, and instrument.
via the agitator
It was just a matter of time. Welcome to TrueDater, where you can read and post reviews of the people you meet online. But, anyone can post reviews, so this seems quite liable to abuse.
via marginal revolution, which has a few more links