Category Archives: Meta

The Last Debate

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Burning

Mike Wallace sits ramrod straight in his chair. His eyes twinkle. A hint of emotion plays at the edge of his mouth; it’s not humor, it’s not hunger. Raw anticipation, not free from malice but fueled by something grander.

His limpid lounge-singer’s eyes half-lidded gaze upon the stage of stiff, almost martial competitors. ‘Tonight,’ he thinks. ‘Tonight will be the night.’ Not just another facile primary debate. Tonight he would put an end to it all.

“This next question,” he begins, and pauses. Wallace licks his lips, obviously in anticipation. “This next question, is for all of the candidates.” Continue reading

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Scientific Jouissance and What Lies Beneath the “Pleasure Principle”

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“An ego thus educated has become ‘reasonable’; it no longer lets itself be governed by the pleasure principle, but obeys the reality principle, which also, at bottom, seeks to obtain pleasure, but pleasure which is assured through taking account of reality, even though it is pleasure postponed and diminished”

Freud.

The cover of the March issue of National Geographic Magazine suggests that there is a “War on Science.”  The title of the feature article asks “Why Do Many Reasonable Doubt Science?”   I think the question should ask “why do so many unreasonable people doubt science.”  Or what makes them believe they are even capable of the task. When reasonable people “doubt science” we don’t ask why(?).  We call it the peer-review process, the healthy habit of scientific skepticism whereby scientists’ findings are meticulously put through the tests of rigor, of falsifiability and verification through reproducible results.

Indeed, in the article it is suggested that scientists even find a kind of professional pleasure in skepticism, in pointing out to their colleagues where their  studies may have faltered.  On the topic of “pleasure” Freud was one of the most famous to theorize that people (yes, even scientists) instinctually seek biological (material) and psychological (social.professional) pleasure and avoid pain therein.  Thus it’s not unreasonable, in a Freudian sense, for scientists to find pleasure in their professional, critical role; some might argue that its even a crucial part of the “success” of science.

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Intermezzo

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It’s a slow Monday at the Global offices. We’re a little more than halfway through our twenty one day blitzkrieg, so it seemed reasonable to take a couple minutes and talk a little about the site, flesh out what we’re doing, and give some idea as to where we’re going.

American politics is a nightmare. The Republic has never been a perfect institution. The Three-Fifths Compromise is written into the Constitution itself. Even amended, the document speaks to the fundamental imperfections of the Union. In the same era though the public discourse on the issues surrounding the Constitution were framed in classic, broadly applicable documents, like the Declaration of Independence, like the Federalist Papers. Documents that grapple not only with contemporary policy issues but discussed the underlying function and role of government and politics.

Now every four years Will.I.Am comes out and tells people to punch a ballot based on that week’s Facebook memes. Continue reading

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Interlude 1

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S: so, neoclassical liberalism: http://mises.org/library/what-neoclassical-liberalism

S: i was looking for a word to describe the contemporary libertarians…this isn’t what i had in mind but its interesting

S: its like the contemporary libertarians are different from classical Lockean liberals in that they are hostile to the Hobbesian state rather than taking it for granted

S: i guess what i have in mind is more radical than neoclassical liberalism

P:

Libertarians deny we have special ties to our fellow citizens the way we have special ties to friends and family. Other citizens are strangers. I have no special connection to people in California as opposed to Ontario. (p. 76, emphasis in original)

If this is right, why do the poor of one particular nation have a claim that wealth in their society be redistributed? Should not such claims take in all the people in the world?

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21 Days of Accu.so

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21 days.

Unrestrained coverage of the world you’re stuck in. 21 nonstop days of targeted, intentional commentary on the issues affecting your world, why you should care, and why you won’t ever matter. Continue reading

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