Tuesday, November 08, 2005

1) Some people say that the internet makes dangerous information too widely available. That's ridiculous.

2) de Villepin's book of literary criticism: In Praise of Those Who Stole The Fire.

3) Whistling in the dark: "You have to go looking trouble to find it."

4) John Beer writes in, quite reasonably, re the "science of history":

I find myself a little torn, as on the one hand, I sympathize entirely with your reluctance to grant an easy acceptance of a science of history (the sort of rejection of Marx's scientism, for instance, that the Frankfurt School takes as a starting point), and at the same time, I don't have a huge problem with Joshua's rejoinder to the Slate journalist in the terms that he makes it. I suppose primarily because while Joshua's citation of aeronautics might on the surface imply a kind of scientistic reduction of the social to the physical, I think he's more charitably read as tweaking the elision from the undeniable greater unknowability of the social to a kind of mysterian rejection of generalizations (& particularly generalizations regarding power) in the social realm. Just because there isn't the kind of knowledge available through the physical sciences doesn't mean that! there aren't productive and useful theoretical generalizations to be made socially. & (this is where I'd want to say that Marxialist thoughts about false consciousness might render principles of charity intepretively inert when reading Slate journalists) the Slate remark is meant to paper over the possibility of such thinking, & that papering over is usefully exposed through the engineering analogy.

[I'll only add -- yeah, the line I was running does have to explain why any useful (strategic?) generalization can be made about the social. This is obviously not unrelated from the topics above -- esp. if the "historical law" exemplified can be expressed any more precisely than "Don't push me 'cos I'm close to the edge."]

5) What can the scientist feel at the confirmation of theory by experi(m)ent(i)al results but glee?

6) A knight's morve away from a link of Jordan's, a link to downloads of 2 non-CD Hold Steady tunes -- from a sold-out seven-inch, of all things. Only one of the files worked for me, but it's been a busy morning and I didn't have time to fuss.

7) "Time goes by so slowly": Who's Madge trying to convince?

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