Thursday, March 30, 2006

For the archives:

"I could argue all over the place about any number of comments made here, since I think the most important problems are avoided by assuming that ideas can not be contradictory in themselves.

There is a difference between the authoritariarnism of people and of ideas. Plenty of people are comforted by the thought that God is in control. But they might rise up in arms if a mere person were running things. It mght make sense to think of the relationship of creationism to science as similar to the rise of plain spoken protestantism against the obscurantist ritual of the Catholic liturgy. Why should people trust what they can’t understand?

Also this is the country of Fordism and the myth of mechanics and science: of equating technical and moral progress (and in the silliest possiible ways). And as far as biotech is concerned the fear is the result of memories of that arrogance more than anything, of the fear of unpredictable consequences.
Modern biotechnology is not the same as cross fertilizing corn. What we live with today are end products of evolution over millions of years, of a cone of experience and time narrowing to a point in the present. The desire to expand from a point is one of the most famous fallacies of modernity,”The Year One” being a famous early example.
Modernity prefers theory to history. The recent religious revival is the unintellectuals’ anti-intellectual defense of the moral primacy of history over theory.
The humanities at their best represent the intellectuals’ (secular) defense of the same thing.

And especially in this country people can be on different side of the argument at different times of any given day."

I said this before:

Q: What's the best description of constitutional change?
A: 1 is 1 less than 2, which 1 less than 3, which 1 less than 4, which 1 less than 5.
So 1 is 1 less than 5.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance," because freedom is not measured in mathematics but in language, and not in language as idea but as speech.

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