Monday, September 04, 2006

Read the comments
I'm in there for one, which DeLong fucked with, and another which was removed. Tony Judt's article is indeed silly.
He is a philosopher, a historian of philosophy, and a Catholic thinker. He spent years studying early modern Christian sects and heresies and for most of the past quarter-century has devoted himself to the history of European religion and philosophy and to what might best be described as philosophical-theological speculations.
The Catholic church doesn't interest me much, but I'm not going to begrudge people their faith. Still, I won't ignore the crimes of the Church, even in the present: "In El Salvador, the church helped push through a law requiring condom packages to carry a warning label that they do not protect against AIDS."  That link was included in the comment removed by DeLong.

I'm not trying to play tit for tat, but I see no reason why I should have to listen to haranguing oversimplification on one subject by someone so open to it on another.  It was odd to hear the paranoid tone of a Likudnik in Judt's zero sum description of the dangers of Marx. It might as well have been Dershowitz on Arafat (though I'm aware that until recently that tone on this subject -Europe and the left- is what Judt's become known for.)

The fallacy of self-reference: To consider your actions to be "X" [moderate? just?] because you consider yourself to be "X."

I assume at this point that academics are not intellectuals. In the interest of technical advancement or in the attempt to reinvent every field so as to allow for such definitions, questions of psychology or psychology, not as science but as self-awareness, doubt and judgment, have been removed from fields to which they were once central. Art is the history of cases, the recording of perception as a series of discrete events. Academia, in the interest of practicality, and claiming to speak in the name of science, deals now only in generalizations. Universities are no longer places of learning, they are now simply places where things are taught.

DeLong is a coward for being terrified of ambiguity. The same is true for almost every academic I've run into on the web for the past 5 years. I have to admit, I'm pretty disgusted by the lot of them.

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