Thursday, July 02, 2009

If Beer had been successful it would have been temporary: at its best and worst long enough for the human population to have turned into a mass of unimaginative drones, so when the crisis hit as it would, they would be hopeless.
It continues to amaze me that the dream of some people revolves around ways of rendering their grandchildren into happy idiots.

The modern left is as touched by the enlightenment as every other aspect of modernity. We are all always both producers and produced.
The difference between Marx and Smith et al and 20th century thinkers of technocracy is that the earlier authors were great orators and writers, using every seductive trick in the literary book to create compelling total fictions. That’s why its possible to read them and to become more imaginative, more flexible and more aware. But only if you read for subtext and elision not only for intent. Marx and Smith were craftsmen.

What annoys me about Toulmin is that he defends rhetoric rather than just arguing that it’s ubiquitous. Everything we argue is touched by blind preference. The choice for generalities over specificities, for mathematics over trial law, begins as preference. We build rationality over our sensibilities. And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

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