Friday, June 15, 2012

onetwo, three, four

For people following Shalizi's link, start here (a follow-up to the post he quotes). Not sure why he couldn't find it himself.

For relevant history go here. None of this is new.

For related recent discussion (sadly none of this grows old) scroll four posts down the page or click here, or read the same comments at Sanford Levinson's post On "The Spirit of Compromise" at Balkinization, and also Jack Balkin's continuing discussion of political faith.

Shalizi is a quant; quants deal in the categories they know. Their model of curiosity is a priori. Social democracy and the capacity for compromise are modes of behavior, attitudes regarding ideas more than ideas as such. In social democracy, following social life, practice precedes theory.
I repeat myself too much
Kurt Gödel panicked thinking he'd discovered a flaw in the Constitution that could legitimize dictatorship. Some people wonder what he found. Most people just think he was nuts. But he was a mathematician and logician; the flaw he found was language:

Kurt Gödel, meet David Addington.

Kurt Gödel is not the model of a political thinker.
That is one thing we should not even be debating. Yet here we are.
I won't link David Addington's name because I shouldn't have to.

I was in a bar last night talking to an Irish bartender about the Euro Cup. I was standing just to the left of an empty chair, but close enough that my body was barely touching it. One chair away an earnest slacker was reading a book.  A fat girl came into the bar and greeted her friend. She walked over, spun the barstool around, sat down and swung it back. Courtesy would require her to ask if I had been or would be sitting in that chair. Courtesy on my part would require that I say "no" and move slightly away.  But if courtesy is based on universal assumption and the assumption was that I would move, what's the point of courtesy?

If the purpose is to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible then the fat girl's logic was flawless. If that's point she was well taught.

If any of this is new for you and you want to continue, go here

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