larvatus: (Default)
To claim an interest, I have been in social media for over 21 years, and signed up on Facebook long before it opened beyond Harvard students and alumni. From this perespective, I am reminded of an anecdote told by Jerry Weintraub:
Samuel and Rose Weintraub came west to visit their older son, the one who would not go into the gem trade, to see what kind of life he had made for himself. “Now I have a big mansion in Beverly Hills, a Rolls, a chauffeur, fresh flowers, butlers, swimming pools—everything,” Jerry told me. “My mom and dad arrive, and I pick them up with my driver, and my mom is beaming. We get to my house and we’re serving caviar, Havana cigars for my father, and champagne—the whole deal. After a couple of days of this, my dad says, ‘I want to talk to you. Let’s take a walk.’ We get outside and he says, ‘I want to ask you a question and I want you to tell me the truth and I don’t want any bullshit from you. Are you in the Mafia? How did you get all this? You were never that smart.’”
    I’m creative. I did it.
    Where’s your inventory? How can you have this much money and not have an inventory? It doesn’t make sense to me.
    “The next day I made arrangements. My mother’s favorite was Cary Grant. And horses. We drove to Hollywood Park [racetrack] and Cary Grant was waiting for us. He opened the door and looked at my mother and said, ‘Rose, I’m your date for lunch.’
    “They had lunch and he made her bets for her and sat with her. I don’t think my father liked it so much. That evening I made a dinner party with all the stars. And Cary came. I remember going to the bar, and my mom was having a glass of champagne. And Sinatra came up and said, ‘Hey, Rose, I heard you had a great date for lunch today.’ And she said, ‘Yeah, but I like my Sammy better.’”
— Rich Cohen, “Jerry Weintraub Presents!”, Vanity Fair, March 2008
In the instant conversation, I am struck by the preponderance of cutting edge XXIst century cinematographers channeling an itinerant Jewish jeweler from a century ago. Lighten up. Everyone serves as inventory to all sorts of entities, from governments to maggots. No one leaves this world uneaten. My favorite strategy is enjoying the set and its setting whilst pacing my consumption, as an agent and patient alike.
larvatus: (MZ)
A normal person who does insane things on the internet” is an oxymoron. We all are a little bit insane, in our online capacities. What separates the men from the boys is the willingness to extend this insanity into the realspace.
larvatus: (Default)
Message-ID: <6010@husc6.harvard.edu>
Date: 15 Mar 91 22:59:27 GMT
I believe in the objective existence of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.[1] […] I believe that in the realm of politics, there is no place for moral judgements. Morality neither can (in practice), nor should (morally) be legislated. The best that a government can hope for is to guide its laws in accordance with some standard of common Good.
    A corollary of the above: homosexuals, drug users, gun owners, in short everyone who deviates from that, which by any statistical standard may be accepted as the Norm, have absolutely the same rights as everyone else, provided that they, as individuals, do not injure or coerce anybody else. “Setting a bad example” does not count as coersion.
    This is the old “consenting adults cannot do anything legally wrong to each other” thesis. Note that children are automatically excluded, until they reach legal majority.[2]
    Concerning the main issue: death is the price we, as a species, pay for the privilege of having sex. While, as Sade among many others very clearly understood, the degree of erotic excitement increases with any increase in the distance between recreation and procreation, some measure of restraint must be imposed on this distance out of moral considerations. Where to draw the line is subject to many questions. Personally, I believe that many organized religions go to far in their proscription of “spilling the seed on the ground”, birth control, and so on. On the other hand, it is equally clear to me that, until and unless homosexual reproduction has been invented, homosexual intercourse will remain morally wrong. tl:dr )
larvatus: (Default)
The trouble with Martha Nussbaum’s analogy between revulsion at “taking the penis of one man and putting it in the rectum of another man and wriggling it around in excrement”, and discarded disgust-based policies, from India’s denigration of its “untouchables” to the Nazi view of Jews, to a legally sanctioned regime of separate swimming pools and water fountains in the Jim Crow South, is that only the first moral sentiment has a sound basis in physiology. Any sort of anal penetration is intrinsically harmful, even when it gets done by a proctologist, just as any sort of radiation exposure is harmful, even when it is administered for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes. The physical effects of anal penetration, precipitated by the concomitant trauma to the connecting tissue, are analogous to injecting raw sewage into the recipient’s bloodstream. Incontinence is another common and well-documented effect of receptive anal intercourse. By contrast, no health liabilities inhere in being a Jew or a Dalit, or mixing different races at a common water supply. If in doubt, consult your doctor.
larvatus: (Default)
A problem for libertarians:

Following Aristotle and Aquinas, it is customary to distinguish commutative justice, which deals with the relations that arise between individuals, between individuals and groups, and between groups that comprise any given community, from distributive justice, which deals with the overarching relation of that community as a whole to all of its constituent individuals and groups. Read more... )

Some inadvertent long range prognostications:

MZ:
Suppose that Lefty the hedge fund manager is a compulsive gambler who has been rescued from the brink of ruin by a bunch of wealthy arsehole buddies in the investment banking industry, owing to their government connections. Suppose further that Lefty, bloodied but unbowed, and certainly none the wiser, is continuing to make leveraged bets to the tune of 80% of your government’s budget. Suppose finally that there are some 100,000,000 Righties encumbered with the usual variable rate credit obligations. What does Lefty owe to the Righties at the point of his financial collapse precipitating a global credit crunch?

PMJ:
I can’t see that Lefty owes the Righties anything. If a credit crunch is a relative unwillingness (compared to the status quo ante) of credit vendors to extend credit at the previous rates, then to consider the occurrence of this a compensatable cost is tantamount to saying that the Righties somehow had a right to the continuance of the credit vendors’ willingness to offer credit at the previous rates, which notion seems to me to be absurd on its face.
    It is a commonplace that bad consequences can result from people acting entirely within their rights. Often, A’s coming to terms with B forecloses C’s dearly cherished hope. This is called “bad fortune“.

MZ:
But if Lefty trades in legal tender, i.e. goods backed by fictitious mortgages upon public properties, his trades perforce manipulate very real mortgages that bind millions of Righties. Such manipulation can warrant commutative compensation even before you decide how you feel about property taxes.
    Consider another example: Soros shorting the pound sterling and the ringgit to enrich himself and precipitate economic turmoil in Great Britain and Malaysia.
    “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

larvatus: (Default)
Howard M. Kaminsky of 6130 Ridge Lane, Ocean Ridge, Florida 33435 writes in a letter to the TLS regarding Bernard Wasserstein’s Commentary on Hannah Arendt:
As for his charges relating to Arendt’s use of Nazi authors and her inadequate love of the Jewish people, I admit, Jew that I am, to believing that some Nazi authors had important things to say not unrelated to their Nazism, above all the viciously anti-Semitic but incomparably brilliant Carl Schmitt (whom Arendt used even more than she says), and I also believe that Jews have created gentile hostility by demanding equal rights but refusing to surrender their ethnic integrity. Books have been written about this by a number of authors who are not overtly anti-Semitic—e.g. Kevin MacDonald and Albert Lindemann—and Arendt’s analysis of Jewish “responsibility” for anti-Semitism can hardly be dismissed as due to her “perverse world-view”, let alone her “combination of ira et studio [sic]”.
Setting aside the insinuation of covert anti-Semitism, the notion of the Jews having created gentile hostility by demanding equal rights but refusing to surrender their ethnic integrity is baffling. Is it likewise possible to blame women for having created male hostility by demanding equal rights but refusing to surrender their sexual integrity? For that matter, is it possible to blame any man for having elicited the hostility of his peers by demanding equal rights but refusing to surrender his personal integrity? If the claim is that ethnic descent or religious confession are somehow unlike biological sex and personal identity in their moral implications, why is that the case, and how so?
larvatus: (Default)
“Will we ever be able to think of Hannah Arendt in the same way again?”
—Ron Rosenbaum, “The Evil of Banality: Troubling new revelations about Arendt and Heidegger”, Slate, Friday, 30 October 2009, 12:37 PM ET
Read more... )
“…the true path to uber trolling lies in the careful study of Mikhail Zeleny.
His 1993 masterpiece, Hannah Arendt’s Wrinkled Cunt, was a milestone. Truly a Russian-American icon!”
posted by cr8dle2grave on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 02:52:27 PM EST
larvatus: (Default)
Herewith a convincing candidate for the most nauseating screed in the history of mankind: Read more... ) Snatching lace from top-booted pussy’s vomit takes some kind of Victorian chutzpah. Thanks to Jack Campin for this inspirational tale.
larvatus: (Default)
Is semiotics bullshit?
Is gay marriage an oxymoron?
larvatus: (Default)
The way of the warrior is the complement of rhetoric in the practice of persuasion. Humans being rule-bound animals, as with discursive eristic, the knack of empty hand combat is to determine the main rule that constrains your adversary, and embarrass him into submission by breaking it. And since more training redounds to more rules, he who broadcasts his practice, does so to his own strategic disadvantage. Which is to say that there can be no such thing as a martial art.
    ObBook: Gorgias
    Monday, 3 July 2000, 12:00 am
larvatus: (Default)
Looking back over fifteen years of Usenetting, I gratefully recall one man selflessly expending his time and effort on making it a better place. Torkel’s learned and benevolent presence single-handedly made up for a myriad ephemeral and persistent sophistical frauds striving to overwhelm our forum with self-serving nonsense. I am proud to have benefitted from his learning and character.
    Torkel Franzén earned his PhD in philosophy in 1987 for work on provability and truth, available online and in hard copy in the imprint of Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, deposited at university libraries worldwide. He was a world-class expert on incompleteness and inexhaustibility and an able and tireless expositor of the use and abuse of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems. Torkel will be remembered and celebrated for his incisive contributions to logic and his magnanimous bestowals of honesty and wisdom in public discourse. My condolences for this untimely loss go out to his friends and family.
larvatus: (Default)
    In my capacity as a Wikipedia subject and editor, I hereby request the favor of my LiveJournal readers weighing in on the issues referenced at the following links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Francis_Muir
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Larvatus

Read more... )
larvatus: (Default)
“Nous sommes si accoutumés à nous déguiser aux autres qu’enfin nous nous déguisons à nous-mêmes.”
“We are so used to disguising ourselves from others that we end up by disguising ourselves from ourselves.”
— François de La Rochefoucauld, Maximes, 119
Read more... )
“τὸ γὰρ ἐξαπατᾶσθαι αὐτὸν ὑφ' αὑτοῦ πάντων χαλεπώτατον: ὅταν γὰρ μηδὲ σμικρὸν ἀποστατῇ ἀλλ' ἀεὶ παρῇ ὁ ἐξαπατήσων, πῶς οὐ δεινόν.”
“For the worst of all deceptions is self-deception. How can it help being terrible, when the deceiver is always present and never stirs from the spot?”
— Plato, Cratylus 428c
larvatus: (Default)
    Few doctrines are announced and articulated as clearly in Plato’s writings, as the thesis that the cosmos hands down certain moral commandments, that it is imbued with an absolute moral authority. Thus Socrates rebuts amoral hedonism advocated by Callicles:
And wise men tell us, Callicles, that heaven and earth and gods and men are held together by communion and friendship, by orderliness, temperance, and justice; and that is the reason, my friend, why they call the whole of this world by the name of order (κόσμος), not of disorder (ἀκοσμία) or dissoluteness (ἀκολασία). Now you, as it seems to me, do not give proper attention to this, for all your cleverness, but have failed to observe the great power of geometrical equality amongst both gods and men: you hold that self-advantage is what one ought to practice, because you neglect geometry (γεωμετρίας γὰρ ἀμελεῖς).
Gorgias, 508a-b translated by W.R.M. Lamb
Therein lies its obstacle to casual understanding. As Plato wrote above his door, let no one devoid of geometry enter here, ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω. (Quoted in Elias’ coommentary on Aristotle’s Categories.)Read more... )

douchebags

Mar. 26th, 2005 01:36 am
larvatus: (Default)
Come, come, and sit you down. You shall not budge.
You do not go till I set you up a glass
Where you may see the inmost part of you.
    I would like to go on record explaining my reference to Phil Nikolayev’s detractors as douchebags. Read more... )

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