Internet

the latest dream of reason

Without examining alternative views of the technical questions, which I believe will all eventually resolve to problems of the will, or to philosophical problems, or as Hegel put it rather pictorially, to fallacies of the brain as bone, we can note that the presumption of an artificially super-intelligent (an)nihilism, or of produced objective yet absolutely negative being, is nothing other than the projection of the scientist’s own self-nullity, or the inability of reason, as Hume patiently explained to us, if ever to be ignored by the most of us, to discover a reason for its own existence.

Posted in Anismism, Books, Internet, notes, Philosophy, Technology Tagged with: , , , , , ,

The De-Civilization of Gaza

“Terrorism” is a term not just for a set of tactics that instil fear, but for defiance of “civil”-ized norms. The latter do not deny the moral calculus of an Osama Bin Laden: They seek to limit and move beyond its inexorable and inexorcisable normalcy or naturalness – in wartime at least second nature, if not human nature itself. That the logic of war is a collectivizing, anonymous logic explains why liberalism-individualism seeks to criminalize it, why liberalist-individualist polities have such difficulty orienting themselves morally within it, and why they are, finally, prone to overcompensating in response to it.

Posted in Internet, notes, War Tagged with: , , ,

I have no blogginghead, and I must scream

…unless you happen to be the proud parent or yearning lover of one of the two individuals in closed dialogue, the video element of the presentation will cease being interesting within seconds, under a constant implication that even the smallest amount of the most primitive editing or camera movement would radically relieve the visual tedium and quite possibly enhance the content…

Posted in Internet, notes, Web Design

Discounted Countenance (TNR’s web re-design a year later)

TNR’s web designers would hardly be the first to make war on the ideology of the naturalistic image or on some other mode or claim of representation.

Posted in Internet, Web Design

consider zombiecontentions.com done

Links to zombiecontentions.com/whatever/whatever/whatever should work just fine for now, instantly re-directing you to reincarnations of the old posts, pages, images, and everything else. Still, though you don’t need to update your bookmarks, you probably should do so – replacing zombiecontentions.com with ckmacleod.com – if you intend to keep coming by, since someday likely prior to the end of the internet as we know it, likely prior to the end of your own browsing life, I or successor will stop renewing the ZC domain name or maintaining the re-directs.

Posted in Internet, Meta

blog housekeeping: Storify’s slideshows

Just for the sake of explanation, and to note these user-experience matters while they’re on my mind…

Posted in Internet, Meta, notes Tagged with: , , , ,

Expononsensiation – Phase 4

Storify version with twitter links at: http://storify.com/CK_MacLeod/expononsensiation; Sulia version at http://sulia.com/ck_macleod/f/5da98765-e1d1-477a-ba35-e5befb2c4e82/

Posted in Internet, notes Tagged with: , , ,

Tod Kelly, Ta-Nehisi Coates, et al. vs. Richard Cohen

A serious discussion on the main underlying question – on the roles and uses of the concept of “race” in American politics and culture – might be worth having, but not according to the the kind of license to mislead, to testify for effect rather than for accuracy, that Kelly, Coates, and their peers grant to each other. If such a discussion somehow qualified as serious, it would likely be so in only the worst ways.

Posted in Culture & Entertainment, Internet, Politics Tagged with: , , ,

fun new toy at Sulia

Finally inspired me to post to Sulia, a platform whose appearance and interface I’ve long admired.

Posted in Internet, Meta, notes Tagged with: , ,

Repealing Godwin’s Law

As a matter of history, the administrative state, the FDR state, that the Tea Partiers are glad to shut down temporarily, and that some would like to shut down permanently, is the same state that arose contemporaneously with the fall of the Weimar Republic, in relation to common and overlapping challenges, and that was consolidated in political competition and eventually at war with its immediate successor (which technically still functioned under the Weimar constitution). A serious discussion of an actual or potential crisis of liberal democracy in the leading liberal democratic nation-state, and on the system level – the level of basic responsibilities and assumptions of government – cannot help but take into account prior, concretely related crises, even if particular circumstances initially appear vastly different.

Posted in Featured, History, Internet, Neo-Imperialism, Politics, The Exception Tagged with: , , ,

From the Featured Archives

Noted & Quoted

TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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