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[links] Link salad wakes up in the land of Tuesday with a lot to say - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2009-07-28 04:44
Subject: [links] Link salad wakes up in the land of Tuesday with a lot to say
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Tags:books, cancer, culture, funny, heath, links, mainspring, personal, photos, politics, publishing, reviews, science
Good cancer news: [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ]

A reader reacts to Mainspring Powell's | Amazon thb | Barnes & Noble | Borders | Audible ] — Not with the liking. No sir, not at all. In fact, they disliked it so much they compared my work to Neal Stephenson.

Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment — Legal angle on Amazon's recent Orwell flap. DRM FTW!

Criggo is on a roll with the classic sexist advertising here and here — Wow. Mid-century kink. Who knew?

Bathing in the Casino: 1889Shorpy with a photo of how the other half used to live. Wow.

Galactic Life in ContextCentauri Dreams with some very mind-expanding stuff on treating the evolution of life as a galactic phenomenon rather than a planetary phenomenon. All you hard SF types, word up.

A Supernova Blossoms In A Neighboring Galaxy, And The Shockwave Is Aimed At Earth — As tetar says, "Now we know when and how."

Science Is in the Details — Religion at the NIH. (Snurched from Pharyngula, who explains this much better than I can.)

pecunium on healthcare finance — He says it very well. BTW, if you don't understand the difference between "single payer" and "single provider", shut up about "socialized medicine" and go learn something about the terms of the debate. (Thanks to lt260.)

More stone cold bastard GOP moralizing hypocrites — Remember kids, character counts. That's why we always vote Republican. [And because some of my conservative readers seem to consistently misunderstand my point, I'm not twitting the sex. I know all about Clinton, Edwards, Kennedy, etc. I'm twitting the hypocrisy of building a political career on publicly condemning the immorality and sexuality of others, while privately being just as fallible.]

?otD: Where did Lefty get the bread to go?



7/28/2009
Body movement: 10 minutes of meditation and stretching, 40 minute suburban walk
This morning's weigh-in: 224.4
Currently reading: Diplomatic Immunity by Lois McMaster Bujold


Originally published at jlake.com.

Post A Comment | 27 Comments | | Link






lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm twitting the hypocrisy of building a political career on publicly condemning the immorality and sexuality of others, while privately being just as fallible.

Pres. Obama built much of his presidential campaign on being vastly different from the Bush presidency. There's been no sea change. Many of the programs Obama promised to eliminate (all of the ones invading US citizens' privacy, in fact) he's now embraced.

But hey, at least Germany likes us better now...
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The point being: there are bigger potatoes to fry.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yes, but this is my potato.
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's a fingerling.

:middle-school snicker:
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 13:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I never thought he was going to be a sea change. I'm just happy with a change of direction, and we certainly have that. Some of the stuff he has (or hasn't) done has really pissed me off.

*But* hypocrisy of policy offends me a lot less in any political alignment. (See "campaign promises".) I think this is because hypocrisy of policy is not profoundly judgmental, as the moral hypocrisy of conservative America so consistently is.
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm not sure how to respond to the idea that someone's private hypocrisy is more offensive than the fact that the president is walking all over Americans' constitutional rights.

Other than, "You're wrong, you're wrong, you're wrong! NYAAAAH!"
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 13:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This in a country where 40 million people vote against their own direct interests for the sake of a paper tiger antiabortion policy? And where was this constitutional concern during the last administration? I didn't hear much of it except for fringe liberals.

And, erm, yes. That's far more serious. It's also a process of amelioration I have not yet lost my political faith in.

But I grant you your "NYAAAAH"
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This in a country where 40 million people vote against their own direct interests for the sake of a paper tiger antiabortion policy? And where was this constitutional concern during the last administration? I didn't hear much of it except for fringe liberals.

I'm not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand-- the fact that you chose to smack a mosquito instead of wrangling the bull.

That the bull has your own tribe's brand on its butt isn't an excuse.

It's also a process of amelioration I have not yet lost my political faith in.


I'm not sure what this means.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 13:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's also a process of amelioration I have not yet lost my political faith in.

Meaning, I haven't given up on Obama doing the right thing on rolling back the Bush administration's anticonstitutionality.
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I hope he does the right thing and orders our intelligence officers to stop torturing our enemies.
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Terry Karney
User: pecunium
Date: 2009-07-28 20:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They are two different problems.

Take Obama and State Secrets: As a matter of policy he has changed from the absolutist position he presented in the campaign (though for those of us paying attention his behavior on the telecom immunity legislation was disturbing).

Policy, at that level is a bit of ideal and a bit of compromise. Those willing to give him the benefit of doubt will argue, "He got more information, and that changed the best course."

With Stanley we have a different thing. He said (long, loud and with great force): These things are bedrock issues of both my life, and how the world needs to work."

But he carved an exception for himself. This wasn't outiside issues, where one can argue for new eividence; this is about his, inherent, honesty.

If he can lie to himself about these things, then he is no one to trust with anything important. If he is so cynical that he isn't lying to himself, but knowingly lyig to us, and playing the public for fools; a class of people who don't deserve the same privileges he does; because he is somehow special, then he is no one to trust with anything important.

The first sort (issues of public policy reversal) can be debated. One can make arguments, and (one hopes) persuade someone of the rightness of one's position.

The second sort (internal issues of differential treatement of the plebian masses/inabilty to be honest with oneself) are not things which can be debated. The only thing to do is turn that sort of hypocrite out of office.

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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 21:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The only thing to do is turn that sort of hypocrite out of office.

You're prepared to scrap politics-as-we-know-it in America?

;)

I disagree: Obama is perpetuating unconstitutional and illegal actions that have already had a disturbing effect on the American political landscape. (Burgeoning power of the Executive Branch == danger! Unless the electoral college is done away with, and we go to a strictly direct method of choosing the Executive)

Now, like Jay-- I have hope Obama will change. History has shown however, that the government is unlikely to revoke powers it can beg, borrow, or steal.

Stanley? He's a scuzzwad politician who says one thing and does another. It's awful for him personally, and undermines his party, and his message, and is a tragedy for his family. But the scope of the negatives brought about by his behavior is much lower than the scope of Bush/Obama's Executive Power Mongering.
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Terry Karney
User: pecunium
Date: 2009-07-29 00:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I seem to be somehow failing: The issue isn't about the rightness/wrongness of what Obama is doing.

It's about the reasoning, and your answer (I hope Obama will change) supports my position. The difference is, we can hope Obama will change. We presume he has some actual reasons (be they venal; e.g. he's the Prez, and the Prez needs power), or tactical, or some other matter of pragmatism, or that someone has persuaded him they are the best ways of resolving a problem (and if you think I don't have problems with it, go read my Lj).

With the Stanleys of the world no such thing can be presumed. They will do what they like, for no other reason than they like, and no amount of reason will persuade them to do otherwise.

Which is why the hypocrisies of the Stanleys are worse than the actions of the Obamas.

(oh, and as for History... look at Pierre Trudeau, and the exercise, and then dissolution of some really draconian powers in the wake of the Front Quebecois; it does happen. Same with Britain and some of the things they did in repsonse to the Provos)
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-29 01:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They will do what they like, for no other reason than they like, and no amount of reason will persuade them to do otherwise.

Which is why the hypocrisies of the Stanleys are worse than the actions of the Obamas.


No-- your premise isn't nearly that guaranteed. In terms of quantitative harm, it seems obvious to me that Obama's actions are farther reaching, more insidious, and more dire than Stanley's.

In terms of general political hypocrisy, I think that most people are cynical enough about the situation in general that MORE hypocrisy isn't necessarily negative in the aggregate.

Thanks for the information about Trudeau and Britain; I'll look into it.
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Terry Karney
User: pecunium
Date: 2009-07-29 01:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I see the problem. You are conflating two things.

Ignore Obama, ignore Stanley. This isn't really about them; and they have become distractions.

Politician A is prone to an excess of pragmatism (or is otherwise suadable). Her harms are, therefore, a matter of what the question is, and what she has decided the best course of action is.

Politician B is very rigidly working from a set of public principles. He says these principles, and these principles alone, are what guide him.

But they don't. In his private life all he really cares about is what he wants. That means his actual actions aren't predictable, and they aren't persuadable. When push comes to shove it's all (and only) about what he wants to do.

The latter is a far more dangerous sort of person to have in office.

To be more concrete, it's the difference between a Bush, a Cheney, and an Clinton, or Obama.
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S-47/19-J
User: shsilver
Date: 2009-07-28 13:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now to be fair, the abstinence thing doesn't apply to Stanley, since he's already married and he doesn't appear to have proposed any anti-adultery bills. Of course, his mistress, she should have been abstinent.

And only $10,000? If you're going to blackmail a Congressman about a sex thing, I'd have thought the rate was higher.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2009-07-28 13:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
For a party that jabbers 24/7 about personal responsibility the GOP isn't much on living the part, are they?

And, yes, it's all about the hypocrisy, not the sex. When you set yourself up as an arbiter of morality then maybe you shouldn't be going out and having affairs. Then again, the modern day GOP has always been about "Do as we say, not as we do."
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 13:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The mistake in Sam Harris' opine on the new NIH director:

But when challenged with alternative accounts of these phenomena [the Big Bang, Evolution, etc] — or with evidence that suggests that God might be unloving, illogical, inconsistent or, indeed, absent — Dr. Collins will say that God stands outside of Nature, and thus science cannot address the question of his existence at all.

Has Collins been challenged with those questions? Has his answer been recorded for review?

Is Sam Harris a confirmed psychic?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll have to go back to article to check this, but didn't Harris provide direct quotes from a presentation Dr. Collins made?
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 14:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yep-- but none of those conclusions can be drawn directly from the material in Collins' slides, as far as I can see.
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calendula_witch: reading
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2009-07-28 14:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:reading
"This book was excruciatingly boring, pointless, and various kinds of not good. Very Neal Stephenson, and if you think that should be a compliment, then by all means pick this book up."

Wow, what a review! I, too, felt that your writing resembled Neal's, before we met. Look where that got us. ;-)
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 14:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hmm... I don't see much resemblance between Stephenson's work and Jay's.

I like Jay's, for example...
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2009-07-28 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
:: laughing ::
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calendula_witch: reading
User: calendula_witch
Date: 2009-07-28 21:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:reading
Philistines, the lot of you.
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 21:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I keep trying to get through Anathem. It was fresh and delightful for the first twenty pages. Now I'm exhausted with the new vocab every chapter.
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lordofallfools
User: lordofallfools
Date: 2009-07-28 14:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Also from the Sam Harris article:

As someone who believes that our understanding of human nature can be derived from neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science and behavioral economics, among others, I am troubled by Dr. Collins’s line of thinking.

Aside from the fact that human nature is an enormously amorphous, ambiguous term, I have to point out that Harris is neglecting multiple disciplines which have spent centuries delving into the whys of human nature. I wonder why he's so negligent.

Perhaps because they're humanist studies: history, anthropology, language arts. I think you'll get closer to understanding why cultures move the way they do, and why individuals do what they do within those cultures by examining the elements of the culture than you will by examining the structure of the brain.

Maybe he's lumping humanistic studies under psychology...
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S-47/19-J
User: shsilver
Date: 2009-07-29 14:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Did you see that Tennessee Congresscritter Stanley has announced his resignation? Apparently it has something to do with the misuse of an intern.
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