Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Alan Sokal

Papers by Alan Sokal on the "Social Text Affair." His 1996 prank exposed the ridiculousness of post-modern bullshit. "Impostures Intellectuelles" / "Fashionable Nonsense" (by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont) is worth owning for a good laugh at the expense of Idiot Intellectuals (see Part 1).

My only effort at such humor is Against Artificial Intelligence, so I certainly appreciate Sokal's humor in "Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity". The reactions to his Revealing the parody article were truly amusing.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

On This Modern Warrior Archetype Part Seven.20

20. Degeneration is a social and cultural phenomenon that imprints itself upon psychological products. The environment may not affect and determine everything, but is likely the greatest contributing factor into primary psychological development. Yet at a certain point, the level of determinative effect diverges and ceases to correlate. A dying civilization does not mean death for everyone. Some will rise; others will sink as roles are inverted or suppressed. Albeit extremely harsh and cruel, in such times, social and cultural orders revert toward more natural directions. Civilizations rise as a counter weight, and the cycle continues.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #10

Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons.

When the rich make war it's the poor that die.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

Remember, to them it is us who are the enemy.
-N. F. Simpson

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #9

1. Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms.

2. Military justice is to justice what military music is to music.

-Groucho Marx

War hath no fury like a non-combatant.

-Charles Edward Montague

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #8

The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on.
-Joseph Heller: Catch-2

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.
-Victor Hugo

Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.
-Aldous Huxley

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #7

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army.
-Edward Everett

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
-Benjamin Franklin

All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #6

Alliance: In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted into each others' pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third.
-Ambrose Bierce: The Devil's Dictionary

You can get more of what you want with a kind word and a gun than you can with just a kind word.
-Al Capone

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #5

1. People only see what they are prepared to see.

2. People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confessor of character.

3. Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A Living Aphorism: "To Be Or To Do?"

A living aphorism:
To Be Or To Do?

"Tiger, one day you will come to a fork in the road,” he said. “And you’re going to have to make a decision about which direction you want to go.” He raised his hand and pointed. “If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments.” Then Boyd raised his other hand and pointed another direction. “Or you can go that way and you can do something – something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide you want to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won’t have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference.” He paused and stared into the officer’s eyes and heart. “To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That’s when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do. Which way will you go?

-Col John R. Boyd, USAF

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #4

1. I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

2. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.

-Albert Einstein

I hate quotations.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Interlude: Aphorisms Galore #3

There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it.
-Cicero

If we are the only intelligent life in the universe, at least there's a finite number of idiots.
-Steven Coallier

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.
-Confucius