Grammar as Virtue

October 25, 2010

Seen today on Facebook:

[My] #1 grammatical pet peeve: when people say “literally” and it’s not, such as: “walking into my room is like walking through a minefield, literally.”

Calling Hyacinth Bucket!

To quote Charles Johnson at length (from another Facebook conversation in which he took me to task for choosing “you and I both” over “you and me both”):

I don’t think you’re misapplying the rule; but I think the rule itself is counterfeit rather than genuine English grammar, and that the results in this case are bad English… Read the rest of this entry »

In a new post, Gene Callahan expands upon his recent theme of “rejecting ideology,” particularly with respect to libertarianism. At one point in the comments, he made a statement that I found interesting:

Given the existence of people who disagree, the libertarian claim to be uniquely ‘non-aggressive’ is bogus — libertarians will not aggress against those who accept their political system, and will aggress against those who don’t — just like every other political doctrine.

Is he making a variation of the classic (and flawed) “argument from disagreement” for relativism? I wasn’t sure, but it seemed to me this might be the key to getting a grasp of his argument. I decided to ask for clarification:

So what? Are you implying that truth is relative? Is that what all of this talk about “rejecting ideology” means, i.e. that you’ve come to accept a sort of radical relativism about justice?

You’ll only see my questions here, however, since they disappeared. Callahan seems to be having some trouble with the comments on his blog randomly going away.

Charles Johnson, Gary Chartier, Steven Horwitz, Sheldon Richman, and Roderick Long at APEE's Free-Market Anti-Capitalism panel in Las Vegas, 13 April 2010

What a Bunch of…

May 1, 2010

I’ve always had my doubts about Francois Tremblay, although other anarchists tried to talk me out of it. But now it seems that my suspicions were in fact warranted. Look at this page criticizing C4SS’ first online course. You’re going to double-take when you see this:

Can anyone now doubt of their evil intentions, to propagate capitalism and portray it as Anarchism?

Now keep in mind, his blog is called CHECK YOUR PREMISES. And his main approach here is to jump to conclusions! There is absolutely no indication that he bothered to ask anyone involved with the course or that he watched the introductory lecture that provides extensive qualifications about the choice of text. In fact, he completely overlooks the work of Gary Chartier, the instructor, opposing capitalism. Can anyone now doubt his evil intentions, to propagate disinformation and portray it as fact?*

* I, of course, don’t think Francois has evil intentions. This was parody designed to show the absurdity of this kind of intellectually lazy attack on people doing good, solid work for anarchism. If I had a few bucks (people used to say “nickel” but inflation…) for every assigned text in school that had nothing to do with the instructor’s own views, I take my wife out for a long session at Kaito Sushi. Osusume wa nan desu ka.

Here’s Gary, from the intro lecture:

The point of the course is to introduce you to anarchism, not exclusively or primarily the variety of anarchism laid out by the Tannehills…Again, we are using this book…not because it’s perfect but because it’s a useful conversation starter and is readily available. You can question and you can challenge the Tannehills…as much as you like. We are not reading a sacred text; we are exploring one illustrative proposal. And your goal, especially in a course about anarchism, is not to submit to the authority of the author…Your goal is to think critically and reflectively…

What a wonderful idea!

Green Police

February 7, 2010

Am I the only one who finds this a little too close to reality to be funny? That I can see this being a not too distant future is pretty frightening. Why not? It’s pretty much the way the state approaches everything for the “greater good.”

Of course, the message doesn’t seem to involve any question about the legitimacy of such an approach. Just buy an Audi and you will have nothing to fear! The rest of you deserve what you get.

Underdog Daze

February 7, 2010

Tom Naughton can’t decide between cheering for the Colt or the Saints today. I completely understand because I’m in the same position. I’m a regular fan of neither but they are both likable, talented teams. While I love pro football, it’s not quite as fun to watch when you don’t have a side to cheer.

I’m originally from Louisiana and have always thought the Saints were cool. But I also appreciate the Colts more from a pure football perspective. Peyton Manning is a great example of intelligence in the game. On the other hand, Reggie Bush is pure excitement. Or I could let my wife’s favorite criteria decide: the Saints have better uniforms. I’m torn.

But Naughton thinks there is at least one good reason not to pick the Saints: Read the rest of this entry »

Hollywood Blacklist

January 24, 2010

In the morning, I’ll be heading to the 2nd Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair. I’ll be at the ALL table with Charles “Rad Geek” Johnson, Gary Chartier, Sam Resnick, and Nick Forbes. For those going, I hope I’ll see you there.

Holy Free Parking, Batman!

January 20, 2010

I realize that we anarchists generally like to think the fewer nations the better but the fact that libertariannation.org is down is going too far. [Update: it seems that it just may be having problems with delivering some pages without “www.” The webmaster is investigating the problem.]

Quick, Robin! To the Way Back Machine!

At Mike Gogulski’s request, I’m disseminating the information below: Read the rest of this entry »

The Taxman Cometh

July 22, 2009

If you don’t know already, Dr. Roderick Long is in serious need of help. UPDATE. You know what to do. Your very flourishing depends on it!

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