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Weekend Bloggerback
Best of Blogs Round-Up: February 11-12, 2006

Non-disclaimer: We're liberal to the core, but we include in this daily blog review the political, the social, the cultural and the undefinable from the left, the right, the in-between from all over the globe. And we're suckers for good writing regardless of ideology. Clicking the link will take you to the original post.

Featured Blog I: Teflonisis
The White Noise of Scandal

What's it gonna take for the general public to be shocked anymore? 'Cause, really, and, c'mon, this week's news alone ought to be enough to make the head of even the most casual observer of the nascent Washington scandals explode into a shower of skull and viscera, raining down on the ignorant. The White House knew the levee hadn't held and that New Orleans was being drowned a day earlier than previously admitted? Scooter Libby was told by Dick Cheney and other "superiors" to break the law and leak classified information? Tom DeLay is put on the House subcommittee that oversees the Justice Department, while said department is investigating DeLay's buddy, Jack Abramoff? What's it gonna take to surprise anyone? At this point, we could discover that Karl Rove and Dick Cheney rape Iranian village pre-teen girls and then the President, ashamed of the sinful actions of his two close advisors, as well as of the defiled children, kills the girls, gutting them, cutting them up, and feeding the press corps a buffet of pate' and meatloaf made from the bodies, catered, of course, by Halliburton... Read the rest at the Rude Pundit...

Featured Blogger II: Blowhard Central
How to Fool Intellectuals

Steve Sailer notes that recently deceased feminist icon Betty Friedan was a bit of a megalomaniac, kind of like another 60’s icon, Susan Sontag. Sailer makes this point: "much of what we are taught as the high intellectual history of the human race is based more on the magnetism and impenetrable self-assurance of thinkers than on minor issues like whether they were right or not. Freud is a perfect example, a charlatan who befuddled two generations via his implacable self-esteem." Rebecca Goldstein’s new book on Godel, Incompleteness, notes that Wittgenstein (pic right) fits neatly in this mold. Many great philosophers of his day worshipped him, even though (because?) he treated them like crap. First you have Bertrand Russel, who stated about Wittgenstein: "I couldn’t understand his objection—in fact he was very inarticulate—bit I feel in my bones that he must be right, and that he has seen something I have missed." Wittgenstein treated Russell like an inferior, and Russell was awed by this. And he was not the only one. You have the entire Vienna Circle in some kind of strange abusive relationship, with Wittgenstein playing the boorish male and the illustrious Vienna Circle members as scared yet adoring females. Note that the Vienna Circle promoted logical positivism, the theory that statements are meaningful if and only if it empirically verifiable. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus was filled with propositions arranged logically like a math treatise. Some of these assertions are compatible with logical positivism, like that most philosophical problems are merely nonsensical, as opposed to false. But mostly he makes assertions that are vague and contradictory, without clarification or argument, reveling in paradox. Given the Vienna Circle’s love for precision and consistency, you would think they would not respect such a thinker. Au contraire! Read the rest at Mahalanobis...

 

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