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John A Arkansawyer
"He was utterly hopeless as a grand designer of narratives, and he knew it. The artifice required to shape a major work of history or philosophy was not in him. But he was a natural contrarian, a born critic, whose fullest energies manifested themselves in the act of doing intellectual isometric exercises against the fixed objects presented by someone else's ideas." --Joseph Ellis writes about John Adams in <i>Founding Brothers</i>
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It isn't just southern partisans who say you don't get the south if you aren't from here or haven't at least spent a long time here. Those of us with a more ambivalent relationship to the south and to being southerners often say that, too. I think we may mean it more because we're more often saying it to people with whom we feel a connection rather than an opposition.
Toggle Commented Sep 18, 2009 on Good without God. at MoxieLife
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I know Dickinson's poetry moderately well, and I'm very careful in assuming her to be much of anything on the basis of the poems alone, other than a great poet.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2009 on I am not changing my mind - are you? at MoxieLife
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As I said on the other thread, I think the FFRF was done a disservice by running the ad (not that they weren't asking for it). If I were them--and though I'm an atheist, I'm not in the style of the slash and burn, take no prisoners school which is getting all the press and book sales lately--I wouldn't have run it. I wouldn't be running most of those bus signs, either. The Katherine Hepburn one is great, though. I'd stick that one, or one like it, anywhere. Note added after a moment's thought: The Twain quote does offend me, a bit, on its face. I'd also like to check the Twain criticism over the years and see whether running a saying of Puddin'head Wilson's is considered a fair representation of Twain's own thought. If not, that really ticks me off on his behalf.
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2009 on I am not changing my mind - are you? at MoxieLife
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I think you're a bit off. It's the "say what you mean in such a forthright and unmistakeable way that you get attention and attract the people who agree with you" school of activism. That it offends those who don't agree is an unfortunate by-product, but sometimes it's unavoidable. As I mentioned a moment ago on the other thread, I'm coming around on the Darrow quote. The Twain quote still rubs me the wrong way, though. I simply don't believe people with faith, no matter how unfounded I might believe it to be, are consciously believing something they know to be untrue.
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2009 on I am not changing my mind - are you? at MoxieLife
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It's a fair point about the Twain quote. Whether Puddinhead Wilson speaks for Twain is a very good question. On giving it further thought, while the wording of the Clarence Darrow quote is flip--"I don't believe in God because I don't believe in Mother Goose."--it, too, is very close to my own theology--"I believe in God in exactly the same way I believe in Mother Goose." I'll stand behind that.
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There was a tone problem with the ad, specifically with the Twain quote: I don't believe people who have faith are hypocrites, or are consciously lying, but Twain appears to. The Darrow quote is a bit flip. I wouldn't have used it in this context. (Let's compromise on Dawkins and call the Old Testament historical fiction.) The rest? Okay by me. I particularly liked the Emily Dickinson and Katherine Hepburn quotes. Those pretty much sum up my theology. Unlike Twain, Butterfly McQueen is talking about herself. She makes a harsh statement, but it intrigues me more than anything--I'd like to know what lies behind it, what made her phrase it in just that manner. Personally, I think the FFRF was done a disservice by having the ad run as is. It would have been more effective had the message of separation of church and state been front and center, and the difficulties they've had in getting those signs onto buses. It isn't even clear those are bus signs--the accompanying text is not particularly helpful.
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First thing you need to do is reason (using cattle prods, if necessary) with the registrar's office and help them understand what a stupid, self-destructive thing they're doing. (Get your alumni services people on your side.) Alternatively, move identity services generally to a department that knows what it's doing.
Quite an analogy, Steve, and a splooch of moralism on top for the closer. Let's try a different one: It's like handing the keys to your car to the attendant at the parking lot. You've entered into a transaction with the attendant's employer (with the attendant as the employer's agent). That employer promises to take reasonable care not to hand your trunk's contents over to thieves, not to take your car drag racing, and to give it back to you when you ask for it. If that employer (or its agent) violates the agreement, you are getting what you don't deserve, and you have legal recourse. There is where my analogy may break with reality: What recourse do you have with Amazon?
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2009 on Kindle's not a Book Shelf at Amy Wohl's Opinions
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The only book of the sort you're listing that I'd recommend is Lawrence Lessig's Code. Then I'd add some actual history, like John M. Barry's Rising Tide and David Garrow's Bearing the Cross, maybe something by T. Harriy Williams. Finally, unless he's allergic to literature, I'd put lots of it on there. My time as an English major has been much more useful to me, both in my technical career and in everyday life, than my math degree.
You aren't talking about revolutionizing air travel. You're talking about reducing or eliminating business travel. Those are two different things. I'm quite certain telepresence is going to take off. It's got far too many advantages not to. Here are the two that occur to me off-hand: * Complete control of who people talk to and complete monitoring of what they say. No more coming home with disruptive or unpopular ideas from conferences. * More hours worked. That time you used to spend in the hotel room, before and after training, getting what you'd learned grooved into your brain? Now you'll spend it back on task. Too bad about that learning thing, but we can measure your hours, so that's what we'll manage.
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Our local NPR station here in Arkansas (no, not up there, down here ran a very nice review of this book. Next time you come to Arkansas, you should come down here to the civilized part of the state. By the way, somewhere (if they haven't rotted) I've still got the tapes of your lecture. I'll try to get you a copy.
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