… academic papers are made to bore, impress, provide credibility, intimidate even, be presented at meetings, but not to be read, except by suckers (or detractors) or, even worse, graduate students.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb
“On Robustness and fragility, Deeper Philosophical and Empirical Reflections” – post-script to second edition of The Black Swan
hat-tip to Sam…
You have no idea what Martin Luther King did. True or False?
| February 26, 2014
This will be a very short diary. It will not contain any links or any scholarly references. It is about a very narrow topic, from a very personal, subjective perspective.
The topic at hand is what Martin Luther King actually did, what it was that he actually accomplished.
What most people who reference Dr. King seem not to know is how Dr. King actually changed the subjective experience of life in the United States for African Americans. And yeah, I said for African Americans, not for Americans, because his main impact was his effect on the lives of African Americans, not on Americans in general. His main impact was not to make white people nicer or fairer. That’s why some of us who are African Americans get a bit possessive about his legacy. Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy, despite what our civil religion tells us, is not colour blind.
I remember that many years ago, when I was a smartass home from mt first year of college, I was standing in the kitchen arguing with my father. My head was full of newly discovered political ideologies and black nationalism, and I had just read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, probably for the second time.
continue reading at http://rabble.ca/news/2014/02/you-have-no-idea-what-martin-luther-king-did-true-or-false
Really nicely done. If you ever need to see how to skewer hypocrites, this.
Not literally, in either case, and that’s probably a Good Thing.
Went running Saturday morning, for the first time in forever. Am overweight, so knees and ankles probably won’t love me for it, even though I was running on soft ground. Managed further than I thought I would – about 2.2k (a mile and a third, for any Imperialists).
Then at the local community project for some practical work (sawing, nailing etc and filming).
Then making a film with a new friend, talking to Mrs Towers, farting around on various interwebzy things.
Today more community project then from lunchtime to now working with two good friends on various Projects.
And in amongst that we talked of cognitive empathy, affective empathy and bosses who can fake it.
And bosses who either care about their underlings or only care about their overlings (the latter more numerous, more dangerous etc. And those of the latter with good social skills most dangerous of all).
Anyway, I’ve been remiss in posting these last few days, as predicted/”planned”. Will that continue? Dunno.
Hope you’re all (well, ‘both’) all well.
Gosh, so much has changed since the 19th century!
“There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
Abnormal doesn’t mean bad, it just means unusual and, of course [Nazi analogy guy] can mean good.
And in our society, pathological (as in, definitely bad for you, me, everybody) are sadly any thing but abnormal. Infinite growth on a finite planet, anyone?
“Long-term developments – the attrition of members’ power, the conquest of the party by a professional care chained to the logic of ‘presentation’ – have left it incapable of imagining or articulating an alternative. Similar developments have been seen across Europe as ‘post-modern’ inducements created ‘post-social democratic’ parties. In the end, the retreat of the mainstream left contributed as much as the collapse of Communism to the erosion of belief in alternatives.
This has left a gaping hole, which the forces embodied in the Occupy movement cannot hope to fill, though they can forge a way forward. At some point, if we are to defeat austerity, we need to bring down the government. But then what? It may well turn out that we shake the tree, Labour politicians gather the fruit, and our world remains under neoliberal management.”
Mike Marqusee “Broader horizons”
Red Pepper Feb/March 2012