14 February 2005

Pot Pourri

A rather bizarre collection of material from this morning.
  • The NYT reviews a book on bullshit by a philosophy professor. It was almost more fun to read the heavily expurgated review than I suspect reading the book might be. However, the attraction of reading something from the Princeton University Press that actually admits—nay, trumpets—that it's about bullshit is almost irresistable. (I'm not picking on PUP here specifically, but university presses in general—and no more so than commercial presses.) I think I've just managed to get this entry excluded from search engines by using "that naughty word" twice.
  • On a more somber note, another anniversary passed yesterday without notice from the US press: perhaps the greatest single tragedy in US military history. As militaries go, we have a decent history of respect for civilians. Not adequate, but decent. Except, that is, during the last days of the Second Thirty Years' War, when we expended considerable effort on terrorizing civilian populations after we had wiped out their air defenses. (Yes, the plans specific invoke that as a purpose.) Tokyo. Berlin. Köln. Dresden.

    By "decent history," I'm only pointing out that by the abysmally low standards of humanity on warfare, we've managed to not be as bad as most Old World nations. That's a pretty darned low standard, though.

  • I'm going to reinstitute my boycott of everything Kansas if this nonsense keeps up. I'd ask if the school board members could even read Santa Fe School District v. Doe, but with the apparent state of eduction there that might be asking too much.