13 July 2016

At Least the Robot Had No Impure Motives

I hereby accuse Wayne LaPierre in particular and the NRA in general of yelling "Fire!" in a crowded public theater. And the late Chief Justice Burger, with his emphasis on getting rid of federal cases at the earliest possible moment — and thereby suppressing consideration of many of the predicate issues, because state courts are seldom institutionally competent to do so (especially with elected judges) — of blocking an exit. That incident in Dallas didn't have to happen; neither did the police shootings that led to the demonstration in the first place.

  • Here's why a formal document destruction policy for surveillance material is actually critical to everyone: Sometimes, lost records are found. And when the authority for gathering the records ab initio is as dubious as it was for the NYPD "Red Squad," things get really... interesting... for both historians and everyone else.
  • But analyzing records in a coherent fashion matters, too. Epic fail: Asserting that there is only a limited number of plots, especially while misusing (and, more to the point, inconsistently using — similar to "organic food" — a technical term to mean something else). Two really obvious counterexamples rather destroy the thesis. Perhaps the most obvious is Sherlock Holmes, in which the plot-influenced relative emotional states of both the characters and the reader are wholly subordinate to solving the puzzle presented in the story (for both the characters and the reader). Somewhat more subtly, the entire analysis presumes that the purported "story shape" of an individual work stands entirely alone; analyzing James Bond works in this type of system is meaningless (and no, it doesn't work any better by abstracting the definition of "work" to a higher level). And to top it off, very little of this analysis actually concerns "plot" — that was imported by an obviously ignorant headline writer.
  • Yet more improper conduct from the Senate, where it appears that nutcase pressure is preventing the Senate from confirming its own employee, the Librarian of Congress. <SARCASM> OTOH, if one discounts self-aggrandizing party-hosting seeking donations from the east-of-Hudson subculture, the Library of Congress has been without effective leadership for years, so what's a few more months until the election? </SARCASM> The disturbing inference of "It's because she's a black woman" is hardly undermined by recent photographs of a Congresscritter from Iowa — a Union state — with Confederate flags on his desk... even if he's in the House and not the Senate.