18 February 2024

Unmedicated Link Sausage Platter

I'm afraid that medication for back spasms does not make for timely posting of the sausages, so some of these have perhaps been in the smokehouse a bit longer than optimal. That, however, may make some of their other ingredients slightly less noticeable.

  • As I remarked during the first iteration of this meme (a few weeks ago), it's really too bad that nobody noticed that reading is sexy during my misspent youth (a couple decades before this internet-thingy), when I was found as often as possible in my natural habitat: The library.
  • Even then, I was pondering "Lucas is such an incoherent klutz in interviews, I wonder if he used a ghostwriter, especially since the Star Wars novelization is a lot better written than the movie?" As it turns out, I was onto something. Which leads to a rather interesting trademark-law and consumer-protection-law question: Does failing to accurately identify the author of a published work result in overt misrepresentation of the origin of goods placed in the stream of commerce, especially in those instances in which the purported source had virtually nothing to do with the content passed off as originating with that source? <SARCASM> I'm not aware of more than a few dozen specific instances covered by privilege, NDAs, or any other enforceable confidentiality requirements that implicate this problem, why do you ask? Let me give you a Glomar response in advance… </SARCASM>
  • Speaking of being at the edge of matters, consider copyright liability for CDN providers to overt/admitted/proud pirates. For those of you who object that this is just European nonsense, consider that it's a logical consequence of Grokster (especially as extended and reinforced in Global-Tech Appliances) that, primarily for procedural and insufficient-resources reasons, has seldom been raised in the US. The key point is that the European Cloudflare opinion, as did the US Grokster and Global-Tech Appliances opinions, rejects a willful-ignorance defense.
  • The truism that art is political is hard to deny; as Orwell noted,

    [N]o book is genuinely free from political bias. The opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude.

    Why I Write (1946) (BlueBook-approved typography, but not quotation rules, just to piss off ignorant pedants). However, Orwell and Ms Agarwal are talking about something that is an intersection, not a congruence — because they mean slightly different things by "political." Although in common parlance "political" often includes "partisan," and "tribalist," and "identity-group selective," the specific interests of those last three often do not qualify as "political" in the sense that Orwell was reaching for (especially as one reads the rest of his works, and in particular his works after he began working for the BBC… "original public meaning" be damned). It's a useful intersection; what it is not, however, is one capable of infinite extension.

  • That is perhaps most apparent in considering recent problems with peer review, which could be misleadingly asserted to arise from "political" issues when they far, far more often originate in failure of scientific detachment — especially when that failure is incentivized by tasty, tasty grant money. And tenure driven by numeric publication measures. And undisclosed conflicts of interest that are supposed to be eliminated by perfect scientific detachment but aren't (because humans are involved and therefore "perfect" is unachievable).
  • But this all revolves around contempt. The distinguished EP Thompson identified one kind, contempt for working classes among their "betters". That's just one example of contempt for the Other — ethnicity, race, religion, the hands-versus-minds problem, old money versus not, whatever. It's rather like SiriusXM's contempt for its customers expressed in junk fees publicly rationalized as "music royalties" that just don't seem to make their way to musicians or composers in the amounts asserted… or, for that matter, in the amounts assessed (and assessable). It's also rather like the institutionalized contempt of land ownership, reflected in calling only property arising from land ownership "real."
  • The purpose of the permitting process for protests outside the forthcoming Democratic National Convention is not to create disorder, but to preserve disorder. Think there'll be a New Chicago Seven trial thereafter? "Poor People's Army" sounds a lot more militant and dangerous than "Students for a Democratic Society"…