Tag Archives: humor

Teaching Cartoon: Principles

teaching cartoon

It would be, of course, much better, if this occasion were celebrated with no talk at all, and if I addressed you in the manner of the ancient teachers of Zen, I should hit the microphone with my fan and leave. But I somehow have the feeling that since you have contributed to the support of the Zen Center, in expectation of learning something, a few words should be said, even though I warn you, that by explaining these things to you, I shall subject you to a very serious hoax. Alan Watts

bonus:

Alan Watts .com
Alan Watts. org
Alan Watts Facebook
Alan Watts Seminar Series (iTunes-$19.99)

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Dim Propositions

Wealth-Gap

My jaw figuratively drops at the varieties of ‘Maker & Moocher’ arguments. Unemployment bumps up by 50% and suddenly there are 50% more takers too lazy to find a job. Ridiculous.

Moocher-Taker

In the mid-terms we will hear the 47% argument (of Mittens,) refined into a battle cry about the class war between the Takers and the Patriots. This preposterous argument goes like this: if the government distributes enough goodies then the new army of takers will overwhelm the main street patriots and forge a tyranny of the majority. In turn, this will lead to the destruction of free market capitalism and freedom and personal responsibility.

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First Five Callers…

Joy-of-Tech-Facebook

Just for the record, I much prefer Google+ to Facebook. On the positive side of the ledger, Facebook has brought into distant orbit a handful of long-lost friends. That is it for the positive side of the ledger.

Facebook seems tenaciously attached to its bad interface innovations. Facebook’s search function is laughable. The ‘be-friending’ central imperative is, for me, limited and not congenial.

Google+ has a slightly better interface, excellent search, and its users may access any other user. The latter advantage is very congenial to my open-ended approach to new relationships and incoming information. The serendipity factor on Google+ is by design central to its differentiation (as a platform) and its appeal to me.

There are ways to leverage Google+ which would make it an attractive vehicle for resurrecting the discussions that have mostly disappeared from my screen over the last ten years. Unfortunately, very few people I personally know are on Google+.

The upshot for my own usage is that the internet isn’t in the main a social space for me; it’s much more like a cosmic library.

Google+ Stephen Calhoun

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Teaching Cartoon: Overdue

Overdue

1983 Berkeley Breathed

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Empty Space

Geek meditation Session

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“He’ll Do That Because He’s A Republican”

What of one of Stewart’s implications, not overtly given here, in this otherwise pointed critique of expected hypocrisy? Are Romney’s concrete beliefs best left completely off the table? If so, are such beliefsbest left off as a matter of respect for which salutary principle?

See: Pennies from heaven: How Mormon economics shape the G.O.P; Chris Lehmann; Harper’s Magazine; October 2011.

Consider the following:

(Interestingly, Mormonism may be the best example of a contemporary living religion–where its doctrines are subject to active revision through the workings of its internal political economy.)

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Anti-Hippies

Santorum In the Tubes

What happens sometimes is start a post and then don’t wrap it up and then its time ends up having gone by. Kaput. So it was with a post on Rich Santorum. He interested me because of his arch way of hiding under the cloak of his practiced–and daffy–“Catholic-like” traditionalism that he was actually a typical “picker and chooser”. Besides, my now buried riff gave me an opportunity to provide trenchant observations about policing bedrooms, and, rhyme Herman Caine with Maratain.

Still, I work in, today, my collection of jpegs of hippie man light switches. These were also in the old post.

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch

Hippie Man Light Switch


Sense of Humor

h/t to Thinking Outside the Agora

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WIllard Wagged

h/t Colbert; Stewart; Americans for a Better Tomorrow Tomorrow

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It’s Not Like There Haven’t Been Warnings

There’s a confusion about ‘smarts.’ There’s nothing about the skill set required to pilot an aircraft which makes ignorance ‘elsewhere’ impossible. Similarly, that Michelle Backmann was a tax attorney doesn’t verify her advanced mental capabilities across the spectrum, especially including that of elementary mathematics. The string of appalling, jaw-dropping assertions, each flavored by intense stupidity, is–some would say–simply par for the course of the campaign year.

How is it that the Grand Old Party can align itself with what is termed ‘Conservatism’ and, at the same time, not understand that proudly showcasing abject stupidity is itself not a conservative value in any way, shape or form? The supposedly normative claim made by conservatives–at the higher end of the cognitive spectrum–is: that conservatism’s foundationalism enjoins wise observer and political actor to join sideways-looking pessimism and upward-looking faith in the most realistic, humbling, prudently liberal, and intelligent understanding, about human nature and human society. It is taken as gospel truth, then, that the conservative mentality and intellect is by definition superior to the alternative or opposing instances.

They Think You're Stupid

Irony is alive and well

But isn’t this claim obviously and riotously undermined by the current flag-bearing exemplars of what really cannot count as thoughtful fronting of conservative values/principles because each in different ways is so remarkably ignorant?

999

A friend of mine hadn’t seen Bad Lip Reading’s dadaesque work. Here are my three favorites.

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First Woman Standing

opposites

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Question the Mission

book cover

It took a while at the Business Book Title generator to come up with something worthwhile. I was able to end my mission with this one. I did augment the austere stock presentation by adding a graphic.

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Bernie Gets It

Ok, got your attention…


…and he always has.

His twitter stream His history-making fillibuster (CSPAN search result) from December 10. Bernie Sanders

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land. (Deuteronomy 15:7, 11)

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? …and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. (Isaiah 58:6-7;10)

Next, the Biblical text extolling favoring the wealthy over the poor:

!

Barry Deutsch : The 24 Types of Libertarian

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glenn duck

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Two Philosophy Cartoons

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Agnostisnarkism




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The Librarian’s Shadow

Source: Madisonian Net

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Temporal Directive

Onion, December 15. Did you ever wonder what the Thomist reasoning and attitude is toward precedents?

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The Da Wilber Code

Barry, a psychologist, has on his blog created a fantasy about a conversation between new age gurus Ken Wilber and Andrew Cohen.

It’s short and strikes the bullseye, and, is very very funny. Great timing too because Barry’s parody is in the context of up-and-coming performances like this one, Conversations With the Masters. The answers to important questions such as:

* Would you like to learn the critically essential keys to human growth?

will be explored. The event is free, but bring your checkbook.

Daniel Gustav Anderson on his for-the-turnstiles blog declares:

For the purposes of scholarship and making knowledge, it is over for Ken Wilber.

This is hard to argue with after the travesty provided by Wilber’s book, Integral Spirituality, with its appalling instantiation of integral mathematics.

What jumps out for me, aside from the evidence found in Wilber’s recent books, is how completely disinterested Wilber is in the integral-like scholarship that has followed from psychological and anthropological and post-modern turns in a number of fields—over forty+ years.

Three of which, among many, are: organizational development, semiotics, and anthropology. Karl Weick has for years surveyed and analyzed the organization by galumphing through the quadrants, except his important work isn’t unfolding in integral terms or from an integral framework.

Earlier this year a colleague turned me onto the semiotician Paul J. Thibault’s Brain, Mind And the Signifying Body: An Ecosocial Semiotic Theory. It’s not technically a work based in wilberianism’s model, but it fits the bill for an integral scholarship in the superior terms offered outside of Wilber’s badly aging model.

Just sayin’.


See article about Dr. Weick, Karl Weick and the Aesthetics of Contigency (pdf) – Eisenberg, E. (2006). Organization Studies, 27(11).

Weick is author of three essential books in organizational studies: Sensemaking In Organizations; The Social Psychology of Organizing; Making Sense of the Organization: The Impermanent Organization.

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Family Intervention

Obama Risks a Domestic Military ‘Intervention’

(update: Newsmax removed the column from which the excerpts below are taken. see mediamatters.)



Tuesday, September 29, 2009 10:35 AM By: John L. Perry

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America’s military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the “Obama problem.” Don’t dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn’t the Third World.  If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn’t mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:

Officers swear to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to “obey the orders of the president of the United States.”

Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.
They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

They can see that the economy — ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation — is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

So, if you are one of those observant military professionals, what do you do?

Wait until Israel is forced to launch air strikes on Iran’s nuclear-bomb plants, and the Middle East explodes, destabilizing or subjugating the Free World?

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a “family intervention,” with some form of limited, shared responsibility?

Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.

Military intervention is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for “fundamental change” toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama’s radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.

In the 2008 election, that was the wistful, self-indulgent, indifferent reliance on abnegation of personal responsibility that has sunk the nation into this morass.


Let’s run with this a bit even though Perry likely would not fair well in a diagnostic interview.

Emboldened parts in the excerpt jump out the most for me.

That it has never happened doesn’t mean it wont. Okay–fair enough sophistry–how could it happen? To heck with why it should or should not happen. Let’s roll with what a military leadership would have to accomplish to realize military control of the country.

First, in planning out what is in constitutional and military terms, treason, this leadership would have to figure out how to insure the compliance of each and every land, sea, air, command throughout the entire military. Presumably, short of 100% “buy-in,” the treasonous top rankers  could obtain a critical mass of buy-in enough so that severe disincentives could be threatened for any resisting military personnel. The problem with this is how it could all churn into something uncivil.
(more…)

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Favorite Humorists

Using Google alerts, the philosopher Bradley Monton drifts on my radar screen with increasing regularity.

Why?

He’s a philosophically-minded proponent of the validity of the motive behind the “research” program of Intelligent Design. Also, his work is unintentionally really amusing. Too, I would count myself as a proponent of my (and the,) motivation to find humor, especially unintentional humor, in odd places. For consistent howler potential, ID is second to none.

His paper, Is Intelligent Design Science? Dissecting the Dover Decision (pdf), is worth a close reading for amusement’s sake.

Monton:

My position is that scientists should be free to pursue hypotheses as they see fit, without being constrained by a particular philosophical account of what science is.

There are lot of hypotheses a scientist or someone else could pursue. What constraints a researcher enforces and suffers under are necessary to an eventual credible claim of verification or falsification. But, what this has to do with a philosophical account of any kind is not a question Monton pursues in his paper. Presumably, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, but, we’re still waiting for a cogent entry in the philosophy of ‘supranatural’ science able to issue constraints on ID researchers.

Don’t hold your breath. Still, it would be neat to learn of a philosophical account which unpacks ID’s primary posit: ‘biological systems were designed because their a lot like designed stuff.’

Monton’s paper approaches his four points of contest sideways in each of the four instances.

His kick off is remarkable:

I do, however, have specialized training which will help me to answer the question of whether ID counts as science.

So does ID count as science? I maintain that it is a mistake to put too much weight on that question.

[]

If our goal is to believe truth and avoid falsehood, and if we are rational people who take into account evidence in deciding what to believe, then we need to focus on the question of what evidence there is for and against ID. The issue of whether ID counts as “science” according to some contentious answer to the demarcation question is unimportant.

So it is that his specialized training is inadequate to the task of peeling the onions of a demarcation problem. Whatever the answers are to the demarcation problem, one would have to demonstrate their unimportance, and this is irrespective of their being contentious. I do know you wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic who appealed to their own authority and then next told you, “But, I’ve had it with engines!”

Yet, Monton then goes into, sort of, his hollowed out version of the demarcation problem. It’s more funny then reasonable.

Later:

I will now argue that it is counterproductive to restrict scientific activity in such a way that hypotheses that invoke the supernatural are ruled out. Specifically, I will argue that it is possible to get scientific evidence for the existence of God. The scenario I am about to describe is implausible, but there is nothing logically inconsistent about it. The point of the scenario is that in the described situation, it would be reasonable for scientists to postulate and test the hypothesis that there is supernatural causation occurring.

I have a better suggestion, why not entertain a plausible scenario? Give it your best shot. In any case, his scenario is riotously funny.

If one works through the rest of his oeuvre, his basic position on ID is clarified: ID hasn’t been proven impossible. In a sense, his paper’s argument is unintentionally ironic: ‘my arguments here may be specious, but this doesn’t mean that better arguments are impossible!’

Amazingly, google alerts turned up more intellectual anti-matter. Via Denyse O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist blog, I came to listen to two interviews with another philosopher, Angus Menuge. He’s given the podcast treatment by The Discovery Institute’s Casey Luskin: (1) Agents Under Fire: Part One With Angus Menuge; (2) Rebutting Methodological Materialism.

Menuge. . .much more amusing than Monton, and Monton is very amusing. On one hand, Menuge and Luskin indulge in canard-a-rama. Incredibly, the tornado whirling through the junkyard is revisited in a different guise. On the other hand, Menuge folds in a vague and very extreme picture of a hyper-positivist materialistic naturalism, adds in a fuzzy reference to an irrelevant fault line in the field of theory of mind, dribbles in a riff on downward causation, and then battles the super dooper straw man so conjoined of those disparate and completely unjustified parts. Or, to be more accurate, Menuge doesn’t articulate any justification or reasons why this category mash-up is germane to his vague argument. Maybe it was enough that the argument impressed fawning Luskin.

However, having brought up downward causation, he could at least have speculated about what the import of an over-arching designer is in the context of a particular, well-defined and operationalized system, for which the conceptions of both upward and downward causation are justified and thus may be deployed.

More Menuge.. Is Menuge a young earth creationist?


As always, my consul with respect to proponents of ID is brute simple: please, start theorizing the operations of the designer’s agency, so your movement (or research program,) can quickly depart the long discredited agenda of trying to overturn naturalistic biology, and, trying to subvert the demonstrable efficacy* of natural science.

IDers, you really do not require philosophers and their philosophical accounts. If you do, best to find some brilliant, less funny, ones.


*It would be world-shaking at such point that any ID biologist verifies a single, ‘starter,’ hypothesis.

William Dembski in 2005:

For ID to win the day, however, will require talented new researchers able to move this research program forward, showing how intelligent design provides better insights into biological systems than the dying Darwinian paradigm.

Close, but not close enough. Better: showing how intelligent design provides better understanding of the development of biological systems. Tis most of the ball game–riding on the better replacing the merely good.

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