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Showing posts from October 14, 2007

John Searle on Derrida

Makes a lot of sense to me. For what it's worth, I'm trying to struggle through Otobiographies; we'll see how that goes...but as far as I can tell, Searle is spot on.

Later: Twelve pages and four hours into Otiose-biographies, I gave up in disgust. If anyone reading this can explain the first twelve pages of this Derridiocy to me in plain English, I'd be both surprised and much obliged. Seriously.
Volume 30, Number 16 · October 27, 1983ReviewThe Word Turned Upside Down By John R. SearleJacques Derrida
(click for larger image)On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism after Structuralismby Jonathan CullerCornell University Press, 307 pp., $8.95 (paper)1."Deconstruction" is the name of a currently influential movement in American literary criticism. The underlying theory was developed not by literary critics but by a French professor of philosophy, Jacques Derrida, and many of his ideas are in turn owing to Nietzsche and Heidegger. Culler writes as a disciple of Derr…

A Term I Hate!

The use of "reaching out to someone" in biz-land when what is meant is "communicating," and usually, "communicating about some moronic project for which I, the communicator, want 'buy-in' to cover my ass."

People "reach out" when they are either drowning or experiencing some out-of-the-ordinary emotional state. Perhaps high-level diplomats, when they aren't judging how best to screw the other side, will "reach out."

The overuse of the phrase makes me want to retch -- more cheapening of emotion (i.e., creeping sentimentalism) and degrading of language.

(This has been a reaction of the Bullshit Detection System. Had this been a test, you wouldn't be puking right now.)

Israeli Intelligence behind Syria Strike not Persuasive

From Juan Cole's Informed Comment:
The NYT has been pushing the story that the Israeli air strike on Syria on September 6 came in response to intelligence that Syria was building a nuclear reactor at the site with clandestine North Korean help. There are reasons to question the accuracy of the Israeli story, which at some points has included allegations that there was evidence of enriched nuclear material at the site; such material could only be produced at the end of a long research and construction project, not at the beginning. The Israelis are trigger-happy and their intelligence on the Arab world is most often sloppy (the then head of Mossad is still insisting that Iraq had WMD), so one cannot assume there was anything to their apprehensions. In the absence of any inspection of the bombed site, one cannot assume there wasn't, either. The strike probably killed the November peace process summit that Condi Rice had been working toward; Syria…

Letter: 'Failure Risks Devastating Consequences' By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lee Hamilton, Carla Hills, Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, Thomas R. Pickering, et al

From the NYRB. More cracks in the facade, all other interpretations of this letter aside...

Here's the whole enchilada, in case you don't like clicking links:
Volume 54, Number 17 · November 8, 2007Email to a friend
RSS feedLetter'Failure Risks Devastating Consequences' By Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lee Hamilton, Carla Hills, Nancy Kassebaum-Baker, Thomas R. Pickering, Brent Scowcroft et al.The following letter on the Middle East peace conference scheduled for Annapolis, Maryland, in late November, was sent by its signers on October 10 to President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The statement is a joint initiative of the US/Middle East Project, Inc. (General Brent Scowcroft, chairman, International Board, and Henry Siegman, president), the International Crisis Group (Gareth Evans, president), and the New America Foundation/American Strategy Program (Steven Clemons, director).The Israeli-Palestinian peace conference announced by President Bush and schedu…

"ChestDoc in Palestine": A Report from the Front Lines

When the British Medical Journal ran a poll on the proposed boycott of Israeli academics, a firestorm of letters resulted; the author of the blog above -- Asad Khan, Specialist Registrar, Respiratory Medicine, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester -- sent in this response (you may have to search for his name, or the title, "Go and see the truth for yourself. I did," on the page).

The blog linked above is his full report.

Thanks to Kim Hamilton-Bobrow for bringing this to my attention.