Wednesday, June 05, 2002
He wanted to be cremated, but they couldn't find anyone to throw the match
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Sadly, the tutorial itself won't be much use to any of you who don't already know at least some aspects of formal logic. Unless, of course, you buy the book.
However, the site also links to the Fallacy Files. It sadly doesn't appear a comprehensive listing (I once saw a book that, IIRC, just listed fallacies). And the titles aren't all familiar to me. However, it looks like a guide to good thinking well worth dipping into (especially to date the refutation of someone's mode of argument...).
In response to Attack of the Clones, updates are beginning to appear, and as they do they'll all be listed at the linked location. To just read generally about the prequels, go here. Enjoy.
"Angus [Deayton, the host] had challenged Ken [Livingstone, London Mayor] about spending £103 of Londoners’ money on a cab for Helen Mirren. Ken protested it was a mistake.
“Do you know what a mistake is, Angus?” bellowed Paul, who was in his element. “Haven’t you heard of that?”"
Vicious. So annoyed I was away from a TV that night...
Monday, June 03, 2002
It comes, as do so many of my posts right now, from ArabNews.com (a Saudi English language site). Unusually, it's from the letters page: I normally don't bother, as the columnists make logical and factual errors aplenty to keep me amused. But this is interesting:
"US against us
Mr. Jack Straw has called the Kashmiri freedom fighters terrorists. US Secretary of State Colin Powell has already said that the infiltration across the Line of Control must stop and Pakistan must shut down what are called the terrorist camps in Azad Kashmir. Mercifully, US President Bush is still calling the freedom fighters infiltrators and militants but can switch over to the term ‘terrorist’ any moment.
There is nothing new in all this. Pakistan has always been used by the US and then left to suffer and pay for supporting US interests.
Anyway this is not the mistake of US, it is their way of doing things. It is Pakistan’s mistake who always trusted them and helped them achieve their objectives.
It is very shameful of them (US and the West) that rather than pressuring the Indians to accept the reality of Kashmir issue and making them understand the gravity of the situation, they are forcing Pakistan to withdraw their support to the freedom struggle of Kashmiris.
Dr. Mohammad Fazalullah, Hafr-Al-Batin, published 4 June 2002"
Of course, the quid(s) pro quo for helping out the West should be freed up textile exports, not capitulation on "local issues" (though that does seem likely to be one of the big factors in Russia and Turkey*).
There shouldn't be an impression that helping us out lets you get away with (mass) murder. But there also shouldn't be a perception that our allies are left out to dry the moment its inconvenient to help them, even if they're still helping us.
* on Chechnya (sp, v.late at night) and the Kurds, respectively.
In the meantime, an opportunity for reader feedback. Amongst my recent visitors was an old acquaintance from my bright college days. He and I are of rather different political views. He was obviously pointed here by the good friend who said "I thus confess to frequenting your site; I find it the most accessible distillation of the political line of the right wing of Likud."
Ed, perhaps light-heartedly, said that he found it a revealing unveiling of my political views, which he felt I'd obviously tempered in normal conversation. A Stalinist*, he said that he was divided between creating a parody site called "Dialectics for Dummies" (a site I'd have loved to see) and reporting me to the Commission for Racial Equality.
Obviously, the CRE has relatively little sway over anything I might have written (as at present "religion" is not covered, though that will be changing shortly). And I obviously (hope/) don't think that anything I've written would qualify as (even border-line) racist, disparaging to any religious group, or likely to promote religious or racial hatred. And I certainly wouldn't like the possible consequences if any of it was.
So if any of you think that I'm wandering dangerously out of line with anything I've been writing, please drop me a mail and let me know, preferably with an example or two (examples that our friendly neighbourhood Commissioner for Public Safety was unable to furnish at the rather late hour we spoke). I'll have a think about it, and maybe change tack. But, as I say, I think that my coverage of, e.g., Arabnews.com has been pretty reasonable. Certainly, relative to an article that says "The fighting in Jenin will be described in history by various terms and settings depending on ideologies of the writers and historians. It may be described ...[as] the Stalingrad of Palestine.."**, I think I've done pretty well. If that's a misconception, drop me a line.
* perhaps that's to mischaracterise his position. In any case, he's an avowed communist and has been described by relatively left-wing people as "an apologist for genocide" for his views on omlette-making in the first half of the Twentieth Century.
** that quote probably tends to misrepresent the article (though if I wanted misrepresentation, I'd have skipped the first sentence). It's really not that bad, but the comparison of the death of less than sixty people (Palestinian Authority figures) to perhaps a million deaths in Stalingrad (that's a Palestinian-Russian like-for-like comparison), suggests a certain attitude, non?