Archive | August, 2011

Magic When We’re Together

Melissa Harris-Perry, poli sci prof at Tulane, explains to Rachel Maddow:


When your government is a free and fair democratically-elected-in-regular-elections government, then it’s not some scary thing outside of you. It is you. It is, in fact, that we, by being together in communal space, we say: okay, look, there are these community assets, air, water, land, national defense. And we know that individually we always have short time horizons. Not malicious or bad or evil – we can only see so far, only see our own good; so we come together in government – freely elected, not all governments – that say: look, we will protect our common good, our inner child that can’t speak for itself. Our job as a government is to protect that, and so government regulations, particularly federal government regulations, are precisely the interest groups that these sorts of common interests are to have.

So let me get this straight. We’re a bunch of self-centered, short-sighted individuals. And government isn’t something different from us; it’s just us. And yet government decisions are not similarly self-centered and short-sighted. Gee, I wish she’d explain what the mechanism is.

Pyramid Power

Here’s another trailer for the second half of Doctor Who series 6. It overlaps heavily with the previous trailer, but there are a few new scenes in there.

Anarchy In Seattle: Call For Papers

The Molinari Society

Call for Papers

for the Society’s Symposium to be held in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Pacific Division meeting, April 4-8, 2012, Seattle.

Symposium Topic:
Explorations in Philosophical Anarchy (II)

Submission Deadline:
September 30, 2011


The past two decades have seen a resurgence of interest, both in activist and academic circles, in Anarchist politics and theory, with new and challenging work from several different directions. Renewed academic interest in Anarchism has drawn attention to the importance, vitality and philosophical fruitfulness of key Anarchist arguments and concepts – such as the conflict between authority and autonomy; tensions between collectivism and individualism; critical challenges to hierarchy, centralized power, top-down control and authoritarian conceptions of representation; and the development of concepts of spontaneous social order, decentralized consensus, and the knowledge problems and ideological mythologzing inherent in relations or structures of domination.

Most of this discussion has, naturally enough, taken place within the field of political and moral philosophy. But Anarchist theory (like marxist or feminist theory) embodies more than a policy orientation or a system of moral or political theses. The Anarchist tradition offers a wide-ranging, diverse and vigorously argued literature, concerning the nature and foundations of human society, with implications for every aspect of philosophy, including not only political and moral theory but also aesthetics, social-science methodology, epistemology, and the philosophies of science, religion, history, language and logic. We are looking for papers that address possible connections, approaches, challenges or insights that anarchy and its conceptual environs may suggest for philosophy broadly – or that philosophy may suggest for anarchy – beyond the familiar territory of political and moral theory, especially in such areas as epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic, and metaphilosophy or philosophical method. Papers from all analytical and critical standpoints (both with regard to philosophy and with regard to Anarchism) are welcome.

Seattle anarchists stimulating the glazier industry

Please submit complete papers of 3,000-6,000 words for consideration for the 2012 Symposium by September 30, 2011. Papers should be of appropriate scope and length to be presented within 15-30 minutes. Submitting authors will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their papers by October 10, 2011.

Submit papers as e-mail attachments, in Word .doc format or PDF, to or

For any questions or information, contact us at the above email addresses.

* * *

Some possible topics include – but are by no means limited to:

  • Authority and Epistemology
  • Anarchy and Logic
  • Illusions of control in philosophy
  • Decentralism or spontaneous order in philosophy of language
  • Philosophical implications of the work of “canonical” Anarchist theorists (Godwin, Proudhon, Molinari, Tucker, Spooner, Kropotkin, Tolstoy, De Cleyre, Goodman, Bookchin, Rothbard, Wolff, Zerzan…)
  • Anarchy and Rationality
  • Hierarchy, legibility and knowledge problems
  • Philosophical Method and Anarchism
  • Claims of representation and claims of knowledge
  • Etc.

Please spread the word to anyone who you think would be interested in the symposium topic!


More info here.

Familiar Faces

Arnim Zola

A lot of people are calling Captain America: The First Avenger the best of the Avengers film franchise so far. I can’t agree; I enjoyed it, but for me Iron Man still surpasses it. (Does that mean I find wisecracking supergenius assholes more fun to watch than earnest self-sacrificing patriots? Yeah, I guess it does.)

Two nice touches in the movie that I haven’t seen anyone else mention (I suppose these are spoilers, especially the second one):

1. When we first see Dr. Arnim Zola (the Dream Lord, for Doctor Who fans), it’s as a distorted face filling a viewscreen. I’m pretty sure that’s a nod to Zola’s eventual fate in the comics, where he eventually becomes reduced to nothing but … a distorted face filling a viewscreen.

Steve Rogers a.k.a. Captain America meets Sharon Carter a.k.a. Agent 13

2. When Rogers wakes up in the 21st century, he’s greeted by a woman with the same hair colour as his lost love Peggy Carter. And when he goes on the run, this woman calls in a “Code 13.” Comics fans will recognise why a woman who resembles Peggy Carter might be associated with the number 13. (Others have made the same guess as mine as to this woman’s identity, but I haven’t seen anyone mention the association with “13,” which for me is what clinches the hypothesis.)

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