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Showing posts from January 31, 2021

Policy trolls: the Larry Summers edition

There's one thing I really  about the meanstesting neolibs, who claim to be so compassionate towards the poors that they wanna means test any relief package so it doesn't benefit the nasty riches - that is, people who make btw 80- 100 thou. Many of these means testers come from Harvard, or Yale, or Stanford, or Chicago. Schools with amazingly high endowments, to which rich peeps give and get accordingly tax deductions. Many of them even teach there, or, in the case of Larry Summers, used to be the president there -of Harvard, in his case. Oddly, none of the means testers seem to notice that a small, poor college, Wabash College or something, and a multibillion dollar endowed university, Harvard, get - horrors! - the same tax exemption! Surely, these neolib centrists, who know all about that there economics, should be on the forefront of trying to get their alma maters taxed, and taking away tax exemption from those rich dudes with their "philanthropy". Means testing,

hatewatching our minor apocalypse

“The story is, that Leontius, the son of Aglaion, coming up one day from the Piraeus, under the north wall on the outside, observed some dead bodies lying on the ground at the place of execution. He felt a desire to see them, and also a dread and abhorrence of them; for a time he struggled and covered his eyes, but at length the desire got the better of him; and forcing them open, he ran up to the dead bodies, saying, Look, ye wretches, take your fill of the fair sight.” Hatewatching was not invented in the clickbait age – as Socrates’ story in The Republic proves. A sensationalist culture has, however, radically increased its reach ever since the newspapers discovered that pics of a lovenest and a corpse – if it bleeds, it ledes – could be a wicked mealticket. Now if it bleeds, it is killed endlessly in zombie movies, action movies, and so on, John Wick without end, amen. Any observer downloading American popular entertainment could predict, I think, that the culture that made it wou

Philosophy and the crossword puzzle

  Apollinaire started writing his typographically complex poems, the Calligrammes, in Paris in 1913 -14. By that point, the cubists were pasting bits of printed matter into their paintings, and Marinetti and the futurists were trying to develop a poetry of pure punctuation. On the other side of the Atlantic, an English immigrant named Arthur Wynne, working at the New York World, unveiled his own adventure in art in the “Fun” pages, the World’s way of creating a family demographic for the paper. The word cross, as Wynne called it, debuted on December 21, 1913. "Wynne’s puzzle was a peculiar, diamond shaped grid, with no black squares... Rather than being divided into the Across and Down clue columns that we know today, the clues were designated by the first numbered square in the answer and the last.” (Stanley Newman and Mark Lasswell) It was soon called the cross word – although whether this was Wynne’s decision or a typesetter’s error is not known. What is know is that it is a S