Posts Tagged “Audio”

07w46:3 Chomsky

by timothy. 0 Comments

Charlie Rose, 9 June 2006

Charlie Rose, 20 November 2003

Chomsky weighs in on 9/11 Conspiracy Theories |

Chomsky on Academic Freedom
(More audio clips from the academic freedom conference organized in support of Norman Finkelstein here. Another highlight is the speech by Tony Judt)

07w45:5 Norman Mailer 1923-2007

by timothy. 0 Comments

Mailer in Matthew Barney’s Cremaster 4

NY Times Obit:
Norman Mailer, Outspoken Novelist, Dies at 84 | Charles McGrath

Lee Seigel’s review/essay of Mailer’s last novel, published last January.
Reader comments.


From Goodreads 06w16:1:

The Mailers in Discussion
Part 1:
Part 2:
// Part 1: March 2nd afternoon on the Leonard Lopate Show; Part 2: March 2nd evening at some lecture hall. Norman Mailer and his son John Buffalo M. talk about their recent collaborative book and Mailer has great things to say about the state of the USA today. Personally, when Norman Mailer dies I’ll consider it a diminishment of humanity.


Norman Mailer fighting Rip Torn, 1970s
// this became popular on YouTube last August

Norman Mailer on Charlie Rose
Link to selections

Norman Mailer on Iraq and the American Right

07w26:1 A Variety of Links Lunk and Thoughts Thunk

by timothy. 2 Comments

An overview: Since the last Goodreads arrived in your inbox,

  • Rob Labossiere was kind enough to review the first of my Timereading Series, Outdoor Air Conditioning on Sally McKay’s blog (but I had nothing to do with the gun-cock-cop)
  • I felt the need to comment on the recent Luminato festival over at my blog.
  • Commentator LM asked last week (at Jennifer MacMakon’s Simpleposie) why I wasn’t included in the recently opened MOCCA show featuring disagreeable artists, since I (along with Eldon Garnet and Thrush Holmes) piss off and irritate lots of people.
  • I also found time to contribute to the discussion on Sally McKay’s thoughts on the Toronto art-scene here (but I wish she could have deleted my accidental dupe).

In blog news, after surviving cancer, Cedric Caspesyan has apparantly realized life is too short for the art-world’s mean people, Chris Hand’s Zeke’s Gallery blog has been apparently sued out of existance (and yet, the ads remains) and Franklin Einspruch doesn’t plan to update his blog until the Fall.

I did manage to develop a Goodreads podcast link, to provide an alternate and direct way to access whatever mp3 links I find (and have found):

Supporting the Troops

Meanwhile, three Canadian soldiers died last week prompting the City of Toronto to reverse the decision to remove the stupid ‘support our troops’ decals on firetrucks and ambulances in favor of leaving them on indefinitely since pacifists are still considered more loathsome in our society than the people who actually volunteer to kill. And if you think I’m exaggerating, consider that Afghani President Hamid Karzai was shown on the CBC news last Saturday night complaining about NATO’s heavy-handed tactics of ‘shelling a village from thirty-some kilometres away’ and killing civilians in the process (ref video clip here; CBC related here and here).

The report went on to say that as of Saturday, (23 June) 90 Afghan civilians had been killed in the previous ten days. Notice that this report was buried on the Saturday 11 o’clock news, and that when things like this are reported, suddenly it’s the problem of the ‘NATO coalition’ and Canada’s pride at the fact that the Cdn forces are the ones doing most of the heavy-lifting in the region is obfuscated. But we have to support the troops, or keep our mouths shut otherwise, and ignore the ratio that 3 Canadian lives are worth more to our conscience than the 90 or so people who were alive at the beginning of the month, whose names and faces we will never know, and who ‘we’ are not supposed to be there to accidentally kill but rather to accidentally help, through what could be called ‘aggressive peacekeeping’ in the bullshit lingo of the military.

I also write this in light of seeing last April the Frontline World report (video available on July 9th) on the Canadians in Afghansistan, which prompted commentator Alex March from Edmonton to say: ‘I am afraid the Canadians are treating the Afghanistan people with a combination of traditional Department of Indian Affairs false promises and CISIS paranoia. Sad it will cost many lives unnecessarily,’ with a rebuttal by one of the soldiers Mr. Annoymous, who tells us the reporters did what they typically do, which is to obfuscate and simplify, which of course prompted a response by the filmmakers … and… on and on, the cycles of animosity never do end to they?

Andrew Cash wrote about the decals in Now Magazine during the first week of May, notable to me for including this facile sentence indicative of the whole problem of the ‘support the troops’ sloganeering (people choosing stock phrases rather than a conscious awareness of what they’re saying): ‘Who among us isn’t deeply saddened by the news of ever increasing numbers of uniformed Canadians killed or seriously injured in the war.’ I stand up to say I am not deeply saddened because I don’t pretend to be an idiot out of social convention. Out of a population of heroin users I understand some will turn up as corpses with needles hanging from their tourniquet arms. Similarly, I understand that some soldiers going to war zones will come home in body bags. Why should I feel upset about either when it’s continually presented to me as a fact of the world that no one seems to have any intention of changing? If we do want to change it, how about we start by stopping the rhetoric and unquestioning support of militarism? Therefore, I don’t support the troops.

The Human Union

I found this when I was researching the Human Network links below, although I have to ask, why do progressive websites often display such poor design?

From ‘The Human Union Declaration’ found on the site:

To force me to act in compliance with a political system that goes to war against my fellow humans is a denial of my humanity and I will resist such efforts to the best of my abilities.

To force me to act in compliance with a political system which discriminates politically against my fellow humans is a denial of my humanity and I will resist such efforts to the best of my abilities.

Human Union

The Human Network

The recent anniversary of the Tienanmen Square Massacre prompted PBS’ Frontline to rebroadcast their April 2006 documentary The Tank Man, which is available online at the Frontline website, in four parts. In the fourth and last part, Yahoo!’s complicity in facilitating Chinese censorship led into a report that Cisco Systems has sold the latest technology to China to enable such control of information. I laughed when I heard this, given how Cisco’s latest advert campaign, launched last autumn, announces itself as facilitators of ‘the human network’. Interestingly, their commercial features Toronto, leading to one of those WTF? moments – is it because we have the world’s largest communications tower? Is it because relational aesthetics is hot here? Nevertheless, the scene illustrating ‘welcome to a world where people subscribe to people and not magazines’ in which girls meet up in front of City Hall through coordinating on their phones inspired me somewhat. I like the idea of living in a city where people subscribe to people and not magazines. But I also have this sense that Goodreads has managed to blur the two – a subscription to a webzine/Mr. Timothy person. If only more people bought me diner….

The Tank Man | PBS Frontline

Welcome to the Human Network on YouTube

Welcome to the Human Network| Cisco Systems


Welcome to the world where people are subscribing to people via Facebook. I joined Facebook at the end of April.

Let’s face it, Facebook is here to stay | Michael Geist

Facebook banned for Ontario staffers | Robert Benzie
// it’s great how this story is illustrated with a picture of an old man


The Art World by its nature is nepotistic. Jerry Saltz had a problem with that a few months ago:

Not Buying It | Jerry Saltz

Some Links I found myself forwarding to friends

On Shakespeare

Shakespeare: the Biography (Paperback) | Peter Ackroyd
// I’m currently reading this biography of Shakespeare and it’s so so good. Yes, that’s two so’s for emphasis, not a typo.

In Search of Shakespeare | Michael Wood
// I saw this when it was first broadcast on PBS in 2004. It was so good I actually found it haunting. Especially the bit with the photographs. When I found the accompanying book later that year in a remaindered store, I of course bought it.

On Teenagers

Trashing Teens | Hara Estroff Marano

Chomsky on Pomo

On Postmodernism | Noam Chomsky
“Now Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Kristeva, etc. — even Foucault, whom I knew and liked, and who was somewhat different from the rest — write things that I also don’t understand, but (1) and (2) don’t hold: no one who says they do understand can explain it to me and I haven’t a clue as to how to proceed to overcome my failures. That leaves one of two possibilities: (a) some new advance in intellectual life has been made, perhaps some sudden genetic mutation, which has created a form of “theory” that is beyond quantum theory, topology, etc., in depth and profundity; or (b) … I won’t spell it out.” // Haven’t I sent this out before? If I haven’t, I always meant to.

The Norman Finkelstein Case

Dear Canadian Universities: you should hire this guy and prove that you’ve got more going on than the so-called superior American schools.

The Commonplace Cowardice of Responsible Professors; What the Finkelstein Tenure Fight Tells Us About the State of Academia | Robert Jensen

Noam Chomsky Accuses Alan Dershowitz of Launching a “Jihad” to Block Norman Finkelstein From Getting Tenure at Depaul University | Democracy Now!

“It Takes an Enormous Amount of Courage to Speak the Truth When No One Else is Out There” — World-Renowned Holocaust, Israel Scholars Defend DePaul Professor Norman Finkelstein as He Fights for Tenure

Norman Finkelstein | Wikipedia

Good riddence Blair

British Author Tariq Ali on the Resignation of Tony Blair: ‘The Fact That He’s Leaving is Because He’s So Hated’

Selections from Democracy Now!

Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson Slams His Friend Mitt Romney for Flip-Flopping on Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Torture in Attempt to Win GOP Presidential Nomination

John Perkins on “The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption

The Task Force Report Should Be Annulled – Member of 2005 APA Task Force on Psychologist Participation in Military Interrogations Speaks Out

100th Anniversary of Rachel Carson: Remembering the Woman Who Helped Launch the Environmental Movement

In Debt We Trust: America Before the Bubble Burst

In Rare Joint Interview, Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn on Iraq, Vietnam, Activism and History

From SDS to Life After Capitalism: Z Mag Founder Michael Albert on Activism, “Parecon” and a Model for a Participatory Society

Howard Zinn Urges U.S. Soldiers to Heed Thoreau’s Advice and ‘Resist Authority’

Legendary Broadcaster Bill Moyers Returns to Airwaves With Critical Look at How U.S. News Media Helped Bush Admin Sell the Case for War

Fighting Fascism: The Americans – Women and Men – Who Fought In the Spanish Civil War

Abraham Lincoln Brigade ‘Represents an Important Part of the American Soul’ – Harry Belafonte Pays Tribute to U.S. Vets Who Fought Fascism in Spain

Banned by Army: Folk Singer Joan Baez Can’t Sing to Wounded Soldiers at Walter Reed
2007-05-04 // Of course I feel the need to point out here that maybe the reason Joan Baez was uninvited to sing for wounded soldiers was not because of politics but because young hurt boys would probably prefer a Britany Spears tits-and-ass show than an ethereally voiced sixty-something ex-hippy.

Mother’s Day for Peace: A Dramatic Reading of Julia Ward Howe’s Mother’s Day Proclamation

Studs Terkel At 95: ‘Ordinary People Are Capable of Doing Extraordinary Things, and That’s What It’s All About. They Must Count!’

George Monbiot: If We Don’t Deal with Climate Change We Condemn Hundreds of Millions of People to Death

Author Paul Hawken on ‘Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming’

War Made Easy: How Presidents & Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death

Charles Taylor Roundup

A roundup of the Charles Taylor content I’m aware of, and which flourished after he won the Templeton Prize.

The Enright Files – A Celebration of Charles Taylor | CBC Ideas [Goodreads Mirror]
Michael Enright, host of The Sunday Edition, in conversation with the Canadian philosopher, thinker and winner of the 2007 Templeton Prize, Charles Taylor.

Modern Social Imaginaries | Charles Taylor & David Cayley [Goodreads Mirror]
What makes modernity different from all previous ways of life? Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor talks to IDEAS producer David Cayley about what makes us modern.

Charles Taylor’s Modern Social Imaginaries and Cultural Transmission Theory | Mark E. Madsen

Charles Taylor and the Hegelian Eden Tree: Canadian Philosophy and Compradorism | Ron Dart

Canadian philosopher strikes paydirt | Michael McGann

Charles Taylor ‘Religion and Violence’ | Charles Taylor
// I was at that lecture (standing-room only!) and posted my lecture notes for Goodreads 05w08.3

Religion and Violence | Charles Taylor
Religion and Violence explores the complex relationship among modernity, religion, and categorical violence – namely, violence directed against people on the basis of their belonging to a certain category or group. Professor Charles Taylor will discuss the rising tide of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and terrorism, and ask what connection this phenomenon has to modernity.

Charles Taylor on Religion and Violence | The Sunday Edition with Michael Enright
Real Audio file on the above lecture, recorded a week later (48.53min)

Philosophy, spirituality and the self – Part 1 | The Philosopher’s Zone ABC Radio [Goodreads Mirror]
Charles Taylor, the distinguished Canadian philosopher, has just been awarded the Templeton Prize, the world’s most highly endowed award for intellectual achievement. This week on The Philosopher’s Zone, he talks to ABC Radio National’s Tom Morton, about how we are intellectually and how we got to where we are.

Philosophy, spirituality and the self – Part 2 | | The Philosopher’s Zone ABC Radio [Goodreads Mirror]
Charles Taylor, the distinguished Canadian philosopher, has just been awarded the Templeton Prize, the world’s most highly endowed award for intellectual achievement. This week, we hear the second part of his conversation with ABC Radio National’s Tom Morton, about how a moral view of the human self might be possible in an age of scepticism and neo-Darwinism. And Danny Postel, senior editor of returns to the program with news of Iranian dissident journalist, Akbar Ganji, who is touring the West talking to eminent philosophers and political thinkers.

Manuel Delanda Roundup

Since Darren sent me the link which I included in the last Goodreads (reproduced below) I found more Delanda stuff, which I quite enjoyed listening to at work, and which lead me to get his books, A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History and A New Philosophy of Soceity.

Manuel DeLanda on Deleuze | Manuel DeLanda
wrote Darren: “here’s an interesting video of manuel delanda taking a trip through deleuze and it’s not all that confusing”

From Manuel DeLanda Annotated Bibliography:

Manuel DeLanda, ‘Deleuze and the Use of the Genetic Algorithm in Art’ presented at the Art & Technology Lectures, Columbia University, New York, 08.04.04
// (Real Video, 84 mins)

Manuel DeLanda, Democracy, Economics and the MilitaryÕ presented at Democracy Unrealized, Vienna, 20.04.01
(Real Video, 62 mins)

Deleuze Day 3 | Tate
(Real Video, 50 mins)

Manuel DeLanda, ‘Nature Space Society’ presented as the first Nature Space Society lecture at the Tate Modern, London, 05.03.04
DeLanda argues for a Deleuzian philosophy of nature. In the first half he rejects a sharp distinction between culture and nature. He demonstrates instead the direct interaction between the biological and social, citing examples from William McNeill’s Plagues and Peoples, and Alfred Crosby’s Ecological Imperialism. We must dismiss social-constructivism’s obsession with language and cultural representation. In the second half, DeLanda argues that, in order to avoid this provincial anthropocentrism, we must be realists, but not essentialists. We must historicize nature, and replace ideas about ‘laws of nature’ with Deleuze’s singularities (special, topological points) and affects (the capacity to affect and be affected).(Real Video, 3 hours)

Long links made short by using Shorty (
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07w17:1 Roundup

by timothy. 1 Comment

Hello. This is a roundup of some things I gathered in the weeks since I sent the last Goodreads. What else happened? I spoke at March’s Trampoline Hall on ‘Morality as a Form of Idealism’; I was a filler, since the first person scheduled got into an accident. This follows on me being on a panel discussion at the end of February when I was also made to feel like a filler, and so, it occurred to me last month that my career as a second-rate speaker appeared to be well under way. I hope to get up to first rate by the end of the year. If not, I’ll need to get a better agent.

There was also a big ceremony marking the 90th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. They couldn’t wait another ten years for a ceremony apparently, but they will obviously be jumping through those hoops again in a decade’s time. Now, a century marker, I could understand, by the 90th was just more propaganda to remind me that the Canada I knew and loved is being lost to patriarchal militarism and unquestioned loyalty to George Bush’s incompetent, ignorant, and colonial vision of global affairs.

There was also Easter and stuff … and well, I’m drawing blanks. This wasn’t meant to be too long. A bit of second-rate fill to the real text that belongs here which is:

Breaking News

The announcements of kryptonite, and the discovery of an Earth-like planet, both occurred today.

Just in time for the Globe & Mail’s redesign to make it look as it would have looked in a 1980s science-fiction movie set in the 21st Century, featuring headlines ‘Earth Like Planet Found’ or ‘Kryponite Discovered’ or ‘Alberta building rocketship to rape new resource’ etc. – Timothy


Goodreads YouTube / GoogleVideo Compilations:

Why We Fight

Fredric Jameson lecture, speaking in 2002

Adam Curtis’ The Trap
// Adam Curtis’ latest documentary was broadcast on the BBC in March and has since been posted on Google Video. I added these to the Adam Curtis compilation page already present on Goodreads, with links back to the Google Video source, where they can be watched larger and downloaded. I loved this series – since 2001 I’ve thought the rise of a interest in religion had a lot more to do with American propaganda for a war against believers, non-believers and evildoers and all that, but this makes me think the real reason is a backlash toward the simple-minded view of human beings as self-interested economic agents, which is how we were supposed to think of ourselves throughout the 1980s and especially 1990s. People understand they are more complex than that, and so far, religion has provided a framework to encompass an idea of ‘humanity’ denied by trendy theories. I would also argue that art and literature also provides a complicated vision of human beings, but since the Humanities have been turned into a linguistic mush of critical discourse and over-heated arguments of resentment, people are defaulting to religion for their models and answers and attempts at understanding. But here, I don’t want to say one is better than the other. From my own experience, I feel the worst of religion is balanced by the best of Humanities, and the worst of the Humanities is balanced by the best of religion creating a complimentary relationship with one another, and any attempt at understanding the complexity of humanity should take into consideration what the best of both traditions of the imagination have to offer.


Recommended by Darren O’Donnell

A Grammar of the Multitude | Paul Virno

Manuel DeLanda on Deleuze | Manuel DeLanda
writes Darren: “here’s an interesting video of manuel delanda taking a trip through deleuze and it’s not all that confusing.”


Slow News Cycle Obscure Story Recycling:

Parasite ‘turns women into sex kittens’ | Jane Bunce
// article date: December 26, 2006

compare with this article, posted in Goodreads 04w06:2

Dangerrrr: cats could alter your personality | Jonathan Leake
“They may look like lovable pets but Britain’s estimated 9m domestic cats are being blamed by scientists for infecting up to half the population with a parasite that can alter people’s personalities […] Infected men, suggests one new study, tend to become more aggressive, scruffy, antisocial and are less attractive. Women, on the other hand, appear to exhibit the ‘sex kitten’ effect, becoming less trustworthy, more desirable, fun-loving and possibly more promiscuous.”

A cosmic hall of mirrors

the one above interviews one of the fellows who co-authored the below article, from the April 1999 Scientific American:

Is Space Finite? | Luminet, Starkman, Weeks

and likely to show up again in the future:

The universe is a string-net liquid | Zeeya Merali


Week in Review April 16-22 2007

Nations’s Papers React to Getting Everything About … Backwards

Goodbye, Sanjaya, I Will Miss You! | Maureen52
// One of the funniest things I’ve seen all week, and once again, a reminder of the obsolescence of video art and galleries in the age of iMovie and and YouTube.

Sanjaya: Something To Talk About 4-17-07 Top 7 | American Idol

McCain ‘sings bomb iran’
// If this counts as singing…what did he say after the edit? It seemed to be a way of re-phrasing the question, ‘when do we send an airmail message to Tehran?’ asked by a hawk in the audience.

This past week the lastest version of Ubuntu was released, a Linux operating system gaining popularity. It was named Ubuntu after the African philosophy:

Ubuntu | Wikipedia


If you can carry it to the counter, you don’t need a bag to take it from the store, unless it’s like raining and you don’t want it to get wet

Drop that plastic bag – go natural | Zou Hanru

San Francisco to ban plastic grocery bags | CNN


Do we agree?

Pirates versus Ninjas | Wikipedia


Art-like stuff

Andy’s Early Comics Archive – A History of Picture Stories | Andy Bleck

Restoring the home of Nicephore Niepce
“It was in this house … that Niepce invented photography” // This ten minute documentary includes reattempts at the first photographs and I was fascinated to see the way archaeology was used to determine the exact position of the first camera to create the first images.

How Art Can Be Good | Paul Graham

‘They Don’t Know’
// what have you done with your hands lately?

Black Tambourine | Beck
//Bad experiences with Beck fans has biased me against him for years, although I do have his first two albums. When I saw this video while channel surfing (which, is like, a miracle considering music-video stations never play music videos anymore) I thought maybe I was over my bias.

Befriend an artist? Are you kidding? | Jonathan Jones,,1991391,00.html
Today’s critics have got too cosy with the artists they write about, says Jonathan Jones, kicking off a series of debates on the Guardian arts blog

‘My Generation’ | The Zimmers

China Provokes Debate in Africa | Walden Bello

Ten Lashes Against Humanism | Jorge Majfud
“Not long ago, Doug Hagin, in the image of the famous television program Dave’s Top Ten, concocted his own list of The Top Ten List of Stupid Leftist Ideals. If we attempt to de-simplify the problem by removing the political label, we will see that each accusation against the so-called US leftists is, in reality, an assault on various humanist principles. ”

Confucius topples Harry | Steven Ribet
“It took Yu Dan only six weeks to topple JK Rowling and become the most successful author in Chinese history.But it wasn’t tales of wizards and magic that sparked hysteria in the world’s most populous country. The Beijing academic has managed to make the 2500-year-old words of Confucius, China’s most famous thinker, relevant in the 21st century. ”

Dead Plagiarists Society | Paul Collins

Bad Lingo: Blog-Media Cliches

President or King? | Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr., and Aziz Huq
“Not even a seventeenth-century monarch was allowed to ignore checks on power the way President Bush has.”

Plastic clogs disrupt machinery in Swedish hospital | The Guardian,,2061288,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=1

10 Most Bizarre People on Earth


CBC Ideas Podcasts

In Other Words | CBC Ideas Podcast
Have you ever read Don Quixote? There are several English translations of it. Which Don Quixote was it? Or how about Anna Karenina? Unless you are fluent in the original languages in which these works were published, you’ve read them through the prism and sensibilities of that most underestimated of literary artists – the translator. Barbara Nichol discusses literary translation with some of its most gifted practitioners.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Flesh and Stone: The Sociology of Richard Sennett
The American sociologist Richard Sennett has had two great themes: the history and design of cities, and the organization of work. As a lover of cities, he has celebrated the expanded sympathy that urban life makes possible; as a student of work, he has criticized the fragmentation of time in the new capitalism; and as a writer, he has elevated sociology to a literary art. He talks with IDEAS producer, David Cayley.

Part 1
Part 2

The Ideas of Jerome Kagan
Harvard’s Jerome Kagan is a pioneer in developmental psychology. His specialty is studying children. He’s also a philosopher of his science. In a conversation with Paul Kennedy, Jerome Kagan reflects on nature vs. nurture, emotion and the quest for meaning.
// I especially liked Kagan’s breakdown of the rise of Freudianism in the first half of the 20th Century:

Jerome Kagan: Freud made some very strong statements, for example: all children pass through three phases; an oral phase in infancy, an anal phase during the second year, a phallic phase, a genital phase … that all are neuroses, all are neurotic symptoms: insomnia, depression, fearfulness, they’re all a function of repression of our conflicted urges, primarily sexual. Now, none of that is true. So here’s the puzzle: why did so many (leave me out of it) why did so many brilliant, erudite, educated people not just in the sciences but in the humanities believe that? That’s the puzzle.And the only approach to an answer I can come to is that he spoke to the intuitions of Americans. I should point out that in the early part of the 20th Century, Europe was not very friendly to Freud, it was America and England. America and England were Protestant countries with a much more prudish attitude toward sexuality. And so here is my attempt at some sort of an explanation. The availability of cheap contraceptives toward the end of the 19th Century meant that young men and women could begin to think about sexual activity outside of marriage, otherwise you couldn’t, especially if you were middle class. So now you’re allowing these thoughts to bubble up, but there’s a lot of tension and shame and uncertainty about it. So it’s sitting right on the cusp of consciousness and creating a sort of tension and what I think happened was the tensions that are due to a sick child, losing your job, your parent having cancer, frustration with your boss … that all those tensions, which have nothing to do with sexuality were interpreted as due to the conflict over sexuality. That’s the only why I can understand why this idea – coincidentally, which I believed when I was 21 years old, I thought Freud was absolutely dead right …. dead right.

Paul Kennedy: It would be hard to believe anything else because that was the orthodoxy as you say.

Jerome Kagan: Yeah, but there was a minority of scholars who rejected it. I mean not everyone thought it was a good idea, but many people did. I’m sure the explanation I just gave can’t be all of it. There have to be other factors, but someone smarter than I will have to come up with it. But at least the explanation I just offered I think makes some small contribution. But it is amazing.


Subsection on Cultural Memory

Why do geeks have lust for ZFS? | Paulius

Scientists: Data-storing bacteria could last thousands of years

Sparta? No. This is madness | Ephraim Lytle

‘300’: Fact or fiction? | Victor Davis Hanson

Das Google Problem: is the invisible mouse benevolent? | Tony Curzon Price

We’re all ’80s kids now | Raju Mudhar


The Disappearing Bees

Why are Niagara’s bees dying? | Dana Flavelle

Cellular phone uses linked to bee deaths | Dana Flavelle

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees? | Geoffrey Lean



Paleo-Futurism: A Look into the Future that Never Was | Matt

‘You Will’ Ads | AT&T (1993)
// concept videos for the present life which wasn’t brought to us by AT&T

Knowledge Navigator | Apple Inc (1987)
// a concept video produced by Apple in 1987 for an interface.


France vote!

France: The Precarious Generation: Au revoir job security | Charlotte Buchen and Singeli Agnew

France’s intellectual election | Patrice de Beer

France’s Female Presidential Candidate Is Building a Political Machine I Stefan Simons,1518,451566,00.html

France, Land of Inequality | Der Speigel,1518,456999,00.html



Swiss man jailed for Thai insult

Follow up:

Man Pardoned for Insulting Thai King | Sutin Wannabovorn

also in the wtf? department:

Complaints filed against Richard Gere
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07w09:1 Chomsky, Hardt & Negri's Multitude, Poster Art and News

by timothy. 0 Comments


Hello. I have some news.

1. A week and half ago I updated the Goodreads website to take advantage of a WordPress backend, so take a look around if you’d like. Much easier to find and browse the back issues for example, and to see the list of selected content, to which this posting is making some substantial additions.

As well, the ability to comment is turned on, so if you have any thoughts, disagreements or whatever about the links, feel free to give me something other to process than comment-spam.

2. I was asked to be part of a panel talk on art criticism on Monday (26 Feb) at Gallery 1313 from 7-9. So come on by if you’d like.

Special Content
Today’s GR includes an article by Nadja Sayej on poster art that appeared in last weekend’s Globe & Mail. It is here for archival purposes since it’s something I both wanted to make available to future reference and to share with the mailing-list, since the G&M archives are both difficult to search and cost money to access.

This Goodreads also includes a Google Video compilation page featuring Noam Chomsky’s 1988 Massey Lecture, Necessary Illusions. Basically, somebody videoed his talks by filming still images of Chomsky on their screen while Chomsky’s lectures play on iTunes. I guess we’ll take what we can get.

I’ll admit that I put together this page rather quickly and haven’t yet sorted out whether the videos are in the correct order (I worked from how they were listed on Google Video) which is only to say that the layout may change a bit over the next few days.

The Friday before last was Noam Chomsky day at work: as I typed away at my computer, I streamed audio talks available from and particularly appreciated his 2006 Amnesty International Lecture delivered in Dublin. However, for whatever reason, the original mp3s were cut up into sections (I guess for bandwidth consideration) so I decided to reassemble them to make available from Goodreads. Below is both an mp3 and an indexed AAC file.

As well, the week before last I finished reading the Hardt/Negri book Multitude which I enjoyed far more than I expected to. Also available is an audio from Michael Hardt’s 2005 Ioan Davies Memorial Lecture Lecture at Toronto’s York University, The Politics of Love, Evil, and the Mulitude. Note that the clicking sound heard occasionally during the talk is of Hardt fiddling with his pen’s cap. – Timothy

———————-Poster Art———————-

Making art that sticks | Nadja Sayej

———————-Noam Chomsky———————-

Necessary Illusions | Noam Chomsky

The War on Terror | Noam Chomsky (AAC)

// Chomsky also appeared on a Dublin radio program after the lecture, and that conversation is available here:

The Life and Times of Noam Chomsky (Part 1) | Democracy Now!
The Life and Times of Noam Chomsky (Part 2) | Democracy Now!

The Foucault Chomsky Debate of 1971 | Google Video

And for something more interesting than vulgar politics:

Linguistics and Philosophy | Noam Chomsky
// I forgot where I found this originally, so I’m making a copy of my copy available rather than send you the unknown source. The website this is attached to, Radio Free Maine (obviously the orginal source from the audio’s intro) hasn’t been updated since 2003.

———————-Hardt & Negri’sMultitude———————-

The Politics of Love, Evil, and Multitude | Michael Hardt

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07w06:1 Free Expression

by timothy. 1 Comment

Last Sunday saw this year’s Superbowl, when the marketing agencies try to wow us ito another enthusiastic year of American consumerism. I was in no mood for any of it; in fact, I was rather grumpy last weekend. So when I found Theodore Dalrymple’s intolerant text entitled Freedom and its Discontents in which he expresses thanks for not having to voice on radio his thoughts on the 12 year old Austrian boy who recently had a sex change, I was annoyed and grumpified even more, although I appreciated his perspective. He wrote:

If I had spoken my mind, without let or hindrance, I should have said what I suspect a very large majority of people think: that there is something grotesque, and even repugnant, about the whole idea of sex-changes, let alone of sex-changes for twelve year-olds.

I don’t find the issue repugnant nor do I find it very interesting. Dalrymple goes on to write about how the freedom of expression has been curtailed, not by onerous censorship laws, but by the intolerance of the politically correct. He concludes by writing: ‘Please don’t reply to any part of this article. I won’t read it: I know I’m right.’

Those who know they are right are the most exasperating people one ever has to deal with. Stubborn minded fools so set in their ways they don’t even care about appearing to be ignorant, deluded and hateful. Dalrymple’s work nevertheless tends to be a good read because we can learn and gain something from his perspective. He isn’t constrained by an idealism, nor his he constrained by the specialized knowledge that cuts ‘those in the know’ off from the common.

Over my time doing this list, I’ve occasionally received letters taking to task something I wrote in introduction, or questioning my link selection. I thought I would need a defense of Dalyrmple’s article saying basically: don’t shoot the messenger, and began it anticipating this edition. But over the past week, I saw more than one article appear which basically underlines a theme of intolerance. It is one of the things I’ve enjoyed doing with Goodreads, and that is attempting to document through the link selection the occasional popular meme – an idea which seems to be expressed in more than one article appearing simultaneously from different sites.

The greatest example of intolerance in current public/web discussion has to do with the Holocaust, and seems focused on the latent assumption that the next war will be with Iran. There seems to be a lack of appetite in the United States for another invasion, which is a good thing, but churning along underneath the popular sentiment is the attempt by the right-wing blowhards to demonize Iran’s president Ahmadinejad who made the cover of yesterday’s (Feb 10) Globe & Mail. We have been told for months that Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier, because he has said in the past that it was a myth. Out of an extreme generosity and skepticism of North American propaganda, I’ve questioned whether he didn’t mean the anthropological sense of the word, until I remembered referring in recent conversations to consumerism as a myth (meaning it as an inaccurate oversimplification of our economic activity) and I was using the popular form of the word.

To clarify: anthropologically a myth is a story of meaning, one that punches above its weight of accumulated incidents. To say that the Holocaust is a myth under this context I think is accurate. It is has found a high, and defining, place in the Jewish story, and in a world of secularism, it seems that while not all contemporary Jews may believe in their God, they certainly all believe in their near genocide. As a gentile I find the overwhelming presence of the story sometimes noxious, as it has seemed to breed an unhealthy and unproductive paranoia that generates more hatred and anger than peace. And as a gentile I have to be very careful about what I say regarding this historical incident, since there is an element within Judaism who are ready to condemn any one who questions this reality in any way, who seem to think that all gentiles are closeted anti-Semites ready to light up the ovens again if given the chance. The taboo and reverence that is now tied to the Holocaust story is surely mythic in this regard, making condemnable heretics of those who deny.

But popularly, a myth is a fairy-tale, a fiction, and I don’t question the veracity, or the horror of the Shoah. The reality of Holocaust denial fits in perfectly with the stupidity of the age which questions even the Moon landings; such is a healthy skepticism toward the stories of authority taken to an extreme and absurd level. We live at a time when some believe in the literalness of the Bible, that people lived with dinosaurs, and that perhaps Jesus only lived a thousand years ago. It is doubtful that Ahmadinejad is sophisticated enough to mean the anthropological sense of mythology when referring to those events.

But my problem is essentially based on the fact that I have no reason to believe anything I’m ever told by Western governments in general with regard to foreign policy. Since childhood I’ve been told that political leaders on the other side of the planet are generally untrustworthy and/or crazy. And because everything nowadays seems to be about the other side of the planet, I was left with cognitive dissonance when I heard Mike Wallace interview the President of Iran, as he did last August (and available in the two mp3s below). Because Mr. Ahmadinejad sounds saner than my own political leaders.

Wha? I mean, listen closely to the interviews: at one point Ahmadinejad says to Wallace (who prompted him to be more sound-bitey) that all of his questions require book length answers. What North American politician would say such a thing? ‘The problem that President Bush has is that in his mind he wants to solve everything with bombs. The time of The Bomb is in the past, it’s behind us. Today is the era of thoughts, dialogue, and cultural exchanges’. Who the fuck said that!?

Now, with props to my culture’s conditioning, who knows if he was just putting on a show of reasonableness for the Western cameras. We are told continually that these foreign leaders are like that: crafty propagandists who seduce our liberal left-wingers with their talk of international justice and wanting to do good things for their people. But we know The Truth, because our warmongering political elite have deemed to tell us The Real Story in between all of the secrets they keep. These leaders in the next hemisphere want to nuke us, they hate our freedom, they’re insane and hateful, unenlightened and ignorant, and they regularly flaunt international laws. They are also undemocratic and barbaric, because their elections are either rigged or the wrong people (Hamas) win. Further, when they execute their past tyrants they don’t do it tastefully.

Worst of all, they’re all anti-Semtic and want to destroy Israel, which is another way of saying they are Latter Day Nazis and thus we’re in another Just War against genocidal fascists. In the midst of this snake pit there is Israel, and the Israeli Cabinet, we need to remember, is along with the Pope and the American President, infallible; all graced by God with the ability to never be wrong about anything.

On Freedom of Expression
As I’ve said, I’m being extremely generous in assuming that Mr. Ahmadinejad could be more intelligent than he is portrayed. But such an example, based on an uncommon view, removes my argument from the realm of shared experience from which we should be debating ideas about free expression. The controversial issues of our time are discussed based on common understanding and misunderstandings, and it’s important that we debate within those limits, rather than resort to extreme examples which make everything hypothetical fast.

Abortion is the example that comes readily to mind – growing up in the 1980s and hearing about Henry Morgentaler in the news, and even once participating in a junior high school debate on the subject, the pro-choice contingent regularly argued for cases of rape, incest, and maternal health concerns as deserving abortions. I haven’t checked out the stats, but I’ll hazard a guess that over 90% of abortions performed in North America have nothing to do with those examples. Common knowledge – which may be ignorant and flawed granted – suggests that most abortions are a form of birth control. To hedge around that by arguing the extremes keeps the debate from really being held in the first place, and thus the camps can remain unconvinced by the other’s position.

American commentators see free speech as a sacrosanct right, and as a result have one of the most intolerant and ignorant cultures on the planet. But that is their self-described right. The United States gift to the world seems to have been the enlarge definition of rights to include the right to degrade, discredit and humiliate oneself to a state of unreserved indignity. Anna Nicole Smith had the good fortune to die this past week to provide me with her example. The idealists of the U.S. make it a point to defend the offensive and vulgar as a part of this right, and perhaps here I shouldn’t remind you that vulgar came from the Latin word for common, as I want to try and elevate the common to think of our common capacity for intelligence and compassion rather than our current and common psychopathologies. It is to this end that we need free expression defended: so that we are able to judge things for ourselves.

Our position in Canada is a more intolerant view on intolerance. We accept limits to free-speech which includes anti-hate speech laws. This is meant to prevent harm, and as I understand it, our Supreme Court allowed this by stating that some forms of speech are not worth defending.

A case in point is Holocaust denial: questioning the interpretation of the evidence is one thing, but what is the motivation behind it? The Jews have a right to mythologize (anthropologically) the story, and why should any of the rest of us care? When did the phrase ‘mind your own business’ fall out of favour? I think I know the answer to my rhetorical question, and it’s basically the one favored by Ahmadinejad and his fellow skeptics, one that prefers to dehumanize Jews with the word ‘Zionist’. I don’t think I need to get into it. I think the point raised by the Supreme Court’s decision is essentially it isn’t worth the debate, and that in fact it could be perceived as harmful to engage in it.

Somehow (and I think this has remained largely unexplained and unexplored) we can enjoy a freedom of expression without regularly crossing the line into hate speech. Seldom is anyone investigated or charged: you really have to make an effort to be that offensive. Or one has to be basically poking a bee’s nest: posting calls for Bush to be assassinated online, creating cartoons of Muhammed as a terrorist and the like. As free expression those examples are a waste of the freedom, since it contributes nothing to a discussion and is really only retrogressively ignorant.

How do we manage to use our freedom of expression productively when and if we do? I think it comes from our appreciation for those who offend in ways that increase our capacity for all of expression by showing us a new idea, a new way of life, and a new way of thinking. But we are wary and even intolerant of those who want to limit our expression, or limit our innate sense of progress toward a better world, through the expression of their retrogressive views. In other words: blowing away a stale old convention and offending conservatives by doing so rocks; bringing about the downfall of civilization with a medieval attitude and mindset does not. Somehow we understand what constitutes this through a language of behavior rooted in our common experience. This is what makes conservatives so defensive: they know when they’ve been beat by a new expression. It used to be rock n’ roll: now it’s their teenagers using abbreviation, emoticons, and chatting online with strangers.

While we are united by a common grammar of speech, so too we are united by a common grammar of behaviour. This has been in the past referred to as bourgeois values and considered worth rebelling against, and thus movements created a type of poetry of misbehavior which expanded our own vocabularies of affect. But within these values is a core set of ideas about how we should treat one another, a common value set which sees the benefit to the whole at the individual’s expense.

Consider littering. Off hand, I’m sure we all agree that littering isn’t really a good thing. We’ll define it as saying it’s the introduction of garbage into a public space meant to be shared by all. We’ll further define garbage as something unwanted by someone. Thus, our definition here of littering is the introduction, of something unwanted, into a public space.

But what if this unwelcome introduction of something unwanted is called art by the litterer? Then it’s an intervention. Then, that cigarette cellophane you just dropped on the sidewalk is a performance. According to the art-rules I should shut up now, because the recontextualization destroys it as litter and makes it a human expression that should be nurtured, encouraged, and supported by art council grants. But here I really want to link littering to graffiti and say that because some people consider it unwelcome it is also a form of littering, but it’s one that I personally support as a human attempt at the beautification of plain (plane?) architecture.

While we all understand why we shouldn’t litter as part of our common knowledge, we also understand the deal with most abortions and why hate-speech could be criminal. We don’t need freedom of expression – or whatever other freedoms we enjoy – to be defended by extreme examples, because all laws, all social agreements, all freedoms exist first as a social convention in common knowledge and it is from this basis that the state feels it has the authority to police them. The fragmentation of our society into specialized interest groups is perhaps where we began to disagree about what should be legal and what shouldn’t be. Our common knowledge – our vulgarity – has been reduced to extreme forms of behavior and reduced in intelligence to something less than our potential making us more undignified than some animals.

The challenge has always been to incorporate the deviant into the conventional: this pattern has always seemed to be about the dominant sanctioning another – minority’s – convention as harmless rather than a sudden revaluation of the dominant’s morals. The arguments raised by Christopher Hitchens in his defense of the ‘freedom of denial’ in essence is of allowing that process to continue: for the dominant to not become so self-satisified that they refuse to consider the other’s point of view. But it also seems that we have reached examples of extreme perspectives that the dominant decided long ago were not sanctionable. Holocaust denial is one, as is sex with kids and animals. The recent Sundance film festival featured a film in which a 12 year old girl was raped, and another was a documentary on bestiality. My thoughts are essentially: do we really need to have that discussion? Are we so intellectually and emotionally bankrupt that we have to resort to those expressions for stimulation? It turns out that no distributor wants to buy the Dakota Fanning movie Hounddog and all I can think is thank god.

Ultimately, this is all about the strangeness of language: how a set of sounds, strung together a certain way, can have such intense psychological and intellectual effects. Words uttered or read can make the heart leap or fall, can be emotionally devastating or immensely uplifting, and it’s all just a bunch of sounds or a bunch of shapes on a surface. Through this, one mind interacts with another and our sense of what’s going in our world – that intersection of imagination and environment – grows until we eventually are changed people: more sophisticated, more learned, more conversant. We have a bigger bag of tricks and fuller experience of life. The freedom of speech is also the freedom to be exposed to ideas that we don’t agree with, so that we aren’t held back from the mysteriously transformative power of hearing or reading words. But a case can be made that some of this has the potential to be retrogressive and counterproductive, making us more stupid. Inasmuch as the state tries to do this for us, they should have better things to do, but I think it is also true that they don’t need to control what we think about things because that’s already done by a televised culture of idiocy. – Timothy


Iranian Leader Opens Up | 60 Minutes
Link to the video; audio at these links: Part 1 Part 2

Nobel laureate accosted at peace conference |
“In a bizarre attack, a well-known author and Holocaust scholar was dragged out of a San Francisco hotel elevator by an apparent Holocaust denier who reportedly had been trailing him for weeks.”

Are we all anti-Semites now? | Matthew Yglesias
“As a Jewish person with a not-so-Jewish last name who occasionally criticizes the policies of the Israeli government (or, more frequently, the policies of the United States vis-a-vis Israel), I’ve been known to spend some time pondering how to work the fact that I’m Jewish into my writing. After all, you don’t want to be called an anti-semite. The good news, then, is that the American Jewish Committee says I don’t need to bother any more. […] How does the paper pull this off? By starting out with a transparent fraud: identifying anti-semitism – hatred of Jewish people – with anti-Zionism, or the belief that Israel should not exist as a Jewish state. The latter view, while not something I agree with, simply is not anti-semitism. One could imagine applying the latter label to someone who proposed the physical destruction of the Israeli population. But the supposed sins of the ‘new’ anti-semites don’t even come close.”

David Margolick on David Mamet | New York Times Book Review Podcast
“November 5, 2006 | David Margolick on David Mamet; Emily Nussbaum on Heidi Julavits; science fiction columnist Dave Itzkoff.”

// The interview with David Margolick discuses his review of Mamet’s The Wicked Son:
Anti-Semitism, Self-Hatred, and the Jews; the review itself is at this link:

Maybe I Am Chopped Liver | David Margolick
“Even if they find Mamet’s other works bewildering or raw, many Jews, particularly politically progressive types who are also observant or strongly self-identified or devoted to Israel, will applaud him here. They’ve been to one too many Upper West Side dinner parties in which they’ve been forced single-handedly to take on a tableful of pro-Palestinian Jews or to admit to praying periodically. They’ll share his complaint about unremitting hostility of many Jewish leftists to Israel, a place a large number of them have never even visited, nor ever bothered learning very much about. They’ll agree that Philip Roth and Woody Allen trashed Ashkenazi immigrant culture. They’ll share his disgust at all those supposedly enlightened Jews who mock the tradition that helped make them what they are, only to embrace the nearest ‘analgesic’ – materialism, Buddhism, yoga, self-help, agnosticism, sports, ethical culture – instead […] In fact, apart from various Internet wackos, anti-Semitism, at least the American strain, has waned; how else to explain the very assimilation Mamet so detests? But he writes as if Father Coughlin is still on the radio, Henry Ford still hawks The Dearborn Independent and Fritz Kuhn’s German American Bundists still march through Yorkville.”.

This Holocaust will be different | Benny Morris
“The second holocaust will be quite different. One bright morning, in five or 10 years, perhaps during a regional crisis, perhaps out of the blue, a day or a year or five years after Iran’s acquisition of the Bomb, the mullahs in Qom will convene in secret session, under a portrait of the steely-eyed Ayatollah Khomeini, and give President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, by then in his second or third term, the go-ahead.The orders will go out and the Shihab III and IV missiles will take off for Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa and Jerusalem, and probably some military sites, including Israel’s half dozen air and (reported) nuclear missile bases. Some of the Shihabs will be nuclear-tipped, perhaps even with multiple warheads. Others will be dupes, packed merely with biological or chemical agents, or old newspapers, to draw off or confuse Israel’s anti-missile batteries and Home Front Command units.”

David Margolick on ‘Fear’ | New York Times Book Review Podcast
“July 23, 2006 | William C. Rhoden, the author of $40 Million Slaves; David Margolick on Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz by Jan T. Gross”

Daniel Mendelsohn on The Lost | New York Times Book Review Podcast
“September 24, 2006 | Daniel Mendelsohn, the author of The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million; science fiction columnist Dave Itzkoff on Dune; Rachel Donadio on the Dummies books.”

In N.Y., Sparks Fly Over Israel Criticism | Michael Powell
“Two major American Jewish organizations helped block a prominent New York University historian from speaking at the Polish consulate here last week, saying the academic was too critical of Israel and American Jewry.”

Christopher Hitchens | TVO’s Big Ideas
“A journalist and writer by trade, a controversialist by reputation and a fiery atheist by avocation, he was invited by the University of Toronto’s Hart House Debating Club to voice his opinion on the subject of the evening’s debate: Be It Resolved: Freedom of Speech Includes the Freedom to Hate. Following a formal debate among four students, Hitchens will explain why it is an intellectual duty to defend the right of the revisionist historian David Irving’s right not be imprisoned in Austria for his views about the Holocaust.”

Christopher and His Kind – The thrill of saying something vile | Mukul Kesavan
“By a grotesque ideological sleight of hand, Hitchens would join the West to this great ‘multi-ethnic democracy’ using arguments that are only used in India by parties that would, if they could, create an ethnic, Hindu supremacist state. This convergence is not an accident: by making prejudice respectable, by short-circuiting due process, by presuming collective guilt instead of affirming the presumption of individual innocence, Hitchens and Amis have become what they pretend to pre-empt.”

Understanding Christopher Hitchens | JW @ Outside the Whale
“If you understand Orwell’s observations here, you will also understand Hitchens’ cutting attacks on hypocritical war critics like George Galloway or Michael Moore. In these, and other critics, Hitchens sees Orwell’s cruel pacifist. Thus, he points to Galloway standing shoulder to shoulder with oppressive dictators like Saddam Hussein and Syrian President Bashar al-Asad or exposes Michael Moore’s praise of murderous terrorists as “Minute Men”. Such conduct, in Hitchens’ eyes, fits squarely in Orwell’s crosshairs.This is not the whole picture. Hitchens is a much more nuanced and complex character than can be summarized in two principles or motives. Still, these points are unquestionably central to his position on Iraq. They are principles to which Hitchens remains absolutely committed, ever uncompromising, sometimes to his own detriment. Whether you agree or disagree, it must be said his stance is principled.”

George Galloway debates Christopher Hitchens: Part 1

//This was one of the best things I’ve seen in a long while. Dates from September 2005; runs in total about 2hrs divided into two parts.

George Galloway debates Christopher Hitchens: Part 2

Academic Freedom | TVO’s The Agenda
//The Agenda raised the issue of Professor Shiraz Dossa of St. F X attending the Tehran conference on the Holocaust. Should the university fire him? Does he have the right to attend?

Canadian prof attends Tehran’s gathering of Holocaust deniers | Doug Saunders
//You don’t need to read it: it’s been money-walled and here only for as a reference point and a bit of background.

No change in political climate | Ellen Goodman
“I would like to say we’re at a point where global warming is impossible to deny. Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.”

Denial | Frank Furedi
“Paradoxically, the absence of moral clarity today gives rise to an illiberal and intolerant climate. At a time when moralists find it difficult clearly to differentiate between right and wrong, they are forced to find some other way to draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. So they seize examples of unambiguous evil – paedophilia, the Holocaust, pollution – in order to define potential moral transgression. Today’s heresy hunters strive to construct new taboos. The most ritualised and institutionalised taboo in Western society is to question the Holocaust, or to refuse to stand opposed to it. Numerous countries now have laws against Holocaust denial. In Austria, denying the Holocaust can lead to a 10-year prison sentence. Targeting Holocaust deniers allows politicians to occupy the moral high ground, which explains why, this month, German justice minister Brigitte Zypries called for a Europe-wide ban on Holocaust denial and the wearing of Nazi symbols.”

// That Mr. Furedi builds to this point – essentially defending denial as free expression – by appealing to medieval history seems both to be an attempt to appear thoughtful be simply remembering (last Goodreads) and to use those extreme examples which have nothing to do with the issues at hand. His article is about the right of people to deny accepted truths, which is a right of freedom of thought/speech/expression.

Reflecting on this lead to me the above littering example, since I’d like to now censor Global Warming Deniers, but see how they have the right to ‘call it art’ by claiming their right to express themselves. Although, I think they’ve had their time over-indulged and have now crossed over into being potentially harmful. I feel we’ve already wasted enough time by allowing them their freedom of expression and they managed to create such doubt that it has taken this long for politics to begin to take it seriously. Like Holocaust denial, its an extreme example of idiocy and doesn’t need to resort to freedom of expression laws to exist or be prevented. Common sense should be enough for us to ignore these people. The greater issue is that it apparently is not.

The Strangeness of Science | CBC Ideas Podcast (Goodreads mirror) Strangeness of Science.mp3
“Human beings are unable to grasp the reality that exists beyond our perceptions. Evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins explains why in the Beatty Memorial Lecture recorded at McGill University. Richard Dawkins is the also the author of a number of controversial books, The Selfish Gene, and most recently The God Delusion.”

// Do monotheists have the right to bore us not only with their identity politics but the basis for those delusions: the worship of an overbearing spirit so unpowerful that Catholic arguments against birth-control unwittingly prove His impotence? I mean, if less than a milimetre of latex can thwart His plan, how could He have created at all? Monotheists aren’t the only fundamentalists: Richard Dawkins could be described as a Fundamentalist Atheist, whose intolerance toward the religious is almost as nauseating as what we have to put up with from the die-hard Believers. I listened to this as a Buddhist fascinated by the scientific take on ‘mental-modeling software’ and disturbed by his belligerent intolerance toward spirituality.

The God Delusion | Daniel Dennett & H. Allen Orr

Let’s Be Rational | Theodore Dalrymple
“Not long ago, I spoke at a colloquium attended mostly by American conservatives. They were, at least to me, a highly congenial audience, friendly, humorous, polite, cultivated and very well-read (not always, let us be quite frank, the first characteristic of conservatives in any country). I happened to mention on the platform during one of the sessions that I was not religious, unlike the other members of the panel. I cannot now remember the precise context in which I made my terrible confession.I was surprised afterwards that several of the audience approached me and thanked me for it. What was there to thank me for? They said that they, too, were without religious faith, in short atheists, and it was a relief to them that someone, otherwise of like mind with the majority of the audience, had confessed it.”

The Dark Side of the Moon
// This 2003 documentary tells of how Stanley Kubrick worked with NASA to fake the moon landing. Staring Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfofitwitz, this ultimately is a documentary on how easy it is to be manipulated by video images, since none of it is true.

AIDS and Immune Systems | Michael @
“Researching the late ’70s and early ’80s for a project I’m fooling around with, I recently found myself looking through Richard Berkowitz’s book “Stayin’ Alive: The Invention of Safe Sex.”

… // Michael goes on to describe the harrowing stories from the gay-subculture of New York’s 1970s – how pre-AIDS, getting a series of STDs was a badge of honour, a symbol of one’s sexual profligacy. I mean, I thought I’d seen some undignified stuff in my time – as chaste as it has been – but this I bring up as evidence of our desire for the freedom to be self-destructive and to question if it is really worth it.

Frank Zappa on Crossfire

// This has been on Goodreads before: an argument over music lyrics in the 1980s. Appearing in March 1986, Zappa takes on the conservative old fools. This second video is from June 1987, and continues the argument:

Zappa on Crossfire II

Say Everything | Emily Nussbaum
“As younger people reveal their private lives on the Internet, the older generation looks on with alarm and misapprehension not seen since the early days of rock and roll. The future belongs to the uninhibited.[…] At 17, Oppermann is conversant with the conventional wisdom about the online world – that it’s a sketchy bus station packed with pedophiles. (In fact, that’s pretty much the standard response I’ve gotten when I’ve spoken about this piece with anyone over 39: ‘But what about the perverts?’ For teenagers, who have grown up laughing at porn pop-ups and the occasional instant message from a skeezy stranger, this is about as logical as the question ‘How can you move to New York? You’ll get mugged!’) She argues that when it comes to online relationships, ‘you’re getting what you’re being.’ All last summer, as she bopped around downtown Manhattan, Oppermann met dozens of people she already knew, or who knew her, from online. All of which means that her memories of her time in New York are stored both in her memory, where they will decay, and on her site, where they will not, giving her (and me) an unsettlingly crystalline record of her seventeenth summer.”

Zebro on Boston’s Aqua Teen Bomb Scare | Zebro

// A wonderful rebutal of Boston’s over-reaction. Who are Zebro? I don’t know yet. But they did this to, which was also good:

White Progressive People Fight Racism – A Zebro Documentary | Zebro

Long links made short by using Shorty (
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emailed by Timothy on Sunday 11 February 2007 @ 11:59 AM

06w39:1 Theodore Dalrymple Podcast

by timothy. 0 Comments

CBC’s Ideas launched a podcast over the summer, and it’s updated each Monday. Today’s podcast episode is ‘The Ideas of Theodore Dalrymple’, which was first broadcast on September 11th and which I highly recommend. Dalrymple’s articles have been made good reads in the past, and he’s been called a ‘mega-snob’ by some, merely a ‘compassionate conservative’ by others, but I think these are just ad-hominem attacks, made by people who probably don’t know what an ad-hominem attack is. That is of course, if you consider being called conservative an insult. I really enjoyed listening to Dalrymple, since he combines firmness of opinion with a taste for the absurdist humour of what he’s experienced. A direct link to the mp3 is below.

The other link is to the CBC Ideas podcast page, where you can see their upcoming schedule to the end of December, and download their previous episodes, the three part series on organic foods (which was also really good). – Timothy


The Ideas of Theodore Dalrymple | CBC The Best of Ideas Podcast
“Is British society Western civilization’s ‘canary in the mine’? A British psychiatrist and writer traces the descent of a culture towards wanton self-destructiveness and alerts us to the new face of barbarism.”
Mp3 File: 24.1 MB, 52.34min

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 25 September 2006 @ 10:10 AM

06w16:1 Inventions of the March Hare

by timothy. 1 Comment

April is the cruelest month, supposedly. But I found March pretty shity. Which is why these didn’t get sent. This is the ‘lost Goodreads March Collection’ for 2006. I nevertheless appreciate this collection as a reminder of how fleeting ‘current’ topics of interest turn out to be. – Timothy


Text —————————–
Up With Grups | Adam Sternbergh
He owns eleven pairs of sneakers, hasn’t worn anything but jeans in a year, and won’t shut up about the latest Death Cab for Cutie CD. But he is no kid. He is among the ascendant breed of grown-up who has redefined adulthood as we once knew it and killed off the generation gap.
// I’ll admit that I only read about 1/3 of this article, and it got some play in the blogosphere during a time when there wasn’t much else (it seemed) to talk about; some consensus around it being too focused on the white upper-middle class of New York

Beijing’s Unwanted Best Seller | Jürgen Kremb,1518,407184,00.html
People across China are trying to uncover the name of the mystery author behind the much-discussed best seller “Wolf Totem,” which has sold millions of copies. The tome’s author is a known Chinese dissident who is writing under the nom de plume Jiang Rong. If he had used his real name, the book never would have been published.

The oil in your oatmeal | Chad Heeter
A lot of fossil fuel goes into producing, packaging and shipping our breakfast

Costing an Arm and a Leg | Carl Elliott
The victims of a growing mental disorder are obsessed with amputation.

Hole-y Cow | Daniel Lew
Animals can live a surprising amount of time with a permanent hole to their stomach, especially if it is a surgically made fistula. Humans have had fistulas; the first human on record as having one was a French Canadian by the name of Alexis St. Martin. He sustained a life-threatening musket wound in 1822, and was marked a terminal case by his physician. However, he managed to heal and was mostly functional again within two years – except for a hole in his stomach that would never close. Through this hole doctors were able to examine inner workings of his stomach.

Pedophilic promo has manga maniacs panting for pre-schooler panties | Ryann Connell
It’s gross, filthy and disgusting, but Japanese erotic manga fans can’t get enough of a comic that comes with a pair of pre-school girl’s panties as a promotional item, according to Cyzo (March).

More than This : Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation | Samara Allsop
The film’s emphatic climax is the inaudible whisper however it also places emphasis on the fact that the transgression from friend to lover is never fully realised. Perhaps this is what is so appealing to contemporary audiences who are often used to graphic representations of sexual conduct.

Celebrity Death Watch | Kurt Andersen
Could the country’s insane fame fixation maybe, finally – fingers crossed – be coming to an end? One hopeful sign: Paris Hilton.

Chamber of horrors
// Santiago Sierra filled a synagogue with carbon monoxide and the viewers toured it wearing gas masks. Gas and Jews, get it? It got shut down for two weeks. Should we care?

The Ten Commandments of Simon | Derek Kirk Kim
// how western males can remain virgins until age 29; online comic

Micheal Ignatieff’s speech to University of Ottawa
// Because he might be Prime Minister within the next five years

Malcolm Gladwell has a blog

Audio —————————–
Fighting Terrorism with Schools | Leonard Lopate and Greg Mortenson
After a failed mountain climbing trip to the summit of K2, Greg Mortenson was nursed back to health by villagers in a remote part of Pakistan. He promised to repay them by returning and building a school. Now, he’s built over 50 schools in rural Pakistan and Afghanistan. He describes his mission to fight extremism and terrorism on the Taliban’s home turf in Three Cups of Tea. // Very inspiring.

—————–Lectures —————————–
Lectures Archive
// a collection of links to a variety of lectures in streaming audio and mp3

Slought Foundation
// Lectures for the iPod by such notables as Zizek and his would-be canonical companions. As for Zizek, consider this comment from Crooked Timber:

“Today I was wondering whether it was worth buying Slavoj Zizek’s new book, The Parallax View and reading it, even in a spirit of ironic detachment or what have you. Reasons to Buy: 1. Some smart people I know like him. Selected Reason Not to Buy: 1. Life’s too short to deal with bullshit, even if it’s high-quality, triple-sifted, quintessence of ironic Lacanian crunchy-frog bullshit like this […] it’s clear to me that it’s not the Mainstream Media that has anything to fear from the blogosphere, but rather Slavoj Zizek-he will shortly be rendered obsolete by the universe of pop-culture enriched slacker grad-student/ABD bloggers. Even Zizek can’t write fast enough to keep up with them all.”

—————–Norman Mailer and Son ————————

The Mailers in Discussion
Part 1:
Part 2:
// Part 1: March 2nd afternoon on the Leonard Lopate Show; Part 2: March 2nd evening at some lecture hall. Norman Mailer and his son John Buffalo M. talk about their recent collaborative book and Mailer has great things to say about the state of the USA today. Personally, when Norman Mailer dies I’ll consider it a diminishment of humanity.

The Answer | Peter J. Charlton
// this lends support to my idea that art is meant for the easily impressed, or at the very least that the role of poetry in our lives has been totally taken over by pop lyrics.

The Simpsons in Real Life
// Apparently created in the UK to promote the new season; a month ago famous.

Microsoft iPod Video
// the importance of good design; a month ago famous. Somewhere it was said that this was actually created by Microsoft in order to critique their design department.

South Park Scientology Episode
// I think this episode was contrived simply to make fun of Tom Cruise; notable is the illustration of Scientology Doctrine with the overlaid ‘This is what Scientologists Actually Believe’. The question is: what movie did Cruise’s thetan watch 65 million years ago to inspire such feelings for her today? The entire episode used to be at YouTube and is probably still kicking around somewhere. This is the excerpt outlining their beliefs.


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emailed by Timothy on Monday 17 April 2006 @ 3:27 PM

06w05:1 Good Audio

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2006 week 05 number 1 (good audio)
I’ve been listening to my iPod at work for the past month, so I haven’t been able to spend as much time in front of the computer finding good reads. What I present here then is the result of finding good podcasts. – Timothy


Not Self (Week 1) | Gil Fronsdal 2006-01-16

John Ralston Saul speaking on the Collaspe of Globalism | SBS Radio (Jan 06)

and on ABC Radio (Aug 05):

The Leonard Lopate Show:

The Wal-Mart Effect 2006-01-23
“70 percent of Americans live within a fifteen-minute drive of a Wal-Mart. Charles Fishman looks at how Wal-Mart got so big, and how it’s changing America’s economy, in The Wal-Mart Effect.”

Covering 2006-01-20
“In Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights, Kenji Yoshino explores the ways in which the law, civil liberties, and self-identification intersect. A Yale Law professor and a gay, Asian-American man, he describes the prejudices that he sees written in America’s civil rights legislation.”

Open Phones: Fact or Fiction? 2006-01-19
“We’ll take your calls on the recent revelation that James Frey made up some of the incidents he described in his best-selling memoir, A Million Little Pieces.”
Note: Personally I think this whole controversy about this book is a little pointless. Saturday night at my birthday dinner my Mother and Sister got into a discussion about it and I had to pipe up to say, “Imagine if you used all that brain power to think about better things; we’d have a beautiful world’. I mean, the book’s cover alone should be enough to clue you in it’s bullshit: all those tiny little coloured specks on the guy’s hand. Honestly, I always thought it was some book about viruses and illness, and noticed everyone reading it on the subway and train and thinking, ‘why would they want to read something so sad?’ Turns out its about drugs, debauchery, and the cheating ways of a trust fund brat. Perfect book for American society don’t you think? Ah well. At least America’s citizens aren’t paying attention to the war in Iraq. This episode of the Lopate show tried to equate the outrage of the book’s falsity with being lied to by the government, which I found crazy and thus fascinating.

Melville: His World and Work 2006-01-18
“Herman Melville wrote one of the most important American novels of all time: Moby-Dick. But he wasn’t recognized as a towering literary figure until 40 years after his death. Andrew Delbanco, the Julian Clarence Levi Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University, studies Melville’s life and works in a new biography.”

Fast Living 2006-01-12
“Renee Price is the curator of the current Egon Schiele exhibit at the Neue Galerie. She revisits the significance of the Viennese artist’s highly-sexualized work, and his very short life.”

Animal Insight 2006-01-10
“Last year, we interviewed animal scientist Temple Grandin about her latest book: Animals in Translation. In this book, she describes how her autism helps her decode animal behavior. She joins us now with an update on her work, and on new developments in autism research.”

This link on autism and it’s relationship to not only the way animals think, but to representative art, reminded me of Nicholas Humphrey’s paper Cave Art, Autism, and the Evolution of the Human Mind:

Cave Art, Autism, and the Evolution of the Human Mind | Nicholas Humphrey
“The emergence of cave art in Europe about 30,000 years ago is widely believed to be evidence that by this time human beings had developed sophisticated capacities for symbolization and communication. However, comparison of the cave art with the drawings made by a young autistic girl, Nadia, reveals surprising similarities in content and style. Nadia, despite her graphic skills, was mentally defective and had virtually no language. I argue in the light of this comparison that the existence of the cave art cannot be the proof which it is usually assumed to be that the humans of the Upper Palaeolithic had essentially ‘modern’ minds”.

From IT Conversations:

Laughter in a Time of War | Tim Zak talking with Zach Warren
“In the Fall of 2005, Zach Warren set the World’s Record for running the Philadelphia marathon–while juggling! […] In this second installment in his series on Play, Globeshakers host Tim Zak asks this World Record holder to describe what gives him the inspiration to pursue these feats of extreme endurance. What role does ‘play’ have in the health of the planet? And ultimately, what has he learned about what it takes to re-build an entire country? ‘One of the first casualties of war’ says Zach Warren, ‘is imagination.’ In one of the most war torn regions in the world, the Afghan Mini Mobile Children’s Circus (MMCC) serves as a child protection program to help Afghan children recover from the traumas of war. The MMCC, a Danish-registered NGO, is run by native Afghans. It helps children to be more self-directed in creating their own dreams for the future through theatre and the arts. So, what is the role of the jester in a time of extreme danger? ‘If we’re really serious about building a democracy in this country,’ says Warren ‘then we need to protect their imagination.'” Note: I found the questions asked in this interview to be really boneheaded, but Zach Warren was almost inspiring, making the case rather well that his admitedly silly contributions do in fact make a difference.

The Future of Blogging | Joichi Ito
“The internet is truly becoming an open network with the rise of amateur content and open source software. In this talk, Joi Ito takes us through the growth of the internet as an open network in layers to the point where the killer app is now user generated content. Earlier, it was the little guys around the edges of the internet who created the open standards which made the web work, and today it is those same people who fuel it with their creativity. He also shares with us his observations of the remix culture seen on the net.Joi notes that it is futile to make any attempts to change user behaviour. It is better to observe it and then make a business out of it. He also talks about how people on the internet do not want to be fed content from a handful of sources – they want to create their own content and have a conversation with others at the same time, and that is the revolution we are witnessing today.”

What Do We Know | Robert Trivers
“The capacity of humans to deceive each other is well documented by history and personal experience. Less well known, however, is the capacity of most living things to deceive each other – species deceiving other species, members of their own species and themselves. We are, it seems, not that different from parasites, insects and bacteria in this regard.Dr. Robert Trivers talks about the evolutionary basis of deception in this address from Pop!Tech 2005. The first half of this talk focuses on the biological examples of deception in the natural world, with explanations for the evolutionary advantages of deception and self-deception.Later in the talk, Dr. Trivers supplies easily recognizable examples of common human self-deception. He then delves into an overtly political criticism of human deception and self-deception, with an emphasis on current events.”Note: This was really good. I love how he expressed his anger with the Bush Administration. You know something’s worth listening to when it comes from a geek website and has a language warning at the beginning of it. (Because geeks of course never say the word fuck, especially when dealing with Windows software). And speaking of the Bush Administration:

State of the Union Address 2006 | James Adomian
“This year I’m submitting to congress a plan for a 400 billion dollar education plan. Because our children must be literalized. Children that don’t read will not grow up. I’m against hunger. I’m against that. For all our small businesses out there I want to make sure that they have clothings. For every old person out there dreamings, I want to make sure they have the pills to make those dreams happen. For every college student out there, I will make sure that they will be able to take the loans to go to college to be able to pay back those loans with interest. That’s why this year I’m proposing a 400 billion dollar tax cut on our upper income earners.”

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emailed by Timothy on Sunday 29 January 2006 @ 7:01 PM