There is a serious point underlying these parodies: Trump is barely literate, he makes George W. Bush look like a world-class orator. Trump is a bad human being, who wants to do many bad things, but those observing him have to resist over-analyzing his oral expressions: we are dealing with an inept middle school student when it comes to the spoken word.
Shocking! (Context.) A shame he didn't understand the paper, though (alternatively, if he did understand it, a shame he couldn't make any relevant counter-arguments). Do read the first few comments on the post, they're very funny.
(Kudos, by the way, to Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke, who instead of demanding a juvenile pity-fest for their vulnerability, communicated to their critic that given that the paper was in the public domain, it was fair game for mocking criticism.)
(Thanks to several readers who brought this to my attention.)
When I first got the e-mail from Rob Tempio with that subject line (above), I thought, "Oh no he's been hacked by someone who is now sending out pornography links!" In fact, while it does turn out that Scrutopia is slightly obscene, it's not obscene that way.
In five days, a new President of the U.S. will be inaugurated. Although it would be unprecedented for someone other than the winner of the electoral college to be inaugurated on Friday, this has been a year of unprecedented happenings, so perhaps, given the wide reach of this blog, you, dear readers, can influence the nation's direction. Rank order these 30 individuals from most to least qualified to serve as President of the U.S. Let's see how the President-elect fares in a real competition!
A little over a year ago, I posted a sort of how-to for being married to a philosopher. It prompted Mark Bernstein to send along this incredibly funny letter to the editor from vol 62. of the APA Proceedings, written by his (then) wife Nancy Daley. He had this to say about the letter, " I'm biased, but I think it's the best letter ever published by the APA Proceedings."
You should read the full letter at JSTOR. But, here are a few choice excerpts:
I was in my late twenties, just finishing a Bachelor’s degree in English, when the prospect of marrying a philosopher first materialized. I recall with vivid clarity that autumn afternoon in my poetry professor’s dormered office when I announced I had finally decided to marry Mark. Without even lifting his gaze from his cluttered desk, Mr. Conner announced. "Well. You’ll never win an argument.”
This. Oh, for the love of all that's holy, this.
And lest you think philosophy is the only topic open to interminable discussion, I will mention only in passing a certain night I spent on a sofa in Princeton listening to Mark and his friend, Stewart [Stew Cohen], analyzing the apparently unforgivable syntax of a passage in the Toyota Owner’s Manual on the topic of downshifting.
A philosopher elsewhere writes with an amusing reaction to this week's melodrama:
This shit makes me want to retire.
I already don't "go out" in the philosophy blog-o-sewer, and maybe I'll stop going to conferences too.
Many of these people are not able enough to both do good philosophy and engage constantly in sanctimonious, and often quite nasty, moral police work. Many of them seem to be getting paid a lot to do mediocre scholarly work and spend 80% of their working hours on Facebook.
“We regret to announce that all 50 states are now reporting several cases of DKD” said CDC epidemiologist Mark Webber. “DKD is characterized as expressing or believing that one has vast and expert knowledge in a subject which they actually do not....”
There is currently no known cure for DKD, but scientists are hopeful with more education and isolation, it can be contained.
“We haven’t seen this level of DKD since Jenny McCarthy started spreading her vaccine causes autism bullshit” said Webber. “I fear the DKD level will continue to rise as more and more people with DKD have access to the internet, as well as there being several celebrities with the disease.”
Some say the worst part of DKD is that the carriers have no idea they are infected, nor how easily they can spread it to others.
UPDATE: Wow, 5 1/2 hours and nearly 700 votes! "Analytic metaphysics" gets people passionate! I'll let this run until tomorrow, but here's where things stand as of now: Yeah! 17% Just say "No"! 10% Prison 5% Ridicule & contempt 13% Praise & glory 11% Ignore it 23% None of the above 21%
ANOTHER: A funny note from philosopher Jon Kvanvig (Wash U/St. Louis): "I saw the new Dennett poll on your website, and you forgot to include the most obvious possibility of all: we should all refuse to teach anything by Dennett in any class from now on! Call it the Sterba option."
Clayton Littlejohn (King's College, London) wins the prize for it. He posted the following earlier today:
After considerable deliberation and reflection I've decided that it's time to go to Oxford. It wasn't an easy decision. I love London and will miss all the wonderful people I've met here.
This post was liked by more than 250 people, and elicited hundreds of congratulations (even after my warning that it might be a joke). After many hours, we learned that Dr. Littlejohn had gone to Oxford for the day to sell some rare books:
UPDATE: lovely time at Blackwells. Sold 6 books! Now I'm heading back to London (and KCL where I plan to stay for a very long time-unless they murder me).
Still to be determined: how many folks will unfriend Clayton on FB!
2. Oh, Good, Another Piece on Rawls. “Footnote 458 of A Theory of Justice has not been sufficiently explored. Buckle up for 300 pages of exploration!”
3. Splitting the Difference. “Famous philosopher A argues X. Famous philosopher B argues not-X. In this dissertation, I argue the truth is somewhere in-between.”
4. Incomprehensible Kantian Nonsense. “I’m going to argue that some policy P is justified on Kantian grounds. This argument will take 75 steps, and will read as if it’s been translated, or, rather, partially translated, from 19th century German. It will also be completely implausible, and so, to non-Kantians, will simply read like a reductio of Kant rather than a defense of P.”
I know that many readers are concerned that, after the massacre of degenerate young people in Orlando by a 2nd-Amendment-freedom-lover affiliated with ISIS, there is a real risk that normal Republicans and Christians could be affected by the proliferation of Instantaneous Laser Incineration (ILI) technology. Obviously, the Framers of the Constitution were concerned with the threat of tyranny involved in state regulation of ILI. Thomas Jefferson,, for example, wrote in 1772:
If King George could have banned ILI, the cause of the American Patriots would have been lost.
Chief Justice Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court, in the first major incineration decision after the War of Independence, concluded:
ILI weapons guarantee our liberty, as long as they aren't turned on the Supreme Court.
It is true, of course, that none of the Founding Fathers anticipated all the ways in which the "arms" protected by the 2nd Amendment might evolve. But even James Madison wrote in 1777:
There may come a time when the musket will be replaced by the mega-musket, a weapon that might not only obliterate the English army in New England, but obliterate England, and any of its allies. But that is the price of freedom. Even so, the ILI would be a step too far.
The wisdom of Jefferson and Madison should be respected, so I propose a reasonable solution to the current crisis involving the proliferation of ILIs:
(1) no members of ISIS or Al-Queda should be allowed to acquire Laser Incineration technology; and
(2) No convicted mass murderers should be allowed to acquire Laser Incineration technology.
There would, of course, be an exception for the Republicans leaders of the House and the Senate.
Every now and then, wading through the metablog pays off. I won't link, since whenever I do, it turns out that somewhere on the thread is something defamatory or otherwise outrageous (or something like that will soon appear after linking). But occasionally in reading the metablog, I do stumble on something very funny (I wish there were less ranting and raving about women and the job market, and more of the funny stuff!).
This particular metablog moment starts with reactions to this post. A note regarding terminology: on metablog, Jonathan Ichikawa is referred to, apparently, as "Itchy" and his spouse, Carrie Jenkins, as "Scratchy." Here's the highlights of the dialogue prompted by my post:
Anonymous: Surely the only way a rich woman can heal from torture by The Chicago Grinch is by purchasing a scooter.
Reply #1: or it [the e-mail about the scooter] had nothing to do with it at all, because it’s normal to send some emails that are about other topics even when something serious has happened? for fucks sake, this is ridiculous.
Reply to #1: Your trivializing this trauma is both inappropriate and problematic. This rich English lady was Grinched; she suffers Post-Grinchomatic Stress Disorder, and needs a scooter to recover.
Another Reply to #1: “something serious has happened”? She got a cranky e-mail? “for fucks sake, THAT is ridiculous”
Reply to Another Reply to #1: Look, Scratchy suffers trauma from the cranky email. And needs a scooter to recover. Who wouldn’t? Also, the cranky email was inappropriate and problematic. Horrific, even worse than losing one’s tiara.
Continental Philosophy Farhang Erfani, a philosopher at American University, provides a useful set of links to news, events, interviews, reviews, videos, etc. related to "Continental philosophy" (broadly construed)