Thursday, August 29, 2013

another day in the excited

Here's a good article I just read about "motivated reasoning".

Within each of us is an identity-protecting impulse which will not allow our most central identity-defining beliefs to be changed except under extreme duress.  There are many topics on which we cannot reason freely.  Instead we can only rationalize the belief we will continue with.


38Degrees is agonizing over whether to have some kind of petition about the Syrian crisis, it sounds like something too important to not be involved in, but they don't really know what their public think. I read a lot of Facebook comments, but none from people with Arabic-origin names. There was a lot of distrust of the information we're receiving. There was a lot of distrust of the motives of western governments. Predominantly people seem to be saying oh God don't let the US/UK get involved in another Middle East country, they'll only make it worse. Leaving aside the conspiracy theories this distrust is perhaps a modest acknowledgement that there are limits to what Mr or Ms Anyone in the democratic international (western) community can be expected to contribute in the way of wise advice about a horrible situation that they're not involved in and whose issues they don't understand. But that doesn't mean that no-one understands it. It doesn't mean that no-one can make peace. But should we, then, stand back and let the specialists get on with it? Or is that a dereliction of duty? So a painful competition of good conscience is a tragicomic sideshow to the death tolls within Syria.


"The world is on the brink of an enormous economic crisis. One that dwarfs any other previous dips in the world markets. The establishment/mainstream networks would rarely discuss the situations going on behind the “fake scenery” they would prefer you gaze upon; but the truth is governments around the world are buying precious metals like it’s going out of fashion. The levels of private and public debt has hit even more unsustainable levels than..." 

This apocalypse unexpectedly showing up on the JustArsenal fansite, in the context of the club's perceived inactivity during the transfer window.


Ron Silliman usefully linked this entertaining and lucid Yale lecture (by Paul Fry) on structuralism and Roman Jacobson:  It's part of a larger "Theory of Literature" series that I feel I could really learn a lot from.



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