Scatterbrained

Café Zapata, a cult café in my favorite city: Berlin, Germany

Language Log addresses the question of what language will most effectively relax Welsh cows in order to make their meat tastier after they are slaughtered. I would suggest looking to GWB and his famous New-Englander-from-Texas mock-drawl, which seems to work wonders in the US. In the same post, Bill Poser notes the errors committed by the professional journalist who reported the original story, then writes, “This is why many scholars won’t talk to reporters.” And after I learned that a few years ago, I did not want to become a newspaper reporter anymore.

Stephen Barr at First Things discusses the new book by Richard Dawkins, pointing out that reductionism cannot lead to a theory of origins because the process of increasing material complexity is best accounted for by a priori rules. I don’t really like Plato’s theory of forms and I don’t understand Kant, but I agree that reductionism explains nothing about universal constants or laws. I believe that anyone who diligently seeks the truth will find God, but sometimes they are afraid to call it by that name. Moreover, many people who find God are afraid to explore the implications. That’s why I don’t believe in atheists.

From Daniel Larison: Amy Sullivan at The New Republic points out the error of believing your opponent’s propaganda:

Despite the evidence Kuo presents in Tempting Faith, liberals simply don’t believe him. They’ve spent so much time fear-mongering about American theocracy that a book illustrating the opposite simply makes no sense to them. In fact, the real revelation of Kuo’s book is not that the Bushies don’t care about evangelicals; it’s that liberals are too wedded to their views to capitalize on it.

Painting the world in the primary colors of politics is misguided because politics is not reality. It is fictitious and ephemeral. Get your priorities straight and renounce the political parties. Bill Kauffman, a Front-Porch Anarchist, is a good example of someone who does this effectively.

Vox leads us to this article by Jeffrey Zaslow, about the new direction of fame, from blogger to commentator. I have heard one of these idiots on my local NPR station in the morning. I change the channel when he comes on, because bloggers are really obnoxious to listen to. I mean, the reason I blog is so that no one I know will have to listen to me. Or maybe it’s because no one I know will listen to me when I talk about this stuff.

What’s been going on in Naples? Some “operations in support of the international campaign against terrorism”? Well, maybe in Vox’s backyard in Italy, but not in Daniel Hopsicker’s backyard in Florida, where, he alleges, the US federal government has worked to cover up ties between terrorists and government agents, despite evidence known to the US Attorney’s Office in Ft. Myers. I didn’t even know there was an airport in Naples or a US Attorney’s Office in Ft. Myers. This may, however, relate to Operation Zapata (also known as the Bay of Pigs invasion), since it was planned in Florida. Moreover, Antonio Zapata was once a viceroy of Naples (Italy), right after Gaspaking Borgia! No, not Zapata the Texas ranchero, Zapata the archbishop of Burgos, Spain. Get it straight, please.

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8 thoughts on “Scatterbrained

  1. Enough of that Zapata stuff, man. You’re gonna get people confused about who da real Zapata man be, Emiliano Zapata.

    Too much knowledge, you just got too much knowledge in your brain, Dave. So I’ve been thinking about trying to set up a Rhetorical Ultimate Fighting Championship between you and Vox.

    I mean, the reason I blog is so that no one I know will have to listen to me. Or maybe it’s because no one I know will listen to me when I talk about this stuff.

    I have one friend from high school who’s willing to have conversations like this. Other than that, nobody.

    But this shows how the web is able to satisfy the demand in a very small market. Out of the hundreds of millions of people with web access, it allows two people to match up here momentarilly, and several hundred over at Vox’s.

    It’s like the used, online book sellers. I buy an old math book for $5.00 that would be worthless if there was no online book sellers.

  2. I was once nearly arrested for impersonating a zapatista. I was actually mocking a zapatista, but the moronic former g-man didn’t know the difference.

  3. You just can’t stop, so go ahead and impress me with how many different “zapata”s you have in your brain.

    Unless, of course, you’re getting all these “zapata”s from Google. In that case, you need to confess up.

    In fact, it has now come to me as a revelation that’s how you come up with all these things you make reference it.

    It appears on the surface you’re well read, but you just do random searches and come up with things like:

    “Gott ist tot! Gott bleibt tot! Und wir haben ihn getötet.”

  4. I confess to reading Nietzsche a long time ago, but only trying to translate that passage for myself recently.

    I confess to using Google instead of Clusty or Dogpile. For shame!

    I confess to provoking a helpless woman to anger by masquerading as a zapatista and mocking The Heroes of the Revolution.

    I confess to satirizing the estimable Robert Lacey in my sidebar text. Hereward the Wake must be spinning in his grave!

    Your turn, now…you didn’t really go to a lecture by Robert B. Beale, did you?

  5. And I thought your were playing around by saying you masqueraded as a zapatista. Surely that has to be a joke, doesn’t it? I mean, who would ever think someone would really impersonate a zapatista?

    And your sidebar, I thought that was all yours.

    See, this all shows how sarcasm or other such things that are funny to the author get lost on other people. We think it should be obvious, but it isn’t. Then, because they don’t realize we’re joking, we either offend them or they think we got some kind of problem.

    I thought there should be enough outlandish things in my story to make it clear it’s all fiction. I had to put the preface note in there to fix it after I started thinking Beale doesn’t have a Ph.D. If he does, I’m in trouble. That’s supposed to be my for-sure out in case someone really does think it’s factual.

    It’s possible, though, Crystal Lake thinks such an event did happen. And I ask myself, do I really care if people don’t realize no such event happened?

    I went to a blog that’s on Banerants’ blogroll. Some guy in Ireland, I think, told a tall tale about being a total jerk to a woman. I was just about to post a scathing comment when it hit me, “This ain’t true. He’s just having fun, all his regulars know that, and I just about played the sucker.”

    But the story was kind of funny after I knew it wasn’t true. There was this woman pushing a cart loaded with groceries, there was only room to go one direction on the path, and she also had 3 kids. He and the woman met up, and, of course, she expected him to be the one to move to the side, but he wouldn’t get out of the way. So, she had to go to a massive amount of work to move to the side.

    The way he told it, I was fuming because it sounded so believable. Of course, I can’t say it wasn’t true. His other posts and reader comments gave me that feeling, though.

  6. That would be one good reason for me to have comments.

    I’m thinking people are thinking one way, they’re thinking totally different, and sometimes they’ll set you straight.

  7. Yeah, I thought it was so stupid that everyone would think it was funny. The woman who was the target of my sarcasm eventually realized I was actually mocking her, so her boss got huffy and claimed that she was afraid I was a real terrorist. The g-men played along until I called their bluff, then they shooed me out and went back to their real work of protecting the guys with the money. It turned out to be a big practical joke on me.

    Since then, no more balaclavas for me. Hereward lived about 1000 years ago, so I thought it was pretty safe. The satire is not directed at Lacey, who is a fine historian; it’s just using his narrative.

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