14 April 2007


I had some Redstone Black Raspberry Nectar Mead last night and was it ever good.


Tomorrow is Euler's 300th Birthday. So happy birthday Euler and thank you for your brilliance!

12 April 2007


Something about self-censorship and the nature of the philosopher will be posted here sometime today.


"Tocqueville suspected that the greatest danger to freedom was not a state which prevented men from exercising liberty, but one which encouraged them to refuse the burdens of action."

-- Bruce James Smith, Politics & Remembrance: Republican Themes in Machiavelli, Burke, and Tocqueville, n. 106, p. 240

While there is something of "two sides of the same coin" present here, this way of looking at the issue underscores the perniciousness of tyranny. It is not simply that the tyrant acts like a tyrant; the tyrant also fosters a society where political, etc. culture is so weak that it numbs any "instinct" to overthrow the tyrant's rule.

10 April 2007

Firefly Personality Quiz

You are Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
River (Stowaway)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
Inara Serra (Companion)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Dependable and trustworthy.
You love your significant other and
you are a tough cookie when in a conflict.

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

I'm quite pleased with the result.


PBS' American Experience did a great piece on Jonestown last night (09/04/07).

For me Jonestown was the point in my then young life when the problem of evil reared its ugly head. It was also the first time that I discerned the sort of troubling things that groups of people can do given the requisite commitment. Indeed seeing the pictures of those bodies lined up as neatly as they were induced nightmares in me for days afterwards.

Note that I'm a great fan of the idea that our intellectual, etc. commitments are largely pre-political/pre-rational in nature. If I apply that idea to my reaction to Jonestown I could argue that the source my religious and political stances is in the events at Jonestown.