Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Super Gods by Grant Morrison

    One of my recent reads for May is Morrison's Super gods:What masked vigilantes, miraculous mutants and a sun god from Smallville can teach us about being human.  You don't have to be too engrossed in comics to appreciate this but it helps.  Some knowledge of pop culture will also help.

[Photo culled from:]

Alice in Chains: Black Gives Way to Blue

Playlist I'm listening to now.
1. “All Secrets Known”
2. “Check My Brain”
3. “Last Of My Kind”
4. “Your Decision”
5. “A Looking In View”
6.”When The Sun Rose Again”
7. “Acid Bubble”
8. “Lessons Learned”
9. “Take Her Out”
10. “Private Hell”
11. “Black Gives Way To Blue”
[Photo culled from:]

Monday, May 28, 2012

Playlist for Corona Verdict: Slayer, Seasons in the Abyss

Just in time for the Corona impeachment verdict. SLAYER. Maybe the senators should have their own entrance music before they do their speeches.

01. War Ensemble(Araya/Hanneman)4:51
02. Blood Red(Araya/Hanneman)2:47
03. Spirit in Black(Hanneman/King)4:07
04. Expendable Youth(Araya/King)4:09
05. Dead Skin Mask(Araya/Hanneman)5:20
06. Hallowed Point(Araya/Hanneman)3:23
07. Skeletons of Society(King)4:40
08. Temptation(King)3:25
09. Born of Fire(Hanneman/King)3:07
10. Seasons in the Abyss(Araya/Hanneman)6:37

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Gerald E. Myers on William James

"James’s philosophy was an old-fashioned philosophy of life. It was not primarily logical analysis, the solution of puzzles, or the clarification of concepts from some related field such as art, religion, or physics; it included these functions, but it was considerably more. His philosophy integrated multiple beliefs into a systematic outlook which provided him with practical guidelines for conducting his daily existence. Thus conceived, philosophy was a subject for the man for all seasons, a pursuit for all moods. One could philosophize light-heartedly, professional, socially, conversationally; but one could also philosophize in the face of personal crises, as James did in 1870, at the age of 28" (1986, 45-6). 
[Photo culled from:]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Music Playlist: Exodus: Bonded by Blood

[photo culled from:]
Exodus's Bonded by Blood is an acknowledged thrash classic.  Metallica's Kirk Hammett used to be part of the band. Recently, Gary Holt filled in for Jeff Hanemann for some of Slayer's gigs.

Now, of course, there are many classifications and sub-genres of music that one wonders how much of this is just pure marketing.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Adam Yauch, the Dalai Lama and Tibet

What do they have in common? I just found out here. I still remember seeing the Fat Boys tv special that featured the Beastie Boys and other rappers.

Recent reads for April part 2: Hellblazer 290

[Cover by Simon Bisley. Pic culled from:]

Thursday, May 17, 2012

So is this going to be Pacquiao vs Obama?

Just heard this on AM radio. The Facebook feeds are filled with it also it seems.  The brouhaha over Pacquiao's purported statement regarding gays and marriage. Can Mayweather be far behind? How about Romney? What about omissions or exaggerations? With all these big names, it seems expected.

King writes at the end:

In any event, it appears we -- and countless others (Ampong in particular) -- owe Pacquiao an apology. He's apparently not as much of a homophobe as Ampong made him out to be. However, he still opposes letting gay people tie the knot, which -- while being an obnoxious opinion -- is a far cry from calling for the death of human beings based on their sexual orientation.
We sent Ampong an email asking if he'd like to explain why he misled people with his article. We haven't heard back.

Big names and big stories.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Who's the Lump?

Saw this first at Feminist Philosophers blog. A passage via The Chronicle of Higher Education;

Some Lumps are simply spineless, deathly afraid of making a decision. They’ve long since determined that the best policy is just to lay low and pass the buck. Some are jaded and cynical. They’ve been there and done that, and nothing much impresses them anymore. They don’t see any need to act decisively, or maybe they just don’t see the point: It wouldn’t do any good, anyway. Some, nearing retirement, are motivated purely by reluctance to lose their high salaries and accompanying pensions.
But some Lumps are much more calculating. Lacking genuine ability and creativity, they’ve determined that their surest and safest route to the top is simply to go along to get along–to spout the party line, support whatever the higher-ups are doing, and otherwise not do much of anything lest they risk doing the wrong thing.
In any form, Lumps are incredibly harmful to an organization. They’re responsible for most of the negative attributes that people (including students) rightly associate with bureaucracy: interminable waiting, “red tape,” buck passing, narrow and rigid interpretation of policy, stubborn intransigence.
They’re also a drain on group morale. Although perhaps not as actively vindictive as authoritarian power-mongers,most Lumps will throw their colleagues under the bus in a heartbeat in order to preserve or advance their own careers. It’s not that they don’t like you. They just don’t care about you.

New Avengers and Silence of the Lambs?

Actually the Minimates of Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling on top of a New Avengers hardcover compilation.  Maybe they should join this version of the Avengers. A mobile phone camera was used.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pittsburgh Classics Under Siege

Sign the petition.
[via] The following is by Mary Louise Gill:

I write to alert you to a dire situation in Classics at the University of Pittburgh (my previous home before coming to Brown University). The Pitt Administration proposes to cancel graduate admissions. This would not only affect the Department in a detrimental way but would also destroy the interdisciplinary Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science and weaken Philosophy and History of Science.. More than 1000 people have signed the petition so far. We should overwhelm the admisnitration with objections! Here is the statement I wrote when I signed the petition: The University of Pittsburgh administration tried to make such a move once before, and on a broader scale (when I was Chair of Classics and Chair of the Humanities Council in 1996-97). The effort failed, though the lack of administrative support resulted in the mass exodus of good faculty, including most of the excellent Department of Linguistics. I learned at the time that Pitt Classics was the most cost-effective department in FAS at Pitt, making about 50% more for the University than we cost. The graduate students contributed substantially to that success. What financial value can there be to this recent move and what are its academic implications? It destroys Classics, destroys the internationally-renowned Graduate Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science (CPAS), and will weaken the highly ranked Departments of Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science. Humanities Departments are cheap and they are the backbone of the University. The Administration should foster these departments and replace positions in Classics, including the position in ancient philosophy, the funding for which was withdrawn in 2008-2009. The current plan will reduce the University of Pittsburgh to mediocrity, an outcome foreseen by many commentators on this petition and by many colleagues at Pitt. Here is the petition, and I hope that many of you will sign and forward it to others.

Nina Strohminger's review of Colin McGinn's The Meaning of Disgust

Encountered this at Leiter's site. Funny, if you were not McGinn! With passages from Strohminger like this:

Perhaps The Meaning of Disgust is useful as an aesthetic object in itself: an emblem of that most modern creation, the pop philosophy book. Actual content, thought, or insight is entirely optional. The only real requirement is that the pages stroke the reader’s ego, make him feel he is doing something highbrow for once, something to better himself. The sad fact is the reader would learn more about disgust by reading Mad magazine.

Has McGinn "jumped the shark"?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Call For Papers: Has Feminist Philosophy Changed Philosophy?

Conference of the Nordic Network for Women in Philosophy at the University of Iceland (in cooperation with the Institute of Philosophy and EDDA – Center of Excellence), September 7 and 8, 2012.
Feminist philosophy has emerged in the last decades as a vibrant field within Western philosophy. It has resulted in questioning canons of philosophy as well as core concepts of the philosophical curriculum. Feminist epistemology, ethics, aesthetics and metaphysics have contributed to a richer understanding of the epistemic, ethical, perceiving and embodied subject. The past and the present of philosophy as an academic discipline appear in a different light. Despite this, philosophy still has one of the lowest proportion of women and minorities among students and faculty when compared to other disciplines within the humanities and the sciences as a whole. Does that have to do with the lack of acceptance of feminist work within philosophy? Or is it necessary to dig deeper in order to understand the resistance of philosophy towards change in this respect? The keynote speakers at this conference, Sally Haslanger and Linda Martín Alcoff, have gained widespread attention for their writings on the institutional culture, content and styles of philosophy, as well as for their initiatives on improving the situation of women and minorities in philosophy. The NNWP calls for papers that discuss if, and if so how feminist philosophy has changed philosophy.
Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir, University of Iceland
Ásta Sveinsdóttir, San Franciscso State University
Eyja M. Brynjarsdóttir, University of Iceland
Salvör Nordal, University of Iceland
Abstracts (max 200 words) are due by May 25, 2012. Please submit your abstracts to
Replies to submissions will be sent out June 5th.
Dr. Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir
Associate Professor of Philosophy
San Francisco State University


Thanks for the views! Cake, (Hunter S.) Thompson and philosophy, David Chalmers, Alan Turing and Kung-fu Panda (effect) got quite a few hits.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Recent Reads for April: Avengers vs X-Men

I've read issues number 1 and 2. I will be reading the third one later. With any luck, the movie adaptations of comics (in the form of Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises) can encourage people to read. Not just comics, but reading in general. These things did not just come out of thin air. 

[Photo credit:]