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Total number of comments: 18 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:02)

Joseph Hutchison

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  • A Brief History of Typography (Animated Video)
    • I've got nothing against Gutenberg, but he did not invent typography or the printing press. The first printing press was invented in China in the late 6th century CE. By 700 the first printed newspaper, created with woodblock printing, was available in Youzhou (today's Beijing). A Chinese commoner named Pi Sheng invented movable earthenware type in the early decades of the 11th century, and his methods were refined by a magistrate of Ching-te named Wang Chen when he adapted Pi Sheng's methods to wooden type in 1298. Juan Gonzalez de Mendoza, in a book published in 1585, states that Gutenberg got his idea for moveable type after seeing books that came to him through Russia and Arabia, along two well-traveled branches of the Silk Road. Credit where credit is due, eh?

  • How the US Decides Drone-kill People when it Doesn't Know Who they Are (Currier)
    • I wonder if there isn't a condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that describes the illness underlying the drone program. Or maybe it's just the video-game mentality that reduces human beings to targets. Obama's really rackin' up the points!

  • Questions I ask myself about Connecticut School Shooting
  • Rupert Murdoch, in midst of Hacking Scandal, tried to entice Petraeus with Presidency: WaPo
    • We need Woodward to do something really useful: a book called The War Makers. Not about the political puppets who take the stage to appall and entertain us, but about the puppeteers like Murdoch. You know—following up on Jacques Prévert:

      Jacques Prévert (tr. Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

      Near the end of an extremely important discourse
      the great man of state stumbling
      on a beautiful hollow phrase
      falls over it
      and undone with gaping mouth
      shows his teeth
      and the dental decay of his peaceful reasoning
      exposes the nerve of war
      the delicate question of money

  • Is Paul Ryan right that Obama's Foreign Policy is Blowing up in Our Faces?
  • Romney Jumps the Shark: Libya, Egypt and the Butterfly Effect
  • Omar Khayyam (78)
  • Omar Khayyam (58)
  • Santorum Can't Run Away from Limbaugh, who is just taking Santorum's ideas to their logical conclusion
  • Logical Errors and Propaganda in Republican Debate on the Middle East
    • The difference is that it was not the "Supreme Leader" Gingrich was referring to. But Gingrich doesn't care about niceties. He is in full egomaniac mode, spittle flying. His vaunted abilities as a "historian" desert him in these situations.

  • Omar Khayyam (36)
  • Omar Khayyam (3)
    • Khayyam is something of a fatalist, for whom the world is fixed from the beginning—at least as he comes through in the Rubaiyyat. "By the first day all futures were decided," he says (in the Ali-Shah/Graves translation). His verse is beautiful but his view of things tends toward paralysis. It's odd, then, that his interests were so various and went so deep....

  • Reading in the New Millennium: Cole at Truthdig
    • The candy store is awesome—now. But I wonder what will happen in 20 or 30 years when we've all moved on to ebooks housed in the Cloud and our government—let's contemplate the worst case (a President Santorum, for example, invoking the PATRIOT Act)—decides to deprive its citizens us of access to them. We'd have a revolution? Hardly. We are already so effectively cowed that criminal bankers can go on perpetrating their frauds without masses of people in the streets (OWS is a good start but unlikely to last). It's important to remember that access to all these ebooks will be managed by corporations that have no fundamental interest in the free exchange of ideas—maybe even less interest than the government does. Personally, I prefer private control of private libraries, and hope the day never comes when we have no access to knowledge, only access to access.

  • McCain Plays Politics with Obama's Iraq Withdrawal
    • McCain is a war monger, pure and simple. I would like any reader of this blog to name a war McCain has opposed the U.S. engaging in. If that's not the case, then the only conclusion can be that he is a craven political loser playing thorn-in-the-side of the person who beat him in the last presidential election. Honestly, it's time for McCain to retire.

  • News that Makes you Go 'Hunh'?
    • "the propaganda message that government is bad and inept, whereas corporations are sleek and efficient"

      Oh, yes. Ask anyone who works, as I do, in an outsource role with large corporations. One client recently spent roughly $30,000 with us to create a suite of marketing materials which they never even unpacked from the boxes they were delivered in. Turns out an internal turf-war scotched the effort. "Sleek and efficient" corporations are little more than a fantasy of the Wall Street crowd.

  • Paul, Santorum and the Sixth War (on Iran)
    • This is rather hilarious. A "right" is irrelevant if, in practice, one can't exercise it. If my polluting neighbor is G.E., of course I have the right to sue; but I don't have the money: I would be bankrupted by the effort, while G.E. would simply expense their high-priced lawyers. Libertarians, much as I admire their logic, insist on living in a fantasy world—or better, an abstract world that bears little relation to the one inhabited by the dwindling middle class and the poor.

    • My wife and I own a small corporation. We spend all our time trying to obtain and execute work in order to make enough money to pay for our home, our health insurance, etc. I don't know what a big corporation is, but it isn't us. I suppose I would define it as any company big enough to buy another company. That's how most corporations get big. Note that in getting big, they inevitably stifle competition—the supposed engine of the supposedly "free" market. I have no doubt that on occasion government regulations stifle activities of the market, though in most cases, it seems to me, they deserve to be stifled. I saw the idiot prince Donald Trump on TV the other night extolling China because they were building a "city" on a man-made island in the ocean. (This sounds like the type of lie about glorious corporate freedom that Trump tells all the time, but I don't know for sure.) We have plenty of experience with corporations trashing our farmlands, mining-lands, rivers and shorelines to know that an unfettered market is not "free" except to those who can afford to live beyond its effects, as the wealthy mostly do. But people like my wife and I must live in it—I mean in a world where big corporations built on stifling competition fund the election of politicians who ensure that their donors can continue to stifle competition—in the name of the "free market," of course.

  • On Panetta and Defeating al-Qaeda

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