Who is "I"?

From economist and science fiction aficionado Brad DeLong’s Semi-Daily Journal:

I have never been a strong believer that there is a single “I”. Those times when you get in the car to go to the grocery store, and find ten minutes later that you are pulling into your office parking lot: who–or what–has been driving the car in the meantime?

There is a story that Neils Bohr’s wife once at the start of a party sent him upstairs to change his tie; an hour later she found him, asleep, in bed; taking off the tie had triggered the going-to-bed subroutine[?] reflex[?] entity[?] and had overwhelmed the express conscious purpose. I remember author David Brin once saying that he could not switch from finger-typing to voice-writing, because the raconteur who spoke through his mouth was vastly inferior at plot, characterization, and structure to the writer who communicated through the hands.

My daimones–as Walter Jon Williams calls them–do boring things like drive to the office. Teresa Nielsen Hayden, however, has a daimon that makes good omelettes… [more]


Back Door Man:

Joshua Micah Marshall:

“The White House just should not use the terrorism card to muscle through an ideological wish-list that it lacks the courage to push on its own terms.

So why no … outrage at the Bush White House for doing (that)?

The White House is insisting on a Homeland Security bill with virtually all the civil service and collective bargaining rights of federal employees stripped out of it? The excuse of course is that the DHS is just too important to pussyfoot around with the sort of loafers who slide by under the civil service regime. But this argument — though superficially plausible — doesn’t bear much scrutiny, especially since these protections now apply to people doing just the same kinds of work throughout the federal government.” Talking Points Memo


Kausal Links

Kaus also points to <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59362-2002Jul24.html

“>this recent preoccupation of Lloyd Grove in the Washington Post:

Mutually Assured Dysfunction? Only a matter of time: Two like-minded magazines, the liberal-thinking American Prospect and the peace-oriented Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, are paying lawyers to try to resolve a dispute that erupted when the Prospect used an image of the Bulletin‘s copyrighted “Doomsday Clock” on its July 1 cover without permission — and, worse, changed the time. Bulletin publisher Stephen Schwartz, who noted that the Prospect set the clock at 4 minutes to doomsday, while the correct time is 7 minutes to doomsday, told us yesterday that his magazine sent a letter of displeasure, and that he isn’t entirely satisfied with the Prospect‘s correction, which appears in the latest issue. “What were they thinking? Schwartz demanded. “Something there must have broken down.”

You can just hear Kaus’ raspy palms rubbing together in glee at this specter of a dispute among the “liberal-thinking”

and the “peace-oriented”, although he disses TAP with that ultimate insult, “obscure” (which, at least to readers of FmH, it certainly is not…). Kaus really reaches escape velocity over Grove’s final point:

We hear a settlement might involve a favorable article about the Bulletin in a future issue of the Prospect. Our call to Prospect Editor Bob Kuttner was not returned.

Mickey the Rhino chomps at the bit [sorry to mix my metaphors with Krugman’s… — FmH]:

Wouldn’t that be a violation of, you know, journalistic ethics? (Imagine if the NYT or WaPo settled a libel suit by promising to publish a favorable article about a plaintiff.) Surely TAP wouldn’t do anything like that …

Wouldn’t that depend on exactly what Grove meant by “…a settlement might involve…”? Too bad Kuttner has yet, if ever, to weigh in on this one. At one extreme, The Bulletin might have demanded a favorable article as a condition of not bringing suit. At the other, might a conciliatory TAP have cited their preexisting admiration, proffering their intention to profile The Bulletin that may have predated the dispute? Most retractions I’ve seen in the press bend over backwards to compliment the source you might otherwise have been perceived as disparaging; that’s precisely what you are trying to achieve with a retraction in the first place. And it would be reasonable to claim you want to write about The Bulletin long about now. A venerable old slumbering giant of the disarmament movement since concerns about the nuclear arms race dropped off most people’s radar screens (a complacent self-delusion I’ve noted with concern here) after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it has been receiving a wave of fresh attention since the warmongering Son of a Bush has taken office, since we abrogated the ABM treaty to restart the nuclear arms race with NMD, since 9-11 and the WoT®, and since the loose cannons have been rolled into position along the Indian-Pakistani line in the sand. If you’re curious, scroll past the references to the Bulletin‘s own pages in this Google search to see some of the ‘net attention they receive these days…

And what’s up with Kaus’ continual references to the Washington Post as “WaPo“? Is it just me, or does it seem he’s enjoying evoking resonances to “wacko” just abit?


A sumptuous feast:

Site for a seven-week Kurosawa and Mifune Film Series at New York’s Film Forum this summer with all-new 35 mm prints, many with new translations and subtitles. Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Stray Dog, Red Beard, The Bad Sleep Well, Drunken Angel, Throne of Blood, I Live in Fear, High and Low, Hidden Fortress and of course Rashomon and Seven Samurai. Go see them all…


New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell on the retrospective:

Kurosawa used the action genre more luxuriantly than any other director because he unleashed Mifune as a force of nature — the havoc he wrought was as frightening as we could imagine because the director allowed us to understand what Mifune’s victims were up against. Despite all the derring-do of Hong Kong martial-arts films, none of their directors ever lingered on the deadly physicality of the stars. Kurosawa let Mifune’s oaken arms say as much about his ruined amoral samurai in Sanjuro (Aug. 27-29) as the actor’s murderously swift shifts of facial expression did. NY Times

Ah, to be in New York this summer with time on my hands! In the Good Old Days, Boston’s late lamented Park Square Cinema would have a samurai film festival, oh perhaps on an annual basis, but this beats all… A new print of Yojimbo (which I watch over and over again on an nth-generation copy of a VHS tape)?? [thanks, Abby]