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Unethical Arrivistes Thrive Under Plutocracy

by Patrice Ayme Sat May 2nd, 2009 at 08:04:53 PM EST

Anti thinkers are paid by the plutocracy to seed havoc and confusion. We skewer a few.


ARRIVISTES THRIVE UNDER FASCISM.

AGAINST FERGUSON, GODWIN, BYBEE, YOO, AND OTHER SERVANTS OF EVIL.

Propagandists, and apologists of fascism are often esteemed, well paid and have beautiful careers. Why so? Because, from the power of compound interest, wealth tends to gather in a few hands. To make society stable, wealth has to be redistributed. This has been true ever since material wealth became important, at least 10,000 years ago, in the most advanced parts. But sometimes the particular nature of the socioeconomy makes it function best as a dictatorship. The arch-typical example being the hydraulic dictatorships of the Middle East (Hence the later developed huge fascist empires, and authoritarian religions such as Judaism and its well known heresies, Christianism and Islamism). Sometimes society falls into fascism from lack of timely brain power to prevent an excess of greed by an oligarchy (Republican Rome).

In any case, wealth is power, wealth has power to fight back, and wealth often runs out of democratic control (this sort of views is often lent to Marx, but it is much older: the Greek historian Polybius had them 22 centuries ago, and his somewhat cyclical theory (which was not new, even at the time!) is superior to Marx's in many ways). From this blossoms a close association between fascism and plutocracy.

Paul Krugman deplores (in his blog, May 2, 2009) that "the most depressing aspect of the whole thing: further confirmation that we're living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics, in which hard-won knowledge has simply been forgotten. What's the evidence? Niall Ferguson "explaining" that fiscal expansion will actually be contractionary, because it will drive up interest rates. At least that's what I think he said; there were so many flourishes that it's hard to tell."

We are also living in a Dark Age of history. Out there, on the Internet there is something called "Godwin rule". It works this way: mention Nazism and you have lost whatever debate you were in. At least, so it is, among stupidocrats. In other words, mention the holocaust, and you are a loser. It's difficult to distinguish this from pure and simple holocaust denial and sheer Nazism. Nobody was more eager to have everybody forget the holocaust than the Nazis. As their armies retreated, the Nazis spent years forcing thousands of their victims to disinter millions of their previously all too swiftly buried victims. Then they crushed their bones, burned the remnants in carefully designed pyres, to leave no trace that could be used in a court of law.  

But now that we have the Internet, it's much better. Malevolent idiots can be Hitler's best friends, and everybody feels cute, because it's so "cool" to be cool as ice: mention Auschwitz, and you have lost the debate, ha ha ha. It reminds jus of the old Hebraic religion: "You shall not take the name of the Lord (YHWH) your God (Elohiym) in vain, for the Lord (YHWH) will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." (Ex. 20;7.) In other words, the adulators of Godwin say: "We don't know much about history, but never shall we pronounce the name of our Lord Adolf Hitler in vain..."

Mr. Ferguson, a Harvard professor, is just as cute. He wrote some sort of enormous book "The War of the World", to say stricly nothing, except, basically, that, well, let's quote him:"World War Two, we have been told all our lives, was our greatest triumph, the moment when the forces of light, the Western democracies, prevailed over the forces of darkness, the Nazis... far from culminating in the triumph of the West, the struggle was part of the inexorable shift in the global balance of power toward the East." Thank you, Fergie boy: this is, nearly word for word, the exact thesis of Adolf Hitler himself. Heil!

Niall Ferguson is a British born historian who makes no distinction between fascism and democracy. He is a partisan of the old thesis that Britain should not have entered the First World War. He did not invent that counter democratic thesis, either. Bertrand Russell was a partisan of it, and spent 18 months in jail during the war for promoting it, while British kids were dying in the trenches, fighting fascism.

Ferguson's thesis is that basically the West went down, because it did not give in to German fascism (because, implicitly, fascism, and anything obsolete) is good. Ferguson is just an arriviste. He has a political agenda of the most extreme nature that turns the average neoconservative into a leftist, relatively speaking.

A similar approach is defended by Pat Buchanan: Britain should not have entered the Second World War, and should instead have let Nazi Germany do its thing (killing all the Slavs, all the Jews, annihilate France, etc.). Such people practice thought crime. Their eternal regret seems to be that German racially grounded fascism did not triumph, and that instead pesky Franco-British-American democrats won.

The pro-fascist theses of Ferguson and Buchanan are so incredibly wrong in all ways, it's hard to know where to start. But I have to say a word, because many people know no history whatsoever, besides that there were wars and that was bad, a psychological violin  that revisionists and holocaust deniers know how to play very well.

In both cases, the fact Germany was ruled by fascists is ignored. The fate of republican France, the natural enemy of the fascist order in Germany is ignored. Also ignored is the fate of the rest of Europe: after all, the nation of poland was under Germano-Prussian subjugation and oppression, not to sau suppression. As the fascists that ruled Germany in 1914 and 1939 overwhelmed Europe, according to Ferguson and Buchanan, lives would have been saved as eternal peace, apparently another name for German fascism, came to rule.

On the contrary, German historians studying the period, firmly disagree and view the Second Reich as a dress rehersal for the Third Reich, and the later as ultimate evil, as it was. Indeed, as the fascist led troops invaded neutral Belgium in August 1914, they proceeded to commit war crimes against Belgian civilians and civilization (none of the troops of any of the democratic allies committed such war crimes). The strategic fact that once (fascist) Germany was the world most powerful regime, it would have attacked the remaining democracies (mostly the British empire and the USA) is also ignored.

Ferguson ignores cultural touches such as when Goering, the father of Goering, was governor of Namibia, he engaged in a deliberate holocaust of the natives. That's another marker of the fascist and racial extremism of the German fascists at the time.

People such as Mr. Ferguson are paid to present fascist extremism as middle of the road (by using "counterfactual" history, if need be). People such as Ferguson and Buchanan, with their fascism denying axiom ("there is no fascism, and they are its prophets, and democracy has no merit"), are further confirmation that we're living in a Dark Age of macro history, in which hard-won knowledge, knowledge won with the death of more than 100 million people, has simply been forgotten.

What are Ferguson and Buchanan after, who, or what do they serve? They serve greed, which is how, and why fascism is often brought up to this world to start with. Indeed greed without democracy to control it, requires fascism to keep on blossom further.

That's how the (Prussia and then) German empire engaged on its slippery slope, of ever growing fascism, that led it to its 1853 until 1945 adventure into Armageddon. The failure occurred from a democracy gap itself closely related to a massive failure of the mind of the nation. There were too many German intellectuals thinkers and artists who, like Wagner, embraced the process of fascization and racial hatred, and too few who, like Nietzsche, deconstructed and denounced it. We do not want to repeat this, so the quacks should be denounced now for what they are: people who are paid, and advance themselves, by promoting fascism.

Such individuals, these creatures of Evil, do not differ in their motivation from Yoo and Bybee lawyers to Evil itself who defined torture as "[physical pain that] MUST be equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death". Short of killing you, Judge Bybee is not torturing you, please note. That's top American legal thinking, new wave. Of this mental trash some of the top judges in the USA are made.

It appears that Judge Bybee was promised an appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest type of judges there is, short of the Supreme Court of the USA. But first (White House Counsel) Gonzales wanted him to do a little bit of dirty work in the Office of Legal Counsel. Of course there was never an explicit deal, but the torture was approved, and the judgeship was granted.

Such people are careerists. They are what the French and British call "arrivistes". Arriving to the top of society is their prime motivation, and obliterates all other considerations, and they organize their perception of possible knowledge just so as to pursue their brutish obsession with themselves, and their power. The average Nazi in the Nazi hierarchy (or that of any fascist state) was an arriviste. When she discovered this, Hannah Arendt uttered her observation about the "banality of Evil". But someone such as Elie Wiesel (who was in residence at Auschwitz) disagrees deeply with her. He thinks there is nothing banal about Evil. I agree with him. I think that what is banal, is to be civilized with the destroyers of civilization, and that is precisely the angle they use to promote themselves, and that dirty work they are the only ones willing to do.

Civilization cannot be banal. Civilization is a most exceptional thing. It is time to strike back. Those of us who are rich enough to have more than a career a la Eichmann, can use their ethical arsenal to pulverize Evil masquerading as banality. It's high time: if you are not going to fight for civilization, civilization will not fight for you.

Patrice Ayme
http://patriceayme.wordpress.com/

Display:
Godwin's law

Godwin's Law (also known as Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an informal adage created by Mike Godwin in 1990. The adage states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

by Sassafras on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 04:46:34 AM EST
European Tribune - Unethical Arrivistes Thrive Under Plutocracy
the adulators of Godwin say: "We don't know much about history

Patrice pre-empted the Godwin call with this sumptuously facile ad hominem. Backed up by a verse from the Bible that has nothing to do with it.

I'm not sure that he's also calling you a "malevolent idiot". Maybe, maybe not.

there were so many flourishes that it's hard to tell.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 05:49:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I more or less took this diary as a strike against those (including me) who have already challenged his rather cavalier overuse of Nazi/holocaust analogy.

For instance here, here, here, here, and here.

But it's so incoherent, it's hard to tell.

by Sassafras on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 07:03:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nazism pretty well, and it turns out it's quite useful. Hitler's boundless admiration for Islam is well known to me, for example.

 

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 08:20:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Sassafras on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 09:01:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did not attack Godwin ad hominem. I attacked Ferguson, Buchanan and the corrupt torture lawyers and judges ad hominem. I did attack those who practice not ever mentioning Hitler's name, as with God in the old Bible.

I am attacking mental obscurantism elevated to a religious style.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 08:25:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your ad hominem was against those you called "adulators of Godwin". Previously you stated

mention Nazism and you have lost whatever debate you were in.

mention the holocaust, and you are a loser

mention Auschwitz, and you have lost the debate, ha ha ha

The inference is clearly that those who object to unnecessary and un-illuminating allusions to Nazism, Hitler, the final solution, etc, "don't know much about history". Worse, you smear them with collusion with Nazism, since you have them call its chief "our Lord Adolf Hitler".

Let me be clear. I think there is every reason and much necessity to be conversant with the history of Nazism and WWII. I find the phenomenon of Holocaust denial dangerous and disturbing. I think we certainly need to be aware of the risk of a fascistic drift in our societies, and I also have no sympathy, any more than anyone else on this forum, for the likes of Ferguson or Buchanan. But it's precisely because these matters are weighty and important that we should not use them in argument outside a well-considered frame in which they are clearly relevant.

Put another way: Nazism, the Holocaust, Auschwitz, are terms that should not be used to intensify a rant, should not be bandied about without historical knowledge, should not be invoked without razor-sharp relevance to the discussion. Too many people were murdered by too many murderers in circumstances that swept away the pillars both of belief in God and of Enlightenment humanism for us to do otherwise. I'm sure you agree.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 03:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
experienced, that refined analogies with Nazism can be highly illuminative, when appropriate. I personally knew Yoo before he got into torture, and I have been struck on how similar, such as word for word, his arguments and those of Fed judge Bybee were to those of notorious Nazis.

And therein the banality of evil as found in careerism.

And as far as Ferguson and Buchanan... Well, it's not holocaust denial, it's denying that anything should have been done about holocausts, because prevention was causative. If we just had all perfectly submitted to fascism, nobody would have got hurt...
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:04:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It has a more general meaning, as I said. It was used many times against me both in person and on the Internet.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 08:10:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.

...but if Godwin

was used many times against me both in person and on the Internet.

then I venture to suggest that you have not understood it.

Comparisons to crimes as great as the Holocaust should not be made lightly.  Anyone who finds themselves in a position where they are being challenged regularly on their use of Nazi analogies needs to consider whether they are using them as sparingly or as judiciously as they should.

by Sassafras on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 08:40:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Word for word.
Fact is Nazis never defended or promoted the usage of torture. They hid for their horrors. It is likely that if the war expanded massively, the USA would use torture on millions rather than just thousands.

Godwin is used massively, as I said. To not talk about how "banal" Nazis were.

Bad idea.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 01:22:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has anyone considered how close the USA came to being an Authoritarian Police State under Republican rule?

  1. Corrupted voter machines without a paper trail to ensure phonied up elections.

  2. Torture prisoners to get them to confess to anything, including connections which got us into the occupation of Iraq for the benefit of the Oil Companies.

  3. What would the current financial crisis look like if McCain had won?  Would we still have the US car companies?  Daily doses of Palin feeding raw meat to the loonies.

Have we dodged the bullet or is the jury still out?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 01:47:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has the voting machines been replaced by reliable systems (like paper ballots)? Has the torturers in charge been punished, or at least been replaced?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 05:27:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People knew very little. Hitler did not come out and say: we will kill all the Jews. OK, he said it to a few, in private, but mostly, implicitly to a page or two, here or there.

If the Nazis had come out and say: WE WILL REINSTATE TORTURE, they would have has a serious problem (with the Germans), so they did not try (personal revelation: had family member tortured by Gestapo, never seen again).

Most of the Nazi iceberg was hidden. Auschwitz was open for Poles in 1939, nobody noticed (they were not supposed to).

I MAINTAIN THAT WHAT WE SEE FROM THE USA RIGHT NOW, THE REFUSAL TO PROSECUTE TORTURE, IS A MORE ALARMING STEP DOWN INTO BARBARITY, IN SOME DIMENSION, THAN ANYTHING THE NAZIS DID.

Although it's true the Nazis tortured, they knew it was wrong enough to hid it. What we have now is an attempt to HABITUATE the USA to the idea of torture. Or it will have that effect,which boils down to the same.

PA  

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:16:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Crackpot Index:

5 points for each word in all capital letters (except for those with defective keyboards).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 07:25:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ferguson ignores cultural touches such as when Goering, the father of Goering, was governor of Namibia, he engaged in a deliberate holocaust of the natives. That's another marker of the fascist and racial extremism of the German fascists at the time.

What?? are you trying to argue that to be a fascist, your father has to be a fascist? or to be a fascist you have to have comitted  a Holocaust in Namibia? Or on the other hand Just Massacred Natives somewhere, In which case I don't think any major first world nation escapes without being called Fascist.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 07:14:01 AM EST
Before WWI and all the elements of further, German fascist organized holocausts were already there. Britain, for example, although it came dangerously close to it, did not quite holocaust the Boers.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 08:13:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Boers were white and noticed in the papers. The Tasmanians on the other hand were black and massacered without mercy.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 05:36:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh and anyone have any idea about the last paragraph?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 07:17:04 AM EST
We need to fight for civilisation. I eagerly await the next diary which I hope will tell me how.
by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 09:18:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's difficult to take in all what is, and make good, nutritious limonade out of it.
I found particularly interesting the rage against me quoting the Qur'an. I had another one with no less than 8% of the Qur'an in it (by word count), but held it back for now, since the bee keeper cannot approach the bees when they are too furious.
The bitter part is that I am extremely against the war in Afghanistan, much more extremely than anybody, but looking at the Qur'an is a crucial part of my reasoning. I want to debunk the idea that NATO is not fighting against Islam.
(I will cut and paste this so the "debunking" gentleman above can see it)
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 01:18:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The bitter part is that I am extremely against the war in Afghanistan, much more extremely than anybody,...

Patirce Ayme

Socrates, if anything did not get involved enough, loud enough, and vehemently enough. That was reproached sternly to him at his trial. His defense was rather meek.

Patrice,

Taken together these quotes illustrate what I think is the heart of the difficulty between most of us on ET and yourself.  You seem to think that the quality of your arguments derives from the fierceness and vehemence of your convictions.  We do not agree.  This has not worked for any of us at any time in our lives.  Any of us who took the tone you assume in a college or university classroom would have quickly been shut down.  Had we persisted, we would likely have been asked to leave the institution, after a friendly chat with an administrator with a background in psychology.

You have read widely.  So have most of us on ET.  But we have perhaps gotten rather different meanings out of reading the same texts.  From the box quote above, what you appear to have taken from the trial of Socrates, as related by Plato, seems to me to miss the point of Socrates' contribution to Greek society and western culture.  I am reminded by this of the story of the conversion of Clovis to Christianity.

Clovis had settled himself and his Franks in Gaul and they were by far the most significant fighting force in the area.  His conversion to Christianity was seen by the bishops as their only hope.  Fortunately, Clovis was all too willing to assume the trappings of civilization.  So the bishops related the story of the ministry of Jesus, his journey to Jerusalem, his trial and his crucifixion.  When the bishops related the story of the crucifixion Clovis demonstrated his fine grasp of the subtleties of Christian theology by exclaiming: "By God, If me and my Franks had been there they would have never done that!"  As they especially needed this particular convert, the bishops praised his fervor and baptized him. I don't know if they ever got him to understand the significance of the Resurrection.  Same story, different understanding.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 3rd, 2009 at 11:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I appreciate your concern about me having never been thrown out of school, to the dismay of all and any institution, as I deserved. I appreciate the friendliness, and the need to see a psychologist, as you kindly point out.

Ah, missing what you call "the point of Socrates' contribution to Greek society and western culture". If I were Socrates, I would not have been happy someone missed "the" point.

I could write 1,000 pages on Socrates. I think I expressed a point of view here on Socrates, not an ultimate truth. There is no ultimate truths, just points of view. In a way that is what Quantum Mechanics say.  

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
There is no ultimate truths, just points of view. In a way that is what Quantum Mechanics say.  
Can we please leave quantum mechanics and general relativity alone when discussing philosophy?

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:31:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Both are crammed with hypotheses of a philosophical nature, and should one fail, they would be false.

Moreover as my colleague Plato pointed out:"That no one comes in if he is no geometer".
It's arrogant and stupid to think we can think better than the Greeks if we start by not knowing more (as Newton pointed out).

Physics and math give a huge arsenal to the philosopher, and the newer the weapons the more powerful.

One of Socrates' greatest flaw was his anti scientific rant. Aristotle on the other hand, single handedly, as far as we known, founded biology.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:48:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:50:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
Physics and math give a huge arsenal to the philosopher, and the newer the weapons the more powerful.
For obfuscation, mostly.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:55:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sokal and al. fired a good shot at people who deserved it. More importantly, though, it's not because one fish is bony with spike that all fishes are bony with spikes.

Basic ideas of 20 C math give ready instruments for philo, all over. Just watch me, hahaha....

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 03:50:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of useful things to the philosopher, I wouldn't put Arithmetic near the top, apart from for counting your change at the bar.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 03:52:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you and melo and kcurie have invented a new literary genre.  What should we call it?  

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:11:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe a good start... (the love/tendency of turning things around). Hey, I got bored with Michelet's history of the Franks (especially after heavy pontificating about it), and simple Quantum Mechanics...
Among other things...
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 08:30:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
Both are crammed with hypotheses of a philosophical nature, and should one fail, they would be false.
What? Here's a couple hundred pages about experiments...

The Confrontation between General Relativity
and Experiment
by Clifford M. Will

The status of experimental tests of general relativity and of theoretical frameworks for analyzing them is reviewed. Einstein's equivalence principle (EEP) is well supported by experiments such as the Eötvös experiment, tests of special relativity, and the gravitational redshift experiment. Ongoing tests of EEP and of the inverse square law are searching for new interactions arising from unification or quantum gravity. Tests of general relativity at the post-Newtonian level have reached high precision, including the light deflection, the Shapiro time delay, the perihelion advance of Mercury, and the Nordtvedt effect in lunar motion. Gravitational wave damping has been detected in an amount that agrees with general relativity to better than half a percent using the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar, and other binary pulsar systems have yielded other tests, especially of strong-field effects. When direct observation of gravitational radiation from astrophysical sources begins, new tests of general relativity will be possible.


Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:59:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
prove veracity of another. True Greek optics fit known facts, but still was completely false. Same for Aristotle's physics.

I think that. although, for our present tech requirements, QM, SR and GR are good enough (="true"), they will prove "false" in the fullness of time.

Little details, you know...

Anyway, although GR is crucial for GPS, it does not say much, did I sneered in a way that is making sure somebody at ET will insist I should not have been allowed next to kindergarden...

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 03:57:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're saying that all of Greek optics was Incorrect? Wrong. Euclids geometric optics is still the basis of much of our basic understanding of the passage of light.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 10:07:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
eyes emitted the light, instead of receiving it. Seems pretty wrong to me.

They had a rough zero order understanding of light, but just half closing their eyelashes looking towards any bright light would have showed to them they were wrong in the detail. Moreover diffraction is pretty much everywhere.

So it looked sort of right, but was not at all.

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 01:00:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It took until the 11th century (and Al Hazen had to spend 10 years in house arrest) to actually discover those "obvious" facts... So they can't be that obvious. Especially if you believe, like "your colleague Plato", in the power of pure thought to reach truth.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 02:28:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aristotle, his student believed in empirism... Thanks for the reminder that thinkers under Islam (when it was not too obnoxious yet) made some crucial contributions...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 02:53:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So you pick the one detail they had wrong, and conclude it was all incorrect?

 thats not very sound thinking.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 07:44:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 08:37:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the mind littery boggles at

Physics and math give a huge arsenal to the philosopher, and the newer the weapons the more powerful.

And that single handedness about Aristotle founding of Biology leaves out Plato, and the Hypocratic scholars?  Id accept it if you just said Zoology but Biology? No you're wrong there.

Oh and How is Plato a colleague? (Socrates has never struck me as particularly anti-scientific either, and I'm sure I would have noticed)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 10:05:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
lifeforms.

zoology = logos of animals

biology = logic of life (word fabricated by research biology professor Lamarck, the true Darwin, hahahaha, I am bracing for the screaming of the Beotians...)

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:01:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taxonomy of animals, ok, Taxonomic Biology is usually correctly attributed to Aristotle but there is a bit more to Biology than that, and those things come from earlier works by other people

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 10:10:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 08:38:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dislike the term "paradigm shift" - particularly when talking with philosophers - but there really is a fundamental epistemological difference between biology before the mid-19th century and after the mid-19th century.

Before that time, biology - such as it was and what there was of it - was oriented mainly towards empirical studies - Linnaeus is the "paradigmatic" example. After the mid-19th century, biology had acquired sufficiently refined data, and sufficiently sophisticated models, that it could begin to construct proper theories.

The significance of this difference cannot be overstated. It is the difference between being able to put a newly discovered animal in roughly the right place in its family tree, and being able to predict what traits a critter has by looking at its position in the family tree.

This shift is usually credited mainly to Darwin, and he did indeed play an important role. But the fundamental shift was in the methods, models, quality and quantity of available data - all things which go far beyond any individual scientist.

A similar shift occurred in physics around the time of Galileo and Kepler, and in chemistry around the time of Dalton.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 07:49:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lamarck, besides inventing the word biology, proved by studying clams that earth was million years old, and clams evolved. Relative to this Darwin's breakthrough was derivative, as Wallace never failed to remind the world.  

The breakthrough in Physics was not made by Newton, Galileo, Kepler or Copernic, but by a super thinker that the Christian church successfully crushed more than a century after his death. He had proven Aristotle wrong.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 08:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But surely Lamarcks complexifying force and his insistance on denying chemistry and sticking with Alchemical elements just makes his evolutionary theory so much rubbish, and not the breakthrough that is claimed?

And who are you going to suggest is the Church supressed super thinker?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 09:35:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Evolution was indeed discussed by some people before Darwin (not just Lamarck). But Darwin's achievement was to explain (and prove) the mechanism by which evolution took place. I notice you haven't made any such claim about Lamarck.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 7th, 2009 at 02:11:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You will note that I did not include Newton with Galileo and Kepler. I did so for good reason: He is far later than the latter two in time and the scope and nature of his work differs considerably. Whether one includes Copernicus with Kepler and Galileo is a matter of taste, I suppose.

Darwin, by the way, worked in a Malthusian picture, not a Larmarkian.

But it is precisely this kind of discussion of "great people and their revolutionary ideas" that I wanted to get away from by not naming any names until the very end of the comment. Science is not about the people involved. If Darwin hadn't formulated the theory of evolution, someone else would have (Wallace actually did...).

There are structural reasons for the birth of modern biology and chemistry in the 19th century - increased availability of data, decreased political control of science, advances in mathematics, increasing sophistication of models, the capability to produce experimental equipment industrially and so on and so forth and et cetera.

And breakthroughs in science are modest, gradual things. The "revolutionary leap of genius" does not, as a rule, exist. There are exceptions (it may be argued that general relativity is one such exception), but they are few and far between.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu May 7th, 2009 at 03:05:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
it may be argued that general relativity is one such exception
And then again, it may be argued that it is not. Gauss and particularly Riemann had been inching towards a geometrical interpretation of gravitation, but they didn't know about special relativity...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu May 7th, 2009 at 03:52:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But it is so much fun!  Can we still use quantum mechanics when talking about cat boxes at least?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 10:49:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't object to wholly unserious uses of physics...

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 11:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Schrodinger's cat box?  Entangled cat scat?  Diary please.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 11:58:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and you just know there was a cat owner involved in string theory.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 12:01:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I am sure to get comments about being not just ignorant, but frankly insane...

The chimp is inconceivable to the termite, and from this incomprehension, the chimp lives well...

PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:07:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you been free-basing bees?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 04:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well theres some pretty large assumptions in there.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 10:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Patrice Ayme:
The chimp is inconceivable to the termite, and from this incomprehension, the chimp lives well...
Until the chimp meets the marabunta.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 09:00:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Crackpot Index:

9) 10 points for each claim that quantum mechanics is fundamentally misguided (without good evidence).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 07:30:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The usual Xtian interpretation is that the Catholics manipulated the Franks. at least, that is what the Franks wanted all to believe. My evidence, though, is opposite.

And indeed, the quote above can have a completely different interpretation, namely that imperator and Consul Clovis, head of the roman army, was implictly threatening the bishops. And by the way, Childeric, Clovis' Dad was also a Roman imperator.

And Constantine conquered the empire with Franks who did not bother to convert to Christianity, for the simple reason they opposed it. You may think I am an idiot (at least you talk like it), but Clovis was no idiot. He just played one for the likes of you.

I am bracing for you to tell me I should no have attended primary school either, and I thank you very much for talking exquisitly on "the heart of the difficulty between most of us on ET and me.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Mon May 4th, 2009 at 09:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry I m a bit slow at this. I ve read the diary by P.A. and although its a bit ofa rant I felt I had to say something in its defence. Although there is no single or clear definition of Fascism there are certain markers that exist. Typically nationalistic, racist, authoritarian say. I agree that invocations of the Holocaust are unhelpful but it is quite difficult today to draw peoples attention to the creeping fascism of our period which could culminate in something pretty nasty. I was struck by the similarities between the events in Gaza and in Ceylon where in effect areas are sealed off Ghetto-style and mayhem proceeds - in fact the total exclusion of all journalists, reporting, aid agencies and NGOs. This is similar to the management of news during the Iraq war where jounalists were embedded in the armed forces units. So unlike the reporting from Vietnam. Anyway I think P.A.s concerns are real if a little over-stated and should not be easily dismissed.
by rowland on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 09:46:06 AM EST
hello rowland. Welcome to ET and thank you for your thoughtful comment.

We are aware of the issues you raise, and if you re-read the threads you will find no deniers of or apologists for the worrying creep of authoritarianism.  It is precisely because we take these things seriously that some of us so dislike to see them trivialised.

I hope that you will stay around and read a few more diaries. I look forward to reading your future comments, and, if you're feeling brave, maybe your own diary?  :)

by Sassafras on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 01:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
killed (probably) around a million people, and the Bushists may have been prevented to attack Iran only by enough screaming.

I lost basically all my American friends because of my strident opposition to the invasion of Iraq, and I view the BANALIZATION of torture as the sort of acts the Nazis piled up.

Except the Nazis did not dare banalize torture.

The Nazis did a long banalization of their oppression of the Jews before getting into outright extermination. The usage of robots to kill Pakistanis seems to me a new step in epic inhumanity.

My family was involved in the holocaust on the victim/resistance side, and I was always struck by what I view as their humility, while, at the same time they made clear to me that Nazism represented an evil normal people can't understand, but which was made possible by not denouncing it stridently enough in a timely manner.  

I will not tolerate to be silenced when I see the exact same mental patterns at work again. God-win or no God-win.

For me it's man who wins, not god (Gott mit Uns on the SS, soon to be followed by "America Under God")
PA

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 03:12:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"I lost basically all my American friends because of my strident opposition to the invasion of Iraq"

I doubt that's why, if this statement is even true.  Unless all of your friends were neo-cons or Republicans.  Many Americans opposed the invasion of Iraq.  And not just fringe lefties.  


"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 03:22:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or just a plain liar? And did you live in the USA in 2003?
U seem to love ad hominem.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 08:44:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I will not tolerate to be silenced when I see the exact same mental patterns at work again.

No one is attempting or has attempted to silence you here. Just stop ranting, overdramatizing, and making out you're a victim. If you would also stop arrogantly implying that you are a person of superior intelligence and knowledge to those you wish to address, that would be just fine. Thank you.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 04:14:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are numerous comments and diaries across ET that discuss the rise of the far right across Europe, the concerns we have about neo-nazism, the blind apathy that is allowing these Parties to gain seats.  These extremists are becoming mainstream in some countries.  We aren't silencing discussion on that.

If you took the time to browse around ET you would also see heavy criticism of the US and UK and other countries that have allowed torture, you would see discussion on Palestine.  We aren't silencing that either.

Nor are we silencing you, but your way of presenting your arguments is not doing you any favours. People won't want to discuss and debate the issues with you when you are forcefully throwing your opinions out and asserting your superiority over the rest of us whose minds you seem to think aren't evolved or enlightened enough to understand how profound your diaries are.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 04:52:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sadly, I think that this person has a corrupted personality and rejoices in the attention given to his distorted and obsessive views. Were he an acquaintance of mine, I would suggest counseling. All I read is self-hatred.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
this person ... rejoices in the attention given to his distorted and obsessive views

Therefore,



Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:08:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Therefore you are anti-leprechaun?  :)

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky
by poemless on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:14:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My reaction to that is not banning, but inattention.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The sign means "do not feed the troll".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:19:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I see a "No hobo leprechauns allowed" sign.  

What's it being fed, flounder on a stick?

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:23:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Roast chicken on a saucer.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:24:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I see it now!  

Well, I suppose this just goes to show you that what some people interpret as "feeding the troll", others interpret as "hobo leprechaun with a flounder."

"Talking nonsense is the sole privilege mankind possesses over the other organisms." -Dostoevsky

by poemless on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is hobophobia at its worst...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:38:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Edna knows



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:55:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"embedding disabled by request"

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 06:10:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"a hobo suit, dahling. hobo suit."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 07:07:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe you a friend of Bush? Or Bush wars killed just a few? Maybe not 700,000 in Iraq, but like much less as the WH says (until it says differently)?

Anyway, agreed, counselling is good, it's just what I do.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 08:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except the Nazis did not dare banalize torture.

So all the writers who have discussed the Banality of torture under the Nazis have been wrong?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 05:30:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Officializing is banalizing. Gestapo was torturing enormously the likes of my own family, but i was not OFFICIAL.

By saying ain't a big deal, we just don't do it, Obama is banalizing it. OK, sorry, Bush said exactly the same before...

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/

by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 08:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wrong, it was official

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed May 6th, 2009 at 11:20:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would point out that any new affirmation is an assault against Common Wisdom, and risks being overstated, or viewed as such. So it is always with new mental territory. Initially people would assume that it is the normal babble they expect, so one has to raise one's voice. It happens even with dogs and parrots.

Patrice Ayme Patriceayme.com Patriceayme.wordpress.com http://tyranosopher.blogspot.com/
by Patrice Ayme on Tue May 5th, 2009 at 03:17:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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