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bjkeefe
05-13-2008, 02:54 PM
Nominate some new faces in this thread. (Seems like we had one of these started already, but I can't find it.)

bjkeefe
05-13-2008, 02:56 PM
If this isn't a direct challenge to Bob Wright (http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2008/05/chess-psychoanalysis-evolutionary.html), I don't know what is.

I've heard this guy on The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe. He's good.

Bloggin' Noggin
05-13-2008, 03:28 PM
I think Josh Knobe should get Kwame Anthony Appiah to come on Bloggingheads some time. They could talk about experimental ethics, since that's Josh's schtick. Then Appiah could come back and talk about liberalism or multiculturalism or identity politics with a particularly thoughtful conservative another time.

I wasn't happy with Cass Sunstein's fuddy-duddy position on the web, but I'd love to see him come back and talk about originalism or Obama (whom he knows and supports) -- or Roosevelt's "Second Bill of Rights" or just about anything.

Richard Posner would be pretty interesting -- maybe pair him with Sunstein?

rgajria
05-14-2008, 01:26 AM
Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone
The ladies from Feministing.com
Neil Gabler
Professor Dave Berkman - (Retired)University of Wisconsin Journalism Professor and media critic
Amardeep Singh, Assistant Professor of English at Lehigh University
Prem Panicker of Rediff, India Abroad, and Smoke Signals
Amit Varma of India Uncut
Krishna Tunga of Cricket Nirvana
Mary Katherine Hamm
Josh Marshall
Jeff Jarvis

That should do it for now.

rgajria
05-14-2008, 01:27 AM
Amy Holmes
Any two blokes discussing music.

bjkeefe
05-14-2008, 01:42 AM
rgajria:

I don't know most of your nominees, but I certainly second the votes for Matt Taibbi and for someone from Feministing.

Josh Marshall was on BH.tv before, once I think, long ago. He was good, and I'd like to see him back.

AemJeff
05-14-2008, 12:10 PM
I'll vote for Dawkins or John Derbyshire arguing against ID. I'll defer to others to choose a sufficiently sophisticated representative for the other side.

For that matter, how about another appearance of P. Z. Myers?

bjkeefe
05-14-2008, 01:46 PM
I'll vote for Dawkins or John Derbyshire arguing against ID. I'll defer to others to choose a sufficiently sophisticated representative for the other side.

That'd be fun, but Dawkins won't do it (http://richarddawkins.net/article,119,Why-I-Wont-Debate-Creationists,Richard-Dawkins). Be nice to have Derb on -- a rightwinger that lefties would be cheering for. I have my doubts that there is such a thing as a sophisticated representative for the IDiots, but maybe we could find a sophistic one.

For that matter, how about another appearance of P. Z. Myers?

I'm all for that. Meantime, did you catch this (http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/05/nonprophet_podcast.php)? It's not a debate -- it's more along the lines of inviting a star preacher to give a guest sermon, and I was not impressed by the congregation, but PZ has a lot of interesting things to say.

AemJeff
05-14-2008, 05:39 PM
That'd be fun, but I have my doubts that there is such a thing as a sophisticated representative for the IDiots, but maybe we could find a sophistic one.

<laughing!>

Thanks for the non-prophet link - I hadn't caught it.

uncle ebeneezer
05-15-2008, 02:22 PM
Not new guys, but a pairing I'd love to see would be Bob Wright and Matt Lee. Bob always takes such an interest in the UN and I think he could ask Matt some great, bigger picture questions.

uncle ebeneezer
05-15-2008, 02:26 PM
Pretty much anybody from Tomdispatch.com:

Tom Englehart
Chalmers Johnson
Mike Davis etc., etc.

can't think of too many conservatives (I'll leave that to rep commentors) but I'd love to hear Christopher Buckley (author, son of William F) interviewed next time he's got a book out.

Steven Pinker would be pretty high on my wish-list too. He does lots of interviews, but I think he would really be in his element on Sci-Sat or with an interview with Bob.

bjkeefe
05-15-2008, 02:35 PM
uncle eb:

can't think of too many conservatives ...

I'd like to hear from James Poulos. I'm not sure if he's a conservative's conservative, but he strikes me as fairly conservative/libertarian, at first read, anyway. He's a co-blogger on The American Scene (http://theamericanscene.com/), along with Reihan Salam and others. A couple of other people on that site strike me as intelligent, too, but I've only just started reading it.

Not a conservative, but here's another blogger I just started reading: Ta-Nehsi Coates (http://www.ta-nehisi.com/). He's an outer member of The Atlantic mafia, I think. I wouldn't mind hearing from him, albeit again based on only a couple weeks' worth of reading.

rgajria
05-17-2008, 06:18 AM
Kevin James of Hardball Fame >)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1wSZBTAXRs

rgajria
05-17-2008, 06:20 AM
Christopher Buckley

Yes, Yes, Yes

There was a priest Mr. Wright had interviewed for meaningoflife.tv , That guy should be on too.

look
05-17-2008, 02:53 PM
From his small apartment -- operations core for Inner City Press -- near Arthur Avenue, he crunches lending data and publishes, as he did last week, analyses of racial and class disparities in bank lending. His passionate advocacy has stalled bank mergers across the nation.

Two years ago, his challenge persuaded Citigroup's CitiFinancial Credit Co. to pay a $70 million fine to settle Federal Reserve charges of impropriety in ladling out high-interest loans to the poor. That same year, J.P. Morgan planned to merge with Bank One. That stalled when Lee discovered Bank One financed usurious loans.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/16/AR2006041600841.html

I nominate Megan McArdle to conduct the interview.

bjkeefe
05-17-2008, 03:12 PM
Weird how that article doesn't say anything about his UN coverage.

graz
05-17-2008, 03:32 PM
Weird how that article doesn't say anything about his UN coverage.
There is this snippet tucked in there.
"Of late, he obtained a press desk at the United Nations, where he writes about atrocities in Uzbekistan and investigates strange doings at a multinational bank branch in a breakaway region of Georgia."



I hope Bob recognizes that we have a star in our midst... Par for the course I guess.

bjkeefe
05-17-2008, 05:35 PM
There is this snippet tucked in there.

Huh. Can't believe I read right over that. Twice. Oh well. And thanks.

I hope Bob recognizes that we have a star in our midst... Par for the course I guess.

Yeah. That article certainly boosted my impression of him. I thought he was pretty cool for doing what he does just at the UN. Add in all this other stuff ... wow.

Thanks for the link, look.

look
05-18-2008, 01:52 AM
Huh. Can't believe I read right over that. Twice. Oh well. And thanks.



Yeah. That article certainly boosted my impression of him. I thought he was pretty cool for doing what he does just at the UN. Add in all this other stuff ... wow.

Thanks for the link, look.
y/w

:)

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 03:55 PM
rgajria:

I don't know most of your nominees, but I certainly second the votes for Matt Taibbi and for someone from Feministing.

Matt Taibbi? Ugh. Have you ever seen the guy on Colbert or Bill Maher's show? Taibbi in front of a camera is like a deer caught in headlights. I think his writing generally sucks, but he's way, waaay better on the printed page than in an extemporaneous setting.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 04:12 PM
Matt Taibbi? Ugh. Have you ever seen the guy on Colbert or Bill Maher's show? Taibbi in front of a camera is like a deer caught in headlights. I think his writing generally sucks, but he's way, waaay better on the printed page than in an extemporaneous setting.

That is not at all my impression of him, based on seeing him several times on Maher's show. I think his writing generally rocks.

We're agreed that his writing is better than his on-camera persona.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 04:18 PM
1. Daniel Dennett -- Noted philosopher and athiest, engaging speaker. Would be swell on an episode of Science Saturday or Free Will. Was once on Bob's Meaning of Life show.

2. John Derbyshire -- Old-style conservative columnist with interesting perspective on cultural issues. Would be a nice counterbalance to the almost uniform and unquestioning support for social tolerance and diversity among current diavloggers. Would surely provoke strong reaction from audience and fellow diavlog participant.

3. A conservative lawyer to discuss torture, terrorist surveillance, Geneva Conventions, etc. (Jack Goldsmith? David Rivkin?) -- The diavloggers who regularly discuss these issues come from the left/center-left (Balkin, Glenwald, Brookes), and it would be nice to hear the perspective of the other side.

4. Christopher Hitchens -- Always great viewing, preferably when paired with someone who disagrees with him.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 04:38 PM
Elvis:

I second all your nominations. Good choices.

I point out that for #3, we've had Eugene Volokh on. Which is not to say that I consider that box permanently checked.

look
05-20-2008, 04:44 PM
2. John Derbyshire -- Old-style conservative columnist with interesting perspective on cultural issues. Would be a nice counterbalance to the almost uniform and unquestioning support for social tolerance and diversity among current diavloggers. Would surely provoke strong reaction from audience and fellow diavlog participant.

TSE, I don't read NRO, but the two items I've come across about Derbyshire are that he questioned the bravery of the massacred VA Tech students (quite soon after the event, to boot), and that Linda Chavez complained that he seems to find it amusing to call Mexicans Aztecs.

Would you mind linking to some pieces of his you especially liked?

I would love to see Hitchens on, too, but I wonder if he's too big-time for that. I just hope he wouldn't discuss religion.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 04:51 PM
TSE, I don't read NRO, but the two items I've come across about Derbyshire are that he questioned the bravery of the massacred VA Tech students (quite soon after the event, to boot), and that Linda Chavez complained that he seems to find it amusing to call Mexicans Aztecs.

Would you mind linking to some pieces of his you especially liked?

I would love to see Hitchens on, too, but I wonder if he's too big-time for that. I just hope he wouldn't discuss religion.

Derbyshire is a special case. He'll go way out on a limb with an incredible insensitivity to anyone, on occasion. He often gets accused of racism - a charge he's denied, in my opinion plausibly. He's also a graceful writer with a towering intellect, and a sense of humor. And when he turns his gifts away from the dark side he can be a real warrior for truth. He, with maybe Heather MacDonald, fights a lonely campaign against ID against most of the rest of the Right.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 04:55 PM
Elvis:

I second all your nominations. Good choices.

I point out that for #3, we've had Eugene Volokh on. Which is not to say that I consider that box permanently checked.

Thanks! Volokh has been on bloggingheads once, and then to discuss constitutional issues relating to religion and the right to bear arms with Jack Balkin.

I'm more interesting in hearing the conservative legal perspective with respect to wartime issues. The diavloggers have been uniform in taking an anti-Administration position, but there is in fact another side to the debate.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 05:22 PM
Thanks! Volokh has been on bloggingheads once, and then to discuss constitutional issues relating to religion and the right to bear arms with Jack Balkin.

I'm more interesting in hearing the conservative legal perspective with respect to wartime issues. The diavloggers have been uniform in taking an anti-Administration position, but there is in fact another side to the debate.

I could swear that we've had a torture-related legal debate, with one of the two diavloggers taking what I'd call a conservative stance. Didn't know the guy beforehand, so his name isn't coming back to me ... oh, wait, Teh Google!

Ah, yes.

I don't know if you consider Eric Posner a conservative or not, but this diavlog (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/8533) with Jack Balkin seems to be what you're asking for. As I remember it, torture was one of the debate topics, and there were other war-related issues discussed, IIRC.

Posner has been on two other (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10292) times (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/7468), as well, another episode with Balkin and one with Heather Hurlbert.

Again, I am not saying the issues you're interested in have been settled. Just referring you to those diavlogs in case you missed them.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 05:30 PM
I second AemJeff's defense of the Derb, at least as far as the intelligence regarding IDiots goes. Read this (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NzkzMzk3OGJkNjJkM2YyZjJjYjlkMzM5NjBjY2FmZDQ=) (h/t AemJeff) and this (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZGYwMzdjOWRmNGRhOWQ4MTQyZDMxNjNhYTU1YTE5Njk=) to get a taste.

I can't comment on his possible racism. AemJeff: got a link to his defense?

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 05:30 PM
Agreed with AemJeff. I think Derbyshire clearly fashions his writing in the style of Evelyn Waugh, a famously mean-spirited yet funny British author. If you accept that Derbyshire's pose is at least partially a gimmick, it may make it easier to swallow, even if you may still cringe at the occassional article (like why this one (http://www.nationalreview.com/derbyshire/derbyshire021501.shtml) about his hatred for Chelsea Clinton). It may also help if you believe that Derbyshire's tone is somewhat self-effacing -- he wants you to dislike him a little bit.

For examples of the more thought-provoking side of Derbyshire, check out his negative review (http://www.newenglishreview.org/custpage.cfm?frm=3190&sec_id=3190) of Ramesh Ponnuru's anti-abortion polemic, The Party of Death, or his articles (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OGM1ZjEyOWQwNzkwMTZkNGY3NjhiNzBiYWVkNmE4ODg=&w=MA==) on race. I certainly don't agree with everything the man believes in, but I think it's worthwhile for intellectual discourse to have a person like him around.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-20-2008, 05:35 PM
Thanks for the links. I now remember watching those and being rather dissatisfied, because Posner's entire argument in each is based on a pragmatic view that Bush broke the law, but it needed to be broken. That's a decent secondary argument, but it would be nice to have a conservative actually argue as to whether anything we've done actually breaks the law in the first place. I've read plenty who make that argument (in my opinion, convincingly with respect to some issues), and I'd like to hear them debate some of our liberal diavloggers on these issues.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 05:45 PM
I think this blog post (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTEzZGViYzAyZjdjZmFhMjdmZGJlZTFiMWRkNTE1YzM=) from the The Corner is a pretty important factor in any exegesis of Derb's writings on race. He definitely doesn't have a liberal's kind of default view of race, but I think it's an easily defensible point of view.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 05:47 PM
Elvis:

Good recommendations. Thanks. And yeah, that Chelsea Clinton piece was pretty bad, to the extent that I read it.

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 05:51 PM
Thanks for the links. I now remember watching those and being rather dissatisfied, because Posner's entire argument in each is based on a pragmatic view that Bush broke the law, but it needed to be broken. That's a decent secondary argument, but it would be nice to have a conservative actually argue as to whether anything we've done actually breaks the law in the first place. I've read plenty who make that argument (in my opinion, convincingly with respect to some issues), and I'd like to hear them debate some of our liberal diavloggers on these issues.

Huh. I haven't come across anything that attempts to defend torture, except in the pragmatic sense that you attribute to Posner or by arguing that specific acts aren't really torture. So you're saying that there is a point of view out there that says torture is legal? (I do remember reading Dershowitz's argument that it should be.)

bjkeefe
05-20-2008, 06:17 PM
I think this blog post (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTEzZGViYzAyZjdjZmFhMjdmZGJlZTFiMWRkNTE1YzM=) from the The Corner is a pretty important factor in any exegesis of Derb's writings on race. He definitely doesn't have a liberal's kind of default view of race, but I think it's an easily defensible point of view.

Thanks. An interesting post.

I don't know that it counts as a complete defense, given some other things I've seen pointed out in his writing, but he does at least convey an attitude different from most outright racists.

AemJeff
05-20-2008, 09:03 PM
I'd agree that it's not a complete defense. It does provide an argument, a place to stand from which he make that case.

AemJeff
05-21-2008, 12:10 PM
Just to be clear about the case I'm trying make, here. I don't think that Derbyshire would ever feel the need to make a clear declaration on this matter. I actually believe he'd find that somewhat beneath his dignity - or maybe, as Elvis suggests (and I concur) would see it as breaking character. So, and this is one of the reasons I enjoy his output, there's no choice but to look to indirect reference, to infer the framing. It's also true that I've made the case that Charles Murray's magnum opus (http://www.amazon.com/Bell-Curve-Intelligence-Structure-Paperbacks/dp/0684824299/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1211385130&sr=8-1) is uncomfortably close to the line. Derbyshire's admiration for the man and the book leave me open to a charge of inconsistency. Then again, my assessment of Murray is open to question (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTM4MjJkYmNhMjM5MjQ1YzVhNzhjMTE3NzQ1ZWI4MjU=), as well. Murray took a lot of heat (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTVmYmY5NGYxNGNmODQyNTMxMjYxNGMwYTI3MTAyZTk=) for his position on Obama's speech in March.

bjkeefe
05-21-2008, 12:27 PM
AemJeff:

Thanks for the link to the Murray piece. Interesting. I'm glad at least one part of his brain works properly. His closing bit about Obama's liberalism and having "learned nothing from the 1960s," especially in light of what the last eight years have shown, makes me think he's still got some serious blind spots, though. Or maybe he just threw that in there because he knows which side his bread is buttered on.

I take your point about Derb and it not being in his character to make a comprehensive declaration on what he thinks about racial issues. I have nothing profound to say in response.

uncle ebeneezer
05-21-2008, 01:02 PM
Thus, did you ever read the little mini-feud with Bob that ensued from Dennett's appearance on Meaningoflife? It was pretty entertaining. Google Bob Wright Dan Dennett Feud and I think you'll find it. Two incredible minds going at it to the point where frankly, I began to lose sight of the original points of argument. Definitely worth a read. --Uncle Eb

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-21-2008, 01:49 PM
Uncle Eb:

I forgot all about it until you mentioned it. Re-reading it, I can see why it slipped my mind -- that was the dullest, most mind-numbing debate I've ever witnessed. Maybe it's because I don't think off-the-cuff answers to questions in a conversation should be treated the same way as carefully though-out positions taken in written books or articles, but it seemed to me that Bob was making way to big an issue out of Dennett's "concession."

jh in sd
05-21-2008, 05:50 PM
I'd like to see Richard John Neuhaus discussing bioethics. Also, I've thought it might be fun to have an occasional fine arts episode. Roger Kimball has written a book entitled, The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but it sounds like a fascinating topic of discussion.

graz
05-22-2008, 12:22 AM
jh, yes to some fine arts . Also, a food ethicist like Michael Pollan or Mark Bittman paired with a more industrial food/agri-business rep.

look
05-22-2008, 01:18 AM
TSE, Jeff, Brendan, thanks for the thoughts and links. I see what you mean. Besides the Bell Curve issue, I'd like to hear him expound on the case for Conservatism. His Waugh quote,
[Kipling] was a conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms.
reminded me of a short book review I'd read on The Wheel of Empire, by Alan Sandison.
That’s the message of Alan Sandison’s The Wheel of Empire, which looks at the works of the four greatest novelists of imperial themes—Kipling, Buchan, Conrad, and Haggard. Sandison argues that these writers weren’t swaggering expansionists, but rather anxious soothsayers, predicting all that could go wrong as the 19th century gave way to the 20th. They feared the breaking-down of the old order and the new voices of emotion and disruption (Nietzsche, Treitschke, Freud, the navy leagues, the Harmsworth press, the social Darwinists, the socialists). If you read their works carefully, Sandison argues, you come to understand that these writers emphasized honor and duty and steadfastness not to advance empire, but to preserve order in a fatefully flawed world. Under the thin crust of civilization, Buchan noted, the primal forces were muttering and assembling. To deter their dread efforts, it was vital that young Britons maintain the ramparts. That those ramparts would fall only underscores the delicacy and difficulty of the task.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200801/imperial-books

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 06:10 AM
look:

I have some sympathy for such attitudes. I do agree that our way of life needs to be defended. On the other hand, excessive insistence that things remain exactly the same as they are right now implies that our way of life cannot be improved, and I certainly reject that attitude. I would also say that it is almost invariably the case that efforts to maintain the status quo, when carried on long enough, work directly against the ideals of what one is trying to preserve. I am thinking here of the perennial temptations of trading off domestic security for liberty, and expanding by force a particular viewpoint with the excuse that it is necessary for defending that status quo.

look
05-22-2008, 03:37 PM
look:

I have some sympathy for such attitudes. I do agree that our way of life needs to be defended. On the other hand, excessive insistence that things remain exactly the same as they are right now implies that our way of life cannot be improved, and I certainly reject that attitude. I would also say that it is almost invariably the case that efforts to maintain the status quo, when carried on long enough, work directly against the ideals of what one is trying to preserve. I am thinking here of the perennial temptations of trading off domestic security for liberty, and expanding by force a particular viewpoint with the excuse that it is necessary for defending that status quo.
Brendan, I'm thinking more along the lines of cultural dissolution, for example, the current rage for slasher/cannibal/amputation movies, not to mention first person shooter games, etc. I honestly don't want to debate these, but I'm thinking more along the lines of a quote I heard attributed to TS Eliot (paraphrase) 'a society may eventually become so liberal that it crawls up its own backside.'

Happily, the discussion, for me, goes the other way when discussing things like abortion and birth control. I'm looking optimistically ahead to the time when pregnancies are nipped in the bud routinely, so as to render the arguments about second and third trimester abortions moot, for the most part.

But I would be very interested to hear Derbyshire expound upon his thoughts relating to his Waugh quote above.

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 03:53 PM
Brendan, I'm thinking more along the lines of cultural dissolution, for example, the current rage for slasher/cannibal/amputation movies, not to mention first person shooter games, etc. I honestly don't want to debate these, but I'm thinking more along the lines of a quote I heard attributed to TS Eliot (paraphrase) 'a society may eventually become so liberal that it crawls up its own backside.'

There's certainly something to that, and I won't debate you at length about it. I just want to say that no one is compelled to participate in these activities, and it strikes me that those who rail against them the most brand themselves the "family values" crowd. So I say to them: take care of your own families and stop worrying about mine. And as far as the effects of movies on society go, I think Expelled is far more harmful than Hannibal.

I am of course completely with you on the abortion and birth control issues.

look
05-22-2008, 04:33 PM
I just want to say that no one is compelled to participate in these activities, and it strikes me that those who rail against them the most brand themselves the "family values" crowd. So I say to them: take care of your own families and stop worrying about mine.
I find your statement dismissive, as I don't brand myself one of the family-values crowd, and I'm curious why you would address 'them' instead of me. As I said earlier, I consider this issue a matter of societal dissolution, and think it worthy of discussion to consider the millions of teens and young adults exposed to this sort of thing, and the long-term effects it could have on their psyches and our society.

And as far as the effects of movies on society go, I think Expelled is far more harmful than Hannibal.
I don't think so, but that's irrelevant to the topic at hand. The last word is to you, if you wish.

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 05:58 PM
look:

I find your statement dismissive, as I don't brand myself one of the family-values crowd, and I'm curious why you would address 'them' instead of me.

The second part answers the first, doesn't it?

As I said earlier, I consider this issue a matter of societal dissolution, and think it worthy of discussion to consider the millions of teens and young adults exposed to this sort of thing, and the long-term effects it could have on their psyches and our society.

I think we already are, and often at tedious length. I'm happy to accept age restrictions and I support efforts to expose kids to alternate forms of entertainment and to work to educate them and make them more sensitive and aware. I don't know how much more we can do without risking what I'd consider censorship that favors one group's tastes over another's. I am also unconvinced that there is that much of a risk, in any case. I've done a fair amount of reading in this area, and the hypothesis that violent movies and games adversely affect children is not often demonstrated.

And as far as the effects of movies on society go, I think Expelled is far more harmful than Hannibal.

I don't think so, but that's irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I don't see why it's irrelevant. I think it speaks right to the issue at hand -- who gets to decide what is "good" or "bad" for our society, and/or our children? As is clear, you and I can't even agree about one movie compared to another. How could we hope to agree upon anything more general? How could lots of others added to the discussion also agree?

I think most of us can agree on some limitations, particularly as we move to the extremes. But there is a whole mess of other stuff in a big gray area, and everyone's boundaries are different. That's why I'm suspicious every time someone starts talking about needing to clean up society, or to protect the children, or whatever -- there's an implicit assumption that there exists some privileged point of view that can set the standards, but it really turns out that everyone thinks he or she holds that position.

look
05-22-2008, 07:21 PM
The second part answers the first, doesn't it?
In case I wasn't clear enough, in the future please address me, and not some imaginary audience.

there's an implicit assumption that there exists some privileged point of view that can set the standards, but it really turns out that everyone thinks he or she holds that position.
That is a point I would like to hear Derbyshire to address.

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 07:29 PM
In case I wasn't clear enough, in the future please address me, and not some imaginary audience.

Sorry to have offended you, but you were talking about all of society. I was pointing out that one part of society behaves in a certain way that affects the process, while noting that I don't consider you part of that group.

But okay, in the future, I'll bear your request in mind.

That is a point I would like to hear Derbyshire to address.

Me, too.

look
05-22-2008, 07:59 PM
Sorry to have offended you, but you were talking about all of society.
Yes, and I felt you took it as an opportunity to tell family-valuers to suck it up ("take care of your own families and stop worrying about mine"), when my over-arching concern is for all of society. It won't do a hell of a lot of good for the family-valuers to shelter their children if, in say 50 years, we've become an even more violent society than we are now, and that's pretty violent. That is, it will be dangerous for your grand-kids, my grand-kids, and their grand-kids. I think dangerous appetites are being developed. How many snuff-films were there 20 years ago? How popular will they be in 20 years? How safe will society be in general, and for women in particular?

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 08:46 PM
Yes, and I felt you took it as an opportunity to tell family-valuers to suck it up ("take care of your own families and stop worrying about mine"), when my over-arching concern is for all of society. It won't do a hell of a lot of good for the family-valuers to shelter their children if, in say 50 years, we've become an even more violent society than we are now, and that's pretty violent. That is, it will be dangerous for your grand-kids, my grand-kids, and their grand-kids. I think dangerous appetites are being developed. How many snuff-films were there 20 years ago? How popular will they be in 20 years? How safe will society be in general, and for women in particular?

It's hard to be against the idea that you're worried about all of society, but I am. Since you don't like me to speak of abstract groups, I will say it to you: Suck it up. Tend to your own affairs and stop trying to manage mine. Your perceptions are not the same as my perceptions, and I don't want your fears constricting my life.

You think society has gotten more violent. I am not convinced of that. The crime stats directly contradict your perceptions. (See, for example, here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/cv2.htm) and here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/viortrdtab.htm). More here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/keytabs.htm).)

I am also not convinced that things like violent movies and video games cause society to become more violent, to repeat a point I made earlier. (Here (http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2008/03/do-video-games.html) is an article that does a nice job outlining the uncertainty. Here (http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/conf2001/papers/goldstein.html) is a wonkier one.)

I do agree that it's worth being concerned about society, and just because I don't think it's particularly more violent doesn't mean I don't think it couldn't be a lot less violent. I'm just dubious about the extent of the problem, especially compared to other negative influences on society. I'm also dubious about the causes you propose and the prescriptions you imply.

ashleyjohnston
05-22-2008, 09:17 PM
What I wouldn't give to see Bob and Noam put things into a bigger picture. I think even Bob sometimes gets bored with the tedium of current events. I would like a good discussion about the big picture of what is going on.

look
05-22-2008, 09:30 PM
It's hard to be against the idea that you're worried about all of society, but I am. Since you don't like me to speak of abstract groups, I will say it to you: Suck it up. Tend to your own affairs and stop trying to manage mine. Your perceptions are not the same as my perceptions, and I don't want your fears constricting my life.
Now, was that so hard?
You think society has gotten more violent. I am not convinced of that. The crime stats directly contradict your perceptions. (See, for example, here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/cv2.htm) and here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/tables/viortrdtab.htm). More here (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/keytabs.htm).)
I wonder if the drop in crime is due to the drop in birthrates over the years?
I am also not convinced that things like violent movies and video games cause society to become more violent, to repeat a point I made earlier. (Here (http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2008/03/do-video-games.html) is an article that does a nice job outlining the uncertainty. Here (http://culturalpolicy.uchicago.edu/conf2001/papers/goldstein.html) is a wonkier one.)I will read those later, but they are only about video games. The second article was written 7 years ago, and games have gotten more realistic and violent in that time. Here is an article related to violent movies:

http://www.jhu.edu/~jhumag/1194web/dietz.html

I do agree that it's worth being concerned about society, and just because I don't think it's particularly more violent doesn't mean I don't think it couldn't be a lot less violent. I'm just dubious about the extent of the problem, especially compared to other negative influences on society. I'm also dubious about the causes you propose and the prescriptions you imply.I didn't imply any prescriptions.

bjkeefe
05-22-2008, 10:15 PM
look:

Noted. Nothing to add.

rgajria
05-23-2008, 03:59 AM
How about two bloggers discussing traveling or places they have traveled to. Or two bloggers who have traveled to the same place.

rgajria
05-23-2008, 03:59 AM
Marxist academic Michael Parenti. He is funny.

bjkeefe
05-23-2008, 11:27 AM
Matt Taibbi will be on BookTV this weekend, interviewed by David Corn. (details (http://booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9403&SectionName=After%20Words&PlayMedia=No))

look
05-23-2008, 03:41 PM
Matt Taibbi will be on BookTV this weekend, interviewed by David Corn. (details (http://booktv.org/program.aspx?ProgramId=9403&SectionName=After%20Words&PlayMedia=No))

What a co-inky-dink...I can immediately evaluate TSE's opinion. Thanks for the heads-up, Brendan.

look
05-24-2008, 04:35 AM
Mondoweiss (http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/)

From his article detailing the events leading up to establishing his blog independently:

My Jewishness has long intrigued me. I was raised in a very close-knit scientific family that had a sense of Jewish superiority. Being Jewish was the main thing I was vis-à-vis the world. All my friends were Jewish, and summers we went to a scientific community that was also very Jewish. Only in college did I start to break away from my background, even as I cast long looks back at the tribal.

Once, at a bris, a friend said to me, “You know why we do this?” “Well hygiene—” I started to say. “Bulls--t. We do it to show that we are different.” I struggled with that idea of difference. I sought a wider American experience and married a Christian whose background and values I felt had improved me. Though I still think of myself as being utterly Jewish in my concerns, I recognize that I’m assimilating. On good days, I think that this is the way the world is going. On bad days, I wonder if I haven’t fallen between two cultural stools.

Some of my best blogging came out of that tension. I established a thread called “the Assimilationist,” and when Commentary attacked the new Leonard Woolf biography, saying that he had lived a life of self-hatred in a marriage to an out-and-out anti-Semite in Virginia Woolf, I took the Woolfs’ side. Sure, intermarriage presents cultural challenges, but Commentary was trying to validate Jewish separation by seeing anti-Semitism behind every bush—and Gentile.

Blogging about such matters sometimes made me feel wicked, as though I was betraying my tribe. Shouldn’t some thoughts remain private? But I felt that the form demanded transparency about what I cared about, Jewish identity.

My writing [at The Observer] was becoming increasingly anti-Zionist. I visited Israel for the first time last summer, and in the West Bank, I met a South African who told me conditions were worse there than they had been under apartheid. When I got back, I posted a photograph of Arabs forced to worship outside the Damascus Gate to the Old City of Jerusalem because of heightened Israeli security, and a reader of my blog launched an “investigation” and called the photographer, evidently thinking I’d doctored the image.

I knew that Zionists were lobbying The Observer, writing to my editor and the new owner. Peter once said he got more e-mail about me than anything else in the paper. One of these e-mails, copied to me, said there was a “cancer on The Observer.” That was mild. Others commented as “Phil Weiss” and purported to confess my bitterness over bad book reviews I’d gotten or said they had loved having sex with my Christian mother-in-law. One wrote that he wanted to “cut off your head and s--t down your neck.”

One day Peter mentioned that the new owner had passed along one of these complaints and reminded him that the pro-Israel community was one he cared about. Peter said that he defended me, though he asked, “You’re not a Holocaust denier, are you?” “Of course not,” I said. “Good, I thought so.”


As the meeting went on with Peter praising my talents in his Ziegfeldian way, I became upset. “Peter, don’t you see what’s happening in this country? Ron [Rosenbaum] just went to Slate. He is pro-Israel. Slate also lately hired Shmuel Rosner, an Israeli who loves the neocons, to write from Washington.” I grabbed a galley of Jeffrey Goldberg’s book from one of the piles in Peter’s office. “Goldberg works for The New Yorker in Washington and because he thought America was dangerous for Jews, he moved to Israel and served in their army, then he moved back here and pushed America to go to war in Iraq. Well, I’m different. I don’t think America is dangerous for Jews, and I’m critical of Israel. And there’s no room for me here. There’s no room.”

I’ve relaunched my blog on my own website. At The Observer site, I often felt that I was getting away with something, that it was more fitting for me to peddle my unconventional opinions from my own cart. And now that my blog is separated from a mainstream media address, I’ve noticed that the pro-Israel sirens, who care so much about influencing American leadership, don’t care so much about me.

http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_06_04/feature.html

look
05-27-2008, 02:31 AM
I suggest someone like Mickey to conduct the interview. Just two guys discussing what it means to be Jewish in America.

rgajria
05-31-2008, 03:27 AM
Peter Beinart should come back and so should Garance Franke Ruta. Amit Varma who is a libertarian based in India should speak to an American Libertarian. That would be nice.

rgajria
05-31-2008, 03:28 AM
Real Player keeps timing out for me so I cannot watch the Matt Taibbi interview. I have updated the player, messed with the settings to no good effect.

bjkeefe
05-31-2008, 08:24 AM
Real Player keeps timing out for me so I cannot watch the Matt Taibbi interview. I have updated the player, messed with the settings to no good effect.

Wish I could offer you the key tip, but all I can say is that it appears to be working for me.

bjkeefe
05-31-2008, 09:50 AM
Just watched it to completion without a hiccup. Maybe they were having server problems at the time you watched it?

Anyway, good luck.

Big Wayne
06-02-2008, 12:48 AM
Matt Taibbi? Ugh. Have you ever seen the guy on Colbert or Bill Maher's show? Taibbi in front of a camera is like a deer caught in headlights. I think his writing generally sucks, but he's way, waaay better on the printed page than in an extemporaneous setting.

I used to totally agree. But he's gotten better, I think. I heard (but did not see) his C-SPAN appearance and it was really quite good.

AemJeff
06-07-2008, 09:57 PM
Vernor Vinge. It hadn't occurred to me before today's SciSat. He's a fascinating speaker, an idea factory, and a great novelist - reading A Fire Upon the Deep (http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Upon-Deep-Zones-Thought/dp/0812515285/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212890074&sr=8-1) is something few fans of hard science fiction will regret. The guy would be an amazingly cool get.

Also True Names (http://www.amazon.com/True-Names-Opening-Cyberspace-Frontier/dp/0312862075/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212890391&sr=1-11) is a seminal work on the specific topic of the Horgan/Yudkowsky diavlog.

Bobby G
06-12-2008, 07:55 PM
Thank goodness for this thread. Here's who I nominate:

Daniel Larison--cranky, intelligent paleocon. Seems to be wrong in all his predictions but always has a thoughtful, provocative take on things and also seems to know a ton of stuff.

Mike Rea--super-smart Christian (Dutch Reformed) philosopher. Got into a public spat with Daniel Dennett, writes on material constitution, knows lots of theology.

Alvin Plantinga--super-smart Christian (Dutch Reformed) philosopher. Specializes in metaphysics (esp. modality) and epistemology (came up with his own original version of reliabilism, "Reformed Epistemology"). Lately, he's been doing philosophy of science.

Peter van Inwagen--super-smart Christian (Episcopalian) philosopher who other philosophers are terrified to debate. Specializes in metaphysics (the nature of being, material constitution and personal identity, free will) and philosophy of religion (especially the problem of evil)

Alexander Pruss--super-smart Christian (Catholic) philosopher who also has a Ph.D. in math and writes prolifically at prosblogion.ektopos.com.

Bobby G
06-12-2008, 07:56 PM
I don't think Chomsky would be good; he tends not to accept disagreement without resorting to name-calling.

bjkeefe
06-12-2008, 08:15 PM
I don't think Chomsky would be good; he tends not to accept disagreement without resorting to name-calling.

Could still work as more of an interview, though. I'm always happy to hear Chomsky, irascible though he may be.

Chef
07-19-2008, 02:29 PM
Over the past several months, there's been a lot of Turkey news (the Erdogan indictment, attack on our Istanbul consulate, Ongoing issues with the PKK, deepending ties between Turkey and Iran.

In 2007, Stepehn A. Cook wrote a book called Ruling but not Governing (http://www.cfr.org/publication/12844/ruling_but_not_governing.html?breadcrumb=%2Fbios%2 F10266%2Fsteven_a_cook%3Fgroupby%3D2%26page%3D1%26 hide%3D1%26id%3D10266), about the military's role in the political stability in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey.

Sadly, I haven't read the book yet, so I can't do it justice, but I think he could provide some great commentary about these regional events.

He's been on BHTV once before, back in the summer of 2006 (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/80)

nikkibong
07-20-2008, 06:39 PM
Will Saletan (he can discuss science or politics)
James Fallows
Matt Labash
Nikkibong

AemJeff
07-20-2008, 06:46 PM
Will Saletan (he can discuss science or politics)
James Fallows
Matt Labash
Nikkibong

Was that fourth name also a recomendation?http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/images/icons/icon7.gif

nikkibong
07-20-2008, 07:35 PM
yep, that's what i was suggesting! ;)

Chef
07-24-2008, 07:02 PM
Just finished Anne Applebaum's book "Gulag". Quite moving, especially in her coverage of children born and raised in the Gulag. I know she writes for the Washington Post and is married to a pro-American Polish politician.

I wonder if she would be interested in a bloggingheads episode?

JoeK
07-29-2008, 08:30 AM
Would like to see Jim Pinkerton interview Larry Arnhart (http://darwinianconservatism.blogspot.com/) of Darwinian Conservatism (http://darwinianconservatism.blogspot.com/) blog.

Also, Jim Pinkerton having his own show, on weekly or bi-weekly basis, would be just swell.
I am sure people who run bloggingheads.tv know better than I what's good for their site, but it seems obvious to me Jim's show would attract the existing bloggingheads fans, while balancing out the content of the whole site ideologically. I don't know if that's considered a bad thing, but I don't remember diavlogs being as skewed to the left as they have become lately.

nikkibong
07-31-2008, 04:44 PM
excellent choice on Applebaum, there, Chef; she is one of the few Slate contributors still worth reading.

nikkibong
07-31-2008, 04:45 PM
A flash of inspiration:

James Fallows and Patrick Smith (of 'Ask the Pilot' on salon.com) discussing the state of (un)civil aviation today . . .

I've already got your pithy title written for you, BH editors: Mile High Club!

bjkeefe
07-31-2008, 04:50 PM
A flash of inspiration:

James Fallows and Patrick Smith (of 'Ask the Pilot' on salon.com) discussing the state of (un)civil aviation today . . .

I've already got your pithy title written for you, BH editors: Mile High Club!

Second the suggestion, like the title.

otto
09-06-2008, 12:05 PM
Philip Weiss of Mondoweiss
http://www.philipweiss.org/

And - very different - to interview
Owen Matthews of Newsweek Moscow bureau.
Writing about Russia and Georgia recently, in Newsweek blog, so he has his 'license to blogginghead'
e.g.
http://www.blog.newsweek.com/blogs/ov/archive/2008/08/31/in-georgia-cheney-has-some-explaining-to-do.aspx

and author of new book "Stalin's Children" about his parents falling in love in Cold War USSR.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stalins-Children-Three-Generations-Love/dp/0747591814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1220716932&sr=8-1

uncle ebeneezer
09-06-2008, 02:54 PM
It also might be interesting for her to Dvlog with Annie Gottlieb(?) whose husband also defected from a Soviet state (if I remember correctly.) She wouldn't necesarrily be an expert on policy, but the annecdotal aspect would probably be pretty interesting.

johnmarzan
09-07-2008, 10:52 PM
charles krauthammer
christopher hitchens

otto
10-02-2008, 03:39 AM
Megan 'From the Archives' or now 'Rhubarb Pie'.
http://rhubarbpie.typepad.com/rhubarb/

Blogging on California, dating, and water use. What's not to like?
(I think I may have suggested Megan before a while back -- get to it)

AemJeff
10-12-2008, 08:52 PM
I think Daniel Larison (http://www.amconmag.com/larison/) would make a great right-of-center foil for Bob Wright.

TwinSwords
10-12-2008, 10:42 PM
I think Daniel Larison (http://www.amconmag.com/larison/) would make a great right-of-center foil for Bob Wright.
An excellent suggestion!

nikkibong
10-13-2008, 12:39 AM
Clive Wynne, author of the excellent book, Do Animals Think? would be a great Science Saturday (or Free Will) score. Animal Cognition!

http://books.google.com/books?id=0Oi6qgCnoAgC&dq=Clive+DL+Wynne&pg=PP1&ots=gE1AOclPft&sig=mKSkAFU0trkjSzQnyjLyJ1iAc_A&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result

otto
10-13-2008, 12:39 PM
There's a so-called neo-liberal/contrarian guy with a high-traffic blog, one of the first set up, who I think would make great diavlogs about the last few weeks of the presidential campaign. Name escapes me however.

Clear Eyes
10-13-2008, 07:27 PM
maybe Martin Peretz - he has some ideas on political issues.

nikkibong
10-14-2008, 06:31 PM
maybe Martin Peretz - he has some ideas on political issues.

put him up against juan cole and prepare for one of them to explode!

johnmarzan
10-15-2008, 06:21 AM
charles krauthammer
christopher hitchens

one down, one more to go.

johnmarzan
10-15-2008, 06:26 AM
3 more names:

anne applebaum
tom friedman
david brooks

otto
10-15-2008, 12:58 PM
No - none of those. What we want is suggestions for bloggers to appear on bh.tv. Yes, we want special guests when they have a book to discuss etc, and e.g. Fukuyama was pretty good. But this is not oldmediaheads.tv - you need to earn your licence to blogginghead.

johnmarzan
10-16-2008, 12:12 AM
No - none of those. What we want is suggestions for bloggers to appear on bh.tv. Yes, we want special guests when they have a book to discuss etc, and e.g. Fukuyama was pretty good. But this is not oldmediaheads.tv - you need to earn your licence to blogginghead.

invite them anyway even if they don't have any book to promote. you should not exclude any people who would make good guests for the diavlog, instead of limiting yourselves to leftwing and leftwing bloggers.

johnmarzan
10-16-2008, 01:33 AM
christopher buckley vs glenn loury (tip from kaus)

anycon
10-20-2008, 10:41 AM
I want hilzoy! --Or to second someone else's request for hilzoy, given I didn't search the thread.

AemJeff
10-20-2008, 11:07 AM
I want hilzoy! --Or to second someone else's request for hilzoy, given I didn't search the thread.

I don't think he's come up - but I'll second your request.

TwinSwords
10-20-2008, 01:15 PM
I don't think he's come up - but I'll second your request.

I will third the nomination of Hilzoy. And Hilzoy's blogging partner Steve Benen would also be an excellent "get" for BHTV.

For those not familiar with Benen, you can hear him 2 hours a week on the excellent Poli Sci-Fi Radio (http://www.poliscifiradio.com/), a weekly program featuring discussion of politics and science fiction.

Steve Benen also writes one of the most indispensible blogs, Political Animal (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/), at The Washington Monthly.


(Thanks to bjkeefe for alerting me to Poli Sci-Fi Radio some weeks ago.)

bjkeefe
10-21-2008, 05:58 PM
hilzoy is female, if anyone cares. I add my request for her to appear, and second the request for Steve Benen. (I think I've asked for him before).

BTW, hilzoy also posts on Political Animal (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/), in addition to her more usual place, Obsidian Wings (http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/).

Bobby G
10-21-2008, 07:01 PM
H-Bok's reputation as a philosopher is very good. I would definitely like to see her do bhTV. Pairing her up with David Velleman might be good, at least if they discussed social issues.

Saint Russell
10-28-2008, 01:33 PM
Has bh.tv ever had a real live Objectivist? I was just reading David Corn's piece in Mother Jones, where (as others have done lately) he characterizes the current financial catastrophe as "decades of Ayn Rand down the drain". I'd love to see Yaron Brook (Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Forbes.com, Time.com, etc.) do a Bloggingheads, so how about setting one up with Corn?

Bobby G
10-28-2008, 06:48 PM
Has bh.tv ever had a real live Objectivist? I was just reading David Corn's piece in Mother Jones, where (as others have done lately) he characterizes the current financial catastrophe as "decades of Ayn Rand down the drain". I'd love to see Yaron Brook (Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, Forbes.com, Time.com, etc.) do a Bloggingheads, so how about setting one up with Corn?

Is Brook an Ayn Rand Institute type (objectivism is a closed system) or an Atlas Foundation type (objectivism is an open system)? No on him if the former, yes if the latter.

Saint Russell
10-28-2008, 08:37 PM
Is Brook an Ayn Rand Institute type (objectivism is a closed system) or an Atlas Foundation type (objectivism is an open system)? No on him if the former, yes if the latter.

Brook is President and Executive Director of ARI. If you'd prefer someone "objectivish" rather than an actual Objectivist, he's evidently not your guy.

nikkibong
10-31-2008, 04:09 PM
Kevin Roderick of laobserved & someone else (Jack Shafer? Jay Rosen of Pressthink?) discussing the continuing travails of print media. (Damn, another 10% cut at the LA Times this week . . .)

Working title: Stop the Presses!

Downpressor
11-08-2008, 03:43 PM
I think Dan Savage would be awesome. Very intelligent, but definitely of a different background than most who appear on this site. Especially good for something about prop 8 and issues about sexual orientation.

also, Joseph Heath at the U of Toronto would be great...specifically on Free Will as he just came out with a new book.

bjkeefe
11-08-2008, 03:59 PM
I think Dan Savage would be awesome. Very intelligent, but definitely of a different background than most who appear on this site. Especially good for something about prop 8 and issues about sexual orientation.

also, Joseph Heath at the U of Toronto would be great...specifically on Free Will as he just came out with a new book.

I second Dan Savage for sure.

(Don't know Heath.)

Incompetence Dodger
11-13-2008, 09:27 AM
Now that the diavlog format is firmly established and the site has reached a kind of critical mass, maybe it's time to have the occasional audio-only diavlog for anonymous or nominally anonymous bloggers like Digby, Hilzoy, Anonymous Liberal and Cunning Realist. "Audio-only diavlog"--hmm, I'll have to come up with a snappier term for that....

bjkeefe
11-13-2008, 11:07 AM
Now that the diavlog format is firmly established and the site has reached a kind of critical mass, maybe it's time to have the occasional audio-only diavlog for anonymous or nominally anonymous bloggers like Digby, Hilzoy, Anonymous Liberal and Cunning Realist. "Audio-only diavlog"--hmm, I'll have to come up with a snappier term for that....

Diaalog?

(And then we can argue about whether to pronounce it with three or four syllables.)

sugarkang
11-14-2008, 12:57 AM
paul krugman v. peter schiff?

ledocs
11-17-2008, 11:00 AM
I don't have particular people in mind, but I want to say that the role of derivatives, and particularly of credit default swaps, in the financial crisis has yet to be addressed in a serious way on bhtv, and I think that should be rectified. Robert Schiller came on to say that the problem is not with derivatives per se, but rather with the lack of transparency of the derivatives markets. So he wants them traded on exchanges, and he wants to create yet more derivatives. Greenspan has admitted that credit default swaps have been a major contributor to the crisis. Schiller said nothing to contradict this, except that he said that the problem they have created results entirely from an increase in counterparty risk in the financial system as a whole. Is this true?

I want to see two people who know a lot about the derivatives markets, both in theory and in practice, explaining to us what is known about what is out there and what problems have resulted from this largely hidden market. I am assuming that Soros and Buffett cannot be induced to discuss this on bhtv.

There was a lady "management consultant" who was on in September who seemed to know a lot about the financial markets. I don't remember her name, but I found her to be impressive.

Thanks.

uncle ebeneezer
12-07-2008, 01:34 PM
I would love an interview with Daniel Levitin or Oliver Sacks on the psychology of music. Not sure who the best interviewer would be. John Horgan, Carl Zimmer and Bob Wright would all be great from the science/evolution angle, but Will Wilkinson would be great too, or even a musicphile like Eli Lake or Matt Lee could make for an interesting interview.

bjkeefe
12-07-2008, 01:53 PM
I would love an interview with Daniel Levitin or Oliver Sacks on the psychology of music. Not sure who the best interviewer would be. John Horgan, Carl Zimmer and Bob Wright would all be great from the science/evolution angle, but Will Wilkinson would be great too, or even a musicphile like Eli Lake or Matt Lee could make for an interesting interview.

I'd be delighted to hear Oliver Sacks talk about anything he'd like.

On the psychology of music, I'll re-recommend this episode of Radiolab -- Musical Language (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/episodes/2006/04/21) -- to tide you over while you're waiting.

If you remember this recommendation from my earlier post (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=98204#post98204), I apologize for the repetition.

uncle ebeneezer
12-07-2008, 02:12 PM
I do remember that link. I think I tried to view it recently but got interrupted or had computer issues and forgot to go back. Thanks for reminding me.

Yeah, Oliver would be a great guest. Just the stories from "Man who mistook his wife 4 a hat" would easily fill a fascinating hour.

Perhaps Richard Preston would be a good guy to interview him on that kinda stuff.

bjkeefe
12-07-2008, 02:39 PM
I do remember that link. I think I tried to view it recently but got interrupted or had computer issues and forgot to go back. Thanks for reminding me.

y/w

Yeah, Oliver would be a great guest. Just the stories from "Man who mistook his wife 4 a hat" would easily fill a fascinating hour.

Perhaps Richard Preston would be a good guy to interview him on that kinda stuff.

Good idea. Or maybe Robert Krulwich from Radiolab (http://www.wnyc.org/shows/radiolab/bios.html), even. If you could get him, you'd have a better chance of getting Sacks -- they're pals from way back.

uncle ebeneezer
12-07-2008, 05:38 PM
Just listened to the Radiolab music piece. Very cool. I would have loved to hear them get into the evolutionary perspective on how certain sounds became tied to certain emotions. Are they standard across all cultures? Are there any exceptions?

PS the Stravinsky story was great. I only my music could start a riot!

bjkeefe
12-07-2008, 06:27 PM
Just listened to the Radiolab music piece. Very cool.

Glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know.

I would have loved to hear them get into the evolutionary perspective on how certain sounds became tied to certain emotions. Are they standard across all cultures? Are there any exceptions?

Dude, you've just outlined half the diavlog! Write it down, email it to Bh.tv and Radiolab!

PS the Stravinsky story was great. I only my music could start a riot!

Heh. That's because you're the one at the back of the stage. Think of your poor frontmen. ;^)

nikkibong
12-09-2008, 12:41 PM
leon wieseltier vs. . . .well, anybody!

Bobby G
12-09-2008, 02:46 PM
Eric Alterman vs. Marty Peretz!

TwinSwords
12-09-2008, 03:00 PM
Eric Alterman vs. Marty Peretz!

That would be dramatic!

Downpressor
12-11-2008, 05:36 PM
(reposted from the open forum, sorry) based on interesting Coates posts on homophobia (like this one: http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.c..._lifestyle.php) I think a Dan Savage/Ta-Nehisi Coates Diavlogue would be awesome. I think it would also be good to get Dan Savage in a forum where he doesnt have to be on the super defensive/offensive and can just be the smart, insightful, and funny guy that he is.

bjkeefe
12-11-2008, 05:46 PM
(reposted from the open forum, sorry) based on interesting Coates posts on homophobia (like this one: http://ta-nehisicoates.theatlantic.c..._lifestyle.php) I think a Dan Savage/Ta-Nehisi Coates Diavlogue would be awesome. I think it would also be good to get Dan Savage in a forum where he doesnt have to be on the super defensive/offensive and can just be the smart, insightful, and funny guy that he is.

Good suggestion. I'd also like to hear Dan Savage independent of waiting until the next slot with Ta-Nehisi opens up.

No need to apologize. Thanks for taking my suggestion.

Ooga-Booga
12-23-2008, 09:44 AM
Journalists -
Robert Fisk, Jeannie Becker, Amy Goodman, Jeremy Schahill, Ana Kasparian, Cenk Uygur

Writers -
Jim Hightower, Arundhati Roy, Katha Pollit, Howard Zinn, Naomi Klein

Activists -
Gloria Stienem, Mark Emery, Ralph Nader, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dorhn, Richard Gere

Scientists -
Oliver Sacks (neurologist), David Suzuki (environmentalist), Stephen Hawking (physicist)

Musicians -
Henry Rollins, Jello Biafra, Yoko Ono, Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle, Buddy Guy, BB King, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Lee Konitz, Billy Bragg, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Chuck D, Stewart Copeland, Johnny Rotten

Other -
Paul Krugman, Ross Perot, Moses Znaimer, The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandella

bjkeefe
12-23-2008, 04:53 PM
[...]

Great list, OB.

Ooga-Booga
12-24-2008, 08:54 AM
Rock on.
I'm a Bloggingheads junkie, and I want to "give back" to the enterprise.

Ooga-Booga
12-24-2008, 09:20 AM
McArdle did a neat vlog this-time-last-year about illicit drugs and alcohol. It's not in the archives for me to download. Do you know where I can find it?

S.

nikkibong
12-24-2008, 11:17 AM
Other -
Paul Krugman, Ross Perot, Moses Znaimer, The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandella

why not just throw in Jesus Christ for good measure?

Nate
12-25-2008, 12:38 AM
why not just throw in Jesus Christ for good measure?

Jesus vs. Santa (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4O-34s8QfE), maybe?

Seriously, though, I know it was mentioned in video comments for the latest Science Saturday, but George Johnson vs. Abigail Smith needs to go on the official record as a request.

Palladio
12-25-2008, 09:17 PM
William F. Buckley and Al Sharpton: in a posthumous 'duets'-style conversation. That is, Buckley, not Sharpton, is dead.

Didn't some country chick singer do this with Elvis's Blue Christmas?

Ooga-Booga
12-25-2008, 09:26 PM
Pinter + Mamet.

Palladio
12-25-2008, 09:28 PM
Eartha Kitt + Whitney Houston

Ooga-Booga
12-25-2008, 09:57 PM
Miriam Makeba and Emmanuel Jal
Max Roach and Stewart Copeland
Mickey Mouse and Sarah Palin

Palladio
12-25-2008, 10:00 PM
Abraham Lincoln + F. Murray Abraham
John F. Kennedy + Jamie Kennedy
Mozart + Dave Brubeck

Ooga-Booga
12-25-2008, 10:30 PM
Dick Nixon and Dick Cheeney
Howard Cosell and O.J. Simpson

this can go on and on......

Palladio
12-25-2008, 10:45 PM
Calvin Coolidge + Calvin Klein
Joe Stalin + Joe Biden
Sir Edmund Hillary + Hillary Clinton


MERRY CHRISTMAS

bjkeefe
12-25-2008, 10:46 PM
Newton and Feynman for the next Science Saturday.
Abbie Smith and Lise Meitner or Marie Curie for the one after that.

bjkeefe
12-25-2008, 10:54 PM
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Santa and Bad Santa (http://bjkeefe.googlepages.com/question.html).

Ooga-Booga
12-26-2008, 12:31 AM
Johnny Thunders and Amy Winehouse
Richard Harris and Peter O'Toole
Bugs Bunny and Mr. Hanky The Christmas Poo

Foobs
12-26-2008, 10:21 PM
Michael Lind. If he's too good for us, I'll try to improve. If we're too good for him, I'm totally OK with regressing :D

johnmarzan
12-27-2008, 11:12 PM
Blago vs. Obama.

nikkibong
12-28-2008, 09:54 AM
in a similar vein, bring back mark kleiman!

(get it, vein? he's a drug abuse expert!!!)

TwinSwords
12-28-2008, 03:28 PM
in a similar vein, bring back mark kleiman!

(get it, vein? he's a drug abuse expert!!!)

http://www.spartantailgate.com/forums/images/smilies/eww.gif

nikkibong
01-05-2009, 06:20 PM
Year-end film review with the two best film critics today: Stephanie Zacharek (http://dir.salon.com/topics/stephanie_zacharek/) and Armond White (http://wrapper.rottentomatoes.com/s?from=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.rottentomatoes.com%2Fautho r%2Fauthor-2725%2F&siteId=6760&size=entryinterstitial&cKey=11130144844657235401231197601194&docTitle=ROTTEN%20TOMATOES%3A%20Armond%20White%20-%20Rotten%20Tomatoes)!!

nikkibong
02-01-2009, 01:27 PM
A flash of inspiration:

James Fallows and Patrick Smith (of 'Ask the Pilot' on salon.com) discussing the state of (un)civil aviation today . . .

I've already got your pithy title written for you, BH editors: Mile High Club!

Patrick Smith has taken a lot of heat this week over at Salon for suggesting that the "miraculous" landing on the Hudson wasn't so . . .well, miraculous.

Therefore, in Andrew Sullivan style, I am going to quote myself, and re-suggest this topic.

TwinSwords
02-02-2009, 02:42 PM
Patrick Smith has taken a lot of heat this week over at Salon for suggesting that the "miraculous" landing on the Hudson wasn't so . . .well, miraculous.

Therefore, in Andrew Sullivan style, I am going to quote myself, and re-suggest this topic.

I've enjoy's Smith's writing, too; good suggestion.

Here's a link to that piece (http://www.salon.com/tech/col/smith/2009/01/15/askthepilot305/) about the landing on the Hudson.

claymisher
02-12-2009, 06:50 PM
Simon Johnson!

He's a former IMF chief, and he's calling for the oligarchy to be crushed:

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/02/tpmtv_talks_to_simon_johnson.php

thprop
02-22-2009, 12:47 PM
I think it would be fun to see Ira Glass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ira_glass) in this format. He hosts PRI's This American Life (http://www.thislife.org/). I would like to get his take on the BHtv concept.

TAL episodes frequently come up in the forums. BJ just linked to Enemy Camp (http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=985) which featured Carl Zimmer. I think everyone should listen to Harold (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1214) if they want to know about the origins of Barack Obama - or understand the city of Chicago a little bit.

bjkeefe
02-22-2009, 12:49 PM
I think everyone should listen to Harold (http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1214) if they want to know about the origins of Barack Obama - or understand the city of Chicago a little bit.

Man, you're so right. That was outstanding.

johnmarzan
02-26-2009, 10:14 PM
michael totten.

glennhowardsecure
03-02-2009, 11:22 PM
I'd like to see Richard Dreyfuss discussing his Civics Initiative with someone like Heather MacDonald, Abigail Thernstrom. Herbert London. or Bill Bennett.

jimimac
04-28-2009, 06:22 PM
Niall Ferguson would be a good blogginghead.

popcorn_karate
04-29-2009, 11:35 AM
Wendy Kaminer.

I'd like to hear about her new book about the ACLU over the last 8 years.

no idea who to pair her with - maybe a lawyer type.

nikkibong
04-29-2009, 01:04 PM
Niall Ferguson would be a good blogginghead.

You mean the apologist for brutal imperialism? I'll pass.

Wm. Blaxton
04-29-2009, 01:40 PM
Richard Posner; Steve Pinker; Robert Caro; Ian McEwan; Martin Amis

And my dream matchup: Chomsky vs. Hitchens

Starwatcher162536
04-29-2009, 04:28 PM
I don't think he has been on since the Science Saturday:Ironic Science diavlog, but I would like a return of Jim Holt.

Bobby G
04-29-2009, 04:59 PM
Chris Tollefson, Russell Arben Fox.

johnmarzan
05-01-2009, 10:06 PM
any anti-bush person would make a good head.

AemJeff
05-01-2009, 10:13 PM
any anti-bush person would make a good head.

You've just described about 200,000,000 people in the U.S. alone.

PreppyMcPrepperson
05-02-2009, 01:41 AM
Yes. He would. I STRONGLY recommend pairing him with a lefty guy at Oxford named Adrian Gregory. Ferguson and Gregory used to co-teach a course there, and I took it, and the back-and-forth between them was incredibly stimulating.

PreppyMcPrepperson
05-02-2009, 01:42 AM
Jon Fine would be good for the latter.

PreppyMcPrepperson
05-02-2009, 01:43 AM
Now that Cass Sunstein is on the SCOTUS short list, I think he'd do well to avoid BHTV.

PreppyMcPrepperson
05-02-2009, 01:44 AM
Also, please Bob and co., do NOT give Jeff Jarvis any more outlets for his egomania. The man is quoted and cited everywhere already, and really only has one answer to everything "Be like Google."

cognitive madisonian
05-02-2009, 07:29 PM
Would make for a great discussion with Will Wilkerson.

nikkibong
05-21-2009, 01:03 PM
Someone involved in this majesterial article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness

The writer, the shrink, a participant (!), someone. Or, I suppose, George and John can chat about it on Sci-Sat.

Winspur
05-21-2009, 01:30 PM
Please can we have someone talking about this month's general election in India?

popcorn_karate
05-21-2009, 02:40 PM
wow. great article - thanks for the link.

Baltimoron
05-27-2009, 09:58 PM
Joshua Stanton and Curtis Melvin

http://asia.wsj.com/article/SB124295017403345489.html

http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/05/26/north_korea_like_youve_never_seen_it_before

BhTv needs a real Asia scholar, not generalists who condescend to consider Asia for a topic a diavlog.

bjkeefe
06-01-2009, 04:23 PM
... why have we never had Hilzoy as a diavlogger, but we have had Megan McArdle six kabillion times?

Case in point ... (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018435.php)

bjkeefe
06-18-2009, 08:47 AM
Charles Pierce (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/altercation/443316/slacker_friday), last Friday:

If there's a reason why Dave Neiwert (http://www.amazon.com/Eliminationists-Hate-Radicalized-American-Right/%0Ddp/0981576982/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244835878&sr=8-1) hasn't been on my TV screen in heavy rotation over the past month, I'd like to know what it is, particularly since the scrambling and ass-covering on the right seems to have at its center a certain large and worthless pile of papier-maché erudition (http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2008/01/jonahs-response.html).

Neiwert has been watching the right-wing crazies for years. It would be good to have him on.

Fans of steel cage death matches might consider pairing him with Jonah Goldberg. See the rest of Pierce's note above. (Some scrolling required.)

I'd rather have him paired in a less shoutfest-y way myself.

claymisher
06-30-2009, 01:14 AM
Does anyone actually read these suggestions?

bjkeefe
06-30-2009, 01:18 AM
Does anyone actually read these suggestions?

You mean besides me? ;^)

They at least used to.

nikkibong
07-12-2009, 09:15 PM
Would love to see the author of this book here:

http://www.salon.com/books/review/2009/07/12/cheap/index.html

(incidentally, the reviewer, Stephanie Zacharek, is one of my two favourite film critics - and I would love to see her on bhtv discussing films, or culture at large.)

popcorn_karate
07-22-2009, 01:50 PM
this was a shocker:

"between 2001 and 2003 the income of the poorest 10 percent of China's 1.3 billion people had fallen by 2.4 percent, to less than $83 per year. In that same period, the country's economy grew by 10 percent, and its richest people became 16 percent richer."

It seems to run against the meme that the gains in the chinese economy have done more for human happiness than they would have here (will wilkinson seems to be an advocate of this view) because of the vast numbers of desperately poor people becoming somewhat better off, even if still far below western standards of living.

any thoughts on that idea actually being in china?

claymisher
07-30-2009, 01:21 AM
Tom Levenson, author of "Newton and the Counterfeiter" and blogger at The Inverse Square Blog (http://inversesquare.wordpress.com/). I think John and George have mentioned him before even.

Baltimoron
07-30-2009, 01:35 AM
Not a new face, but after listening to this podcast (http://www.gokorea.info/cp/cpunplugged5.mp3) (listen to the end where she talks smack about the science writers), I'd really like to hear Abbie Smith take on George Horgan or Carl Zimmer. Or, perhaps a diavlog on quashing conspiracy theories!

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 12:47 PM
Nominate some new faces in this thread. (Seems like we had one of these started already, but I can't find it.)

Here are a few I'd be very interested in seeing here on bhtv:

Chris Hedges - author of the new books Empire of Illusion: the End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle and When Atheism Becomes Religion: America's New Fundamentalists, as well as a number of other books about war and religion. He'd be a great sparring partner for Bob because they both agree about the new atheists but, unlike Bob, Hedges does not agree that humans can progress morally, a view he probably derives from his years of war coverage.

Charles Pierce - author of the new book Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. Paired with Joel Achenbach.

Nicholas Kristof - author of Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Maybe paired with Michelle Goldberg or Robert Engelman, author of More.

Gregory Clark (A Farewell to Alms) paired with Tyler Cowen

nikkibong
09-13-2009, 12:50 PM
Here are a few I'd be very interested in seeing here on bhtv:

Charles Pierce - author of the new book Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free.



Yes. Pierce is truly excellent. People should check out his monthly missives in Esquire.

claymisher
09-13-2009, 12:59 PM
Gregory Clark (A Farewell to Alms) paired with Tyler Cowen

I'd rather see Clark torn by apart by a population geneticist than flattered by a libertarian cyborg. I know which is more likely.

uncle ebeneezer
09-13-2009, 01:31 PM
Pierce also posts regularly (every Friday?) on Eric Alterman's blog.

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 02:14 PM
I'd rather see Clark torn by apart by a population geneticist than flattered by a libertarian cyborg. I know which is more likely.

I vote for both! I like hearing from all sides - prompts better discussion.

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 02:15 PM
I'd rather see Clark torn by apart by a population geneticist than flattered by a libertarian cyborg. I know which is more likely.

bhtv is way over due for a population geneticist to come on.

AemJeff
09-13-2009, 02:19 PM
bhtv is way over due for a population geneticist to come on.

Razib (http://www.gnxp.com/)? I'm not sure if he qualifies.

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 02:35 PM
Razib (http://www.gnxp.com/)? I'm not sure if he qualifies.

Maybe Razib versus Tyler talking about Clark's book. That would be interesting.

claymisher
09-13-2009, 06:21 PM
Maybe Razib versus Tyler talking about Clark's book. That would be interesting.

Why not just have Steve fucking Sailer do it. Hell, maybe David Duke is available too.

AemJeff
09-13-2009, 06:40 PM
Why not just have Steve fucking Sailer do it. Hell, maybe David Duke is available too.

I never thought of Razib as a member of that team. More like how I think of Derbyshire - farther over the line than makes me comfortable, but apparently intellectually honest.

look
09-13-2009, 07:27 PM
Maybe Razib versus Tyler talking about Clark's book. That would be interesting.I would be in geek heaven. I just went to Amazon to read a review of the book, and found this quote:
Clark's idea-rich book may just prove to be the next blockbuster in economics. He offers us a daring story of the economic foundations of good institutions and the climb out of recurring poverty. We may not have cracked the mystery of human progress, but A Farewell to Alms brings us closer than before.
(Tyler Cowen New York Times )
I think it's ironic with regard to the cultural/genetic controversy this book may raise, that the white population of Europe has dropped below replacement level, and IIRC, here in the US its approaching that, if not here already.

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 07:46 PM
Why not just have Steve fucking Sailer do it. Hell, maybe David Duke is available too.

Chill. I did say "interesting" and it's possible to be interested in the views of people one may not agree with.

claymisher
09-13-2009, 07:50 PM
Chill. I did say "interesting" and it's possible to be interested in the views of people one may not agree with.

It's true. David Duke can tell you plenty of interesting thinks about gene expression as well.

Me&theboys
09-13-2009, 08:53 PM
It's true. David Duke can tell you plenty of interesting thinks about gene expression as well.

Didn't think you'd be contributing to the race to the bottom, clay. That's twice now I've said something pretty darn mild that you disagree with and elicited a pretty extreme response from you. I got the impression you were more in favor of reasonable discussion than hyperbole and willful/neglectful misinterpretation and snarky commentary. Surely you know I'm no right wing ideologue. Perhaps I shouldn't, but I'll count this exchange as being more snarky than you intended, for whatever reason.

claymisher
09-14-2009, 02:06 AM
I never thought of Razib as a member of that team. More like how I think of Derbyshire - farther over the line than makes me comfortable, but apparently intellectually honest.

You know Derb is a straight up "blacks are inferior" racist, right?

claymisher
09-14-2009, 02:38 AM
Didn't think you'd be contributing to the race to the bottom, clay. That's twice now I've said something pretty darn mild that you disagree with and elicited a pretty extreme response from you. I got the impression you were more in favor of reasonable discussion than hyperbole and willful/neglectful misinterpretation and snarky commentary. Surely you know I'm no right wing ideologue. Perhaps I shouldn't, but I'll count this exchange as being more snarky than you intended, for whatever reason.

I'm sorry if I was overly curt. It's just that I hate hate hate everything that gnxp represents. It's just another in a long line of moronic pseudoscientific essentialists -- "there's a gene for entrepreneurship and natural selection made the British the bestest!" "Africans have an average IQ of 70 so they're all retards" "I found a paper that said, due to natural selection, Jews are genetically sneaky!" It's a little game of "how racist can we be without getting called on it." They're all getting boners over the tiniest differences in random data, and conveniently ignore factors like CULTURE and SOCIETY. They're fucking morons. Just look at their blogroll -- Sailer, Derb, Charles Murray. The only people who like that shit are straight-up white supremacists and science nerds that haven't caught on to their racket.

I blame Richard Dawkins for it.

claymisher
09-14-2009, 02:41 AM
Anyway, reviews of Clark:

McCloskey
http://www.deirdremccloskey.com/docs/alms.pdf

Bowles
http://www.santafe.edu/~bowles/2007ScienceGeneticallyCapitalist.pdf
http://www.santafe.edu/~bowles/clark.pdf

AemJeff
09-14-2009, 08:43 AM
You know Derb is a straight up "blacks are inferior" racist, right?

I don't believe that about Derbyshire. He says plenty of shit that I think is offensive ("Rubble doesn't doesn't make trouble") but I don't think he's a racist. The same goes for Razib and even Heather MacDonald and Charles Murray (who, of the four I've listed is the most troublesome, I think.) Murray's defense of Obama on The Corner (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTM4MjJkYmNhMjM5MjQ1YzVhNzhjMTE3NzQ1ZWI4MjU=) last year, came as a surprise.

Most of this came up here in this very thread (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=77990#post77990) about a year ago.

Here is the clearest statement from Derbyhire on the topic of which I'm aware. I remember Brendan characterizing it as "not quite a complete defense, but pretty interesting." I agree.

Link (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTEzZGViYzAyZjdjZmFhMjdmZGJlZTFiMWRkNTE1YzM=)
RE: IDENTITY POLITICS FOR WHITE PEOPLE [John Derbyshire]

Here's my take on "identity politics for white people."

Every person subscribes, with different degrees of intensity, to many groups. I'm an American, a native of England (and of Northampton), a Long Islander, a Derbyshire, a Knowles (i.e my mother's family), a lapsed Episcopalian, a writer, a mathematician, a Yankee supporter, an opera fan, a white person, a Gentile, and so on.

Depending on one's immediate circumstances, one or other (or none) of one's identities might be to the fore—might be "salient." In a room full of Nigerian mathematicians, my mathematician identity would be salient. Hurrying along a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant at 2 a.m., on the other hand, my white-guy identity would be salient. This is basic psychology.

Very few white Americans have their whiteness at the front of their minds when marking up their preferences in a voting booth. So "identity politics for white people" is not politically significant.

The interesting question to ask is: Might this change? Might white Americans, in electorally significant numbers, one day have their whiteness at the front of their minds in the voting booth?

The point Jonah's reader was making, one very commonly made, is: Yes, this will change if white Americans come to feel that they are one group among many, fighting in a zero-sum game for a slice of the national pie.

What might cause white Americans to feel that way in large numbers? Jonah's reader supplies one answer: The sight of other racial blocs approaching politics in that spirit. Now, since other racial blocs in this country have in fact been doing just that for decades without triggering "identity politics for white people," it is plainly the case that, while this spectacle may be necessary to bring about the result (i.e. racial voting by white Americans), it is not sufficient.

What extra condition would be needed to get from "necessary but not sufficient" to "necessary and sufficient"? I would suggest the fact of white Americans being in an actual minority. After all, racial voting by our other minorities arises because they are... minorities.

I don't believe, as a lot of liberals apparently do, that white Americans are morally superior to nonwhite Americans in their refusal to vote racially. I think we refuse to vote racially because we are smugly confident in our overwhelming numerical superiority. Basically, we don't give a thought to our identities as white people when voting, not because we are too morally lofty to think about it at all (you'll think about it, believe me, on that Bed-Stuy street at 2 a.m.), but because there aren't enough people of other races to make the topic interesting or important to us when we are thinking about the nation at large, as I hope we are in the voting booth.

If that changes—President Clinton, if memory serves, promised us that it will change by mid-century—then so will our voting behavior.

I don't look forward to that any more than Jonah does; but if you put current demographic trends together with basic human psychology, that's the way we're headed... Unless we can somehow bring about a transformation of human nature so that never, under any circumstances at all, is race our salient identity.

But when did the transformation of human nature become a conservative project?

Me&theboys
09-14-2009, 09:45 AM
I'm sorry if I was overly curt. It's just that I hate hate hate everything that gnxp represents. It's just another in a long line of moronic pseudoscientific essentialists -- "there's a gene for entrepreneurship and natural selection made the British the bestest!" "Africans have an average IQ of 70 so they're all retards" "I found a paper that said, due to natural selection, Jews are genetically sneaky!" It's a little game of "how racist can we be without getting called on it." They're all getting boners over the tiniest differences in random data, and conveniently ignore factors like CULTURE and SOCIETY. They're fucking morons. Just look at their blogroll -- Sailer, Derb, Charles Murray. The only people who like that shit are straight-up white supremacists and science nerds that haven't caught on to their racket.

I blame Richard Dawkins for it.

I don't blame Dawkins. I blame people. As much as you hate the idea of genetic determinism, I hate the idea of cultural determinism. Being a female, I have a less sanguine view of culture and society than do most men, what with being constrained by it for most of human history and all. In my view, appeals to culture and society are not the way forward -they are the way backward, because culture is tenuous and conditional and more resistant to moral condemnation because of the human tendency to see and use our created institutions as independent validation of the behaviors they perpetuate. A genetic basis for personality and behavior, on the other hand, not only offers a path toward the scientific rejection of cultural untruths, it forces people to take a moral stand, independent of cultural tradition, on whether a particular practice or behavior is good or not. Culture is the embodiment of the ought from is argument. Culture makes implicit moralistic claims, many of them self-serving and wrong. Science does not. Since culture has not served women well throughout history, I'll take my chances with science, even if some of the findings are not to my liking. The truth is what the truth is. I happen to think our cultures and our societies have gotten the truth wrong in a LOT of areas. If I didn't think so, I'd probably be very opposed to behavioral genetics and related studies. So far, culture's track record is not so great in the areas I care about, so I see little to lose.

BTW, the above is why I am so opposed to organized religion and so eager to bring science to bear on religious claims and on the nature and causes of religious beliefs. Materialist explanations threaten our cherished beliefs. I think that's good, because many of our cherished beliefs have implications and consequences that suck.

look
09-14-2009, 11:29 AM
As much as you hate the idea of genetic determinism, I hate the idea of cultural determinism. Being a female, I have a less sanguine view of culture and society than do most men, what with being constrained by it for most of human history and all. In my view, appeals to culture and society are not the way forward -they are the way backward, because culture is tenuous and conditional and more resistant to moral condemnation because of the human tendency to see and use our created institutions as independent validation of the behaviors they perpetuate. A genetic basis for personality and behavior, on the other hand, not only offers a path toward the scientific rejection of cultural untruths, it forces people to take a moral stand, independent of cultural tradition, on whether a particular practice or behavior is good or not. Culture is the embodiment of the ought from is argument. Culture makes implicit moralistic claims, many of them self-serving and wrong.Very well said.

claymisher
09-14-2009, 11:30 AM
I don't blame Dawkins. I blame people. As much as you hate the idea of genetic determinism, I hate the idea of cultural determinism. Being a female, I have a less sanguine view of culture and society than do most men, what with being constrained by it for most of human history and all. In my view, appeals to culture and society are not the way forward -they are the way backward, because culture is tenuous and conditional and more resistant to moral condemnation because of the human tendency to see and use our created institutions as independent validation of the behaviors they perpetuate. A genetic basis for personality and behavior, on the other hand, not only offers a path toward the scientific rejection of cultural untruths, it forces people to take a moral stand, independent of cultural tradition, on whether a particular practice or behavior is good or not. Culture is the embodiment of the ought from is argument. Culture makes implicit moralistic claims, many of them self-serving and wrong. Science does not. Since culture has not served women well throughout history, I'll take my chances with science, even if some of the findings are not to my liking. The truth is what the truth is. I happen to think our cultures and our societies have gotten the truth wrong in a LOT of areas. If I didn't think so, I'd probably be very opposed to behavioral genetics and related studies. So far, culture's track record is not so great in the areas I care about, so I see little to lose.

BTW, the above is why I am so opposed to organized religion and so eager to bring science to bear on religious claims and on the nature and causes of religious beliefs. Materialist explanations threaten our cherished beliefs. I think that's good, because many of our cherished beliefs have implications and consequences that suck.

So what, you think Jews are genetically sneaky? Just kidding.

I don't follow you here. I'm not defending tradition! I'm not saying culture and society are unbounded by biology (I'm pretty sure people universally need to eat and poop). I'm just saying those people are claiming they know way more than they can actually know. They turn "Black IQ test scores are lower" into "black people are genetically teh dumb" when we both know there's a lot more than that. This kind of sloppy thinking has an amazing record of failure: the Irish are genetically lazy, women are genetically hysterical and therefore can't be educated, blacks are dumb, etc. And people where always able to point to the evidence at the time and say, "Well look, the Irish are poor, where are the female doctors, etc?! Ipso facto QED *brushing-hands-motion* so there!" Time has proven the essentialists wrong so many times before (Ireland's richer than the UK today (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=ireland+uk+gdp+per+capita), more women become doctors than men, etc) that I think massive skepticism towards essentialist claims is a good idea.

Me&theboys
09-14-2009, 01:02 PM
So what, you think Jews are genetically sneaky? Just kidding.

I don't follow you here. I'm not defending tradition! I'm not saying culture and society are unbounded by biology (I'm pretty sure people universally need to eat and poop). I'm just saying those people are claiming they know way more than they can actually know. They turn "Black IQ test scores are lower" into "black people are genetically teh dumb" when we both know there's a lot more than that. This kind of sloppy thinking has an amazing record of failure: the Irish are genetically lazy, women are genetically hysterical and therefore can't be educated, blacks are dumb, etc. And people where always able to point to the evidence at the time and say, "Well look, the Irish are poor, where are the female doctors, etc?! Ipso facto QED *brushing-hands-motion* so there!" Time has proven the essentialists wrong so many times before (Ireland's richer than the UK today (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=ireland+uk+gdp+per+capita), more women become doctors than men, etc) that I think massive skepticism towards essentialist claims is a good idea.

I agree that unwarranted conclusions are a problem, but I also feel it is best not to throw the baby out with the bath water but instead to debate those claims that seem indefensible, and not on the basis of opinion but on the basis of fact. I don't think you and I have a disagreement about the need for limits regarding claims about what genes can and cannot explain at this time, so let's get back to Clark.

I've only read Clark's book (not any of his other work), and in it he places a significant amount of emphasis on the role of culture in influencing history. Also, I do not recall him coming down on the side of genetic determinism. So I'm not sure why you object so vehemently to him (and the fact that you do is one of the reasons why I'd like to see a diavlog on the issue). Or are you mostly objecting to Razib?

Me&theboys
09-14-2009, 01:50 PM
I'm not saying culture and society are unbounded by biology (I'm pretty sure people universally need to eat and poop). I'm just saying those people are claiming they know way more than they can actually know.

Addendum to my prior reply: I think there is an equal (and more pernicious) tendency for those who favor cultural explanations to claim way more than they actually know. With regard to culture, I think that, for the reasons I articulated 2 posts ago, many people tend to seek and give more weight to cultural explanations than to genetic ones because the cultural ones tend to validate their already held and cherished beliefs. And I think many of those beliefs are often wrong. Therefore, I am inclined to view favorably those who seek to restrict cultural explanations of behavior to the bare minimum, and one way to do that is to seek a maximum explanation for behavior in purely genetic terms. Of course, such explanations, if they are to be meaningful, are impossible, but that approach leads to the most parsimonious role for culture as an explanation, versus the larger role that people have wanted to grant it for too many decades of social science research.

Here's an example: patterns in females of early onset puberty, precocious sexuality, and unstable relationships as adults have been attributed to lack of a father in the home. That explanation reaffirmed people's cherished beliefs in marriage and traditional families. However, a study has found that "a variant X-linked androgen receptor gene predisposing the father to behaviors that include family abandonment may be passed on to their daughters causing early puberty, precocious sexuality and behavior problems." This genetic explanation strikes me as worthy of further exploration in terms of additional research, etc. It may be right, it may be not, it may be highly susceptible to environment. But if we let the fact that such research may undermine cherished beliefs about the value of a traditional family structure prevent us from discussing it or exploring it further, or cause us to malign the intentions of those who are doing such research, I would see that as both unfortunate and unwarranted. Not because I particularly like the genetic explanation, but because I so very much dislike the idea that many of our cultural institutions are based on special interest myth asserted as fact.

That's why my tirade against culture and my desire to see it granted absolutely positively no more influence than can be proven. When the benefit of the doubt must be given for judging the validity of an explanation, I'll give it to genes, not culture. And may the best data win.

Whatfur
09-14-2009, 11:12 PM
I miss Debra Dickerson.

Bill Bennett -- (web (http://www.billbennett.com/))
Dennis Prager -- (web (http://www.dennisprager.com/)) (latest column (http://www.dennisprager.com/columns.aspx?g=79cc0d15-209f-4053-96b9-0d14082d52e1&url=the_bigger_the_government,_the_smaller_the_cit izen))
Andrew McCarthy -- (web (http://www.nationalreview.com/)) (latest column (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MzU5NGI4MzNkZTg3MzY5MWQ0ZGQ0ZWJjNGExZDhjOGM=))
Thomas Sowell -- (web (http://www.tsowell.com/)) (latest column (http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090809.php3))
Hugh Hewitt -- (blog (http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog))(latest column (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/While-we-debate-health-reform_-the-Iran-crisis-deepens-8237815-59176122.html)).
Steven Pressfield -- (web and latest (http://blog.stevenpressfield.com/)) (books (http://home.stevenpressfield.com/content/books.asp))
Iain (M.) Banks -- (web (http://www.iain-banks.net/about/))

and more "Conn!!!"

claymisher
09-14-2009, 11:17 PM
When the benefit of the doubt must be given for judging the validity of an explanation, I'll give it to genes, not culture. And may the best data win.

Do you really believe that? So if I say GENEX is why blacks are poor you'll just give me the benefit of the doubt? Or if it's 1850 and I point to GENEY and say that's why the Irish are poor, you'll go with that? Or point to some spatial reasoning test from 30 years ago that explains genetically why women are bad at science? Really? Or do you just have a vague sense of people with lab coats are smarter than sociologists? I don't see any reason to privilege one over the other in advance.

I'm still not sure what you mean by being against culture.

I'm against speculative half-assed unprovable explanations, like that "there's a gene for aggression that makes teh blacks criminals" stuff amateur sociobiologists trade in (that's a real one from gnxp). None of this makes me a full-on blank slater. I don't think sexism is what's keeping women from playing in the NFL. I'm against speculative half-assed unprovable cultural explanations too. I'm against bad explanations, and that's exactly what gnxp, Charles Murray, etc specialize in. They're just fishing for rationales for their prejudices. The worst of it is that they act like they're fucking heroes for possessing the courage to say blacks are inferior.

claymisher
09-14-2009, 11:21 PM
I agree that unwarranted conclusions are a problem, but I also feel it is best not to throw the baby out with the bath water but instead to debate those claims that seem indefensible, and not on the basis of opinion but on the basis of fact. I don't think you and I have a disagreement about the need for limits regarding claims about what genes can and cannot explain at this time, so let's get back to Clark.

I've only read Clark's book (not any of his other work), and in it he places a significant amount of emphasis on the role of culture in influencing history. Also, I do not recall him coming down on the side of genetic determinism. So I'm not sure why you object so vehemently to him (and the fact that you do is one of the reasons why I'd like to see a diavlog on the issue). Or are you mostly objecting to Razib?

Clark's thesis was that the industrial revolution started in Britain because rich people had more children than poor people. Anybody who actually tried to do the math could see that it's impossible for that to make any difference in just a few hundred years. The scientific racists love that shit though, and they'll overlook the bad math if it supports their conclusions.

Me&theboys
09-15-2009, 07:51 AM
Clark's thesis was that the industrial revolution started in Britain because rich people had more children than poor people. Anybody who actually tried to do the math could see that it's impossible for that to make any difference in just a few hundred years. The scientific racists love that shit though, and they'll overlook the bad math if it supports their conclusions.

OK, but the larger message of the book was that culture was the catalyst. He may have gotten wrong the mechanism by which the cultural change was produced, but do you object to his thesis that culture was the catalyst? Most of the book was devoted to that premise.

Me&theboys
09-15-2009, 10:00 AM
Do you really believe that? So if I say GENEX is why blacks are poor you'll just give me the benefit of the doubt? Or if it's 1850 and I point to GENEY and say that's why the Irish are poor, you'll go with that? Or point to some spatial reasoning test from 30 years ago that explains genetically why women are bad at science? Really? Or do you just have a vague sense of people with lab coats are smarter than sociologists? I don't see any reason to privilege one over the other in advance.

no I am not saying that. Genetic explanations that do not take environmental influences into account are almost always going to be flawed. Environmental/cultural explanations that do not take genetics data into account are almost always going to be flawed. I find that there are far more examples of the latter than the former in the literature; consequently, I tend to be far more skeptical of the claims based on cultural explanations, which have a long history of being plagued by poorly substantiated or non-existant or misinterpreted or biased data and by the unwarranted assignment of causation to correlation. And I am saying that the knee jerk reaction to take a negative stance against genetic data or explanations simply because they contradict cherished beliefs about culture and human nature is wrong. I have no problem with criticizing all unwarranted conclusions drawn from data. I have a problem with assuming that behavioral genetics data is prima facie bad. And to the extent that one conclusion offers valid genetic data in support of it and a competing conclusion offers only cultural speculation or invalid cultural data in support of it, I'll go with the fomer as the better working hypothesis.

I'm against bad explanations.

Me too, in the sense that they are not warranted by the data, but not in the sense that I just don't agree with them or find them offensive. I am an equal opportunity disdainer of the misuse of data, but not of data itself. Which is why I am willing to examine data from whatever source provides it, even while rejecting the conclusions those sources may draw from that data.

claymisher
09-15-2009, 12:45 PM
OK, but the larger message of the book was that culture was the catalyst. He may have gotten wrong the mechanism by which the cultural change was produced, but do you object to his thesis that culture was the catalyst? Most of the book was devoted to that premise.

I didn't read the whole thing! Brad DeLong's take on it was that it was 98% excellent economic history, lots of great facts, and 2% specious genetical reasoning (guess what got the most attention). I trust Brad's judgment.

claymisher
09-15-2009, 12:46 PM
no I am not saying that. Genetic explanations that do not take environmental influences into account are almost always going to be flawed. Environmental/cultural explanations that do not take genetics data into account are almost always going to be flawed. I find that there are far more examples of the latter than the former in the literature; consequently, I tend to be far more skeptical of the claims based on cultural explanations, which have a long history of being plagued by poorly substantiated or non-existant or misinterpreted or biased data and by the unwarranted assignment of causation to correlation. And I am saying that the knee jerk reaction to take a negative stance against genetic data or explanations simply because they contradict cherished beliefs about culture and human nature is wrong. I have no problem with criticizing all unwarranted conclusions drawn from data. I have a problem with assuming that behavioral genetics data is prima facie bad. And to the extent that one conclusion offers valid genetic data in support of it and a competing conclusion offers only cultural speculation or invalid cultural data in support of it, I'll go with the fomer as the better working hypothesis.



Me too, in the sense that they are not warranted by the data, but not in the sense that I just don't agree with them or find them offensive. I am an equal opportunity disdainer of the misuse of data, but not of data itself. Which is why I am willing to examine data from whatever source provides it, even while rejecting the conclusions those sources may draw from that data.

We're in strenuous agreement!

claymisher
09-15-2009, 12:49 PM
Just looking at the subjects for today's Wilkinson dv you can already tell there's going to be a lot of pulling-it-out-of-my-ass sociobiological twaddle, right?

Me&theboys
09-15-2009, 03:05 PM
I didn't read the whole thing! Brad DeLong's take on it was that it was 98% excellent economic history, lots of great facts, and 2% specious genetical reasoning (guess what got the most attention). I trust Brad's judgment.

I agree with Brad. it is worth a read.

Me&theboys
09-15-2009, 03:13 PM
We're in strenuous agreement!

I suspected we were.

Me&theboys
09-15-2009, 03:14 PM
Just looking at the subjects for today's Wilkinson dv you can already tell there's going to be a lot of pulling-it-out-of-my-ass sociobiological twaddle, right?

Yep. We'll have to sift the good bits out.

graz
09-15-2009, 03:35 PM
Just looking at the subjects for today's Wilkinson dv you can already tell there's going to be a lot of pulling-it-out-of-my-ass sociobiological twaddle, right?

Yep. We'll have to sift the good bits out.

I listened to the whole of it while on a walk. So I don't feel as if I wasted my time. Yet, as well as each participant put forth their case, neither was particularly fact-based or definitive:

Shorter Will: I have a theory which comports with my ideological preferences to counter your prejudice.

Shorter Kay: I'm a conservative, therefore change is to be scorned. Because recent history tells me that hetero pairing towards children is an end in itself...I worry.

popcorn_karate
09-16-2009, 02:34 PM
In my view, appeals to culture and society are not the way forward -they are the way backward, because culture is tenuous and conditional and more resistant to moral condemnation because of the human tendency to see and use our created institutions as independent validation of the behaviors they perpetuate. A genetic basis for personality and behavior, on the other hand, not only offers a path toward the scientific rejection of cultural untruths, it forces people to take a moral stand, independent of cultural tradition, on whether a particular practice or behavior is good or not.

i think you are pointed 180 degrees away from the truth.

The truth is that absent culture, might makes right, and as a woman, you will never have right on your side.

It is only through the advance of culture, and the monopoly on violence by the state, that you are advanced and protected. when culture and institutions break down - who suffers the most? women, children, and old people. civilization is largely the process of harnessing male power and aggression into activities that help the entire society rather than hurt it.

Me&theboys
09-16-2009, 03:56 PM
i think you are pointed 180 degrees away from the truth.

The truth is that absent culture, might makes right, and as a woman, you will never have right on your side.

It is only through the advance of culture, and the monopoly on violence by the state, that you are advanced and protected. when culture and institutions break down - who suffers the most? women, children, and old people. civilization is largely the process of harnessing male power and aggression into activities that help the entire society rather than hurt it.

If culture is so fabulous, how do you explain the mysogynistic cultures that prevail in much of the world and were nearly universal 100 or so years ago?

stephanie
09-16-2009, 04:46 PM
If culture is so fabulous, how do you explain the mysogynistic cultures that prevail in much of the world and were nearly universal 100 or so years ago?

Culture can have good influences or bad ones (although there are always going to be disputes as to which are which). Genetic influences just are. I don't see how the debate over which is more significant to a particular group difference says anything about what should be -- for example, culture could be argued to promote a particular group valuing education or not, but that has nothing to do with whether education is a good thing to value. Similarly, it might be genetic and physical differences which result in different career choices by men and women or it might be cultural, but neither requires us to think that those differences are good (or bad). In fact, to the extent that one argues that differences are innate to the genes, that seems to justify not doing anything to change things. If one thinks it's the result of cultural conditioning or the fact that a particular society's culture has certain norms, one can argue that individuals in the society would benefit from a different set up.

popcorn_karate
09-16-2009, 05:27 PM
point to any situation where culture breaks down and women are better off.

Me&theboys
09-16-2009, 07:34 PM
point to any situation where culture breaks down and women are better off.

That's not an answer to my reply to you.

popcorn_karate
09-17-2009, 11:59 AM
go back. read my post and you'll see that your reply completely misses the point of my post, which is why i restated it.

I don't care to go down some other rabbit hole with you. I found your statement to be not based in fact, pointed that out, and then you changed the subject.

sorry - its not worth my time if you continue to be intentionally obtuse to avoid looking at the huge, gaping hole in your argument.

Me&theboys
09-17-2009, 02:58 PM
go back. read my post and you'll see that your reply completely misses the point of my post, which is why i restated it.

I don't care to go down some other rabbit hole with you. I found your statement to be not based in fact, pointed that out, and then you changed the subject.

sorry - its not worth my time if you continue to be intentionally obtuse to avoid looking at the huge, gaping hole in your argument.

PK - You are quick to anger, my man. I generally enjoy debating with people I disagree with. You, apparently not so much. For that reason, and since you and I see eye to eye on nothing when it comes to human behavior, how about we agree never to respond to each other's posts? That sounds like a zero sum proposition to me. You started this exchange between us, so I'll end it, and then we can part ways and you can either set up vbulletin to ignore all my future posts or seeth in silence at them.

My reply to you was directly relevant to your claim that culture is beneficial to women. I was challenging such a sweeping claim by asking you to explain it within the context of cultures that are so obviously not beneficial to women. So I don't know why you're so worked up. In any event, you'd be mistaken to infer from my question that I was disputing your entire claim about the value of culture in general. My question was designed to point out to you that making blanket endorsements of culture leaves one in a moral quandry when confronted with cultures that are not good. Try telling the girls who have acid thrown on their faces in Afghanistan that their culture is beneficial for them. I'm sure the slaves in Virginia 175 years ago would have been mollified by the statement that it could have been worse.

Regardless of the above, I think you should reread the conversation I was having with claymisher. You apparently completely misunderstood it. I was addressing the value of prefering culture over genes as an explanation of human behavior and phenomena. I was not advocating that no culture is better than any culture. I was advocating that since most cultures suck from a woman's perspective and tend to serve the interests of those who create and sustain them rather than to represent what is morally or even factually right and wrong, true and false, they are unlikely to provide an accurate basis for explaining the phenomenon in question, so I'll put my money on genes before I'll put it on an unsubstantiated cultural belief when I want to explain behavior and human characteristics.

So long.

popcorn_karate
09-21-2009, 01:38 PM
PK - You are quick to anger, my man. I generally enjoy debating with people I disagree with. You, apparently not so much. For that reason, and since you and I see eye to eye on nothing when it comes to human behavior, how about we agree never to respond to each other's posts? That sounds like a zero sum proposition to me. You started this exchange between us, so I'll end it, and then we can part ways and you can either set up vbulletin to ignore all my future posts or seeth in silence at them.

seething in silence is not my style, I'll call bullshit on bullshit when i see it. Whether you respond or ignore me is entirely up to you.

My reply to you was directly relevant to your claim that culture is beneficial to women.

I pointed out that when culture breaks down women are usually worse off than before - and asked for an example of where culture breaks down and women are better off. you chose not to respond to my point.


I was challenging such a sweeping claim by asking you to explain it within the context of cultures that are so obviously not beneficial to women.

and again you make the claim that these cultures are "not beneficial" for women - and again i'd ask for any example of where culture breaks down and women are better off than before - and to make it extremely clear, that is because of your claim of "not beneficial" (and since we are talking about "women" a bad thing happening to one woman does not count as an argument)

If you actually wanted a conversation that would allow us to see the other's point of view - you would have to respond to the point that I am making by either giving an example or explaining why you don't think my point is valid for other reasons and thus an example is irrelevant.

but you consistently misread my posts, so i'm not really expecting anything but continued misunderstanding between us.


So I don't know why you're so worked up.

yeah - i'm not really "worked up", but anyway...



In any event, you'd be mistaken to infer from my question that I was disputing your entire claim about the value of culture in general.

clearly you were not disputing anything with me - you were ignoring the point I made.

so here is my question: is a culture that you find misogynistic better for women than no culture/cultural breakdown? I say the answer is clearly "yes". Which in no way means that misogyny is OK - but it does have relevance to many of the arguments that you make in many threads, in my opinion.

My question was designed to point out to you that making blanket endorsements of culture leaves one in a moral quandry when confronted with cultures that are not good.

looky there - we agree! a moral quandry is indeed the outcome because the suffering of women in some of these cultures is obvious and horrible yet the blanket condemnation of their culture is too easy considering the benefits that accrue to members of the society (including women).

If you admit to the fact of that this is a "quandry", then i think perhaps we've made progress in understanding each other's perspective.

Even "bad" cultures provide a ton of benefits due to the expansion of non-zero sum interactions and to posit that women are worse off (i.e. the culture is "not beneficial" to women) because of that culture than they would be otherwise seems to be over-stated.



Regardless of the above, I think you should reread the conversation I was having with claymisher. You apparently completely misunderstood it.

no i did not misunderstand it. you consistently make arguments about how women are oppressed by culture. I wanted to talk about that particular issue and how you deploy it in argumentation. I understand this was somewhat tangential to the conversation you were having with Clay - I didn't expect that to confuse you - it seems pretty normal for conversations to have branches and tangents and things like that.

here's to hoping we can communicate more effectively in the future.

Me&theboys
09-21-2009, 03:54 PM
and again you make the claim that these cultures are "not beneficial" for women - and again i'd ask for any example of where culture breaks down and women are better off than before - and to make it extremely clear, that is because of your claim of "not beneficial" (and since we are talking about "women" a bad thing happening to one woman does not count as an argument)

Here's the problems with this conversation:

1) You construe my claim that many cultures are not beneficial to women as equivalent to or containing the claim that no culture is better than a bad culture. I am making the former claim. Why do you think I must also be making the latter claim?

2) I don't quite see how it makes sense to discuss the state of affairs where there is no culture (where does that even exist?) or where culture has broken down. I guess I need some examples of such situations. What is a culture that has broken down and how do you differentiate a culture that has broken down from a culture that is simply worse than the one it replaced? If anything, a broken down culture will be a transitional phase between one culture and another, and such chaos is generally bad for everyone, not just women, though the culture that arises from it can be either better or worse than what came before. But even if cultural transition is what you are talking about, I don't see what claims about cultural transition (which I am not making) have to do with claims about culture (which I am making).


no i did not misunderstand it. you consistently make arguments about how women are oppressed by culture. I wanted to talk about that particular issue and how you deploy it in argumentation. I understand this was somewhat tangential to the conversation you were having with Clay - I didn't expect that to confuse you - it seems pretty normal for conversations to have branches and tangents and things like that.

I continue to find it hard to see how you really understood my conversation with Clay when your response to it was that my comments were pointing "180 degrees away from the truth" and you then go on to show how I am wrong by making a claim about culture that was completely irrelevent to the conversation I was having with Clay. If my points to Clay were wrong, they were only wrong within the context of the conversation I was having with Clay, which was about the role of culture versus genes in explaining human behavior. It makes no sense to tell me my points were wrong within some other context that I was not even addressing. The impression you gave was that you either didn't understand what I was saying or just wanted to start an argument.

Me&theboys
09-21-2009, 07:21 PM
.......

PS - If you object to the claim that many/some/any cultures are not beneficial to women, by that same logic you must also object to the claim that many/some/any cultures are not beneficial to slaves. And you must also object to the claim that many/some/any cultures are not beneficial to Jews. And so on and so on, because in your book, every culture, no matter how bad, is beneficial to everyone to some degree, no matter how persecuted or abused or oppressed they may be. That is similar to saying that any culture is better than no culture. That may be true as a concept(you’d have to go back to prehistory to have any hope of finding humans living in a cultureless world and I think it would be unlikely), and I doubt many people would seriously dispute it as a concept, but it is true in a trivial sense and is a statement that IMO adds no value to a discussion. What is the point of making such a statement? It is a hard core relativist position: “well, no matter how bad they have it, it could be worse, so it's beneficial to them in some way and who are we to judge.” Is that really the argument you want to be making?

Also, it is worth noting that such an argument has to begin with a starting point of zero - that anything better than zero (non-existence) is beneficial (and I mean beneficial to everyone since we are not concerned, as you say, with individuals). So existence without culture is more beneficial for everyone than non-existence. And existence with any cuture is more beneficial for everyone than existence without culture. But why stop there? How about stating that cultures with laws are more beneficial for everyone than cultures without laws? Well, I think this is where things become disputable. Cultures with laws are not more beneficial for everyone than cultures without laws. Certainly there are groups of people who would benefit more in cultures without laws. So now we have to start talking about cultures in terms of beneficial for the most, rather than beneficial for everyone. So can we state that cultures that are beneficial for the most are better than cultures that are beneficial for the fewer? Well, certainly slavery would be a counter example to such a claim. As would Nazi Germany. So this line of thinking starts to push against our moral sense. And this brings us to a situation where we feel it is appropriate to label some cultures as not beneficial, or as oppressive, or whatever. When people disagree over the labeling, it will generally represent a moral disagreement. I have no problem with the fact of moral disagreement, but to the extent that the labeling does not follow a system that is morally coherent, there is no reason to take it seriously.

Also, I think that a common flaw in different perspectives on culture is to view dominant/powerful individuals in a culture as having a starting point of 100 and to view the dominated/powerless individuals in a culture as having a starting point of zero. With this perspective, any incremental benefit given to those starting at zero is something they should be grateful for, while any incremental reduction from those starting at 100 is generally resented, at least initially. The flaw in this line of thinking is its implicit assumption that some people are inherently more deserving than others.

popcorn_karate
09-22-2009, 12:49 PM
I continue to find it hard to see how you really understood my conversation with Clay

your egotistical posturing is both funny and sad. good luck with it. but i'll let you in on a secret - you're not nearly as smart as you think, and i'm not nearly as stupid as you think.

i had hoped you'd be able to climb off your high horse and have a conversation. oh well.

Me&theboys
09-22-2009, 01:52 PM
your egotistical posturing is both funny and sad. good luck with it. but i'll let you in on a secret - you're not nearly as smart as you think, and i'm not nearly as stupid as you think.

i had hoped you'd be able to climb off your high horse and have a conversation. oh well.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. What egotistical posturing? Disagreeing with you is egotistical posturing? You pull this stunt all the time - when the conversation gets difficult, you pull out, often leaving a wake of insult. I'm having a serious conversation. I have no idea what you are doing. I directly answered what I think about your claim about cultural breakdown. I also asked you several direct questions about what you seem to be saying. And then I posted an even more elaborate response to explain my views. I didn't call you names or insult you. That's how serious conversations proceed.

AemJeff
09-24-2009, 10:37 AM
I don't believe that about Derbyshire. He says plenty of shit that I think is offensive ("Rubble doesn't doesn't make trouble") but I don't think he's a racist. The same goes for Razib and even Heather MacDonald and Charles Murray (who, of the four I've listed is the most troublesome, I think.) Murray's defense of Obama on The Corner (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTM4MjJkYmNhMjM5MjQ1YzVhNzhjMTE3NzQ1ZWI4MjU=) last year, came as a surprise.

Most of this came up here in this very thread (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=77990#post77990) about a year ago.

Here is the clearest statement from Derbyhire on the topic of which I'm aware. I remember Brendan characterizing it as "not quite a complete defense, but pretty interesting." I agree.

Link (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTEzZGViYzAyZjdjZmFhMjdmZGJlZTFiMWRkNTE1YzM=)

Having defended Derb, et al - I feel obligated to admit when they cross the line. Here's Derb approvingly linking Sailer (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=M2FlMTI2NDZjNjVkYjQ3MzhlYTViMTg3NzJlMGEzOTc=).

bjkeefe
09-24-2009, 11:01 AM
Having defended Derb, et al - I feel obligated to admit when they cross the line. Here's Derb approvingly linking Sailer (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=M2FlMTI2NDZjNjVkYjQ3MzhlYTViMTg3NzJlMGEzOTc=).

Ugh. Yep. I like some of what Derb has to say, but he does have that color-nonblindness problem.

popcorn_karate
09-24-2009, 12:56 PM
My reply to you was directly relevant to your claim that culture is beneficial to women. I was challenging such a sweeping claim by asking you to explain it within the context of cultures that are so obviously not beneficial to women.



1) You construe my claim that many cultures are not beneficial to women as equivalent to or containing the claim that no culture is better than a bad culture. I am making the former claim. Why do you think I must also be making the latter claim?

beneficial = "providing a benefit" (i hope this is pretty much a definition we can agree on - as at least being 90% o.k? - good enough to continue the discussion or do you have something different in mind when using this word?)

you say that some cultures (including nearly all cultures 100 years ago and many today - correct? ) are providing no benefits to women ( i.e. they are not beneficial)

I am saying that to make that kind of claim - you would need to believe that these women would be equally well off without their "culture" or "society" (i realize these words are slippery and this is where i would need you to try and understand rather than try to obfuscate the issue if we were to have a worthwhile conversation).

I am saying that this view is incorrect. These women are gaining many benefits even within misogynistic cultures (better food supplies, greater reproductive success etc.) Not as many benefits as some other groups perhaps, but benefits none the less. this is because our cultures are essentially a web of non-zero sum interactions and a "rising tide lifts all boats".

This does not mean that i think misogyny is ok. equality for women expands the web of non-zero sum interactions and is beneficial to everyone in the culture (on a macro level)

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 01:11 PM
I'd love to see Sowell paired with someone who disagrees with him but who can also handle himself--e.g., Brad DeLong, Paul Krugman, etc. However, I doubt Sowell would go on Bh.TV: he's 79, so he probably doesn't dig on having arguments he had thirty-fifty years ago, and I gather he's not into talking to people he disagrees with. Not anymore, anyway.

Bobby G
09-24-2009, 01:14 PM
John Kekes
Roger Scruton
Alasdair MacIntyre (a conservative only in the European sense)

Charles Taylor, if you can get him (not that he's a conservative).

Me&theboys
09-24-2009, 03:53 PM
beneficial = "providing a benefit" (i hope this is pretty much a definition we can agree on - as at least being 90% o.k? - good enough to continue the discussion or do you have something different in mind when using this word?)

you say that some cultures (including nearly all cultures 100 years ago and many today - correct? ) are providing no benefits to women ( i.e. they are not beneficial)

I am saying that to make that kind of claim - you would need to believe that these women would be equally well off without their "culture" or "society" (i realize these words are slippery and this is where i would need you to try and understand rather than try to obfuscate the issue if we were to have a worthwhile conversation).

I am saying that this view is incorrect. These women are gaining many benefits even within misogynistic cultures (better food supplies, greater reproductive success etc.) Not as many benefits as some other groups perhaps, but benefits none the less. this is because our cultures are essentially a web of non-zero sum interactions and a "rising tide lifts all boats".

This does not mean that i think misogyny is ok. equality for women expands the web of non-zero sum interactions and is beneficial to everyone in the culture (on a macro level)

OK. Got it. I was using "not beneficial" so as to avoid using a more pejorative term, but that was clearly a bad decision, so I am happy to change my phraseology from "not beneficial" to the terms I should have gone ahead and used in the first place: "detrimental" (damaging, harmful) and/or "disadvantageous" (meaning opposed to one's interests, unfavorable, adverse, detrimental), neither of which exlude the possibility of some level of benefit at the same time.

Does that solve our problem? I suspect not, but then again, I am still not quite sure what it is you want to discuss, because you're the one who initiated this discussion and it clearly got derailed early on over terminology. Is the claim that any culture is better than no culture or than cultural chaos what you want to discuss? If so, there's not much to discuss because you and I (and probably most of the rest of the world) are in agreement on that point, and probably always have been, despite this long conversation.

opposable_crumbs
10-20-2009, 05:50 PM
Any chance you could get someone from J Street, the Jewish lobbying group.

I remember Bob was dismissive of their approach when they first launched and suggested they should ape AIPAC's methodolgy. To my ears this sounded pretty short sighted, especially coming from Bob who has chosen to taken on the MSM with his own off beat approach.

I doesn't have to be a diavlog about Israel per se, but maybe about lobbying in general and changes in lobbying in response to changes in technology and information accesibilty.

Wonderment
10-20-2009, 06:02 PM
Good Op Ed in Ha-Aretz on J-Street and the resistance (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122104.html)it's meeting.

opposable_crumbs
10-21-2009, 11:32 AM
I was actually refering to someone who was actual a J Street staff member such as Jeremy Ben-Ami (http://www.jstreet.org/about/staff), who could talk more about issues relating to lobbying in the US rather than the I/P issue in general.

opposable_crumbs
10-21-2009, 11:35 AM
I think it's J Streets annual confrence soon, so expect a few more bick bats to be thrown.

bjkeefe
10-21-2009, 11:52 AM
Fine with me. Just have an equally informed critic as well.

Sounds like the makings of a good Apollo diavlog here -- opposable_crumbs and mvantony discussing their perspectives on the two principal Israeli lobbying efforts.

ledocs
10-24-2009, 07:29 PM
Doug Henwood. This guy is such an obvious choice for bhtv that his absence makes me wonder. And now that I think of it, is there anybody who is really left and really serious on this site?

nikkibong
11-05-2009, 11:31 AM
The great Armond White of the New York Press likens (http://www.nypress.com/article-20554-pride-precious.html) the new film Precious, to Birth of a Nation, calling it the "con job of the year."

Stephanie Zacharek of Salon, a great film critic in her own right, sees things differently: she calls (http://salon.com/entertainment/precious/index.html?story=/ent/movies/review/2009/11/04/precious) Precious a "blunt, effective, piece of work," and argues that it should not be seen as a social commentary.

And if there is a benevolent God, these two will be brought here to bhtv to discuss this.

Bobby G
11-05-2009, 12:16 PM
Russell Arben Fox.

claymisher
11-05-2009, 12:53 PM
Doug Henwood. This guy is such an obvious choice for bhtv that his absence makes me wonder. And now that I think of it, is there anybody who is really left and really serious on this site?

Seconded.

claymisher
12-09-2009, 03:33 PM
Judea Pearl wrote the book on causality (http://www.amazon.com/Causality-Reasoning-Inference-Judea-Pearl/dp/052189560X):

I got my first hint of the dark world of causality during my junior year of high school.

My science teacher, Dr. Feuchtwanger, introduced us to the study of logic by discussing the 19th century finding that more people died from smallpox inoculations than from smallpox itself. Some people used this information to argue that inoculation was harmful when, in fact, the data proved the opposite, that inoculation was saving lives by eradicating smallpox.

"And here is where logic comes in," concluded Dr. Feuchtwanger, "To protect us from cause-effect fallacies of this sort." We were all enchanted by the marvels of logic, even though Dr. Feuchtwanger never actually showed us how logic protects us from such fallacies.

It doesn't, I realized years later as an artificial intelligence researcher. Neither logic, nor any branch of mathematics had developed adequate tools for managing problems, such as the smallpox inoculations, involving cause-effect relationships. Most of my colleagues even considered causal vocabulary to be dangerous, avoidable, ill-defined, and nonscientific. "Causality is endless controversy," one of them warned. The accepted style in scientific papers was to write "A implies B" even if one really meant "A causes B," or to state "A is related to B" if one was thinking "A affects B."

Clearly, such denial of causal thought could not last forever ...

-- http://bayes.cs.ucla.edu/BOOK-2K/why.html

Maybe Cosma Shalizi (http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/621.html) could ask the questions.

bjkeefe
12-09-2009, 04:14 PM
Judea Pearl wrote the book on causality (http://www.amazon.com/Causality-Reasoning-Inference-Judea-Pearl/dp/052189560X):



-- http://bayes.cs.ucla.edu/BOOK-2K/why.html

Maybe Cosma Shalizi (http://cscs.umich.edu/~crshalizi/weblog/621.html) could ask the questions.

I second this, at the top of my lungs.

Lyle
12-28-2009, 02:45 AM
He'd be good.

wreaver
01-21-2010, 04:17 AM
I think seeing a debate with Christopher Walter Monckton interesting and entertaining.

AemJeff
01-23-2010, 09:33 AM
I think seeing a debate with Christopher Walter Monckton interesting and entertaining.

I don't think we should encourage cynical cranks with our attention.

bjkeefe
01-23-2010, 09:51 AM
I don't think we should encourage cynical cranks with our attention.

CENSORSHIP!!!1!

AemJeff
01-23-2010, 10:59 AM
CENSORSHIP!!!1!

Damn right! And proud of it.

bjkeefe
01-23-2010, 11:11 AM
Damn right! And proud of it.

Go12, FTW!

nikkibong
02-01-2010, 01:18 PM
LMAO @ jason whitlock

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Whitlock-Oden-pics-make-it-hard-to-measure-up-12810

can we PLEASE have him ?

bjkeefe
02-01-2010, 01:44 PM
LMAO @ jason whitlock

http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/story/Whitlock-Oden-pics-make-it-hard-to-measure-up-12810

can we PLEASE have him ?

Ooooo: "cellf-portraits." I like.

uncle ebeneezer
02-01-2010, 02:15 PM
He is definitely one of the most interesting sports-writers out there.

ledocs
03-03-2010, 07:53 AM
Diane Ravitch. Story today in NYT. BHTV has had only a few diavlogs about education.

bjkeefe
03-05-2010, 05:05 PM
Diane Ravitch. Story today in NYT. BHTV has had only a few diavlogs about education.

Response here (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=153264#post153264).

nikkibong
03-06-2010, 05:57 PM
in light of today's pathetic attempt at a culture diavlog, a few suggestions:

-armond white
-dennis lim
-stephanie zacharek
-ron rosenbaum
-stephen marche
-caitlin flanagan

no more federal management correspondents at government executive to discuss "culture" anymore, please. and, preemptively, please don't have the assistant manager at tractor swapper (http://www.tractorswapper.com/temp/index.htm), either.

graz
03-06-2010, 06:33 PM
in light of today's pathetic attempt at a culture diavlog, a few suggestions:

-armond white
-dennis lim
-stephanie zacharek
-ron rosenbaum
-stephen marche
-caitlin flanagan

no more federal management correspondents at government executive to discuss "culture" anymore, please. and, preemptively, please don't have the assistant manager at tractor swapper (http://www.tractorswapper.com/temp/index.htm), either.

Elitist!

I'm only familiar with the first four offered. All good. A regular culture beat would be welcome, if some newcomers or particularly qualified participants can be summoned.

claymisher
03-13-2010, 01:08 PM
Pakistan has their own crazed conspiracy theorist with a megaphone:

http://www.chapatimystery.com/archives/homistan/the_apocalypses_of_zaid_hamid.html

How about pairing up David Weigel with the author, Manan Ahmed?