Deep thoughts from Marginal Revolution,
pointing to this year's Edge Annual Question.
Which is (from Stephen Pinker):
WHAT IS YOUR DANGEROUS IDEA?It really is good thought-provokin' reading. One hundred nineteen people give their answers. Among them: Paul Bloom, Paul Davies, Paul Ewald, Paul Steinhardt, John Allen Paulos, the aforementioned Stephen Pinker, and Michael Nesmith.
The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally, or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?
For you youngsters saying "Michael Nesmith? Who dat?": see, in the Sixties, there was this TV show called The Monkees, and Michael Nesmith was … oh, never mind. Anyway, Michael's "Idea" is not so much Dangerous as it is Incomprehensible. But you might like it. And there's a small picture of what he looks like these days, very respectable.
Via Dartblog, a great post
from Coyote Blog that describes "huge land mines" that lie in wait should
Democrats get serious about using "privacy" as an "organizing theme"
for future campaigns, as some suggest they should.
One decent-sized quibble: Coyote is really talking
more about general libertarian issues than (specifically)
privacy rights. But his general
idea is correct: both major parties are pretty bad on libertarian
issues; if they were to start taking more libertarian stances on some
issues, it leaves them wide open for criticism for not taking
libertarian stances on other issues. Unfortunately, history says
hypocrisy, inconsistency, and
maybe don't matter a lot to voters.
And if Democrats start claiming that "privacy" includes your right to have unmonitored phone chats with al-Qaeda operatives in foreign lands? As the Minuteman says: "Good luck. Let us know how that works out in '06."
But hey! If we live under a government infested with hypocrites, does that
make the US a hypocracy? Heh. I made up a new word! I'll be
Asking The Google about "hypocracy" gives (as I type) 306,000 hits; approximately 305,998 are misspellings. Proving that it's tough to come up with an original thought on the Internet these days, one makes the case for the neologism "made up" above. Peter Epps, however, is pretty adamant that it's just illiteracy, and calls the previous link the product of a "doubtlessly moonbattish" person. Oh well. Don't want to be famous for that.
- And—stop me if you've heard it—here's an extremely funny blonde joke.