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Stone Knives and Bearskins

I am endeavoring, Madam, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bearskins. -- Mr. Spock to Edith Keeler

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August 09, 2003

Philosophy 

So yes, there will be posts on philosophy here from time to time. Basically, though, I'll just be thinking out loud, and I don't know how interesting other people are going to find it. I expect to make a lot of mistakes here in public, and hopefully correct them here too. I hope you will look at the more abstruse posts not as information (links aside) but as entertainment.

Ethical naturalism 

Toward the end of last month there was a discussion at Crooked Timber on whether naturalistic ethics made sense. (Cleis, at Sappho's Breathing, has a convenient list of the posts in the discussion, which centered around an article by Gerald Cohen in Philosophy and Public Affairs entitled "Facts and Principles".

That sounded like an extremely interesting paper, so I've gone on to read it. I've also started reading the famous book it criticizes, John Rawls' Theory of Justice. It's not what I thought it was when I picked it up, but still very valuable. So is the paper. I'm going to be blogging about both; I have a lot to say. Haven't decided yet whether that will be in the form of new posts or updates to this one.

Plesio- 

I was one of those kids who know all about dinosaurs at the age of 4. So I know what a plesiosaur was. It was a giant lizard with a long neck and tail, and fins like a sea tortoise because it lived in the ocean. I never found out what the Greek root plesio- meant. But now, glancing at my Dorland's Medical Dictionary, which is open to the page, I see plesiomorphism defined as "similarity in form". So a "plesiosaur" is a "similar lizard". Strikes me as rather unlikely.

Crooks and Conspirators 

I don't have a blogroll set up yet, so I'll be posting links to my favorite blogs.

My favorite group blog is the Volokh Conspiracy. Close runner-up is Crooked Timber, already a respected institution in its second month.

Clarification 

Bear in mind that the people running for Governor are all over 18 and involved in politics, thus are presumably beyond being sensitive to the oddness of their names.

Trek Thunder vs. Mad Max 

I hear there's a special election going on in my state, with over 600 people running for Governor. Naturally I wanted a list of the 10 candidates with the funniest names. Schwarzenegger didn't make the cut. Nor did Bustamante. Darrell Issa lagged far behind. This is California, after all.

1. Ladywautausa Je Khezam (ind.)
2. Hatosha W. Drumgoole (Dem.)
3. Jordana Thigpen (Dem.)
4. Cmell I. Weaver (Dem.)
5. Trek Thunder Kelly (ind.)
6. Mark Vroegindewey (Rep.)
7. Max Coyote Urban (ind.)
8. Elton W. Gallegly (Rep.)
9. Chelu Travieso-Earhart (Rep.)
10. Javier Aquilino Alabart (Dem.)

Data taken from the official list, which is not yet final. I'm sure some people will drop out, but I'm kind of counting on these brave souls to save the day.

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