Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Ann Coulter's dream come true

Previously:

Ann Coulter has a new book out: Guilty: Jewish "Victims" and Their Assault on Germany oops! I mean: Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America.

While out promoting this book she advocated "strong Republican men" punch non-violent (though disruptive) 99 pound female anti-war protesters in the face when they get the chance.
Now

As far-right ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) arrived for the candidates' final debate, Lauren Valle of MoveOn.org tried to give him a satirical "employee of the month award" from Republicorp, a pseudo-entity created by MoveOn to draw attention to the merger of the GOP and corporate interests.

But before Valle could reach the candidate, Paul supporters grabbed her, forced her to the ground, and at one point, literally stomped on her head as she lay helpless on the curb.
But remember - only shrill, leftwing partisans see any connection between violence directed at "liberals" and the obsessive, totalistic and categorical demonization of "liberals" as evil enemies of America by leading mainstream figures within the conservative movement.

For example, one should not notice that those defending several men grabbing a woman with a sign, forcing her to the ground, then stomping at her head are doing so on the premise that she's an "unhinged leftist" who is, thus, dangerous; and that Michelle Malkin wrote a dishonest book - Unhinged - which demonized "liberals" as being dangerous and unhinged left-wing extremists.

Four years ago, I wondered

How long might it be before we see the results of the seed of hate that is being planted by the people who "joke" about the elimination of liberals?
It appears we already are - and have.

Today, Neal Boortz decided to plant a new seed.

Wanted: A Rand Paul supporter with a bad back to stand on a Media Matters staffer's head for a while

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Quote of the day

"There are three things to which man is born—labor, and sorrow, and joy. Each of these three things has its baseness and its nobleness. There is base labor, and noble labor. There is base sorrow, and noble sorrow. There is base joy, and noble joy. But you must not think to avoid the corruption of these things by doing without the things themselves. Nor can any life be right that has not all three. Labor without joy is base. Labor without sorrow is base. Sorrow without labor is base. Joy without labor is base." - John Ruskin,Time and Tide (Letter V)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baleful quote of the day

"[W]hen someone who has got genocide on the mind thinks that you’re too extreme, you’re really kind of far out there." - Jeff Sharlet

Sharlet is speaking about David Bahati, a leading proponent of a Ugandan effort to criminalize homosexuality and make it punishable by death, dismissing the conspiracy theory of Scott Lively, who argues that the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide are the result of homosexuality.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Witness your utopian Tea Party future

Thanks to Sarah Palin, we know that Tea Partiers are firm believers in the First Amendment rights of candidates to run for office and not be criticized by the press. Which is why its so understandable that the Glenn Beck watching, Alex Jones conspiracy promoting, survivalist ex and active duty crew cut white military guys working as security for Palin endorsed Tea Party candidate Joe Miller felt the need to "arrest" a reporter at a "private event" (aka a town hall for Miller open to the public held at a public school). Miller is a self-proclaimed lover of the Constitution and his guards were obviously just fulfilling their oath to protect the Constitution from enemies foreign and liberal; they had to handcuff and detain him and threaten other reporters with the same because they were protecting Miller's First Amendment right to not be questioned by journalists about his past public service.

Thank god the Tea Party is here to save the Constitution.

Speaking of oath keeping, Digby notes that bikers from a biker gang at another "private event" (aka a rally in a public park open to the public) for Palin endorsed Tea Party candidate (and veteran discharged for torture) Allen West physically threatened a worker for West's opponent who showed up at the rally with a camera. Again, they must have been protecting West's First Amendment rights from a domestic enemy.

Thank god we have military veterans, using physical violence to give America a phoenix like rebirth from the stab in the back at the hand of liberal enemies within, in the Tea Party to save the Constitution from the fascism of the top marginal tax rate cut of 3 percentage points being allowed to expire.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Parody in the age of Beck

I recall reading recently Stephen Colbert saying something to the effect that it has become increasingly difficult to parody Glenn Beck since he is already so cartoonish and over the top. While this is certainly true, Simon Malloy has demonstrated that it is still possible to generate some brilliant parody of Beck, as he has done with his "Glenn's Beck timeline of American history"

I love this part

6,000 BC: God creates entire planet just for America.

27 BC: Caesar Augustus becomes first person to employ the Obama Doctrine.

1 AD: First Founding Father born.
and

1981: Ronald Reagan cuts taxes 23 percent, revenues increase 4 billion percent.

1983: Federal spending as percentage of GDP hits unsustainable 23 percent. No historical record exists of who was president at the time.
On a more serious note, historian Sean Wilentz has written a lengthy article about how Beck's psuedo-historicism is mainstreaming 50 year old extremist conspircy theory. The difference being that Beck has a megaphone in Fox News that his predecessors could only dream of and exists in a vacuum of public intellectual leadership.

The whole thing is worth reading, but I will merely highlight one of the examples of the distorted view of history that Beck gives to his audience

Beck’s readings of Progressive-era politics are nearly as bizarre. Whatever can be said about Theodore Roosevelt, he was not a crypto-radical. It was Roosevelt who coined the term “lunatic fringe” to describe the extreme leftists of his day, and his concept of New Nationalism—in which an activist government built a vibrant capitalism, partly by regulating big business—looked back to Alexander Hamilton, not Karl Marx. Nor was Wilson a Bolshevik; in fact, in 1917 he sent American troops to Russia to support the anti-Bolshevik White Army. At home, his reforms sought to break up monopolies in order to restore competition among small companies. “If America is not to have free enterprise,” Wilson declared, “then she can have no freedom of any sort whatever.”

Quote of the day

"The operation of the mind - conscious and unconscious, free and unfree, in perception, action, and thought, in feeling, emotions, reflection, and memory, and in all its other features - is not so much an aspect of our lives, but in a sense, it is our life." - John Searle, Mind: A Brief Introduction

Today's discount book purchase

Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe (hc) by Arianna Huffington for one dollar.

Monday, October 18, 2010

President Obama should not have the power of judge, jury, and executioner

Via Scott Horton

It seems increasingly that the Obama White House is using the al-Awlaki case to establish a new principle: the president’s power to order extrajudicial executions of American citizens.
As with Glenn Greenwald, I find it remarkable that there is a need to argue that the president should not be able order a citizen (or for that matter - any person) to be killed outside of any legal process and far from any battlefield at his fiat.

I'm not even sure how to respond: have we as a society had the value of human rights erode so much that we don't recognize tyranny when we hear it? Are we like the frogs in the old Aesop fable, finding the law too boring, wishing instead to be ruled by a predator that we may later find will turn its appetite on us? As Paul Woodruff put it:

In our frustration with law, we forget too easily that law is all we have between us and tyranny. Aesop has a fable to illustrate the point. Long ago, the frogs lived without any form of government. Feeling the need for some sort of authority, they prayed to Zeus and asked for a king. He sent them a piece of wood. To understand the story, you need to know that ancient Greek laws were written on wooden tablets, set up for all to see. The frogs were illiterate, of course, and missed the point:

The frogs were unhappy with the anarchy in which they lived, so they sent representatives to Zeus asking him to provide them with a king. He saw how simple they were and set up a piece of wood in their pond. At first the frogs were frightened by the noise Zeus had made, and they hid themselves in the depths of the pond; but later, since the wood did not move, they came up and were so contemptous of it that they climbed up on it and sat there. Feeling that they did not deserve such a king, they went to Zeus a second time and insisted that he give them a different ruler, as the first one was too lazy. This made Zeus angry, and he sent them a water-snake who caught and ate them up.
And so it was - and still is - when people are frustrated with the law's stupidities or delays or inconveniences. If they wish for a ruler who will rise above the law, they are offering themselves to be devoured.
Since we seem so keen on a return to Nixon era corruption, often in the name of "liberty," perhaps this might be helpful to remember.

In the two decades that followed, the conflict [between Richard Nixon and syndicated columnist Jack Anderson] became so ferocious, Feldstein says, that Nixon ordered CIA surveillance of Anderson and his family — and White House operatives seriously considered assassinating the journalist.

"They actually conducted surveillance. They followed him from his work to his house," Feldstein says. "They staked out his house. They looked at it for vulnerabilities ... [and discussed] how they could plant poison in his aspirin bottle. They talked about how they could spike his drink and they talked about smearing LSD on his steering wheel so that he would absorb it through his skin and die in a hallucination-crazed auto crash."

The plot was ultimately called off, Feldstein says, because Gordon Liddy and Howard Hunt, the two men who were supposed to assassinate Anderson, were instead tapped to break into Watergate.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Changing backwards

From the New York Times

In this year’s midterm elections, there is no talk of satchels of cash from donors. Nor is there any hint of illegal actions reaching Watergate-like proportions. But the fund-raising practices that earned people convictions in Watergate — giving direct corporate money to a campaign and doing so secretly — are back in a different form in 2010.

This time around, the corporations are still giving secretly, but legally. In 1907, direct corporate donations to candidates were legally barred in a campaign finance reform push by President Theodore Roosevelt. But that law and others — the foundation for many Watergate convictions — are all but obsolete. This is why many supporters of strict campaign finance laws are wringing their hands.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quote of the day

"The word 'proof' should strictly only be used when we are dealing with deductive inferences. In this strict sense of the word, scientific hypotheses can rarely, if ever, be proved true by the data." - Samir Okasha, Philosophy of Science: A Very Short Introduction

Monday, October 11, 2010

The rationalization of evil

"Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side" - George Orwell, "Notes on Nationalism"

From The New York Times

From 1946 to 1948, American public health doctors deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalans — prison inmates, mental patients and soldiers — with venereal diseases in what was meant as an effort to test the effectiveness of penicillin.

American tax dollars, through theNational Institutes of Health, even paid for syphilis-infected prostitutes to sleep with prisoners, since Guatemalan prisons allowed such visits. When the prostitutes did not succeed in infecting the men, some prisoners had the bacteria poured onto scrapes made on their penises, faces or arms, and in some cases it was injected by spinal puncture.

If the subjects contracted the disease, they were given antibiotics.

“However, whether everyone was then cured is not clear,” said Susan M. Reverby, the professor at Wellesley College who brought the experiments to light in a research paperthat prompted American health officials to investigate.
A doctor quoted in the article notes the irony that this occurred at the same time that the United States was prosecuting Nazi medical experimenters for crimes against humanity at Nuremberg.

This is a point that Professor Reverby addressed in her Democracy Now discussion of these revelations

So, when bioethicists talk about why we have regulations in place now, part of it is, of course, there’s these revelations of these kinds of what we now think of as illegal, but horrific studies, that when you think about it, go back for a second and think about it, with all of the revelations of what the Japanese were doing during the war, and particularly what Mengele was doing, you get the Nuremberg Code right after the war, which says doing this kind of research on people who cannot give informed consent is immoral and a crime against humanity. The problem is that Americans treated those crimes by the Nazis and the lesser-known ones by the Japanese as something done, as the bioethicist Jay Katz so brilliantly put it, as a code for barbarians. So if you think that they were Nazi doctors, you don’t think that you, a good researcher here, could possibly do anything like that.
The last sentence touches upon an essential point (and the reason that the Orwell quote prefaces this post.) The sort of cognitive dissonance resolving rationalizations that Tavris and Aronson wrote about in Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) can lead one down a pyramid of choice (with each successive rationalization building upon the last) to such inhumane and evil actions.*

During the discussion, Amy Goodman played a clip of a documentary in which one of the experimenters from the infamous Tuskegee experiments was asked if the fact that his experiments violated the Nuremberg Code of informed consent, which had been formulated in response to the Nazis, gave him pause. His response was to be wounded at the comparison, as "They were Nazis."

Reverby responded

I think the most chilling, actually, in the clip that you just played, is Jim Jones, the historian's retelling of what Rod Heller said to him, which is it’s just—when Heller said to him, "But they were Nazis." So I think that’s the point I was making earlier, that it’s just too easy to assume that it’s only monsters.
This sort of rationalization, where actions are viewed as right or wrong depending on who does them, has been the central justification - as Orwell noted - for just about any type of wrong that can be imagined. It is the same underlying thought process that was employed to rationalize the Bush administration's torture regime and it is the same as the rationalizations that are being put forth by apologists for the Obama administration's claim to possess the tyrannical power to assassinate citizens by fiat in secret with no due process.

And this is why the sort of "patriotism" championed by Ronald Reagan - in which one's patriotism is defined as a function of one's inability to recognize any wrong on the part of one's nation - is so pernicious (and infuriating.) There is nothing patriotic about turning a blind eye to wrongs committed by one's nation. Real patriotism comes from facing uncomfortable facts. It is the patriotism of Sen. Carl Shurz: "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

*The discussions that Tavris has had with D.J. Grothe on both For Good Reason and Point of Inquiry are highly informative regarding the subject of how cognitive dissonance can lead to self-deception.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Best anti-Beck propaganda featuring Donald Duck ever



Created here

This is a re-imagined Donald Duck cartoon remix constructed from dozens of classic Walt Disney cartoons from the 1930s to 1960s. Donald’s life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck.

Will Donald’s feelings of disenfranchisement lead him to be persuaded by his radio’s increasingly paranoid and xenophobic rhetoric? Or will our favorite Disney duck decide that this voice is not actually on his side after all? Watch and find out!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

2009 Book of the Year

This is a severely late edition of The Daily Doubter Book of the Year post, but I figured better late than never. Let's get right to it. My pick for best Doubter related book read during the previous year is:


I must say that after reading The Ghost Map, I was truly disappointed that I managed to complete my primary education without ever hearing about John Snow's victory for public health during the London cholera outbreak of 1854 - the focus of the book - as it is a remarkable demonstration of the scientific process in action.

Here is an extremely short-hand synopsis of the book: it is the tale of how two men, employing critical thinking, were able to solve the riddle of one of the deadliest epidemics in London's history. The doubter related aspect of the book would be the political and medical establishments who instead employed a form of pseudo-doubt, conducting research to arrive at a predetermined conclusion to resist what they considered Snow's wrong-headed ideas about cholera; in contrast, the Rev. Whitehead, who ended up identifying the epidemics zero case, had started out with the intention of disproving Snow but ended up collaborating with him after being confronted with the evidence.

There is also a fascinating analogue to the discovery of evolution. Darwin found strong enough evidence to demonstrate the existence of evolution but was unaware of a mechanism of heredity despite Gregory Mendel being a contemporary. Likewise, Snow was able to infer that cholera was being transmitted in contaminated water but did not know the mechanism of transmission, yet Filippo Pacini in 1854 discovered the cholera bacterium. Unfortunately, Pacini's work was ignored for much the same reason as Snow's.

It really is tragic that so many people died at the hands of a disease that could have been cured by drinking more (clean) water.

Previous Doubter Books of the Year:
2008

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Witches don't exist

I may have overestimated people's response to Christine O'Donnell's claim that she once "dabbled in witchcraft" when I noted that "they are criticizing her for an obviously bullshit story about Satanic witches that only exist in the imagination of (some) Christian fundamentalists," as I've seen numerous individuals ridiculing the claim but not so much the notion's veracity.

Slacktivist has more

The oddest thing to me about Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell's "I Was A Teenage Witch" claims is that so much of the reaction has accepted her claim that such a thing might be possible.

It is not. Her claims of "dabbling" in what she called "witchcraft" are not true. The supposed witchcraft she describes is not something that exists. Such stories of bloody altars and Satanic covens are common and they are false. All of them. That is a matter of established fact.

The supposed witchery O'Donnell describes is simply the stuff of Satanic panic urban legends. Her descriptions come straight out of the fabrications of proven liar and con-man Mike Warnke. He made this stuff up. Her claims are about as credible as if she had said that she once conjured Bloody Mary by repeating her name three times in the bathroom mirror.
The rest is worth reading.

And so too is Will Bunch's take on the larger significance of the politics of corporate sponsored cult of anti-elitism.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Mr. Russell goes to Russia

I recently finished reading The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism by Bertrand Russell, a book written after Russell visited Russia in 1920 to examine for himself the effects of the Bolshevik revolution. In it, Russell gives his general impressions of the state of the economy , the populace, the culture, and the Bolsheviks themselves.

Although Russell agreed in general with the aims of a communist revolution and the need to reform the evils of capitalist society (see Russell's views on political ideals) he was critical of Bolshevik methods which conflicted with his democratic and humanist sentiments. As Russell put it: "Bolshevism is not merely a political doctrine; it is also a religion, with elaborate dogmas and inspired scriptures."

Russell later in the text goes further:

I cannot share the hopes of the Bolsheviks any more than those of our Egyptian anchorites; I regard both as tragic delusions, destined to bring upon the world centuries of darkness and futile violence. The principles of the Sermon on the Mount are admirable, but their effect upon average human nature was very different from what was intended.

Those who followed Christ did not learn to love their enemies or to turn the other cheek. They learned instead to use the Inquisition and the stake, to subject the human intellect to the yoke of an ignorant priesthood, to degrade art and extinguish science for a thousand years. These were the inevitable results, not of the teaching, but of fanatical belief in the teaching. The hopes which inspire Communism are, in the main, as admirable as those instilled by the Sermon on the Mount, but they are held as fanatically, and are likely to do much harm.
He goes on to explain his definition of a religion and why Bolshevism fits it:

By a religion I mean a set of beliefs held as dogmas, dominating the conduct of life, going beyond or contrary to evidence, and inculcated by methods which are emotional or authoritarian, not intellectual. By this definition, Bolshevism is a religion: that its dogmas go beyond or contrary to evidence, I shall try to prove in what follows. those who accept Bolshevism become impervious to scientific evidence, and commit intellectual suicide. Even if all the doctrines of Bolshevism were true, this would still be the case, since no unbiased examination of them is tolerated. One who believes, as I do, that the free intellect is the chief engine of human progress, cannot but be fundamentally opposed to Bolshevism, as much as to the Church of Rome.
It is impressive that Russell was able to realize this well before many other liberal and progressive thinkers (like, say, Albert Einstein.) There is also here a demonstrated nuance that is absent from much of what now passes for political discourse; simple minds might easily dismiss Russell as a "Communist," but Russell is both a critic of capitalism and of communism as he saw them practiced.

If Bolshevism remains the only vigorous and effective competitor of capitalism, I believe that no form of Socialism will be realized, but only chaos and destruction. This belief, for which I shall give reasons later, is one of the grounds upon which I oppose Bolshevism.
Or

I believe that while some forms of Socialism are immeasurably better than capitalism, others are even worse. Among those that are worse I reckon the form which is being achieved in Russia, not only in itself, but as a more insuperable barrier to further progress.
Russell makes a prediction which reminds one of the conclusion of Animal Farm, where the pigs had monopolized power and reestablished Manor Farm, based on George Orwell's own observations of practiced communism twenty plus years later.

This is what I believe to be likely to happen in Russia: the establishment of a bureaucratic aristocracy, concentrating authority in its own hands, and creating a regime just as oppressive and cruel as that of capitalism.
Here are a few more quotable gems from Russell:

  • Good relations between individuals, freedom from hatred and violence and oppression, general diffusion of education, leisure rationally employed, the progress of art and science - these seem to me among the most important ends that a political theory ought to have in view.
  • This teaching of Communism, however necessary it may appear for the building of the Communist state of the future, does seem to me to be an evil in that it is done emotionally and fanatically, with an appeal to hate and militant ardour rather than to constructive reason. It binds the free intellect and destroys initiative.
  • Hatred of enemies is easier and more intense than love of friends. But from men who are more anxious to injure opponents than to benefit the world at large no great good is to be expected.
  • Perhaps a love of liberty is incompatible with whole-hearted belief in a panacea for all human ills.
  • I went to Russia a Communist; but contact with those who have no doubts has intensified a thousandfold my own doubts, not as to Communism in itself, but as to the wisdom of holding a creed so firmly that for its sake men are willing to inflict widespread misery.
  • A society which is to allow much freedom to the individual must be strong enough to be not anxious about home defense, moderate enough to refrain from difficult external conquests, and rich enough to value leisure and a civilized existence more than an increase in consumable commodities.
For a concise (and very good) review of The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism, see this archived New York Times article.

No one told me

Although I was aware that DJ Grothe was leaving Point of Inquiry, after four years of hosting the excellent humanist podcast, to go work with JREF, I somehow managed to remain oblivious to Grothe's having become the host of a new (and also excellent podcast) - For Good Reason - which is now up to 19 episodes.

The new hosts at Point of Inquiry have done a good job, but the show just hasn't been the same without Grothe's superb interviewing skills. Which is why I'll look forward to being able to listen to some of the top humanist figures talk with him for For Good Reason.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

A book for the literary curmudgeon

I have never been able to understand the appeal of books of popular fiction. Having spent my formative reading years diving right into the great classics of western literature, I find the sort of books that dominate sales lists to be unpalatable. These books seem to me so bland, flat, derivative, formulaic and intellectually tasteless that I wonder how anyone that reads them can find any enjoyment it it. These books are to literature what frozen fishsticks are to food.

Back when Dan Brown was at the peak of his popularity I read both Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code after friends raved about how fantastic they were. I was in disbelief that my friends could have been serious. Dan Brown's books are horrible.

Which is why I was pleased to come across S.T. Joshi's Junk Fiction: America's Obsession with Bestsellers, a book that examines the phenomenon of the bestseller:

Bestsellers have been with us for more than a century, ever since the first bestseller list appeared in 1895. But they have received surprisingly little attention from critics. What kind of books become bestsellers? Why do people read them? Do they have literary value or are they merely the literary equivalent of crossword puzzles?

S. T. Joshi, a leading critic of horror, fantasy, and mystery fiction, devotes his attention to these and other issues, showing that bestsellers emerged only with the advent of near-universal literacy and the increased leisure time among the masses. Joshi is also aware that most bestsellers fall into the categories of genre fiction: romance (Danielle Steel, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Nora Roberts); mystery (Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Grafton, Patricia Cornwell); suspense (James Patterson, Nelson DeMille); espionage (Robert Ludlum, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler); horror (Stephen King, Dean Koontz); and so forth.

Joshi provides detailed examinations of books by these authors, as well as of such recent bestsellers as Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, and such bygone titles as Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls, in a wide-ranging discussion of both the virtues and the failings of popular literature. Joshi’s study, written in a witty, accessible style, is must-reading for anyone interested in the literary and cultural phenomenon of the bestseller.
I have just begun reading this and Joshi has pretty much the same impression of these authors that I have.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Wittgenstein's biography in tweets

From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ludwig Wittgenstein is one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and regarded by some as the most important since Immanuel Kant. His early work was influenced by that of Arthur Schopenhauer and, especially, by his teacher Bertrand Russell and by Gottlob Frege, who became something of a friend. This work culminated in the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the only philosophy book that Wittgenstein published during his lifetime. It claimed to solve all the major problems of philosophy and was held in especially high esteem by the anti-metaphysical logical positivists. The Tractatus is based on the idea that philosophical problems arise from misunderstandings of the logic of language, and it tries to show what this logic is. Wittgenstein’s later work, principally his Philosophical Investigations, shares this concern with logic and language, but takes a different, less technical, approach to philosophical problems. This book helped to inspire so-called ordinary language philosophy. This style of doing philosophy has fallen somewhat out of favor, but Wittgenstein’s work on rule-following and private language is still considered important, and his later philosophy is influential in a growing number of fields outside philosophy.
Thanks to my recently developed twitter habit, I came across a website that had a pretty neat idea for a twitter account.

The aim of Wittgenstein Tweets is to introduce the entire life of Ludwig Wittgenstein in around 500 tweets over 6 months. Yes, a silly project, and one which Wittgenstein himself would have almost certainly loathed.I am doing it purely because I find Ray Monk’s biography (1990) of Wittgenstein so captivating and hilarious that I want more people to get to know him. No love for or knowledge of Wittgenstein is necessary.
Wittgenstein Tweets is a fun and easy way to digest the life of one of the 20th century's most influential philosophers. Today's tweets about Wittgenstein wanting to build an airplaine (but settling for a kite) have already reminded me that I've got Wittgenstein Flies a Kite waiting for me in a stack of yet unread books.