Sententiae viri ex temporibus duobus

Letter to the Editor in the Alcalde and Other News…

  • I recently wrote into the University of Texas alumni magazine, The Alcalde about their interview with Prof. Philip Bobbit. Bobbit explained the mechanics of Fascism and some of its hallmarks, and then asserted that “I think it’s [fascism] is gone.” This struck me as incredibly naive. We live in an area where his described mechanics of fascism are on the rise – _ right here in the USA_! I think the interviewer missed an opportunity to press the issue and force a Bush Doctrine / neo-Empire apologist to tackle a hard question. Continue reading to see my letter.

  • I am within 25 pages of finishing After Virtue. While this may sound like something you can hash through in the course of an afternoon, my history with AV would seem to predict that this is yet another 3 hours of work. I’ve been taking good notes and definitely have been enjoying the work. I was really missing the mental engagement that dense philosophy (sick, I know) requires. I’m of the opinion though that a method for engaging with philosophical text ought be written. It’s been a pet project of mine. Fortunately I’m now good enough with Perl to make an application that nets tools for such engagement. I need to get better with XML viz. learning to define DTDs though…

  • I also wrote some eLisp extension this weekend to help me write Perl code in the fashion in which I write Perl code (i.e. my sense of code aesthetics). Here is the derived mode (from CPerl-mode) steven-perl.el. To have this mode versus standard cperl-mode open on you editing of a .pl or .cgi file, put the denoted section .emacs file (or ~/.xemacs/custom.el file). eLisp has an elegance about it that I enjoyed getting back into. I suspect that there may have been a simpler way to have done this, but the challenge was fun and I’m sure this will grow to meet my Perl-style sense of aesthetics - which were heavily influenced by Hall’s Effective Perl Programming.

To The Editor:

Note some of the content was edited by the editor, my point remains, but in his penchant for clarity he made a few slight precision errors

I must compliment you on the great July/August release. The articles assembled therein presented to this eager alum the sort of multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary perspective that he has sorely missed since his graduation (to say nothing of the great cover work!).

I was particularly impressed with the interview with Philip Bobbit that provided an additional shading on the new wave of Imperial interpretation (like Michael Hardt at Duke) theory.

I think that an interesting point was not pressed by the iterviewer when, on page 40, Bobbit noted thath fascist regimes have a “spontaneous” view of law such that it can be suspeded under emergencies (ill-defined or otherwise).

In the PATRIOT Act era, when secret courts hold sway, etc. the question of whether or not the U.S.‘ post-9/11 fear is feeding a fascist undercurrent within our society ought have been asked. One needn’t be a Plan II grad, as you say on page 46, to put the ominous parallels together.