March 8th, 2006

Semiformalishmaybe

Dead Man's Car

I have Bakunin's God and the State mostly complete. I have come to think that it is a mistake to read foundational political philosophy with one's Bullshit Detector active, because unlike more proposition/argument-based philosophy, foundational political philosophy is based on establishing a theme or an intuition. It should be noted that this places the works of Marx as being fundamentally different from those of Lenin, as Lenin is working within Marx's established foundation. I am having great difficulty doing even this for Bakunin -- the signal to noise ratio is fairly poor even for a foundational writer. I would love to condense the junk out of the book, because he does have an interesting perspective and ideas to percieve them, and my purpose for buying the book is successful in that political Anarchism has more flesh for me (although I would like to find some more by other authors for comparison). The idea that strikes me as most important is a more elaborated form of something I've been proposing (and I am happy to extend mine along Bakunin's lines) -- educational systems are a major priority for society, and excellent education need be provided across an entire society, regardless of class. This would act as a great equaliser.

I believe the lack of need to criticise foundational work too strongly based on its details also applies to some other areas of human endeavour, such as Darwin's formulation of evolution -- while individual aspects of his theory are readily discarded as the field develops, it doesn't make his work any less fundamental.

Given TMBG and Weird Al's recent mutual silence on the cultural landscape, I've mentioned before that I've been looking for other good, strange/silly music. Jonathan Coulton, Lemon Demon, and some others I've been listening to are good steps along that route. Reading the blog of a friend I haven't been in much touch with for many years now, I read about a tool called Pandora that claims to help people find other music they'd like. It's quite cool, and acts kind of like an Internet Radio player -- the sound is kind of choppy at times, but the quality of the matches is quite good. It knows at least a decent subset of the moderately obscure musicians I like, and has hooked me up with a number of other good and moderately obscure musicians.

As an amusing side, the NYSE went public.