Print Story Round midnight
By TheophileEscargot (Fri Mar 02, 2018 at 07:51:26 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics", "The Midnight Line". Watching: "Black Panther". Me. Links.

What I'm Reading
Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics by Richard Seymour. Familiar story told from the less familiar angle of someone criticising Corbyn from the left: Seymour is an ex-SWP member who joined a splinter group after the recent scandal. As such his history of the Labour party is the most interesting: he regards them as sellouts from the start who managed one flurry of effectiveness from 1945 to 1950. I think he over-eggs this a bit, in particular he doesn't consider the existence of working-class MPs and ministers who disappeared over the Blair/Brown era.

Seymour is plausibly pessimistic about the chances of Corbyn achieving much even if he ever gets power. But he regards it as an optimistic sign that he is putting at least some leftist ideas back on the agenda.

The book was originally published before the 2017 election, but seems to have been thoroughly reworked after that, so it's not yet obsolete.

Overall, interesting for political junkies. Would well inform people who don't know that much. But doesn't contain anything very surprising if you keep up with politics from all angles.

What I'm Reading 2
The Midnight Line by Lee Child. The latest entry in the Jack Reacher series: after discovering a West Point class ring in the ladies' size in a pawnshop, a curious Reacher tries to trace the owner, which as usual leads to a bunch of baddies in need of beating up.

Thought this was a good entry in the series. The plotting is decent, and it focuses more on the detective-work side than violence. Tries to be a bit topical.

Worth reading if you like the series, not exceptional.

What I'm Watching
Saw Black Panther at the cinema. Enjoyed it a lot. The plotting is workmanlike and the action scenes a bit too weightlessly CGI as usual for Marvel. But the afrofuturist style visuals elevate it a bit: it looks different to most other things.

Not too convinced by the somewhat confused politics where the main baddie seems to be representing the flaws of US foreign policy, the callousness of military adventurism, and uncomfortably too-militant black militancy all at the same time, but I guess they're trying to tightrope walk. Overall, worth a look.

Kid sick again, had to take two days off work. Took him to the GP yesterday morning, then had a scare when he seemed to have trouble breathing in the afternoon and took him to A & E. They reckon it's just a virus with a "viral wheeze" and have given us some medicine which should see us through.

Feel sorry for the kid. He was really excited about World Book Day but didn't get to wear his costume. He was excited about the snow but hasn't been able to go out in it.

Articles. Brutal John Gray review of Stephen Pinker's "Enlightenment Now". Are phones less addictive in greyscale?

Random. Lego Droid Tales. Wales has independence in Marvel Cinematic Universe. All Oscar winning Best Pictures ranked.

Sci/Tech. Hacking the Brain With Adversarial Images. Your ‘Lite’ App Should Be Your Only App. Long Now clock installed. Shuttle Training Aircraft, via.

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Round midnight | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)
the foreign policy story by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Mar 02, 2018 at 04:42:47 PM EST
the main antagonist seemed completely believable to me.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
Well by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Sat Mar 03, 2018 at 09:08:03 AM EST
It seemed to me that they were thinking: If the baddie just represents US imperialism the movie gets too radical for white people, if the baddie is a Malcolm X style radical the movie alienates black people, so let's make him kind of both.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Pinker /is/ a bit of a dink by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #3 Sun Mar 04, 2018 at 05:05:40 AM EST
I don't know about Gray, people who use the term "scientism" are usually trying to make an argument that appeals to the ignorant, and this dipshit goes on to fucking Godwin himself. This is important: he spends an inordinate amount of time on this point, while forgetting that "scientism" is a derogatory term, and not normally one of self-identification. He might as well be talking about "the gay agenda" and equating that to Nazism.

But Pinker. Contrived Godwining notwithstanding, pretty much everything Gray has to say about his book is true of Pinker in general. He's gone the way of Freud over the years, and is right about now drunk on whatever his own brand of cocaine and Oedipus is. I mean you've got to be psychotic to, with his education (and access to people who know better), put forth the idea that life has anything to do with decreasing entropy or decreasing its rate of increase. I don't know what Pinker really has to say about this, but I'd end up yelling at a book titled Enlightenment Now and the side-effects of deferoxamine are pretty harsh.

See you, space cowboy.

Round midnight | 3 comments (3 topical, 0 hidden)