Links, 8/13/13

Sorry for the lack of updates. Thinking a lot about dissertation chapters and writing slowly. Irritated at myself for not getting more done.

  • The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia (h/t Amanda Ball): a lot of you saw this on facebook and responded appropriately. It is a necessary read, but will make you sick to your stomach.
  • Freeman Dyson on Robert Oppenheimer: When you wonder about the problem of Socrates, you don’t just wonder about the threat he poses to the city. You also wonder about what are and are not rational questions. Is asking what is justice rational? Is political prudence reasonable? How do these things link or not link with the quest for scientific truth? There’s a bit of “he sucked at math” physicist snark in Dyson’s write-up, but that larger problem seems to be there too.
  • The Attorney General, Eric Holder, does a very good thing (h/t Weigel). I should note I don’t quite agree with the commentary I linked to; I am not worried about rule of law because the Executive is slack in enforcing some laws. I’m almost always more worried about the legislative branch doing something dumb and populist and, I dunno, condemning a whole generation of Americans to prison because of carelessness. I think these matters are those of degree.
  • Speaking of political prudence, let’s not forget that emotional manipulation and bullying can… um… get one pretty far
  • With thanks to Ricky McAlister – I’ll be buying this Kafka-come-to-life game shortly: “Papers, Please”

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