Weekend reflections anyone?

Troppo has had a pretty sporadic commitment to regular open threads like this.   Not sure why – but I thought I’d give this a try.   Any thoughts provocative or otherwise would be welcome.   I’m going to set a reminder to set up a thread like this each weekend for a month or so and see if it generates any useful discussion.   If so we’ll keep it up, if not we’ll stop it.

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13 Responses to Weekend reflections anyone?

  1. Rafe Champion says:

    In anticipation of the re-run of the Vietnam war that is impending, I would like to invite the people who opposed US and Australian intervention in South Vietnam to advise what policies the North proposed to implement to enhance the freedom and prosperity of the ordinary folk in Vietnam (north and south).

    I would also like to ask any surviving members of the Australian Government at that time how they thought it was ok to send Australian conscripts to fight, ostensibly for freedom, in another country.

  2. Rafe Champion says:

    The fruits of POMO. Now that Mark Bahnisch has finished his doctorate, I would like to have a report on what he has learned from his studies of POMO. What is new, true and enlilghtening that has emerged from the deconstructionists, postmodernists, whatever you want to call them, that had not been said before in more simple and helpful language?

  3. Rafe Champion says:

    Don’t write off St George [or Manly]. As a Parramatta supporter I am of course delighted by the performance of the Eels last night [and last week], a night made for eels you might say and identical to the conditions last time they met. In fact they should have taken the points last time because they played better and got over the line more often, albeit denied by a dud attempt at grounding the ball by Jarryd Heyne (which the young winger repeated last night, after a super take of a high ball).

    But it is not hard to see where the Saints can lift their game, especially with their most potent player Gasnier back on deck. They just need to cut out the silly penalties and drop less balls when they are five yards away from the line.

    They should have had a try for all money and gone out to 10-0, even 12-0 before the hands of two gods intervened in the form of Heyne and Hindmarsh to effect a miracle save. And a couple of the Parra tries were freakish, how many times is Grothe going to pick up an insane-looking reverse pass on his fingertips and dummy over the line when he should have either dropped the ball or been pushed over the sideline? Some coaches would be tempted to drop a player for throwing a pass like that on a wet track.

  4. These are heavy and very adversarial questions Rafe. (This isn’t really a criticism, as they may well be good conversation starters, but it leads me to the following reflections).

    I have a theory which seems perilously close to being pollyannaish which is that if you can’t agree with someone say nothing. What I’m thinking is that arguments almost always don’t get anywhere in terms of narrowing differences. And often the best way to get someone to realise some agreement with you is to charm them into it. I don’t hold myself out as a particular paragon of this style (though mostly my own posts are not full on diatribes, but try to think aloud.)

    Anyway, the theory is both psychological and cognitive. Psychologically, arguments are almost always fundamentally dishonest in this sense – the protagonists pretend to (usually) both themselves and others that they’re just sticking to the arguments. In fact their passions are almost invariably highly engaged. This is usually true even with quite abstract political arguments because we identify with our ideology and think things like ‘that’s typical, that’s just what an arsehole like you would think’ when we engage in such arguments, even if we don’t express ourselves in such a way.

    This psychological perspective also has epistemological implications. People find it much harder to make new connectiosn when they are defending old ones. So thus my theory of argument. Thus the appearance of Nietzsche’s opening lines of Beyond Good and Evil in the quotes that rotate above.

    Supposing truth to be a woman – what? is the suspicion not well founded that all philosophers, when they have been dogmatists, have had little understanding of women? that the gruesome earnestness, the clumsy importunity with which they have hitherto been in the habit of approaching truth have been inept and improper means for winning a wench?

  5. Chris Lloyd says:

    ….I must be slow of the mark. Took me quite a while to work out what POMO means. Anyway, leveraging off Rafe’s third comment on sport. I wonder what readers would make of the following passionate observation.

    Business involvement has perverted and vandalised the two most important things in my early life – Aussie Rules Football and music. At the same time, the corporate balance sheets indicate progress. The accounting numbers say that Britney Spears is better than the Beatles, and that the feral interstate rivalries that pass for footy these days is better than the 1970 and 1989 grand finals.

    These are the paradigm examples of why GDP does not measure much that is important. It measures monetary activity which is often highly correlated with things that are important. But not always, and art and sport are a case in point.

    Yeah. I’m just grumpy because I saw the Demons lose to #16 this arvo.

  6. Rafe Champion says:

    Just in case it helps I am grumpy about the Demons as well. Coming into this round I am a point off the pace in the NSW Parliament House tipping comp so the pressure is really on and i don’t expect my own team to let me down by losing (for the second time) to the wooden spooners.

    So far as disagreements are concerned, I am inclined to pursue a mixed strategy, (a) formulating the different options in strong terms but then (b) looking for points of agreement that can be used as common ground to explore differences.

    In the area of policy and practical actions that means finding some things that are worthy of bipartisan support and pushing them, without waiting to settle the big differences.

  7. cam says:

    Chris, Took me quite a while to work out what POMO means.

    Yes it seems popular a term in the Au blogosphere, though I cant recall ever using it or seeing it with such frequency prior.

    Probably be good if someone (or group of sites) went through postmodernism and modernism describing it, why non-academics should care about it, and how it pertains to politics.

  8. jen says:

    Here you go cam


    – a scented ball of the more recently designed Bodyshop concoctions as well as some more traditional Bach flower remedies, created under strict ZEN cooking and sporting guidelines.

    – the scent promises to deliver an answer or at least an argument for anything happening…..ever.

    Operating instructions
    – place close to your computer and breathe

  9. Tony.T says:

    Terry Lane should have quite while he was ahind.

  10. phil says:

    JUen – doesn’t the scented ball simply confuse you by supplying an alternative reality from which you can lose track of the original argument?

  11. phil says:

    Jen – that’ll be jen, then. Apologies.

  12. jen says:

    no, it makes things clearer

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