Friday 29th of May 2020

in the soup kitchen of bad interpretations of ideas...

A cascade of events led to some weirdo philosophical fist-fights…

In the late 1940s, Fred Perry — the most successful English tennis player before Andy Murray (from Scotland) — was approached by Tibby Wegner, an Austrian footballer. Wegner had invented an anti-perspirant device worn around the wrist. Perry improved it into the first sweatband.

Wegner's next trick was a sports shirt, made from white knitted cotton with short sleeves and a buttoned front, exactly like those of René Lacoste — named the Crocodile for the way he treated his opponents. Launched at Wimbledon in 1952, the Fred Perry tennis shirt became an overnight success.

In the late 1950s, coloured versions of the shirt were made for table tennis as white attire is not allowed in this sport. These coloured shirt soon became popular as a symbol of mod (sub) culture. They still are. Beaut.

On the 5th of June 2013, two youth groups of three males each, one from the Action antifasciste Paris-Banlieue (Antifa of Paris Suburb) and the other from Jeunesses nationalistes révolutionnaires (Young revolutionary Nationalists) met by accident at a private sale of Fred Perry shirts, in Paris. After having insulted the Nationalists as “Nazis", the Antifa is believed to have set up an altercation outside the place. After having been called by his Antifa mates as reinforcement, a young guy, called Clement Meric, is eventually punched by one of the Nationalists (allegedly armed with an iron fist). Clement Meric dies on the spot. Three others are wounded. Other customers and security service alert the police. 

Apparently, Clement Meric, a good student in sciences, had joined "la Confédération nationale du travail, anarcho-syndicaliste” (Union of Organised Anarchist Workers) at age 15. His unfortunate death —the perpetrators of which are still in prison after lengthy court cases — led to the creation of a new student group – the anti-fascist association ‘Sciences Po en Lutte – Institut de Clément Méric’ (Struggle for Political Sciences — Clement Meric Institute)...

At this stage, one should be confused. And one old bloke is. 
A recent conference named ‘Modernity, legacy and progress’ organised by the  ‘The Critique of the European Reason’  student group — at France’s Sciences Po University — had the participation of the well-known French-Jewish philosopher and member 21 of the Academie française, Alain Finkielkraut.
Thus the Struggle for Political Sciences — Clement Meric Institute students called for a protest against Finkielkraut and nearly got the whole event canceled. It seems that this group of students views Finkielkraut as a rightwing apologist.

Now, what is the "Union of Organised Anarchist Workers"? Who is Finkielkraut? Good questions… We'll leave the Organised Anarchists to their own contradiction

Meanwhile, Alain Finkielkraut is a French philosopher who debates many ideas in the media rather than just within the University framework. He has written many books and essays on a range of (controversial) topics.

Finkielkraut defines himself as being “a classic and a romantic concurrently". He deplores "the deterioration of Western tradition through multiculturalism and relativism”. In 2010, he was part founder of JCall, a left-wing Zionist advocacy group based in Europe to lobby the European Parliament on foreign policy issues concerning the Middle East. He is a strong supporter of Israel and of the two-state solution.

Confused? Oh yeah, we still are…

Long time ago, Aristotle, Diogenes and Plato had “general ideas” about humankind, especially about the rich and the poor (see image at top). Nowadays, since "everyone is rich”, philosophy has come down from its pedestal of absolute impartiality, into the subjective kitchen hot stoves — a bit like the Crème Brûlée fights on MKR (My Kitchen Rules) where the tarts are not the one served on the candle-lit table, but the various females, overmade-up with red lipstickle and black Rimmello so spatula-ed thick that they look like competing ladies-of-the-night, while the unsure undercooked males spill the sauces on the floor in a desperate attempt to beat the relentless clock. The judges, on the other side of the table, look like suited smiling philosophers of planet Armageddon. This is assassination (elimination) day…

But enough sidetracking… What? The "pseudo-nazis" and the "Unionised-Anarchists of the left” wear the same fashionable plain shirts?

What in hell the world is coming to?

Well, it’s a bit tragic. People get killed for ideas that are not worth the sacrifice. The major worry is that young people engage in these conflagrations without being forced into — without threats of joining the Hitler Youth or being sent to Communist Gulags…

In my days… err…. we did the exact same stupid things — except we did not wear the "Freddy" shirts (not on the market yet)… “Death to Fascism” we shouted, as we sang “The Internationale”… Oh boy... Another difference though... We were not uni students... We were just thugs.

Gus Leonisky
Once a yoof man fist-fighting on the streets, who believes that politics isn't a science but an art form.

macron's republic...

French President Emmanuel Macron vowed an ‘intractable’ fight against ‘political Islam,’ which he said seeks secession from the French Republic. His comments left many puzzled about his goals.

After delivering a speech addressing numerous social issues tied to France’s burgeoning protest movement, the Yellow Vests, Macron’s press conference took an odd turn when he laid into the French Muslim population.

“We are talking about people who, in the name of a religion, pursue a political project,” he said. “A political Islam that wants to secede from our Republic,” against which he asked the government to be “intractable.”

Macron also gave a ringing defense of French secularism, and called out “communitarianism.”

“We must not hide ourselves when we talk about secularism, we do not really talk about secularism, we talk about the communitarianism that has settled in certain districts of the Republic,” Macron said, referring to Muslim communities.

French citizens gave mixed reactions on social media to the president’s remarks, some posing their own questions in response.


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A secular government is the only way to hold together a mix of religious be-lies (not beliefs) in the same country, or even on the same planet. Separation of state and church is essential. Intelligence is in relative inverse proportion to beliefs. The more intelligent, the less one "believes" and the more one tries to know. Religions are a hindrance to the future of humanity.



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a word from our sponsor...

Diogenes, known as Diogenes the Cynic, was a Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Cynic philosophy, for which the purpose of life is to live in virtue and in agreement with nature. Diogenes would be seen today as a candle-burning eccentric greenie living on one of the islands in Tasmania’s Bass Strait. 

His father minted coins for a living in Sinope, and Diogenes of course ridiculed cash, thus he was banished from the city. One cannot laugh about money, can one, really? Money is more sacred than god. He went to Athens where he also criticised the chaming culture of that lovely metropolis. 

Diogenes modelled himself on Heracles, and professed that virtue was better shown in action than in words. His lifestyle was simple. He criticised the vain values and corrupt institutions in the confused society. He slept and ate wherever he felt like it, and toughened himself to face the elements. He declared himself a citizen of the world instead of holding allegiance to where he was.

Diogenes made a virtue out of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar (what? Not a barrel?) in the marketplace. 

He was famous for his stunts, such as carrying a lamp during the day, looking for an honest man. Would you be surprised if he did not find any (see picture at top)… He criticised Plato and disputed his interpretation of Socrates. Diogenes even ruffled Alexander the Great, both in public and to his face when AtG visited Corinth in 336 BC. What a good man, that Diogenes!

Captured by pirates and sold as a slave, he eventually managed to settle in Corinth where he taught his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates. Crates taught it to Zeno of Citium who used it, as well as the teachings of Socrates and Heraclitus, to  develop the philosophy of Stoicism. In stoicism, the path to happiness shall be found by accepting the moment as it presents itself, by not allowing oneself to be controlled by the desire of pleasure, nor by fear of pain… One uses the mind to understand the world and to participate in nature's plan by working together with others and treating them fairly and justly.  Wow...
None of Diogenes' writings have survived but his legacy is still influence the world — in reverse — today, like the meaning of cynicism itself as well, which has been turned on its head into a derogatory term. 

Nowadays, money is god, corruption is legalised to a great extend with tax exemption — for religious organisations and for some other activities like havenly storages — virtue is to be rich, fat, glorious, vain and to wage useless wars, while living in a ten room mansion instead of a barrel. Our second residence would make Croesus envious. We have 245 horses pushing our car instead of one pulling our cart. Virtue is to pump up pleasure to the max by getting drugged to the eyeballs, breeding like rabbits for capitalistic growth and succumbing to desire while wearing a condom — or not. Daily, we get our shot of blancmange into our brain: the news. Meanwhile nature is there to be dug up, to be sold, to be poisoned, to be burnt and to be turned into lawns for golf courses — for entertainment. The options are endless. We are complete cynics.

dangerous events of the collective...

Philosophy does not promise to secure anything external for man, otherwise it would be admitting something that lies beyond its proper subject-matter. For as the material of the carpenter is wood, and that of statuary bronze, so the subject-matter of the art of living is each person's own life.

— Epictetus, Discourses 

This one is for Miranda-the-Idiot Devine

Read: leave her alone... in miranda pisses over the ledge...

Epictetus taught that philosophy is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. To Epictetus, all external events are beyond our control; we should accept calmly and dispassionately whatever happens. However, individuals are responsible for their own actions, which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline.

Epictetus maintained that the foundation of all philosophy is self-knowledge, that is, the conviction of our ignorance and gullibility ought to be the first subject of our study.

Logic provides valid reasoning and certainty in judgment, but it is subordinate to practical needs.

The first and most necessary part of philosophy concerns the application of doctrine, for example, that people should not lie. The second concerns reasons, e.g., why people should not lie. While the third, lastly, examines and establishes the reasons. This is the logical part which shows what is a reason, and that a given reason is a correct one.

Here we should realise that COLLECTIVE EVENTS are not beyond our control. GLOBAL WARMING is a collective event. We ALL enjoy the comforts afforded by burning fossil fuels. Sciences tell us unequivocally that burning fossil fuels is warming up the atmosphere and this could become more dangerous than the value of the comforts we are enjoying. Is this an event beyond our personal control, or should we bang dustbin lids and walk into the streets about demanding less comforts? ARE WE NUTS? YES!

We shall burn more fossil fuels because we love comfort more than the planet... Hurrah!

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a startup that broke up...


THE MARKUP WAS ONE of the most highly anticipated media startups in recent memory. Julia Angwin, a former Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, teamed up with her ProPublica writing partner, data journalist Jeff Larson, and brought in Sue Gardner, the former head of Wikimedia and a number of other well-regarded non-profit projects. The team raised $20 million from the Craigslist founder Craig Newmark to fund a data-driven journalistic platform focused on covering the tech giants.

Now, all of that hangs by a thread. Angwin was fired by her co-founders on Monday. Five of the company’s seven editorial staff quit in protest, and more than 145 journalists and researchers signed a letter supporting her.

In interviews over the past few days and in a letter to Newmark she posted on social media, Angwin accused Gardner of trying to shift The Markup’s data-focused approach to one of anti-tech advocacy, and asked Newmark to step in. On Wednesday, he and the rest of The Markup’s funders—including the Knight Foundation and the Ford Foundation—did exactly that, saying they were going to “reassess” their support. Whether that means pulling their funding or forcing the company to re-hire Angwin remains unknown. Newmark (who is a funder of CJR and is on its board of overseers) said on Twitter he was “taking this very seriously.”

ICYMI: A reporter attended a school board meeting longer than any other journalist. That ended up being a good decision.

The drama has riveted the media world. But the events that led to Angwin’s firing remain murky. How were the inevitable tensions of a startup allowed to explode so dramatically? How could Angwin be pushed out of a company that was her idea in the first place? Why didn’t others intervene sooner? Larson, for his part, wrote a post on Medium blaming the blow-up on Angwin’s failure to grow the company as quickly as the co-founders had planned. 

In her first in-depth interview, Sue Gardner, the company’s chief executive, told CJR how her relationship with Angwin began to deteriorate not long after Gardner joined Angwin and Larson as a co-founder last February. (Gardner kept written notes of meetings and of the breakdown in the relationship from the time she joined the company, and she shared those notes with CJR.)

Gardner felt that, as a senior executive, Angwin should be willing to take part in team-building exercises by submitting to a Myers-Briggs personality test, and should be more enthusiastic about attending meetings. She was alarmed that Angwin did not agree to formal performance assessments for herself and her team (Angwin says she never refused to do performance reviews). Gardner says she found such behavior “unnerving coming from someone in an executive position” and that she believes Angwin wanted an adversarial relationship between editorial staff and management. 

Gardner says she offered Angwin books and blog posts about what she considered effective management, and offered to get Angwin a coach to further align her with Gardner’s vision of how a company should be run. Larson said in an interview that he did read the books and took more than a dozen coaching sessions. Both he and Gardner say that Angwin did not follow up on the suggestions (Angwin says she read several of the books Gardner recommended, and also started corresponding with a coach in December). 

Gardner also wanted Angwin to stop going on so many trips to conferences, which she felt got in the way of more pressing work. But Angwin continued to travel, and was out of the office for almost a month out of the first year of the company’s existence. Angwin told CJR she believed that “evangelism” about The Markup was a key part of her role.

Angwin acknowledged to CJR that “meetings are not my favorite thing.” And she admitted that she had room for improvement as a manager or executive of a company. “I’m not saying I was perfect by any means.” But she said she was “enthusiastic” about trying to improve, and said Gardner never gave her any kind of constructive feedback beyond a list of her failures.


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So much talent, so little results so far... Hopefully Markup will start again as what it's meant to be. The Markup’s data-focused approach can have pitfalls, I must say.  It does not amount to much if it turns Silicon Valley into a new religion, with no intra-criticism of the people plodding data like priests in a boudoir.  By this I mean, that relationships between data, sciences, governments and profits need to be under the microscope. "Angwin should be willing to take part in team-building exercises by submitting to a Myers-Briggs personality test"???? What shit is this? Sound a bit like Hitler demanding loyalty from his co-Nazis with an inquisition. What happened to plain "Heil, mein Führer?" GL.


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soft hypocrites...

It is interesting to note that the "Business of News — Columbia Journalism Review" has not a pip, nor a squeak not a word about Assange. One would think that this BoN-CJR does not believe that Julian is a journalist per se. Actually, Assange is the most important journalist in the world, because he publishes the REAL documented LIES of governments — and those of the associated political parties. Instead the BoN-CJR has an article titled:


A damaging hockey fight shows why insider journalists need an outsider’s perspective


As if this hockey fight mattered more than the inside pants (the brains) of Donald Trump and those of Hillary the Loony, going back to the hypocrisy of the Bushes Junior and senior... Or even the "hockey stick of global warming?"...


Yep, the BoN-CJR is a suburban train-line for soft hypocrisy



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a convict past...

finkielkraut finicky about female footy bodies...

Controversial French philosopher and intellectual Alain Finkielkraut has been slated by feminists and commenters for the crime of not liking women’s football. He told a journalist he “doesn’t want to see women like that.”

During a Wednesday night appearance on France’s CNews channel, a reporter asked Finkielkraut if he plans on watching France’s upcoming Women’s World Cup match against South Korea on Friday.

Ahh, well no,” the academic responded. “I do not like women’s football.”

Surprised, the journalist pressed Finkielkraut. “Why? What’s the difference?” she asked.

“Stop with ‘equality, equality!’ Equality yes, but with a little difference. Of course it’s great that women play football,” he explained, clearly annoyed with the questioning.

The CNews host cut across Finkielkraut, accusing him of condescension.

“I am not being condescending. It does not fascinate me, that’s not how I want to see women… And what next? You’re going to ask me to watch a boxing match between women, then a rugby match… I don’t want to.”


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Read also: meanwhile, getting brawnier... in the aussie women champions...