Thursday, February 24, 2005

Beergarden Alliances

United States of Europe

It only makes sense that the states most frequently let down by France in the past century would be more than a little wary of relying on the mighty French army. Not that it was entire the fault of the French, mind you. Declining birth rates, the loss of a generation of men, the inability to challenge anyone economically before 1945 and the general fear of another revolution all tend to leave a country hesitant to act.


Identity and Language

It makes me giddy when my passions and current events collide like this. National identity is plastic as is the birth or rebirth of a national language. I wonder to what extent the new languages spoken and taught in the former Yugoslavian states are derived from the literary high culture. While language is a living breathing organism, it is typically the language of the administrators and officials (i.e. upper class) that becomes the official language of the nation.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Meaning as Use

Philosophy of Language

For all of the topics I am interested in language remains the most important to me. Strangely, or not, language also plays a central role in nearly all of the topics I devote my time to. Language is at the heart of the story, which in turn is at the heart of myths and comics. Language straddles the distance between logic and non-logic, thus making it a vital part of philosophy. And language plays a key role in how history is read, interpreted and written.

Irony of Ironies


Truth is something hard to neatly package. Something I find increasingly interesting is how media venues such as talk radio and blogs are generally the bastions of conservative opinions. What scares me about bloggers attempting to present genuine news under the banner of greater transparency between the event and the public is that few said bloggers (and talk show hosts, for that matter) have had any professional training in how to present and understand an event. Worse than that, even fewer possess the know-how to differentiate between the subjective and the objective. Perhaps I'm suffering from a momentary inability to remain objective but I just read something on fascist ideology that states "the fight against intellectuals and against the rationalism from which they drew their nourishment was a measure of public safety." This attitude that intelligence is corrupting and that morality is the one true gauge by which to interpret the world is being spewed forth by people comfortably isolated from the world by walls and opinion.

Monday, February 21, 2005

The European Front

Bush and the EU

I wonder how the individual nations of the European Union feel about the U.S. perception of Europe as a semi-unified whole? While greater cooperation between the European nations is a wonderful thing considering their violent past, my concern is whether nationalistic differences will rear its ugly head. I sincerely doubt that the nations of the European Union will soon consider their states as lesser or beholden to the Union. President Bush's efforts to soften his stance on Europe and to extend his support to nations that have not previously supported current U.S. actions does speak well for any multi-national effort in Iraq. It may appear as if President Bush is placating the European allies but at least he is acknowledging the need to remain allied with Europe.