Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The End of Meat

Philosopher argues for end of carnivorism:

Here, then, is where matters stand thus far. It would be good to prevent the vast suffering and countless violent deaths caused by predation. There is therefore one reason to think that it would be instrumentally good if predatory animal species were to become extinct and be replaced by new herbivorous species, provided that this could occur without ecological upheaval involving more harm than would be prevented by the end of predation. The claim that existing animal species are sacred or irreplaceable is subverted by the moral irrelevance of the criteria for individuating animal species. I am therefore inclined to embrace the heretical conclusion that we have reason to desire the extinction of all carnivorous species, and I await the usual fate of heretics when this article is opened to comment.

The comments are rather nasty, but also stupid, generally missing the long list of provisos the guy protected himself with.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Quel beau jour! (I have no idea if this is grammatically correct)

I had the most wonderful day. I spent a few hours at a French conversation group this evening at Le Pain Quotidien in old town Alexandria. This proved somewhat challenging, as I don't speak French, but it turns out it's not that hard. You just take your sizeable Spanish vocabulary, knock the stress to the end of the word, squeeze all the vowels so they're more oo-ey, swallow your R's, and fake the past tense by throwing in any random vowel before the infinitive. The only native speaker there complemented my pronunciation. In fact, we were reading some song lyrics, and no knew what the word rafale meant. "Well, I don't know," said I, "but it looks a lot like the Spanish word for machine gun burst."

I was right.

I even won a game of twenty (French) questions, which meant I had to come up with the next topic--which was difficult, but I managed.

And the woman sitting next to me was stunning.

(I was also amazed at the number of Republicans. Even in Virginia, I did not expect any overlap between tea party activism and desire to learn French.)

TP Report

SCOTT: I got to say, it is really cool to be browsing through Lexis and stumble upon an article you helped write.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Works Cited

Where would the world be if all men had sought security and not taken risks or gambled with their lives on the chance that, if they won, life would be different and richer? It is from the bystanders (who are in the vast majority) that we receive the propaganda that life is not worth living, that life is drudgery, that the ambitions of youth must he laid aside for a life which is but a painful wait for death.

Hunter S. Thompson, "Security"