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  • anthropology « Liam McHugh-Russell
    that choice In writing as in living we must start by asking why I read Aleksandar Hemon in the Believer I want a book to contain a world indeed the world Writing is my main means of engagement with the world and I want the scars of that engagement to be left in the language I write and read with the assumption that literature contains knowledge of human experience that is not available otherwise I see a clue in those words A defense even of serious academic writing Is that all it takes to be a writer I try to imagine writing without the assumption the faith that what I write or will write contains knowledge of the human experience that is not available otherwise I read in Wittgenstein a philosophical work consists essentially of elucidations I wonder if I can be a writer if I might elucidate I try to commit to showing the scars of my engagment with the world I hope to earn the scars themselves January 28th 2010 Tags anthropology literature narrative science writing Category Uncategorized Leave a comment Find Read This apophenia Epicurean Dealmaker Freddie de Boer interfluidity JW Mason Lazenby n 1 Three Toed

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/anthropology/ (2016-05-01)
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  • art « Liam McHugh-Russell
    climbs on top of a train and the police are shooting at him and maybe they are trying to miss They don t hit him and he hands out dozens hundreds of passports to their upstretched hands and then the Germans let them out because you don t shoot the Swedes because they are neutral and it just doesn t make any sense But if you close your eyes you can kind of imagine it happening like it says here on wikipedia the Germans and the Arrow Cross were so dumbfounded they let him get away with it And you just kind of realize that you can try all you want to be that good and to make a difference like that and then and then and then It s just not reasonable to be the kind of breathless sensitive young person who at 14 watches Schindler s List and then just sits in the kitchen crying and just kind of chokes through sobbing breaths while his parents stare at him somewhat dumbfounded because maybe you remember that Schindler at the end says I could have done more and I this 14 year old can t even talk to them and then my sobbing turns to weeping and I look up at them It s awful because I have a hard time even believing it myself and it s not that I love who I am now but I do love who I was then because the whole world was open to him and he could have done anything he could have ridden a mule across the Andes become a champion kick boxer sailed to China and he I just never thought seriously about anything other than this at the time says through the tears I should be doing something I should be doing something and I just don t know what to do What if I don t do enough As if there was some measure Here is Howard Zinn reminding us that the world is backward because the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of it The United States has almost 3 million people under incarceration had in 2008 almost 1 5 million adults in prison and 100 000 youth in prison and here s the other thing they execute children who ve probably done terrible things and in many ways they re not children anymore by the time they get sentenced but the government puts them under sedation and then they give them painkillers and then they put poison into their blood streams and they never wake up And people say they should have known better but that s just it they didn t know better If they had known better they wouldn t have done it And the government poisons these young men and they are broken and we have failed them even if it s not your country or mine exactly They execute men who grew up sexually abused and burned and ignored and mistreated who have grown up crazy and twisted and dissociated and they do terrible things But if they are monsters did we make them that way and what s our duty to them now and if they aren t monsters then how can we kill them when they are defenceless And now 62 of Canadians say that they think we should have the death penalty for murder and people think there should be the death penalty for rapists just for good measure So in this old video Michael Ignatieff says in this clinical and detached way that we shouldn t have the death penalty in Canada because it s irrevocable like we might make a mistake and how can he be so cold What makes it so that he can have talked to these people in Iraq and in Kosovo and in Croatia and all he can say is with like surgical precision as you would say to someone who suggests that maybe the engine needs replacing that well that seems a pretty rash measure Why can t he just say with his head tilted that we can t take it upon ourselves to kill people to purposefully snuff out their life when they want to live we can t do it because it s wrong because it s wrong because it s wrong And I know that the answer is the same as the answer to why there are now almost 1 in 100 Americans incarcerated and yet none of them are George Bush or Dick Cheney Because those of us who engage ourselves in politics just have to accept the political expediency of if you kill 600 000 people in an unnecessary war and hold people without trial and then empower people to torture them then you get paid 400 a ticket to speak but in California if you shoplift three times you go to jail for life Thousands and thousands of people are in prison for minor drug related offences and yes drugs are horrible for a lot of people but then how is Tony Blair is a free man And you struggle every day with the question what am I supposed to do and then you read too much and you watch too many movies and you listen to too much music and you find that you can talk about anything and you can talk at length about the qualities of any of this litany of things You learn from Bourdieu that taste is a product of class and privilege and yet you believe that the art the literature the music matters that it is right that you haven t just soaked up the preferences of your parents And yet There are these moments in books where Gatsby s boat beats on against the current ceaselessly into the past and now here in Helen DeWitt we have this just incredible tour de force a book that starts strong and almost every page

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/art/ (2016-05-01)
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  • authoritarianmism « Liam McHugh-Russell
    dismiss the problem out of hand but while obviously being a bit provocative to suggest that solutions to the problem lay in better understanding the nature of our anxiety That is I intended that the question be read in the register not of we should not be worried about it but in the register of what exactly is it as a matter of principle that we are worried about Your latest piece depends on an interpretation in the former register and I am not sure it provides enough evidence to justify that interpretation Can you say more about why you think that Zizek is being glib Does his argument in the book following this quote support your reading This is especially important given that there is evidence that this wasn t his intention First he doesn t say so what if we return to totalitarianism he says so what if one is accused of being anti democratic and totalitarian Neither the accusation nor even a personal orientation would necessarily imply endorsement of a totalitarian politics The second though you have dismissed it out of hand is the use of inverted commas which suggest that it is only democracy as defined under liberal democratic coordinates an orientation to question of democracy you clearly don t endorse not democracy in the ideal which he is attempting to muddle There is further support for this more generous reading one could look outside the book to sources in which Zizek has unequivocally criticized the authoritarian tyranny of Socialist Bloc policies here in his review of The Lives of Others in which he suggests that western leftists could be easily be misled by the film about how bad the system was and here a video in which he says at 2 25 Let me make

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/authoritarianmism/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Benjamin Wild Pugsley « Liam McHugh-Russell
    order role in the business formation decision In other words most small businesses are just that small businesses Essential to the economy but not engines of growth Small business owners don t generally have some better way of doing some old thing they don t usually plan to grow and they aren t motivated for the most part by a desire to work harder and reap more of the reward but simply by the desire to work at their own pace The undercurrent here these are University of Chicago economists after all is that there is no market failure which small business subsidies actually address Their point is that small businesses are a terrible proxy for innovative firms labour intensive production and services and growth industries Thus small business benefits are market distorting not market correcting The first problem with the conclusion is one of research design they don t have a negative case They are studying the intentions and outcomes in a US small business sector which already benefits from a network of subsidies and tax benefits The relevant question isn t given existing subsidies what portion of the small business sector is innovative It s without these subsidies would the economy as a whole see lower employment growth and less innovation I don t think they ve provided relevant data to answer that question The other problem I have with their conclusions turns on their narrow definition of market failure Now for the most part they are responding to a certain set of arguments so this isn t a failing of the paper so much as of the entire discussion Because the discussion seems to discount the overall social benefit of a rich ecology of small businesses One of the market failures which small business subsidies can provide

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/benjamin-wild-pugsley/ (2016-05-01)
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  • blogs « Liam McHugh-Russell
    technologies my network of friends is anomalous and that though Gabler s vision of Twitter may be narrow he s right about the majority of online content Well fine but then the only important question is are people talking about big ideas more or less than before Twitter Because I am willing to wager with 1 to 1 odds that most of Western societies has always talked about the mundane details of their lives most of the time Were the biggest celebrities in 1899 intellectuals actors or war heroes But let me get back to Gutenberg no doubt reading a lot of articles online is different from reading an entire book But it s not clear to me which form of reading allows more thinking As I read Gabler s piece I stumbled on his use of Gresham s Law which is sad because I spent much of August reading political economy So I looked it up on wikipedia It turns out that basically Gresham found by accident that bad money will always replace good where both are available in the market Which also implies that my bothering to provide a hard link to the wiki page on Gresham is kind of silly because as my experience indicates if people stumble with ideas in their traipsing through the blogosphere they will do the legwork to find out more Indeed a lot of my online activities will lead into a web of related readings some followed links some watched videos It s not deep reading but rather networked reading What are the implications of this change in the nature of reading for thinking for ideas and for culture A fascinating question no doubt and one which is being addressed obliquely in the literary sphere But knowing the answers like knowing whether we talk to each other less or more about things that matter than we might have in 1899 would require actual research rather than just rehashing the warning given by Plato in the Phaedrus against the written word it s also online whenever new communications technologies I suppose communications analysis suffers from its own Gresham s Law Now here s a fascinating idea I noticed in a public presentation yesterday the habit people have of looking up terms or sources they aren t familiar with isn t limited to when they are reading online They do it in public too I wonder what my blogosphere will think about that October 4th 2011 Tags blogs communications digital literacy information overload Neal Galber New York Times Phaedrus Category culture Leave a comment Demystifying Digital Literacy Over at her New York Times blog Virginia Heffernan quotes some pretty hyperbolic claims about the future of work in the United States inter alia that 65 of jobs which will be held by today s grade school kids will be unrecognizable to us though admittedly the claim may turn on what how exacting a standard of recognizable we apply Any exaggeration is due to from Cathy

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/blogs/ (2016-05-01)
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  • boston review « Liam McHugh-Russell
    excessively on temporary employees He also knew however that it had an informal agreement with its unions to periodically move a certain number of temporary workers onto its permanent payroll and in light of this agreement he simply ignored the temporary help violations His reasoning he explained was that the goal of the temporary help restrictions was to expand permanent employment and he thought he would be unable to obtain more permanent jobs by enforcing the existing regulation than by tolerating the admittedly illegal informal arrangement with the union The law he pointed out is a means not an end in itself My friend Sean is an ardent opponent of laws which are selectively enforced He uses the example of drug laws which end up being applied so that the aggregate result is obviously racist So where s the middle ground There s a PhD thesis in there just waiting to be written March 17th 2010 Tags andrew schank boston review labour law latin america law michael piore productivity Category law politics Leave a comment Find Read This apophenia Epicurean Dealmaker Freddie de Boer interfluidity JW Mason Lazenby n 1 Three Toed Sloth Recent Posts Brats Neoliberalism in One Image

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/boston-review/ (2016-05-01)
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  • Bruce Bartlett « Liam McHugh-Russell
    States is 26 9 percent of G D P according to Heritage However Equatorial Guinea doesn t seem to be a very pleasant place to live The people are poor and have little freedom Heritage says that persistent institutional weaknesses impede creation of a more vibrant private sector and the rule of law is weak This sounds suspiciously as if government is too small to do its job properly But I m sure that the citizens of Equatorial Guinea don t mind having a dysfunctional government after all they re lucky duckies Perhaps the most interesting part of this short piece one of the clearest quickest arguments for the idea that working markets requires a strong effective government is that it comes from Bruce Bartlett a former policy advisor to Reagan Bush Sr and Ron Paul It demonstrates that even someone who has worked with a headstrong libertarian type sees the need for effective government presence in any good society The conclusion of his article demonstrates another point however Bartlett believes that high taxes and low regulation like Denmark are preferable to lower taxes and less business freedom So it s worth keeping mind that even convincing people that government is important and necessary to a functioning economy doesn t mean they ll be convinced that it should be on the side of a functioning society Still if you can lead a duck to water October 4th 2011 Tags Bruce Bartlett economics economix government markets New York Times regulation taxes Category politics US Leave a comment Find Read This apophenia Epicurean Dealmaker Freddie de Boer interfluidity JW Mason Lazenby n 1 Three Toed Sloth Recent Posts Brats Neoliberalism in One Image Rule Thyself What we think they should want Annihilation Tags academia Alan Johnson America andrew schank anthropology art authoritarianmism

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/bruce-bartlett/ (2016-05-01)
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  • business « Liam McHugh-Russell
    Mr Todd says of McGill We re arguably one of the best 25 universities in the world We say it should have one of the best 25 MBA schools philosophy departments in the world Quebec should want that and I think Quebec does want it These all too cute editing nonetheless provides fodder for some head scratching about a change which amounts to a complete refutation of the relationship the department has with society and with the rest of the University Why does it cost so much to educate these people when there are no lab materials no medical supplies nor specialized software needed to educate them Why should the prestige of this particular department be just as high as the university s overall reputation and not some other department Why should we care what the Financial Times has to say about the work done in this department More importantly if this program is essentially a training program for tomorrow s corporate elite then why is it offered by a university at all The purely practical answer is that students willing to pay an 8000 premium on the delivery costs of the program provde a convenient cashcow for an institution constantly facing fiscal drought To that a modest proposal the school could make even more money by simply selling degrees recognizing the excellence of those already successful in the business field in return for a hefty fee disposing of the need for a library professors or administrative staff The Globe s averaging of salaries hide the students who would have otherwise done something thoughtful something innovative something revolutionary with the education they now received Little time for that with a massive debtload to pay off In his recent book on universities Ian Angus argues that business has replaced the clergy

    Original URL path: http://Mchugh-Russell.ca/tag/business/ (2016-05-01)
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