time for a black friday roundup

1. The next party drug? (Does this sort of thing count as a date rape drug?)

2. Hero flips off cop, gets ticketed, gets fifty grand.

3. My seatmate on a flight a couple of days ago had a copy of this magazine. I borrowed it from her for the trip and immediately subscribed — it’s the best thing I’ve read lately.

4. Goodin on what this weird political science discipline is anyway, via Jacob. It’s notable for the highly amusing tone in which it is written, while still being enlightening. One of my favorite passages:

The discipline of political science is less fearsome than that of the church. “Mortification of the flesh by penance” is no part of standard induction into our discipline; and while some of its practitioners are denied tenure, few are literally banned from professing political science ever again. Still, it is an essential part of academic disciplines that they offer standards that can provide grounds for control, chastisement, and even occasional mortification. To discipline is to punish (Foucault 1977; Moran 2006), if only symbolically, if only occasionally or merely potentially.

Mortification of the flesh by penance vs. writing a dissertation: you decide!

5. Someone at Georgetown argues that the “natural lottery” assumption in Rawls is metaphysical because it entails a denial of karma. Seriously. From the abstract: “Also, there are some scientific researches which provide reasonable evidence for reincarnation and karma.” This is why you don’t put half-baked papers on SSRN.

6. There’s a new 3 Quarks Daily prize, this time in politics. I will be deeply offended if there isn’t at least one nomination for some post on this blog.

7. Larry Solum posts a very helpful legal theory lexicon on overlapping consensus and incompletely theorized agreements.

8. David Feige thinks constitutional protections are going to be eroded by the sick game of twister that the courts will play to try KSM even though he’s been tortured.

At each stage of the appellate process, a higher court will countenance the cowardly decisions made by the trial judge, ennobling them with the unfortunate force of precedent. The judicial refusal to consider KSM’s years of quasi-legal military detention as a violation of his right to a speedy trial will erode that already crippled constitutional concept. The denial of the venue motion will raise the bar even higher for defendants looking to escape from damning pretrial publicity. Ever deferential to the trial court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will affirm dozens of decisions that redact and restrict the disclosure of secret documents, prompting the government to be ever more expansive in invoking claims of national security and emboldening other judges to withhold critical evidence from future defendants. Finally, the twisted logic required to disentangle KSM’s initial torture from his subsequent “clean team” statements will provide a blueprint for the government, giving them the prize they’ve been after all this time—a legal way both to torture and to prosecute.

I’m not quite so pessimistic, mainly because I think there’s a pattern of the courts letting the executive get away with this sort of crap under extreme pressure of exigency then taking it all back a few years later. The reasons for that are to be explored much much later.

9. Creative ways to pay for grad school.

10. “In Experiment 1, people reported higher religiosity after looking at mating pools consisting of attractive people of their own sex compared to attractive opposite sex targets. Experiment 2 replicated the effect with an added control group, and suggested that both men and women become more religious when seeing same sex competitors. “ Maybe they were praying for that hottie to notice them?


2 Responses to “time for a black friday roundup”

  1. Jennifurret Says:

    Rofl, I clicked your “Creative ways to pay for grad school” link thinking, man, I need to know that! …And then it linked back to my blog post. Hahaha

  2. homais Says:

    I doubt it would be a date-rape drug, given that it takes 6 weeks or so to kick in. Unless parties last longer than I remember. Incidentally, I love stories like that – they’ve got everything: pseudoscience (you don’t want sex as much as your partner does; it must be a disease!), culture wars, you name it. My take: entirely apart from the gender and power issues involved (and there are many), it’s a pity that taking mind- (or libido-) altering drugs is only considered respectable when there’s a medical reason (or maybe “medical” reason). It leads to nothing good.

    And of course, thanks for the link to the polisci handbook. I always like reading that kind of thing.

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