27 May 2007

Truth! Information! Relevance! Clarity!

Gricean maxims
source: philosopher Paul Grice
  • Maxim of Quality: Truth
    • Do not say what you believe to be false.
    • Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
  • Maxim of Quantity: Information
    • Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange.
    • Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
  • Maxim of Relation: Relevance
    • Be relevant.
  • Maxim of Manner: Clarity
    • Avoid obscurity of expression. ("Eschew obfuscation")
    • Avoid ambiguity.
    • Be brief ("avoid unnecessary prolixity").
    • Be orderly.

23 May 2007

Politics On Tap -- with a White Trash Chaser

Who is Mae Brussell? Steven LaRose explains by posting Paul Krassner's "Lee Harvey Oswald Meets Suzanne Somers" (from Spin magazine, February 1989):
So maybe some day, perhaps in Bull Durham II, Kevin Costner will say to Susan Sarandon, "I believe in carrying condoms with me at all times and I believe that the military-industrial complex took over the country on November 22, 1963."
Then: follow Steven's link to shit your pants reading Naomi Wolf's "Fascist America, in 10 easy steps" (from The Guardian, 24 April 2007).

Al Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, was released yesterday. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes:
Gore, to his credit, won't talk about Florida, but I will. Whatever flaws he has, Gore suffered through an extreme injustice with great dignity. His revenge is to have been right about a lot of things: right about the power of the Internet, right about global warming and right about Iraq.
Ah, what might have been... If there's any silver lining to be found at all behind the grim cloud of the November 2000 election, it's that Silly McSmileyface hasn't been our nation's vice president.

I remain happily TV-free (for almost a year now!), but I've found a fun way to keep up with the Sunday afternoon political shows: The Bobblespeak Translations, "What They're Really Saying When They're Saying What They're Saying." It's a hoot.

And now for something completely different: Matt Wray examines the history of "White Trash" in American Sexuality Magazine (via 3 Quarks Daily).

17 May 2007

What Is Hidden

"A work of art must narrate something that does not appear within its outline. The objects and figures represented in it must likewise poetically tell you of something that is far away from them and also of what their shapes materially hide from us."
~ Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978)

Giorgio de Chirico, "Les Vexations du Penseur"
("The Vexations of the Thinker")

06 May 2007

Poetic Moments

"Wouldn't it be better to turn life into poetry rather than to make poetry from life? And cannot poetry have as its primary objective, rather than the creation of poems, the creation of poetic moments?"
~ Octavio Paz

Ars Poetica

Between what I see and what I say
Between what I say and what I keep silent
Between what I keep silent and what I dream
Between what I dream and what I forget:

~ Octavio Paz

05 May 2007


ver·big·er·a·tion (vər-bij'ə-rā'shən)
n. Obsessive repetition of meaningless words and phrases, especially as a symptom of mental illness.

[From Latin verbigerātus, past participle of verbigerāre, to chat, dispute, from *verbiger, carrying words : verbum, word + gerere, to carry.]

"Pomo needs to be kicked until it coughs blood, and I do my part. But I think that one has to recognize that pomo consists mostly of verbigeration, and you can only pin so much woe on it."
~ Franklin Einspruch, commenting on David Thompson's blog post "Anhedonic Art"