Sunday, February 25, 2007


Here's an extraordinarily useful website for those of us who frequently find ourselves or others trying to convert lead to gold in making an argument. It's called the Fallacy Files, a website featuring a nimble collection of fallacious, or otherwise bad, arguments, that is, examples of reasoning which may commit one or more of the named fallacies under the care of logic, or are bad in some way yet to be classified. The author, Gary N. Curtis, notes that his collection took the form of clippings from newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, photocopies of pages of books, and—in a few rare cases—entire articles or books which were rich sources of bad reasoning. Apparently this site has been around since 2001, but I was onto something quite similar, if decidedly less sophisticated, back in the Ragtag 90s with my Judgement Furniture.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I haven't forgotten my pledge to outline and critique the basic tenets of Radical Centrism as postulated by Ted Halstead and Michael Lind in their book The Future of American Politics: The Radical Center. Unfortunately, it seems the only time I have had a chance to focus on any reading outside a computer screen these busy days is when I have been sitting idle in the waiting room at the Jeep dealership while mechanics fumble around on the barely used vehicle I bought in December, a 2005 Jeep Liberty Renegade with only 10K miles on it.

It's now boasting 14K, but has been in the shop three times already. Once, for a factory recall item I only learned about a weeke after purchasing the Jeep. Once, with a busted tail light when I backed into a wayward 2x4 poking out of the wall shelving in the garage of my studio building. And again, when the engine light came on and stayed on as I was traveling back from the north Georgia mountains the day after a thicket of ice & snow had swept through the Mid-Atlantic region.

And now that I have read to page 188 of some 240 pages, I should be able to finish it soon because the engine light is once again rearing its ugly likeness, just three days after the last time it was in the shop. But the mechanic had warned me that the source of the misfiring in one of the vehicle's six cylinders had not been properly rectified, and would still need more investigation. They'd replaced the sparkplugs, no charge. But I desperately needed to get back to work on that particular day. They'd already possessed my precious Liberty for five and a half hours, so I said I'd bring it back soon.

The engine light stayed off for three days. Ah, the joy.