Round the World in One

by Henry Farrell on July 4, 2004

The “New York Times”: tells us today about some bloke who’s playing golf across Mongolia, treating the entire country as a course, and dividing it into eighteen holes. Par is 11,880.

Sounds impressive – until you consider the Surrealist Golf Course in Maurice Richardson’s “The Exploits of Engelbrecht”: (previously discussed in “this post”: According to Richardson

bq. To start with, a surrealist golf course has only one hole. But don’t get the idea that it’s any easier on that account. … Par is reckoned at 818181, but anything under 100,000 is considered a hot score. The hazards are desperate, so desperate that at the clubhouse bar you always see some pretty ravaged faces and shaky hands turning down an empty glass for the missing members.

These hazards include Sairpents, Vultures, the Valley of Dry Bones, Muezzins and Butlins Holiday Camp. In comparison, the Gobi Desert sounds like a cakewalk.

An amazing result

by Chris Bertram on July 4, 2004

The BBC commentators have been comparing Otto Rehhagel to Socrates and invoking Greece’s ancient past. And why not? “Moments like tonight”: are what make football the great sport it is.

Tangled webs

by Henry Farrell on July 4, 2004

“Matt Yglesias”: gives us a “long philosophical rant” about the inconsistencies in Spiderman 2. More power to him, I say – but he’s still very likely wrong. Spiderman is not only a really, really good movie, it’s not necessarily making the claims that Matt suggests it does. Warning: spoilers follow.

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Portrait of the philosopher picking an argument

by John Holbo on July 4, 2004

Brian Leiter posts on ‘philosopher’s tics’. Very true, very true. I just happen to have buried something similar in a long recent post you probably didn’t read, and just as well. So here it is. It’s from Imre Kertész’ novel – but I fear it’s his autobiography – Kaddish For a Child Not Born. The narrator is at some sort of forest retreat for writers and thinkers, trying to avoid the writers and thinkers. Alas, he is not successful. “The philosopher was nearing me in a pondering mood; I could see it in the slightly inclined pose of his head, on which his rascally visored cap perched; he approached like a humorous highwayman with a few drinks down his gullet, pondering whether to knock me down or content himself with the loot.”

Blogocracy in America

by John Holbo on July 4, 2004

Americans, of all ages, of all stations in life, and all types of dispositions are forever forming associations. They are not only commercial or industrial associations in which they all take part but others of a thousand different types – religious, moral, serious, futile, very general and very minute … Nothing, in my view, deserves more attention that the intellectual and moral associations in America.

– Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

I stumbled on that passage – appropriate unto the day, for what is declared independence if not a precondition for happier association? – while poking around regarding blogging and social networks and such, following up Henry’s interesting ‘blogosphere as 18th century coffee-house’ post, following up Laura at Apartment 11D’s ‘blogging polis’ post. (I’d tell you who posted that Tocqueville passage, but I’ve forgotten.)

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Call Halliburton

by Jon Mandle on July 4, 2004

Anyone care to explain this?

Only $366 million has been spent out of the $18.4 billion
President Bush and Congress provided last fall for rebuilding Iraq, the
White House said yesterday.

I know just the company to burn through a few extra
, if they’re looking.