Up to a Point, Lord Copper

by Henry on June 21, 2006

I see that Megan McArdle has responded to my “response”:https://crookedtimber.org/2006/06/17/asymmetrical-information/ with “two”:http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005805.html “posts”:http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005806.html, one quite voluminous. I don’t want to belabour this any more than it needs to be belaboured, so I’ll do my best not to be prolix. If you dig beneath the lengthy exposition and lumbering sarcasm, her contentions seem rather straightforward and easily summarizable.

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Markets in Everything, Except Shorts

by Kieran Healy on June 21, 2006

Wait, is this “Marginal Revolution”:http://www.marginalrevolution.com/ or something? Anyway, “consider the following”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5104252.stm story:

Dutch fans are being handed orange shorts to watch the Argentina World Cup match if they wear trousers promoting a beer which is not the official sponsor. Up to 1,000 fans had to watch Friday’s game against Ivory Coast in underpants after being denied entry because they were wearing the orange lederhosen.

Fifa said a bid at “ambush” marketing – free publicity at the expense of official sponsors – was not allowed. But Dutch brewery Bavaria defended its decision to give away the lederhosen. It said no sponsors had the right to tell fans what to wear. American firm Anheuser Busch, maker of Budweiser beer, is among 15 companies to have paid up to $50m (£27m, 40m euros) each for the right to be an official partner at this World Cup.

Fifa spokesman Tom Houseman told the BBC News website that staff at the Ivory Coast match had been briefed in advance to look out for the trousers with Bavaria slogans and logo. Officials were instructed not to ask fans to remove the lederhosen if they had only underwear underneath, he said. “The idea of hundreds of fans removing their trousers is always potentially amusing, and our suspicion is that trousers were chosen as an ambush tool specifically because of the publicity that fans taking them off would generate,” he said.

“As a goodwill gesture this evening, I have provided gate staff tonight with piles of spare pairs of plain orange shorts should anybody require them.” Mr Houseman added that individual fans wearing items not made by the official World Cup sponsors need not worry about being turned away. Bavaria has defended its decision to give away the orange lederhosen with purchases of its beer. “I understand that Fifa has sponsors but you cannot tell people to strip off their lederhosen and force them to watch a game in their underpants,” Bavaria chairman Peer Swinkels told Reuters news agency. “That is going too far.”

I think your intuitions on this one would predict a lot about your views on IP law.

Islamofascism and its predecessors

by Henry on June 21, 2006

I’m reading and enjoying Steven Poole‘s _Unspeak_ at the moment, but was a little disappointed not to find one of my least favourite bits of unspeak, the term “Islamofascist,” in the index. It’s what Lewis Carroll’s Humpty-Dumpty (surely the patron saint of unspeak) calls a “portmanteau”:http://www.cs.indiana.edu/metastuff/looking/ch6.html.gz word, and indeed there’s something of the badger, something of the lizard, and something of the corkscrew about it. I’m also dipping into various volumes of E. Haldeman-Julius’ _Questions and Answers_, courtesy of Scott McLemee, and was a little startled to find Haldeman-Julius using a quite similar term in the 1930s:

bq. We thus see that the people most subject to Catholic-Fascism’s idea of censorship is most given to crime … True, we have our crime problem in this country, but Catholic apologists should be the last to throw this fact into the face of those who oppose Catholic-Fascism and its policy of suppressing heterodox literature.

And so on.

Now Haldeman-Julius and his friends (most prominently former Franciscan priest, “Joseph McCabe”:http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com/2006_02_01_kenmacleod_archive.html ) certainly had a thing about Catholicism, but it seems to me that the term Catholic-Fascism was rather more defensible in the 1930s than Islamofascism is today. You had the practical example of Franco’s regime in Spain, and Salazar’s in Portugal. Both were fascist; both had strong elements of Catholic clericalism (and Church support). Islamofascism … not so much (you could certainly make a case that Baathism was fascist, but it wasn’t really Islamic).

Euthyphro and Extraterritorial Jurisdiction?

by John Holbo on June 21, 2006

My last Plato bleg was a success, so I’m going to try another. Everyone has read Euthyphro, so you remember that the dad allegedly killed the guy who allegedly killed the other guy. And so Euthyphro is prosecuting him for murder. And so here we are, on the steps of the King Archon’s court. Fair enough. But it happened on Naxos. So why is it being tried in Athens? Obviously Euthyphro and his dad are Athenian citizens who happen to own land on Naxos. I can see various possibilities. If it happened at the height of Athenian imperial power – say, at the time that Naxos attempted to withdraw from the Delian league and got stomped for it by the Athenians – I would presume the Athenians had at some point asserted extraterritorial legal jurisidiction at least in cases involving its citizens. But the trial of Socrates happens in 399 BC, a few years after the restoration of democracy. Athens is hardly the empire it was. So why does its court have extraterritorial authority in cases concerning people who die of exposure in ditches on Naxos? (If you commenters know the answer, I will be impressed.)

Values and violence

by Daniel on June 21, 2006

Eve Garrard, has written a comment on this John Gray‘s latest piece in the New Statesman. Since Gray got his new post-JG Ballard prose style it is often quite difficult to work out precisely what he is on about, but in this case, he is making the point that “Enlightenment Values” have historically been associated with a hell of a lot of death and destruction (things like the French revolutionary Terror). Garrard’s point is that when she and the Euston Manifesto crowd use the phrase, they use it only to refer to ” universal human rights, equality (in some sense), religious tolerance, scepticism about received dogmas, freedom of speech, a commitment to the use of reason to improve our condition” rather than blood and the guillotine, and that Gray knows this and is just being silly.
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