Quick Links (well, quick by my standards)

by John Holbo on November 14, 2008

ASIFA Animation Archive has a complete scan of a WWII era cartooning guide ‘for use of U.S. Armed Forces personnel only’. It’s a pretty solid little how-to. (Confidentionally, I’m kinda nostalgic about this stuff, as you may have noticed.) Bonus points for the advice about rendering racial stereotypes and for advising budding cartoonists to sketch their fellow soldiers in the shower. (Don’t ask, don’t tell – just sketch.) Also, ‘cartooning the female’ sounds like an MLA paper title.

In other news: Will Wilkinson linked, a few weeks ago, to a TED lecture by the psychologist, Jonathan Haidt on ‘the moral mind: the real difference between liberals and conservatives’. Will didn’t agree with it much. But I quite liked it. It pretends to be doing way more paradigm-busting than a basically pat, introductory lecture could possibly manage, but that’s a pardonable rhetorical sin. It fit well with intro philosophy material I teach (not about liberalism/conservatism but about pretty much all the other stuff Haidt talks about). So I suggested to my students to watch and they liked it very much. Here’s my favorite bit (round about minute 10). He apparently did a survey in which he asked respondents whether, if they were buying a dog, they would want the one that was a member of a breed known for being ‘independent minded and relating to its owner as a friend and equal’; or would you prefer the one that is ‘extremely loyal to its home and family and doesn’t warm up quickly to strangers’? Turns out, liberals pick the first option more, conservatives the second.

[you can’t really read the scale on my little screencap. It runs along the bottom from liberal, through neutral, to conservative.]

This was funny to me because I had made a rather similar point to my students by talking about the ethics of promise-keeping, quoting Nietzsche from Genealogy of Morals: “To breed an animal with the right to make promises—is not this the paradoxical task that nature has set itself in the case of man? is it not the real problem regarding man?” I have this great schtick I do about that one – the Kantian dogshow. (Way funnier than Haidt with his ‘fetch, please!’ joke.) Here’s my cartoon to go with. (I really want to do a better one. A nervous group of humans hovering around an intense little dog that looks like it might be about to make a promise. I think Jules Pfeifer could draw a good one.) [click to continue…]