Tuesday, February 08, 2005

OK, today is Peru Day. Here's a website already, now go away. I gotta go to bed.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Europe Day - Silesia
Ah, Silesia! I remember it well. In law school I competed in an international law moot court contest. The Franklin Pierce team's assignment was the International Claims Commission for Silesia after World War I. I only have a vague recollection of the issues - something about compensation for minerals mined while Silesia was under occupation. But I've had a soft spot for Silesia ever since. And in Karpacz there are strangely shaped rocks! Who could ask for more? But there is more - skiing! Look around the linked sites. You will be all prepared to have a lovely time in Silesia, summer or winter.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Rand centennial
Cathy Young celebrates 100 years of Ayn Rand with a critical but appreciative article in Reason magazine. (via Vodkapundit) Branden and Branden and Roark and D'Anconia and Dagny Taggart and Peter Keating and Hank Rearden and Wynand and Dominique and Sciabarra and even David Kelley. But no "Doctor Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand's Intellectual Heir". Perfect. Perhaps at 200, in an Objectivist world, today will be looked back on as a dark age which our progeny marvel that we survived.
I am bothered by the constant confusion between Rand's ideas and her personal life. Granted that she herself thought her life should reflect her ideals, the fact that she wasn't epistemologically perfect shouldn't adversely reflect on her political thesis. Doesn't "ad hominem" still mean anything? The whole lesson of the Barbara Branden thing is that we can all fall prey to personal silliness, which makes solid, workable political ideas even more, not less important. The final test of Rand's ideas is not whether she lived up to them all the time, but whether, everything else being equal, they help create a freer and happier world when implemented. So far, they haven't failed that test.
Asia Day - Sri Lanka - Uva
Let's celebrate a province of an Asian country that sounds like a part of the human eye. Or is that "uvea"? Anyway, there's plenty to see in Uva with your uveas and your foveas. Especially check out the super-aboriginal-looking aborigines. And remember, they're "fast-dwindling". Looks to me like they've already done a major amount of dwindling. My old school's motto is "Finis ab origine pendet" which, I think, means "Finns hang aborigines" or some other such slander on the Suomi nation. The Uva natives' god is called Skanda, which appears to this social scientist to be proof positive of the visit of Finns (or other Skanda-navians, in their navies, no doubt) to the area at some remote period. And don't forget the "tea experience". If you know what I mean, nudge, nudge!
And, just in time, here's breakfast!