In the 1990s the philosopher and Arts & Letters Daily editor Dennis Dutton ran an annual Bad Writing contest in order to highlight turgid academic prose. If the contest were still around, this passage from The American Political Science Review might be a winner:
For a body of n members, in which there exists a group large enough and willing to pass a motion, let the members vote randomly and declare the motion passed when the mth member has voted for it, where m “yes” votes are required for passage. Define as the pivot the member in the mth position and note that there are n! (read “n factorial,” that is 1 · 2 · … · n) such random orderings of n voters (that is, the permutations of a, b, · · · , n). Then define the power, p, of a member, i, thus: pi = ti/n!, where ti is the number of times i is pivot.
As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently pointed out, this is the kind of writing that has estranged the reading public from academia. A generation ago, political scientists were public intellectuals. We wrote lucid prose. We spoke to the issues of the day. We advised President John F. Kennedy. But now all we care about is math, jargon and one another.
(Photo: (c) Steve Dunwell)
"Wa Dada Dang—WaDa dada Dang AY"
"Fuk tha Clergymen"
by Vincent Van Gogh
“And in the end, we were all just humans… drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald (via ceruleanlabyrinth)
you end up the worst artist in the past thousand years btw. You shouldn’t even know words like drunk.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, circa 1900. “A mill street at night.”
Nabil Hadjarab arrived at Gitmo 11 years ago, in an orange jumpsuit and a diaper, his head covered by a hood, eyes blinded by blackout goggles, mouth gagged, and with headphones blaring white noise into his ears.
At 34, Nabil is four years my senior. We both speak French, draw pictures, and, in our youths, liked to travel to desolate places and have adventures. But Nabil’s days of wanderlust may be over forever. Although he’s been cleared for release since 2007, the US will not return him to his family in France. He has vowed to remain on a hunger strike till he finds freedom or death, whichever happens first.
-It Don’t Gitmo Better Than This: Inside the Dark Heart of Guantanamo Bay. By Molly Crabapple
If something burns your soul with purpose and desire, it’s your duty to be reduced to ashes by it. Any other form of existence will be yet another dull book in the library of life.Charles Bukowski (via endlesslyunamusing)