October 17, 2007


Caption: This guy can't remember where he was going but won't admit it.

In addition to comments and links about current events, this week's Goat Rope provides a daily dose of Nietzschean nuggets for your dining and dancing pleasure from his odd little book Beyond Good and Evil.

Even though Nietzsche had a mental breakdown in his later years and was arguably unsteady all along, he had some occasional great psychological insights which have been appreciated by Freud, Jung and many others.

Today's selection highlights the pliability of our memory. It's long been known that autobiographies are anything but objective accounts of past events and that two or more people who experienced the same events will have widely differing memories of them.

How does that happen?

'I have done that,' says my memory. 'I cannot have done that'--says my pride, and remains adamant. At last--memory yields.

CALLING CONGRESS. If you haven't already, please consider calling your representatives today using AFSC’s toll free number: 1-800-965-4701 and urge them to override President Bush's CHIP veto. All WV's delegation is on board but congresspeople from other states need a push.

THE NOBEL PRIZE FOR ECONOMICS went to members of the reality-based community this year. Winners included Eric Maskin, Leonid Hurwicz, and Roger Myerson who studied the limits of the market for delivering public goods (like education and health care). Here's an excerpt from Reuters:

Societies should not rely on market forces to protect the environment or provide quality health care for all citizens, a winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for economics said on Monday.

Professor Eric Maskin, one of three American economists to receive the award, said that he "to some extent" takes issue with free-market orthodoxy championed by U.S President George W. Bush and some other western leaders.

"The market doesn't work very well when it comes to public goods," said Maskin, a slight, soft-spoken 57-year-old who lives in a house once occupied by Albert Einstein.

Adam Smith said pretty much the same thing in his 1776 Wealth of Nations, but this empirical work is welcome and needed these days.

WOMEN STILL LAG behind men in earnings despite gains in educational attainment. One equalizer seems to be a union card.


Seniors and other taxpayers could have saved nearly $15 billion this year if the government slashed administrative costs in the Medicare drug program and negotiated the same kind of discounts it does for poor people under Medicaid...

BONUS VAMPIRE FEATURE. If you're wired for sound, here's an amusing NPR story on the many faces of Dracula.

DINOSAUR UPDATE. We interrupt previously scheduled programming to report on the discovery of a new dinosaur that

was as tall as a four-story building. From nose to tail it was longer than a pair of tractor trailer trucks laid end-to-end -- or, if you're a dinosaur junkie, half again the length of a small brontosaurus.

The beast was unearthed in Patagonia and is believed to have lived around 80 million years ago.

UNEMPLOYMENT AT RECORD LOW IN WV. WV's Chicken Littles keep trying to create a climate of panic in the hope that this will give them the opening to unleash their version of economic shock and awe. Alas for them, the news isn't all bad all the time.

SINCE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN PRETTY GOOD TODAY, here's a special treat via YouTube: Jesse Jackson reading from Green Eggs and Ham.

YOU TELL ME where else you can find a blog with Nietzsche, dinosaurs, Dracula, and Dr. Seuss all in the same post...


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