. . . Thursday October 7, 2004

The Nuance Kids on the Block

In college, I once attended a philosophy class on the writings of Plato. The professor, it turned out, was a little nuts. He spent the entire first session of the class staring at a book on his desk. He invited us to listen in on his internal debate about whether this was really a book, or whether it was only a book because he was looking at it within a certain framework. Should it be called a book, or should it be called a “Seen-By-Me-Book?” And would looking away (or having others look on) change the essential nature of the object’s seen-by-me bookness?

After about an hour on this subject (which was interspersed with updates on the professor’s personal health ailments and what I perceived to be an occasional realtime aside to Plato himself), I became totally convinced that this was all a joke. It wasn’t.

I felt much the same way this morning when I read that Dick Cheney is now arguing that the latest report indicating there were absolutely no weapons of mass destruction doesn’t hurt the administration’s case. Instead this report actually bolsters and further justifies the case for going to war.

This guy accuses John Kerry of having nuanced positions?

I guess I should’ve paid a lot more attention during that philosophy class in college. Because I don’t get it. To me, this sounds like a lot of seen-by-me hogwash.

Concentration is important!