A Sort of Editorial Calendar —

I don’t intend to have a magazine-style “editorial calendar” but rather more like an “editorial agenda.” There are some topics I really want to get into, and greatly look forward to discussing with you. But some events are going to haul me haring off in different directions (like Elie Weisel’s death) so I don’t want to be strictly on a clock. Here are some of the topics I intend to dig into, and how I intend to do it:


  • Monday Meslier” – you’ve seen that.
  • Vendredi Voltaire” – ditto
  • “Can Dialectics Break Bricks?”  – a series of interrelated postings on rhetorical tricks, strategies for framing discussions, how to insult and be insulted, nihilism in rhetoric, and so forth. Edit: I am aware of Brony’s excellent work in this area; I won’t be trying to compete but rather offer my own view, perhaps synergistically. I’ll be reviewing Brony’s postings on the topic so you can assume I’m familiar with them.
  • Pentagon Shenanigans (needs a good name) – a series on pentagon procurement, defense theory, fiscal conservatism and the global cost of empire, and how the pentagon often “works” the executive branch for its own ends
  • Sunday Sermon (occasionally) – a series of sermons written around topics from secular philosophy

Other stuff:

  • Practical internet security: tricks for banking, how to protect your data from loss or alteration, password vaults and why
  • Cyberwar: periodically (hint: cyberwar is mostly a chance for the systems integrators who built systems wrong to charge more money to come fix them)
  • Art stuff
  • Crafts stuff
  • Recipes
  • Reviews – I do not envision doing formal reviews of books or movies, but I want to do postings about thoughts triggered by various books and movies and why
  • Gaming: gender issues in gaming, more from a historical perspective
  • High tech: bad ideas and their consequences
  • Amazing People: short pieces on people that most of us should know about but don’t
  • (possibly) some stuff about eroticism in art, specifically BDSM – an issue I am very very on the fence about for lots of reasons
  • Gun control: I have ideas
  • Structure of nation states: I have ideas
  • Anarchism: (sort of ties in with Voltaire, but) perhaps a series of chunks of critical arguments from Paul Wolff
  • Propaganda: I am fascinated by propaganda and its bastard cousin, marketing, and have a pretty impressive collection of school textbooks from the 1900s through 1950s. It ought’n’t surprise you that they are full of carefully bent truths. I want to shine a hard light on some of those. I also have some christian textbooks and, ugh, a hard light would be too disgusting but there are some things in them worth looking at.

I’m sure other topics will crop up as well.

I guess my question for you, dear reader, is: does that sound like an OK list? To get into it in the depth that I want to will take about a year and a half.

For example, the pentagon procurement stuff is deliberately very complex (so the taxpayers, congress, and the president won’t understand it)  I can’t just do a single post about it, or it’ll be a book – and a bad one at that. So I intend to do a series in which each piece builds on the other (sort of) so that if you absorb them all, you’ll perhaps come to share my creeping sense of despair. My plan is to basically follow the path I followed – with book reviews, articles and analysis of key concepts. If I do it right, it’ll build a foundation that the reader can form their own picture from. My first piece is largely framing – a summary of how I see things now, and I’m going to drill into it piecewise because each of the pieces is too big and there are forces arrayed against truth – sort of like the tobacco lobby only better funded – that don’t want people to be able to think clearly about this stuff. If it sounds like I’m a paranoid squirrel trying to scare you, that may be true, but it’s for you to decide.

I am eventually going to talk about commenting rules and whatnot, in the context of “Can Dialectics Break Bricks” but I’ll drop a preview on you: feel free to show verbal aggresssion here, just be creative about it. I’ll try, too. And I’ll be posting suggestions for how to get creative with verbal aggression in the dialectics series. Short form: Don’t call someone a “fuckwit” when you can call them a “bootlicker for capitalists” and steer clear of gendered, ableist, or racist invective. I assume that anyone who’s survived on FtB for any time understands that rule. But I want to put some explanation behind why we won’t be using those insults here: stereotyping your opponent is sloppy rhetorical strategy. Until I get a chance to explain why it’s sloppy, I will continue to tolerate people calling eachother “liberal” or “leftist” or whatever, but I’ll try to cure you of any desire to use that particular maneuver.


  1. John Morales says

    To respond to your question, I think it sounds rather ambitious.

    PS How could you pass up a name like “argument clinic” for your third entry?

  2. says

    John Morales@#2:
    Argument Clinic. Arrgh! I may have to rename the dialectics…

    Yeah, it’s ambitious. A year and a half or so ought to do it, though.

  3. Pierce R. Butler says

    It all sounds fine – but you’re gonna haveta get crankin’ & stay crankin’ to cover all that terrain before (war on) Xmas 2017!