Sunday Sermon: The Authoritarians

What is an “Authoritarian?”

Well, if you were an authoritarian, you probably wouldn’t even ask that question. For you, an “authoritarian” is whatever I tell you it is: authoritarians are people who accept beliefs based on simple assertion from an authority figure. In this case, since this is my blog, I say that’s what an authoritarian is, so there you go, let’s move on, we’ve got other things to talk about.

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Who’s a Terrorist?

An employee told the officer that Kendall came into the restaurant yelling and screaming, “Go back to your country, terrorist,” the affidavit said. The employee asked Kendall to leave. He did, but came back about five minutes later and threw a plastic object at the employee, the affidavit said.[ol]

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The “Meh” Singularity

I encountered a singulatarian recently. And we had an interesting conversation, using mostly very old technology (called “language”) while he waxed poetic about the rapid increase of new technologies and how powerful they are. Now that I am becoming a grognard, I had to allow that I was less impressed. I did a version of this chart on a napkin, which I have since translated to powerpoint:

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The Fronde

I’ll say up front, I am somewhat biased about this book. I lived through its creation, which was over a decade of my father researching and writing and organizing his history. I’m also not necessarily recommending you all run out and buy it; it’s an academic’s piece for academics, though it can be read like a novel and it’s quite engaging if you do so. Growing up with a historian, surrounded by other historians, it was kind of impractical to ask my father “what about the American revolution?” and get a high-level answer. “It’s complicated.” Indeed.

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