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Showing posts from August, 2016

Resurgent Resource Nationalism?

I've been reading a book with the above title, including the punctuation mark as above. The book was written by a committee, the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). Michael Ndletyana and David Maimela are credited as editors.

MISTRA, I add (reading from the copy on the back cover) was "founded by a group of South Africans ... who saw the need to create a platform for engagement around strategic issues facing South Africa."  It is, in short, a think tank, launched in March 2011.

MISTRA's definition of resource nationalism is a political drive to increase the extent and types of state intervention in the extractive sectors of the economy. Extraction means what it sounds like it means -- what happens when something is taken out of the ground. That something may be oil, coal, diamonds, etc.

The  political drive in question is not necessarily limited to what happens in the capital city of the nation state where the resources to be extracted are to be …

My Olympic Tweets

I tweeted my reactions throughout the recent Rio Olympics. Today, in stead of getting at all creative in making a new blog post, I'll simply compile those tweets. What fun! We'll go from last to first, again because that's the lazy thing to do in compiling.

(Sorry, there will be nothing here about the infamous 4 AM gas-station trashing. Well ... one brief mention.)

I'm not going to provide the links that originally went with the tweets, so in a couple of cases I've added a sentence of explanation. Also, I've left typos in place. Let's pretend that's authenticity, not indolence.

Chris Faille‏@ccfaille(Aug. 21)  
, this is my last related tweet for two years. Next time I have anything to say on the subj, it'll involve and . Chris Faille‏@ccfailleAug 21 A big congratulations 2 athletes of . Here are some thoughts from on their medal haul. Chris Faille‏@ccfailleAug 20 The theme from

Galen Strawson and the Mind-Body Problem

A recent essay by the philosopher Galen Strawson has looked at the mind-body problem from a distinctive angle.

The title of the essay seems more straightforward than it is. "Consciousness isn't a mystery. It's Matter." One first gets the impression that Strawson is taking a straightforward materialist/eliminativist view: consciousness simply is matter in one of its operations. But that is to presume that the "it" in the second sentence is an unambiguous reference to the word "consciousness" in the first sentence.

Another reading suggests itself, though. The "it" could refer to the word "mystery." The second sentence would then mean, "It's matter that is the real mystery."

Both meanings fall within the scope of Strawson's intention.

It is what Strawson calls a Very Large Mistake to think that we know enough about matter, through the science of physics, to know that consciousness can't be a material fact. …