(second block, fourth letter of the prisoners' quadratic tap code...)

...am here to tap through the walls.

Wed Jul, 13 2005


"A government that must rely solely on voluntary contributions (via donations, user fees, a lottery, etc.) would be one very unlike anything with which we are familiar."
(Geoffrey Allan Plauche)

...except, of course, for that thing known as a business. This is why we're not talking about a "government". It (the reason "why we're not talking about a 'government'") is because a business is not government, nor vice-versa. I believe Plauche understands this, but this single false equivocation is so rampant these days that it requires lots of baby-steps to make clear how rotten it all is.


*** I agree that Roy Childs had it right the first time. The abstraction (Plauche's "elaboration") of requisites for Ayn Rand's concept of government is correct, and this is the most important contradiction in Objectivism: arbitrarily severing its ethics from its politics.

*** What's with all this "dualism"? I'd wondered how they (Chris Sciabarra and Plauche) were using the term, starting with a review of Anaxagorean split of mind and matter. No; I conclude that they're talking about little more than definitions. In his fifth paragraph, Plauche recaps relations among various "monopolistic institution[s]" (what Plauche correctly spikes as Rand's "definition" in his third paragraph), but all this is really only different arrangements of the same basic thing. It's not about "types"; it's about the degree of application of the basic thing. Now; if we want to call it "dualism" to properly identify two different things and scrupulously discriminate between them, then I guess it's okay, but everybody should bear in mind that that's what it means.

Plauche goes on to draw a very fine distinction between "government" and "the State", and the previous quote from Rand is always provocative, for good reason. There is a world of implication in the phrase, "under objectively defined laws", and it is not necessarily limited to anyone's "monopoly on the use of force" or forced delegation of the right.


Various guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and mostly eBay.

Early Norlin ES-335 -- 1970, in Walnut ("ES-335TDW"). This is a period-piece look and feel, and arguably the sound as well but that's to cut things very finely. A "classic" 335 would be the original of 1958 in the Sunburst or Natural finish, or the Cherry Red of 1959; the Walnut of 1970 (second year of that finish offering) is not really a "classic" 335. In the history of the Gibson aesthetic, this is analogous to, say, vertically-striped polyester bell-bottoms or Bahama Blue shag carpeting. None of this is to say that they're not cool guitars, and this is a nice one. Excellent photographs.

Chrome hardware, featuring the trapeze tailpiece (like my L-47 and I've always liked it) and ABR-1 bridge with period-typical nylon saddles. Bound rosewood fretboard, with small block markers, and then the crown inlay at the machine head. These would be the T-top Humbuckers. Vintage Nazis would moan that the upper bouts are pointy (the body templates were wearing-out in the factory) and the fourteen-degree machine head with the volute signals a sometimes not-fun era of the line, but these things really do rock or moan or whatever you want a 335-type semi-hollow to do. ...which, of course, is because it really is a 335.

In the months since I've let AxeBites languish all to bleedin' hell, Gibson's Robot Guitar technology has sifted out to other models than the original Les Paul application. I don't know how it's going: I still haven't even seen one of these self-tuners. I don't see piles of them burning on the sides of the highway, nor reverent hangings in display cases over bars, so who knows? This 2008 Robot SG is ready to rock in the Metallic Red. Nickel hardware; it's the stoptail wired for data to send to the tuners, with dual Humbuckers. It's a bound rosewood fretboard, but I really like the single-bound machine head with the crown inlay. That's a real cool old-school look, right there, to set off that crazy-ass color. {nod}