Dried Roses


L’état social, comme l’etat hypnotique, n’est qu’une forme du rêve, un rêve de commande & un rêve en action. N’avoir que des idées suggérées & les croire spontanées : telle est l’illusion propre au somnambule et aussi bien à l’homme social.
“The social state, like the hypnotic, is only a form of dream, a dream of command, a dream in action. To have nothing but ideas of suggestion and to believe them spontaneous: such is the illusion proper both to the somnambulist and to social man. ”

LinkJune 9, 2004 in Society

Where’s Karl Kraus when you really need him?

Logically speaking, what Ashcroft asserts in his last answer below is that at least one of the disjuncts is true. I doubt that he is lying; after all, he probably didn’t want to answer the question. Moral: don’t ask a lawyer disjunctive questions. If I were a speech-act theorist, these hearings would be a gold mine. But I’m afraid that Wilson & Sperber’s relevance theory won’t help much. What we need here is an irrelevance theory.
LEAHY: Has there been any order directed from the president with respect to interrogation of detainees, prisoners or combatants, yes or no?
ASHCROFT: I'm not in a position to answer that question.
LEAHY: Does that mean because you don't know or you don't want to answer? I don't understand.
ASHCROFT: The answer to that question is yes.

LinkJune 9, 2004 in Current Affairs · Language

Speech acts and criminal acts

It is not my intent that this weblog should be a commentary on current events. There are many other weblogs that present such commentary, more thorough and well-informed than anything I can offer. But I cannot stop thinking about the recently released memos on torture, and what they might mean for the future of this country. In keeping with the previous post, I begin with some answers to questions, this time by President Bush. The occasion is the press conference given by the President at the end of the G8 Summit (International Media Center, Savannah, Georgia).


LinkJune 14, 2004 in Current Affairs · Society