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But I guess you once again mistook playful for incoherent. Glad to see you in on the discussion though. I suppose you have every right to defend the book and clarify your intentions that various readers may or may not see come through. The architecture of the book, on the other hand, did come through quite clearly. Why should anyone think that you are the real David Graeber?

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This is not a subject where I rely on social proof to decide what I think, so I am afraid I have to trust my own judgment here. That does not constitute misrepresentation or bad faith where I come from. Merely independence of thought. As for the humor, as a friend remarked, a few jokes peppered through a book do not make it humorous.

But then humor too is a subjective thing. But thanks for the OccupyBlogComments movement here. I have no taste for unnecessary flame wars. Oh yes, and as for humor, there are — to take just the most example — actual, explicit jokes scattered throughout the book. Many are placed in a different format like quotes just so you can figure out what they are.

Did you somehow just not notice those? Graeber, aside from the thin skinned, dare I say reactionary, comments how is this a good demonstration of of intellectual, let alone individual, cooperation? As you demonstrate here some of the very same moods and attitudes that were part of the original criticism.

And frankly such personal grievances are best handled out of the publics eye. Might I suggest opening up a back channel via email discussion to address your concerns?

Love All the People

This seems best for this situation, I as I am sure many others, see no reason to involve the public in what is properly a private scuffle. The email address seems to be legit, but who knows. Goblin, you want them off the stage? Well, I must admit I sort of enjoy the spectacle. I have never read such a eloquent blog comment disagreement. But like a action scene from a Kurusawa movie I guess the fighting is over and er are back to conversation and mimics ;-.

So If you want to read anything meta-from my comment, take is as a plea of decency on the web even if such pleas are viewed with disdain, I think it needed to be said. Venkat, If I can read only one apart from the definitive one that you are going to write : , which one would you suggest? These reactions in my opinion conspired to miss the point: attempting to counter a purely conceptual argument intended to illuminate philosophical questions, sort of like the idea of general equilibrium in economics, with empirical and historical counter-arguments.

Grand theories that fly in the face of observed fact deserve to be ridiculed, Venkat. And yes, this is why neoclassical economics is also not a science, but a religion. That is what you call any discipline that clings to beautiful theories and models after they have been exhaustively debunked by ugly reality. Again, this is a distinction without a difference.

Like the Chicago economists, Fukuyama quite actively whored himself out to the neocons running the world, dumping any pretense of objective scientific or historical inquiry in favour of manufacturing pseudo-intellectual propaganda to provide cover for the machinations of empire. Am I missing something here? Why all the apologetics for such an intellectual fraud?

A considered essay on the arguments made by global warming denialists?

Sorry to Burst Your Bubble, But You're About to See How the Real World Works | HuffPost

Cigarette company scientists? Holocaust deniers? Beware, from the forest emerged a troll. They seldom stray to these parts. Stay still and perhaps vi will venture elsewhere. My comments were in direct response to arguments made in the original post. They were not off-topic, and were intended to further the discussion of the merits of one of the authors being reviewed. Unlike you, I made no personal attacks on anyone participating in this discussion, but have addressed arguments on their merits.

Teaching bots how the world works

I have to guess that you disagree with one or more of the things I said. You do not counter arguments with arguments, but with ranting. Your tone and ad-hominem attacks speaks for themselves. Conscious trolling — I believe you did not intend it, when you say so — but certainly not debating either. The great deal of the beauty of Ribbonfarm — at least to me — lies in the quality of the comments. I really liked the book. More than anything, it gave me a new frame to look at history and, as such, helped me understand some connections that were puzzling for me.

For example, it allowed me to interpret the story of Genesis as an ancient attempt to reframe the debt peonage of the Hebrew people in a less humiliating light. I also found it to be an angry book, but that did not make me like it any less. A troll, as I undertand the term, is someone who attempts to hijack a conversation by posting off-topic comments, including ad hominen attacks and other forms of abuse aimed at people involved in the conversation.

The original post by Venkat was a review of several books, including one by Francis Fukuyama. Among the arguments made by Venkat were:.


  • How the World Thinks review – a global history of philosophy!
  • A Companion to Environmental Philosophy (Blackwell Companions to Philosophy);
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I responded to each of these arguments in turn with specific reasons why I thought they were deficient. Remember: it is his political writings which are the topic of conversation. You responded to my post by attacking me personally and attempting to derail the conversation without adding anything of substance to it.


  • How the World Works!
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  • BBC World Service - The Real Story, Do Protests Still Work?.

If you disagree with me, Markus, tell me how and why. So while I agree with you on a few points about Dr. I suspect that he had a similar response upon encountering it, presuming those are indeed his comments. While an academic and a scholar, he is only human, and attached to his work. For the record, I also disagree with this characterization. The book has a somewhat meandering structure, but it is to a purpose, and Graeber clearly intended to take the reader the oxbow route for a reason.

For those expecting the canal route from point A to point B and on, this might be frustrating or even incomprehensible, I guess. Many of the ideas contained within the book are sufficiently jarring and alien to the modern Western POV that circuitousness is a virtue, I think.


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Personally, I would go ahead and post your review and thoughts about the book, and not be worried about the repercussions. Where they are Coming From Jerry Springer jokes aside, the books are interesting to read together because of the sharp differences in politics, maturity of thought and individual personalities that inform the book. The Raw Material Each book tackles the question of how the world works, and each takes a historical approach to the question. So what is the book about? About Venkatesh Rao Venkat is the founder and editor-in-chief of ribbonfarm.

Comments jld says. December 2, at am. RG says. I loved the introductory imagined conference due to a personal reason from long ago. Sima says. Venkat says.

December 2, at pm. Thanks for clarifying that. David Graeber says. Sad really. A book is only as good as its readers. Jordan Peacock says.