Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Primer For New Readers

FLG intends for this post to be a continuous work in progress that he'll keep a link to on the main page so that he doesn't have to describe his theories and proclivities over and over again.

About Fear and Loathing in Georgetown

It's either the most influential blog you've never heard of, or the least influential blog you've ever heard of. If you're reading this, then it's the latter.

About FLG

FLG holds a BS in International Economics, with a further concentration in International Finance, from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service, an MBA in Finance and International Business, also from Georgetown.   He's also taken several graduate political science classes, mostly political theory or political-economy related. He has a wife, Mrs. FLG, and two daughters, Miss FLG Maior and Miss FLG Minor. He has a variety of pet theories and obsessions. These are detailed below.

Who is GEC?

GEC, Fear and Loathing in Georgetown's Graduate Education Correspondent, got a tenure track position a few years ago and doesn't post anymore. In fact, FLG is pretty sure GEC doesn't even read the blog at all.

Didn't insert post here cross the line?

Put simply -- No.  FLG possesses impeccable taste.  So, if there is a question of taste, then the error is yours.

Plato

FLG loves him some Plato and has read everything he's written at least twice. The more famous dialogues he's read probably a dozen times each and he's not quite sure how many times he's read the Republic all the way through, but at least four.

Alexander

FLG admires Alexander and impugning him is probably the most surefire way to draw FLG's ire.

Pirates

FLG is fascinated by pirates, both ancient and modern. He sometimes refers to himself with the epithet, FLG the Archpirate, and is tickled that somebody took the time to update the Urban Dictionary accordingly.

Object Sex

FLG finds people having sex with inanimate objects absolutely hilarious and documents as many cases as he can.

NATO delenda est

FLG has called for the abolition of NATO years now. He maintains that it was merely the vessel through which the West channeled the focused energy caused by a real and imminent threat to their collective existence, the USSR. Once that threat disappeared so did the focus and so did any reason for NATO existence. The bureaucracy has been thrashing around for two decades trying to find a raison d'etre. Morons, who wrongly attribute the success of West in winning the Cold War through focus and determination to the mere vessel they used to do it, keep hoping the institution will again become relevant and use it to find a way to share the burdens of global security, when, in reality, it does the opposite because it creates an institutional illusion of security that exacerbates the Europeans' natural instinct to free ride.

Time Horizons Theory

FLG contends that liberals place more value on the present than the future relative to conservatives, who place relatively more value on the future. This is reflected most clearly in a variety of quotations, including King's "The fierce urgency of now" and Keynes' "those walk most truly in the paths of virtue and sane wisdom who take least thought for the morrow." Indeed, Keynes entire economic analysis is rooted in the short-run because, as he said, "in the long run we are all dead."

A sort of corollary from this is that liberals are more empirical while conservatives are more rational, but FLG is trying to find better language to describe the difference. Anyway, the basic intuition is that empiricism relies upon observations that take place at some discrete moment, which are only certain at that moment, and FLG would argue that the assumption that the observation is still accurate becomes less credible the more time has elapsed since the observation. Thus, relying upon empiricism in some ways necessitates a short-term orientation. Conversely, it's very difficult to isolate a single cause and effect over a long period of time, so conservatives have to rely more upon reason and logic rather than specific empirical evidence.

Big Assumption

FLG believes that most people believe that "the experiences that constitute my individual life are representative of the entire human condition." He calls this the Big Assumption. Moreover, he believes that the purpose of liberal education is to disprove this assumption. This is where educational buzzwords like critical thinking and expanding horizons come in. However, FLG also thinks this is just the first step in liberal education and that after the Big Assumption has been disproven students should begin the search for what is universal in the human condition.

Government Is Like The Marines

If you want some specific goal accomplished within a relatively short period of time using a whole of lot resources and existing technology (or relatively easy to develop given a huge amount of resources technology) and you don't care about cost all that much, then government might be the answer.

FLG's Revolutionization of the Blogosphere

FLG revolutionized the blogosphere in numerous ways, but two are notable. First, he posts what he is currently listening to. Second, he posts conversations he's had. "Wait," you say, "those are no big deal." FLG'll forgive you for saying that, as you're new here.

Miscellany

FLG believes:
  • Everybody wrongly thinks that everybody else likes clowns when, like mimes, nobody likes them, except maybe the French.
  • the simile is a much underrated linguistic form.



2 comments:

J. Otto Pohl said...

I like clowns. Or at least the ones in the circus. I could do without the ones in Congress.

Anonymous said...

FLG finds people having sex with inanimate objects absolutely hilarious and documents as many cases as he can.

Good thing you're at Georgetown and not, say, anywhere in Finland.

 
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