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October 23, 2007



You might want to redact the article title since it seems to connect to your real name through the magic of googling...

whew - thanks. I think we need a break from intra-party fights.

anyhoo, there's already an antibody against free will - alcohol. Demon Rum has sadly led me astray more than once. I blame philosophers.

On the contrary, alcohol enhances your freedom of will to previously unthinkable heights! I mean, seriously: would you have chosen to do that when you were sober?

"If this gets out, we might find armies of automata wandering the streets."

And we'd be able to tell the difference how?

I think it's an antibody against either implications or advances. If it's advances, you can throw away the fake wedding ring. If it's implications, you can blog whatever you want and never apologize.

Free will can conflict with God's will, and is thus the source of all evil.

Why do I never get spam this entertaining? The only medical advances I'm informed of are intended to make my stomach smaller and other parts large.

The trick will always be validating individual life without invalidating the life of anybody else, or life in general.

Posts about spam attract spammers by sympathetic magic.

Or do I mean unsympathetic magic?

hilzoy, it obviously is an antibody against free will and it was initially tested on Republican politicians with an unbelievably high success rate.

I think I must have been slipped some of that, because I just had an irresistable compulsion to click one of those WoW-spam links, and I don't even play WoW.


Alcohol is not free will. I am always charged for it.

Horrid foreign governments could literally inoculate their populations against George W. Bush's attempt to spread freedom throughout the globe

No worries, we're a step ahead of them.

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.

From the Project For A New American Century's Rebuilding America's Defenses, page 60, left hand column, about 2/3 of the way down.

Big fun.

Thanks -

And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.

that's lovely. as if terror itself isn't a political tool.

we are ruled by the morally vacant. and we are powerless to unseat them.

In line with Turbulence's comment atop this thread...


Pardon my ignorance, do you use your pseudonym to remain---as best as possible---anonymous?

I ask since I recall Gary Farber not so long ago telling off somebody in a comment thread* who used your real name. Yet, from certain posts on certain philosophy blogs*, it seemed you yourself have linked your real name to your pseudonym hilzoy, at least on blogs your peers were likely to read.

(*I won't name which posts and which blogs here since if you are wishing to maintain as much anonymity as possible, I do not want to go against that wish.)

Ditto Bill and Turb.

GenWay is the neuroscientific subsidiary of Amway.

The antibody referred to enables the construction of infinite pyramid schemes from life's basic building blocks --- inanely smiling sales zombies proferring cleaning products at mysterious meetings involving flip charts, magic markers, and refreshments, including cookies.

Beware the cookies. A couple of those and the next you know you're inviting your neighbors over for they know not what. Ultimately, you end up at a Republican fundraiser waiting for someone to flash the queen of hearts.

Seriously though, I've had recent occasion to read some books on neuroscience as applied to various psychological conditions. The deterministic qualities of the female brain and the male brain as their respective hormones and neurochemicals surge and recede over time makes us seem more like mechanistic organisms in an environment blinding furthering the species than the "ensouled" humans we thought we were.

I call it "the end of tragedy" if you consider for a moment Hamlet on Ritalin ("To be or not to be, what kind of a question is that? Sit still and do something productive!" or Zoloft, or Romeo and Juliet on Prozac, or Shakespeare himself renewing his prescription.

Unless you consider _Invasion of the Body Snatchers_ the ultimate tragedy.

We are but katydids, unless katydoesn't and then you find a katywhodoes.


It's actually a pretty interesting article. (The one in Neurotherapeutics.) I'm not sure if I agree with it, but I'll have to get back to you on that one when my headache has subsided...

When Hilzoy is outlawed, only outlaws will have Hilzoys.


Bill K: Once upon a time, it was a secret. Then a couple of people here noticed my none-too-subtle email address (this site used to disclose those), and figured it out, at which point it became an open secret among the commenters here. Then Kevin Drum asked me to guest-blog, and his RSS feed sent my posts out under my real name. At that point, I pretty much gave up on anything like real secrecy.

Luckily, I've never been interested in real secrecy. I started using hilzoy as my name when I first started commenting on blogs, and then it was just general caution. The other thing is that I maintain this rather faint hope that my students will not find my collected political views via Google, since I try to keep them out of my teaching as much as possible. For this reason, I prefer that my actual name and hilzoy not appear on the same page, at least in high-traffic areas. (The philosophy blog you mentioned probably doesn't count as high-traffic, alas. And since I couldn't figure out how to post there under my real name, and hilzoy is probably unknown to most of its readers, I thought: what the heck.) Also, I'd rather my political posts be attributed to hilzoy, for the same reason. But since I think it's a lost cause at this point, I don't get too bent out of shape about it.

Surely Hilzoy's identity isn't an actual secret? I thought Sullivan named it when Hilzoy guested for him a while back, didn't he? I'm not naming Hilzoy, because it's redacted above, but does this mean we should be careful not to mention it elsewhere, out of courtesy?

As Turbulence noted above in the first comment, anyone who cares to can identify Hilzoy from the citation in the post, if they even need the clues; I just happened to remember the name, which I thought was common knowledge in the blogosphere.

In any case, there are at least eleven papers in Medline about a protein with the same name, which I assume is the source of the confusion.

"In any case, there are at least eleven papers in Medline about a protein with the same name, which I assume is the source of the confusion."

Odd that a biologist would give a protein the same name Hilzoy's parents gave her, but it's a funny universe.

Does this mean Hilzoy's last name doesn't come from a famous Arnold Schwarzenegger line about his intentions? Or was the movie line a statement of desire to be adopted by Hilzoy's family?

Hilzoy, how can you post on this and ignore the corrupt Congress you helped bring to power...have you no shame at all?

Perhaps you can explain why you stick your head in the sand now, but didn't when the Republicans were in power? Are you pro-corrupt Democrats and only anti-corrupt Republicans?

I personally couldn't imagine being so hypocritical.


Comfy With K Street
Democrats tell business to pay up or else.


Non Sequitur much?

I am pondering the epistemological dilemma that without clicking on the link, I can't determine whether "free" is yet another of bril's hydra-heads, or a parody.

Perhaps it's just time for more coffee.

hey bril

Because I'm a masochist, and because I'm not in principle violently opposed to threadjacks, at least of whimsical threads, I actually clicked free's slightly oddly formatted link. Some comments:

(1) It's written by Stephen Moore. Does anyone care what he thinks?

(2) Despite the hysterical link, the essay isn't about corruption. Instead, its about how the Dems are taking a lot of corporate money while promising to be less business-friendly than the R's were. I note that, if fulfilled, this would be the opposite of corruption. Sadly, it will probably not be fulfilled terribly well.

(3) Moore's main complaint is that business doesn't continue to funnel most of its money to the more reliably corrupt (sorry, 'responsive to the needs of business'), if currently disempowered, congressional R's, as he would prefer and as he maintains would be in their long-term interest. Again - Moore's essay is objectively pro-corruption.

(4) Only once does the linked piece come close to making a specific allegation of corruption, when it alleges a threat was made by Schumer that his preservation of the egregious hedge fund tax dodge was contingent on the generous donations he's gotten for the DSCC from the industry. I don't know for Hilzoy specifically (and the search function isn't much help, and my Google-Fu could be stronger), but most of the left blogosphere has commented disparagingly on the hedge fund tax dodge, and on Schumer's role in it. There is, for example, a big piece on it in the current Mother Jones (no link, as their 'current issue' online is still the previous one).

5) It's Not. Your. Blog. If Hilzoy or Publius were amused by something today; or if they want to post about their love of Cthulhu, Jesus, Buddha, or Ron Paul; or if they don't feel like posting at all: we, and you are free to read, and invited to respond. Threadjacking, especially abusively, is - despite my above-stated tolerance of it - not really good behavior from a guest.

Gary: lol.

Warren: Andrew didn't ask me before announcing my actual name. But since, as you note, it's not much of a secret anymore, I didn't protest.

I'm still trying to minimize the references that will bring hilzoy up with my actual name in Google, though. So thanks for the redactions. -- I mean, I've never had a problem with people finding out hilzoy's real name; it's rather people looking up my real name and finding hilzoy, especially if those people happen to be my students, that bothers me. Because I am rather opinionated in the blogosphere, and I try to keep those opinions out of my teaching.

Hilzoy, another reference you might want to "minimize" is wikipedia.

I am rather opinionated in the blogosphere

Say what? You?

Rosie: thanks. Done.

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