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Michael S. Pearl

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About Michael S. Pearl

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  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Folsom, Louisiana

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  1. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 3 Picks   

    WR Willie Snead IV is not playing tonight.
    SS Kenny Vaccaro is not playing tonight.
    LT Terron Armstead is not playing tonight.
    All that on top of the previously noted injuries. Sheesh.
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  2. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 3 Picks   

    What the what?!?!?! On the 10th anniversary of the Gleason punt block?
    One year after the Mauti punt block?
    With the Saints having lost their top two CBs? With Byrd having finally at least made a couple of big boy tackles? In the Superdome for the game which Saints fans want more than any other year in and year out? Wait. Huh? In the dome? Oh oh. Doesn't matter. You're wrong, wrong, wrong! New Orleans wins. Because if they don't win this one, when will they win? This game might not even be close if the Saints had a TE. And/Or a fourth WR other than Coleman.
    So, this game was last night. Obviously. I'll post what I had written about it, because there are two important lessons to learn from it: I agree with every point in your analysis. I remain especially doubtful about Osweiler. But Tyche or no Tyche, the goddess of Contrariness reigns here so that Houston wins.
    Lesson #1: Yup, Osweiler ain't gonna cut it.
    Lesson #2: This game is evidence that there is no goddess of Contrariness. Hmmm. Maybe she's a he; maybe it's a god. Anyhow, on to additional comments.
    I cannot allow my general agreement with your other analyses cloud my wisdom, vision, whatever. Contrarian picks are demanded, not only by the goddess god(?) but also by my admiring audience. Okay, I have neither admirers nor audience. Still, that won't stop the eruption of some contrarian picks.
    If I can find any.
    I'm liking the Jets. But the game is in Missouri. But I'm liking the Jets. Therefore, New York wins.

    Okay, that's all I got. Because, what with Ware injured, I'm intuiting that Cincinnati will manage a win. Also, the Oakland defense is so bad that it's worse than the Saints defense. That's saying sumfin. Oh what the hell, let's get one more contrarian pick in here: Oakland wins.

    And that's all I have.
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  3. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 2 Picks   

    Fleener is going to be another Saints free agent bust. He's simply not athletic enough. Coleman is also a waste at fourth WR, but he's an undrafted free agent; so, they don't pay him the big bucks.
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  4. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 2 Picks   

    Since I noted my concern about the Saints o-line last week, let me start off my better-than-expert, my experter-than-expert remarks by stating that, barring injuries (of course), this o-line should be just fine. Where were Mack and Irvin last week? Huh? Sure, Irvin had the Raiders' one sack, but that sack was on Brees, not the o-line. And as far as the Giants' allegedly improved defense goes, I wouldn't so facilely try extrapolating from success against the extremely limited capabilities of the Dallas WRs to high expectations against the Saints' Cooks-Snead-Thomas triumvirate. Of course, that extrapolation also involves going from Dak to Drew. Nah. Then again, having Fleener at TE is, so far, as good as not having a TE and not playing an additional WR in place of the TE; in other words, it's like playing offense with 10 rather than 11 players. That could be a problem. Maybe not this week. But sometime. All that being said, the issue, as always, is the Saints defense. Delvin Breaux done broked a leg in the Oakland game. So, the Saints had to play the fourth quarter with three - count them three - CBs who had never before played in an NFL game. Even so, they might have been at least close to adequate (who knows?) if the Saints ever managed to put pressure on the opposing QB, but that ain't the Saints way. Sterling Moore will suite up to give (on paper) some bit of experience (good or bad is the question) to the CB corps, but can that really help much -- especially when there is no pass rush? Oh, and when Jairus Byrd is your FS. So, yeah, you right. New York wins.
    Ah, finding picks where you are wrong is difficult this week. But, as is my custom, I'll give it a go.
    Wait! What?!?!?! Anger ain't enough; therefore, Seattle wins, no matter how poorly their offense plays. I guess. Because that is one sorry offense even though Wilson is one hell of a QB.
    Nah. Jacksonville wins despite the fact that (or is it because? -- whichever) they are not as good as so many think they are (or would like them to be).
    Other notes:
    My reservations about Houston, at this point, rest entirely with Osweiler, Houston should have scored more last week. Fuller looks like he'll be a lot like Ted Ginn - as in he can get behind anyone and you have to expect him to drop a good number of passes. At least I think we can expect Houston to keep going to Fuller more than Carolina seems to want to remember Ginn. Will Carolina start to remind themselves to remember Ginn's skill set? Finally, if Houston's relative lack of scoring was the result of the Bears defense more than failings on the part of the Texans, then I expect Chicago to be in good shape against Philadelphia.
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  5. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 1 Picks   

    Raiders overrated. Saints still suck. And that's all I have to say about that.
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  6. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NFL Week 1 Picks   

    The Saints' o-line was horrendous in the pre-season. Armstead has been hurt; he is probably still hurt. Andrus Peat is on the verge of being a bust; we'll see if he is adequate at LG instead of LT, RG, and RT. Jahri Evans has just been re-signed;he certainly knows the playbook, butis he ready to step in at RG in place of Lelito or Kelemente this week? Also, the Saints have three CBs who have absolutely no NFL experience. The LBs are much improved; the d-line probably is as well - even with Rankins on IR. Still, all this leaves me in the position of expecting something from the Saints ONLY after they show a lot more than they showed in pre-season. OAKLAND wins.
    So, this game was already played, I am posting my original position: "I'm going to make believe that Ted Ginn has finally learned how to catch the ball. Because, were he ever to become almost reliably pass-catching capable, then Carolina could spread the field on anyone. So, making believe, Carolina wins."
    Now that the game is over, instead of talking about how many times Cam Newton got hit in the head without penalties being called, I'll simply note that Carolina needs to have a downfield threat to succeed. Odds are that they will develop that capability as the season progresses. Of course, I'm never in the least bit upset when Carolina loses -- or when the Falcons lose or when the Bucs lose.
    I've been a Dak fan for the last 2 years, and it's reasonable to expect the Dallas o-line to be able to make this a run-heavy offense, and it is rare that a team spends so much on new players and those players gel well. Still, I'll say that New York wins this one simply because it's too early for Dak. But, then, there is the Spags factor. Hmmm. Nah. I'll stick with my pick.
    "Indianapolis wins" is the first purely contrarian pick of the year.
    Tennessee has to have someone playing WR! Right? I haven't paid enough attention to know who that would be. I know it's not DGB. But, so what. The Vikings QB situation is too unsettled - not that Hill's career stats are bad or anything; then again, they might play Bradford, and that's enough of a reason to say: Tennessee wins.
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  7. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic Music you like...   

  8. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic What books are you reading now?   

    Just finished The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.
    I am currently reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov as well as On Feeling, Knowing, and Valuing by Max Scheler.
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  9. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic 2016 NBA Playoffs Picks!   

    If Cleveland hits threes well and consistently (from game to game), then Cleveland in six. Otherwise, okay, Golden State in seven -- nah, six.
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  10. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic E-mail to Petkov   

    The terms necessary and contingent used above are terms of logic; more specifically, they are terms of modal logic. But does scientism (metaphysical systematization built upon scientific positions) have any need of modal logic? For that matter, how does logic fit in scientism? Or, to put it another way, how does scientism account for logic?
    For scientistic purposes, logic can simply be the structure which undergirds both valid and sound explanations. Hence, given an initial physical context and the so-called laws of physics, there is - given that context and those laws - a nomological necessity. This necessity is not modal necessity, but physics is a pattern that is expressible logically inasmuch as that which is spatiotemporally subsequent follows of necessity from a previous context, given the regularity (the so-called laws) of physics.
    If the products of science trace the non-modal metaphysical speculations of scientism, then the notion of modal necessity is wholly irrelevant, and the notion of contingency is most likely and at best indicative of an epistemic uncertainty; however, given the operative presumption of physicalist nomological necessity, that epistemic uncertainty could presumably be described or explained in terms of the physics (the physical state) of the factors referred to as mind, about which there is not actually an uncertain condition.
    Does a physicalist or some other sort of scientistic metaphysics necessarily have to be conducted in modal logic terms? If not, then can there be even compatibilist freedom?
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  11. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    To be more precise, what I said was: "Comparisons to the Fascist governments in Germany and Italy ... do not strike me as useful. ... If there are any useful comparisons, I expect that they would regard not Fascist ideologies (whatever those may be), but, rather, similarities between conditions that give rise to a worsening of the political domain."

    I also said, "The interesting authoritarianism is not the top-down variety; the interesting authoritarianism is that which appeals to a number of people sufficient to effect increased authoritarianism in government: the bottom-up variety." Let us begin to peek into this bottom-up variety.

    Fascism has come to be thought of primarily as authoritarian. However, it may well prove most useful to end up eschewing the terms "Fascism" and "authoritarianism" -- if for no other reason than by ridding ourselves of those conventions, those categories, we might have to go into more depth in order to analyze what is happening. Furthermore, Hannah Arendt (for one) did not regard Nazi fascism as authoritarian; rather, according to her, it was a version of totalitarianism. We could ask at what point Nazism became totalitarian. We could ask whether it was essentially totalitarian and only awaiting for the circumstance in which it could bloom forth as totalitarian such that we could say it was authoritarian up to that point. But, do we even need the terms Fascism, authoritarian, or totalitarian - particularly with regards to analysis of what seems to be occurring in the present?

    Trump is not the problem. In isolation, Trump is himself a buffoon. Reprehensible, but still a buffoon. He is an outlet or a vehicle for feelings, opinions, perspectives that many people have, and those people are not just some Republicans; they also include self-described Democrats and Independents. The relevant feelings, opinions, and perspectives which those people have are longstanding; they did not arise with Trump or because of Trump, and they are not to be dismissed outright - as if they are wholly unjustified and unjustifiable - simply because prior to Trump the public expression of such feelings, opinions, and perspectives seemed to be broadly regarded as being anywhere from impolite and usually impolitic to being indicators of moral disease or at least the outlier status of anyone who expressed such notions.

    Trump is not the problem. The problem is that too many people hold the very thoughts which Trump expresses, and a still bigger problem is that these people admire him for saying out loud thoughts which have been previously regarded as socially unacceptable even if rather widely held. The Trump supporters/admirers would say "not Politically Correct" rather than "socially unacceptable", and their preferred choice of words would likely hold up well to challenging analysis. This would be because the distinction between the political and the social is so blurred as to be arguably or practically non-existent. (As an aside, Arendt tried to keep the political and the social wholly distinct, and to this day her attempted separation of the two is used a way to justify missing the points she was trying to make - which is not to say that such an attempted abstract/categorical distinction is not without problems, of which she was well aware as she knew that ultimately she needed non-political and non-social authority - in the form of something along the lines possibly of Levinasian ethical responsibility, for instance - in order to protect the promise or hope of the political.)

    Take, as but one example, the case of Teresa Buchanan, a professor at Louisiana State University who was fired by the school after the university apparently decided that she was guilty of sexual harassment for using in class "a crude term for female genitalia, a joke about lesbianism, and a joke about sex after marriage." Is crude speech a political matter? Should it be? And what would distinguish political and social here? Well, if government indicates that crude speech can be subject to legal penalty, then, regardless of whether or not this might have been regarded as a social matter, it is at least in effect or more certainly in fact or practice a purely political issue.

    LSU had instantiated a sexual harassment policy based upon a 2013 federal government "'blueprint' for colleges nationwide." After LSU was criticized for firing Buchanan, the school released a statement explaining that “The Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education has advised universities that ‘harassment does not have to include intent to harm, be directed at a specific target, or involve repeated incidents.’”

    In other words, Buchanan was fired because someone did not like what she said. Someone took offense at what she said or how she said it: regardless, offense was taken at the saying. When the taking of offense at something said is regarded as just basis for legal penalty, then it is reasonable to be concerned with whether what is at first restricted to offensive sexual reference will afterwards be extended to other sorts of offensive expression. The worrisome aspect of the Buchanan saga is that the legal basis for action against her was instigated by bureaucratic fiat, and, what many Trump supporters have surely lost all patience with is the fact that elected officials never act to place responsibility for laws back in the hands of elected officials - officials who, unlike bureaucrats, are subject to the supposed approval or disapproval of voters; accordingly, these non-acting elected officials are seen as being content with having abdicated legislative responsibility in relegating it not only to the executive branch but more specifically to the bureaucrats who act while being nearly totally insulated from "the people".

    When Trump offensively rages in a Politically inCorrect way rather than, as is the style of other politicians, just against the abstraction of Political Correctness, he gets people to imagining that this guy might actually do something to make government officials less insulated and more accountable. Having attained a supremely impatient state, Trump's supporters fail to consider the means by which Trump might well seek to accomplish that about which he bellows. Will he substitute his own fiat (such as via executive orders) for the fiat of the anonymous bureaucratic others so that he pseudo-messianically takes upon himself the responsibility which the bureaucratic structure puts on no one?

    When faced with such a question regarding the means which Trump might fabricate to accomplish his goals, many of his supporters would cheer the idea that he would take responsibility where other government personnel - elected and non-elected - have for so long neither taken nor accepted any such responsibility. These supporters are not the least bit concerned with whether this new form of fiat is at all compatible with what heretofore has been referred to as the American myth/ideal. And if it is suggested that Trump's plan for Muslims*, for example, is contrary to the American myth/ideal, Trump supporters are likely to respond noting how the U.S. government dealt with Japanese and citizens of Japanese descent during World War II -- as if previous legally allowed government actions are necessarily in line with American mythic ideals.

    The logic in that way of thinking is inept, but it would be an error to regard that thinking as irrational, because, with regards to the American myth/ideal, one deeper concern these people have has to do with the sensed ever increasing isolation from the people that the government has as it becomes evermore government by no one (which is how Arendt described government by bureaucrats) where government by no one is not to be confused with chaotic anarchy but, instead, where subjection to government becomes evermore a government to which the ordinary citizen has less and less opportunity to appeal for redress of grievances although there always remains a procedure for filing grievances.

    This sort of deeper concern is very much in line with the American myth/ideal, but most people - and not just the Trump supporters - are simply angry; they are simply angry because human individuals generally are rarely good problem solvers, and they are not good problem solvers in large part (but particularly in political contexts) because they are not especially good at analyzing/questioning (probably because there are so many variables at issue) their own subjective being/thinking. And that is a condition which will not soon - if ever - be improved, much less rectified. Regardless, given the brief peek here into one aspect contributing to what is being called "anger", it should be apparent that a Trump loss will not dispense with the feelings for which he is serving as mouthpiece.

    *There are also many Trump supporters who assume that Trump's most extreme, most offensive proclamations will simply not be allowed to come to actual fruition. It is this sort of assumption that is most worrisome inasmuch as it seems that there were more than just a few Germans who assumed that the German people would keep Hitler contained. For instance, Karl Jaspers kept trying to assure Arendt that the German people would never let Hitler actually fulfill his vision; she vehemently disagreed, disapproving of such an assumption, and many years later, after the war, Jaspers acknowledged how right she had been.
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  12. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    The complexity of the American system is not sufficient to guarantee that worrisome proclamations (such as Trump's) could never be translated into government action. Comparisons to the Fascist governments in Germany and Italy, however, do not strike me as useful. I understand that such comparisons arise from the title of this thread. If there are any useful comparisons, I expect that they would regard not Fascist ideologies (whatever those may be), but, rather, similarities between conditions that give rise to a worsening of the political domain.
    The interesting authoritarianism is not the top-down variety; the interesting authoritarianism is that which appeals to a number of people sufficient to effect increased authoritarianism in government: the bottom-up variety.
    How do opponents of any elected authoritarianism-inclined regime know when "to go to war against it" as distinguished from continually objecting to and (let us say) non-violently fighting it?
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  13. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic "Does Fascism lurk around the corner for the US?"   

    Not that they matter, but here are two Trump-related links:

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  14. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic Music you like...   

    Edmar Castaneda
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  15. Michael S. Pearl added a post in a topic Movies i've seen...   

    Saw Hail, Caesar! last night. It is definitely worth seeing. Even better than the philosophical ramblings of the "study group" that kidnapped George Clooney's character, were the scenes with Channing Tatum and Alden Ehrenreich. Both of them were very good. Tatum's dancing sailors scene was well danced and very funny; Ehrenreich had more scenes, a greater variety of scenes, and they were all well done
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