Felix Salmon

Bad news, good news

Felix Salmon
Sep 14, 2009 03:08 UTC

The bad news is that the NYC xkcd book party is happening on the same day as the opening for my wife’s super-cool pirate project at the South Street Seaport. The good news, however, is that (a) the number of tickets to the book party is strictly limited; that (b) it probably won’t start until well after 6pm, when the pirate opening will have ended; and (c) the pirate opening is free, which, if Chris Anderson is to be believed, gives it an unbeatable advantage.

So, if you’re going to the xkcd book party, or if you’re not, do make sure to rock up at Cannon’s Walk at 4pm on Saturday. I’ll be there, and Michelle will be too, and I think various other members of the Reuters commentary team might turn up as well. Hope to see you there!


What a coincidence!

The “epic international” Talk Like A Pirate Day takes place on Sept. 19th. I wonder if anyone will talk like a pirate at the super-cool pirate project at the South Street Seaport?

http://www.talklikeapirate.com/piratehom e.html

Chart of the day, pirate edition

Felix Salmon
Apr 14, 2009 21:09 UTC


(This is doing the rounds, not sure where it started, but possibly here.)


It’s amazing how many crazy opinions a pretty simple funny chart can bring out.

New Yorker is probably #1 – what is Obama going to say about pirates other than sending SF to shoot them? Do we need a speech about why pirates are bad? “Obama might be a Muslim” will go in future textbooks on racism right next to the blood libel.

Coastal Pirate thinks that what the world needs is MORE of the USA kicking the **** out of some tiny country that no one cares about rather than less. I suppose you think that if we had only bombed Vietnam harder we could have won that one too? What makes you think that raw US military force can pacify a place as awful and chaotic as Somalia? Please enlighten us as to how tanks prevent corruption, sea piracy, and starvation.

And then there’s sven, making me embarassed to be a liberal, which is hard to do (I love liberalism even if I don’t like most Democrats). I’m all for seeing both sides of an issue, but if any group in the world lacks redeeming qualities, it is pirates. You can make a case that Palestinians have no other way but terrorism to resist Israeli militarism/imperialism (I’m not saying I agree, but you can make a case). Pirates are not the same: these are people who hijack food aid shipments for profit and murder hostages without any coherent political message or goal other than personal gain. They don’t have a legitimate argument. There are avenues to address grievances like oceanic territorial disputes and pollution. Pirates don’t care because they are at war with civilized society. If a soldier has to shoot them in the head to free a hostage, he is engaging in one of the most defensible forms of warfare. A certain amount of moral relativism is fine, but if your moral relativism recognizes the legitimacy of amoral piracy as a political strategy you’re over-applying your freshman ethics course.

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