Browsing the blog archives for March, 2008.

Clinton: I’m not dead yet!

Sisyphus' Slope

Comparing Sen. Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton’s campaign to another futile effort:

From Prose Before Hos:

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Other places to find futility

Sisyphus' Slope

Helpful linkies:

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And again about torture… this time from Slate.com

Sisyphus' Slope

Taxonomy of Torture

By Phillip Carter What is torture? Euphemisms like “stress position” cover a wide range of practices, from the merely uncomfortable to the wickedly cruel and painful. At Slate, we have wrestled with the definitions of abuse and torture and how best to present these morally and legally complicated terms. The taxonomy follows the legal maxim of res ipsa loquiturlet the thing speak for itself. The tactics below are listed in order from least to most severe.

Name: Futility

Source: FM 34-52

Description: This approach adopts the motto of Star Trek’s fictional Borg — resistance is futile. On a conventional battlefield, an interrogator might try to convince a detainee that his side has no hope, and therefore he should talk to help the U.S. win quickly so more of his buddies’ lives will be spared. At a detention facility like Guantanamo, the futility approach means making detainees think they will be held forever unless they tell the Americans what they know. As the Army’s manual puts it, “making the situation appear hopeless allows the source to rationalize his actions, especially if that action is cooperating with the interrogator.”

Physical, Psychological, or Other Effects: The futility approach itself has no effects, but detainees who actually believe their existence to be futile may become depressed to the point of suicide. Guantanamo detainees have made at least 460 attempts at self-injury and 34 suicide attempts since the camp opened in January 2002.

Locations Used: Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan

Legal Opinion: The futility approach does not itself offend the law. But it works best in conjunction with other law-breaking tactics, like the Bush administration’s decision to hold detainees indefinitely at an island outpost with little to no legal process or contact with the outside world.

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Unremitting Failure — a blog

Sisyphus' Slope

Read Unremitting Failure, a blog after my own heart.

For us, it is a “felt” experience, not some cute philosophical concept like “existentialism” or “soup.” To be is to be futile, is what we know.

Don’t get us wrong. We have nothing against philosophy. We have read deeply in, and are conversant with, the myriad streams and crosscurrents of western philosophical thought. We remember this one time we took acid and spent hours arguing with this other guy about Jerry Garcia. Our position was that Jerry Garcia could never be Jerry Garcia because Jerry Garcia was lacking in what we called Jerry Garcianess.

…read more of this article…

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Futility, a poem

Sisyphus' Slope

Futility by Sid De Knees
From Helium.com

May I introduce myself.
"The nemesis of hope,
advocating fruitlessness,
offering no hope.
Recommending you desist,
anything you do,
making you feel uselessness,
that's my gift to you.

And yet the craziest of things,
ever known to me,
I exist because you don't,
I have hope in me.
I believe your lacking faith,
in whom you are inside,
leads me on to all my dreams,
achieving gives me pride.

You will never take from me,
I will draw from you,
such a joyous life I lead,
oh yes you warm me through.
But I am still a nemesis,
out to batter hope.
strange old world, my enemy.
Helps me thrive and cope.
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