Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 3rd, 2022

Chipotle-garlic paste for use in cooking

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Finished paste, ready for the fridge

I thought of this and now I have a small jar of it in the fridge awaiting my next stir-fry cooking. I haven’t yet tried it, but it sounded good to me.

Chipotle-garlic paste

1 small can chipotles in adobo
6 dried chipotles, stem cut off
12 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

Put the above into a blender — or, in my case, into the plastic beaker that came with my immersion blender — and blend until smooth. Transfer the paste to a jar and refrigerate.

Use 1-2 tablespoons when cooking a stir-fry to add chipotle and garlic flavor.

Update: I chop the garlic cloves a bit — or, just for fun, slice them thinly using my garlic mandoline — because garlic cloves are sort of streamlined and can slip through a food processor unharmed sometimes. Probably wouldn’t happen with a blender, immersion or otherwise, but it takes but a few seconds to coarsely chop them.

I thought the chipotles and garlic were enough, but next time I might add an inch or two of fresh ginger root, thinly sliced and then chopped, if I have some good ginger root on hand.

Written by Leisureguy

3 July 2022 at 3:23 pm

What is mistake theory and can it save the humanities?

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Claire Lehmann writes in Engelsberg Ideas:

The French philosopher Michel Foucault is the most cited scholar in the humanities of all time: as of July 2018, he has 873,174 citations on Google Scholar. Judith Butler’s influential book Gender Trouble, which gave rise to Queer theory, and the idea that gender is a performance rather than a biological reality, has been cited over 51,000 times; vastly more than most books written in the twentieth century, or any other time period.

In recent years, universities across the Western world, and particularly in the United States, have seen a rise in new forms of protest: the de-platforming and disinvitation of speakers, the implementation of trigger warnings and safe spaces, and a perception that there is a growing hostility to the principles that define the university experience such as open inquiry and debate. Simultaneously, populist revolts have been occurring around the globe, from Brexit to Trump to the rise of the Sweden Democrats and the backlash to liberal centrist parties across the European continent.

Does anything unite these two disparate trends? It may seem like along bow to draw, but in a 2018 essay posted on his blog, Californian psychiatrist Scott Alexander developed a model of politics which allows one to find parallels between the far-left activists on US university campuses and the far-right populists of continental Europe. His model is called the ‘Conflict versus Mistake’ model and it neatly reduces the fissures that many of us have observed within contemporary political discourse into axioms that can be applied across contexts.

Within his model, Alexander identifies two key explanatory styles that are crucial for understanding contemporary political discourse. The first is that of the ‘mistake theorist’. A mistake theorist, according to Alexander, is someone who believes that political problems arise because there is a mistake or an error in the system. To the mistake theorist, social phenomena arise from an interplay of many different variables. To understand social problems, one must generally undertake an in-depth analysis to work out what is really going on and how to fix it. Mistake theorists view politics like a science, or an engineering problem. They are like a mechanic looking at the engine of a car.

The second explanatory style is that of the ‘conflict theorist’. A conflict theorist sees the world as being comprised of oppressor classes and oppressed classes. Powerful groups systematically exploit disadvantaged groups. Any unequal distribution of resources is seen as evidence of one group exploiting another. The conflict theorist generally views interactions between groups of people as zero sum. For conflict theorists, politics is war.

The mistake theorist values debate, open inquiry and free speech. There is an understanding in the mistake theorist’s worldview that different people bring different skill sets and knowledge to the table, and that we need diverse views in order to harness our collective intelligence. Because free speech allows us to search for the truth and uncover our mistakes, the mistake theorist views free speech as sacrosanct. Conflict theorists are not so enamoured of the need for debate. They may view debate as being a distraction, a delaying tactic, or an attempt to proliferate ideas that are harmful to the disadvantaged. To the conflict theorist, protecting the disadvantaged is sacrosanct.

Moral sociologists Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning have theorised in their 2018 book, The Rise of Victimhood Culture, that within this conflict theory worldview (what Campbell and Manning call the ‘victim-hood culture’ worldview) a moral hierarchy is set up according to one’s status as a member of an oppressed group. Members of less powerful groups are imbued with a special moral status, and due to this special moral status, members of the less powerful groups demand fierce and vigilant protection. To criticise the victim is to engage in victim-blaming.

By contrast, mistake theorists (what Campbell and Manning call the ‘dignity culture’ worldview) see persons as possessing equal moral status. A member of a so-called ‘oppressor’ group is just as entitled to his or her rights as a member of an ‘oppressed’ group. Moral status is not determined by one’s membership of an identity category. Emphasising the importance of process and method in coming to accurate conclusions, in contrast with rushing to judgement, the mistake theorist is likely to advocate principles like the presumption of innocence, procedural fairness, and due process.

Conflict theorists are not the sole purview of the Left. Leading up to the 2017 French presidential election, Marine Le Pen frequently used conflict theorist rhetoric, pitting native Frenchmen and women against oppressive elites: ‘Immigration is an organised replacement of our population. This threatens our very survival. We don’t have the means to integrate those who are already here. The result is endless cultural conflict.’

Le Pen draws on the language of victimhood: immigration ‘threatens the survival’ of the French people, and that this threat is ‘organised’ — indicating an identifiable enemy. The enemy is a powerful class of elites. While the left-wing manifestation of conflict theorist worldview blames oppression on white people, men, straight people, and increasingly cisgender or cis people (those who identify with the sex or gender they were born with), the right-wing version blames bankers, globalists, and technocratic elites for exploiting and oppressing the ordinary people.

Unlike conflict theorists, mistake theorists are suspicious of passion and emotion when it comes to answering complex political problems. The apotheosis of this attitude is . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

3 July 2022 at 10:36 am

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