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The Marquis de Leech

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About The Marquis de Leech

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    Blood-sucking Aristocrat
  • Birthday 12/15/1982

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  1. And another Old Phuul chapter sorted. February was a good month in the writing department.
  2. Finished another draft chapter of Old Phuul tonight. Yay for feeling productive...
  3. In a question about whether something is right or wrong (specifically about whether refusing to fill in a form is racially insensitive), I would have thought that we were dealing with an Ethical question. Silly me. Frankly, what you are describing is Kafka-esque. Rather than fighting racism by not caring about someone's skin colour, we're all somehow pre-convicted of implicit racial biases, and need to walk on eggshells lest we offend someone by treating them the same way we would anyone else who is asking us to fill in a form. It's also patronising as hell towards the very people you're trying to help.
  4. Somewhere, the ghost of Karl Marx is screaming. (Marx would not be a fan of Woke-ism).
  5. First off, we need to stop confusing Law and Ethics. The two are not the same. With respect to Intentionalism vs Consequentialism in Ethics, neither position is entirely convincing. If Intent is all that matters, consider the famous example of Kant's Axe Murderer. If an Axe Murderer comes to your door, and asks you where your friend is, is it morally permissible to lie? Kant said No. After all, all you are doing is telling the truth. The actual murder is the fault of the murderer, not you. And worrying about what the murderer might do as a result of your actions is that icky Consequentialism. If Consequentialism is all that matters - we can't predict the future with complete accuracy. If I sell someone a beer bottle that is later used to slit someone's throat, am I morally culpable?
  6. Legally, in my country: - A is guilty of attempted murder. - C has committed non-culpable homicide (i.e. they walk free). In order to count as manslaughter, one needs to be doing something illegal that causes the death.
  7. "If you want a picture of the future, imagine an orange combover flopping on the human forehead. Forever." Trump isn't Caesar. He's too lazy and too hated by the military to be Caesar. The real problem will come when someone with half a brain picks up the Trump Playbook, and runs with it. At which point? You keep the trappings of the republic, but no-one believes in it anymore. On the other hand, if this is First Century B.C. Rome re-enacted, it at least means that the USA won't develop real problems until the year 2300 or so.
  8. Tolkien's source material was Fafnir and the Beowulf dragon, slain by Sigurd and Beowulf/Wiglaf respectively. Isolated heroes is where it's at.
  9. Finished off Kim, by Rudyard Kipling. Famously a forerunner to the spy genre, I went in expecting an Indian Thirty-Nine Steps. It isn't like that. It is simply too opaque, and while there is a spy story buried in there, it isn't the heart of the book. The real meat of Kim is the setting - Kipling's love-letter to India under the Raj - which is incredibly vivid. Yes, it's Kipling, so the setting is presented through an Imperialist lens, but the book conjures a sense of place like few others.
  10. I'm a UBI sceptic. I don't think people realise the sheer expense of the damn thing, in terms of providing every adult with however thousand per year - it would dwarf current social welfare expenditure, while going largely to people who don't actually need it.
  11. My latest sword and sorcery piece has made the second round at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. Fingers crossed...
  12. The Winter's Tale is the one with a certain famous stage-direction. It's also the one where Billy gives Bohemia a sea-coast, thereby showing geography was not his strong point.
  13. Finished On the Nature of Things, the first century BC poem by Lucretius. Heavy going in large part - the notion of exploring scientific concepts via lengthy poetry is an unusual one. Lucretius was an Epicurean, of course, though his poem focuses on the Natural Philosophy of Epicurus (atoms! materialism!), rather than Ethics. Notable for getting some things right - light travels faster than sound, though his guess about subterranean winds causing earthquakes does not hold up so well. The poem is also clearly unfinished, tailing off into a grim description of the Plague of Athens.
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