Day: July 23, 2012

The Order of Ostriches

The Punjab Assembly displays a sophisticated view of ontology. Or it just makes your head hurt.

Ostrich, a heavy flightless bird of African origin, was officially declared ‘an animal’ on Wednesday when Punjab Assembly passed a bill overruling the objections raised by the Punjab governor who had refused to sign it, saying, it was a ‘bird’ covered under the definition of exotic species not native to Pakistan.

This move isn’t quite as weird in the context of relevant statutes. And it definitely has Foucaultian resonances.

“As the Ostrich comes under the definition of exotic animal, being wildlife species not native to Pakistan and not included in the Second Schedule, there fore, the same cannot be imported”, the PPP legislator told the House taking clue from the objections raised by the governor who had noted that “Inclusion of Ostrich in the category of permissible animals to be slaughtered under the  proposed amendment shall be anomalous without prior amendment in sections 2(ccc) and 14(1) of the Punjab Wildlife (Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management) Act, 1974”. 

…. Punjab Law Minister Rana Sana preferred not to go into the legality of farming and slaughtering of Ostrich in Pakistan. Instead, he confined himself to saying that Punjab government had included Ostrich in the category of animals like goats and sheep to meet the increasing demand for meat in the province. He argued that farming and sale of Ostrich’s meat was in vogue across the world which was also good for human consumption. 

Still, for those who remain confused, some clarification might be a good idea. HTH:

Relationship between the Category “Animals” and the Category “Birds”

(via Chris Fair)


Morning Linkage

  • MANOS: The Hands of Fate is supposedly getting an iOS game. But fans of MST3K are probably much more excited about the Rifftrax live MANOS event on August 16.
  • Dan Drezner takes on the ridiculous Jennifer Rubin piece on how Romney should attack Obama foreign policy. Drezner has regular commentators who are better conservative foreign-policy critics than the people dominating MSM op-ed space.
  • Andrew Yeo responds to Jennifer Lind’s analysis of the ROK-Japan treaty debacle. I think Andrew’s probably right, and that Jennifer likely got excited by the alternative line given to her by some of her sources. 
  • Robert Beckhusen at Danger Room says that US BMD may force Chinese missile modernization. Of course, they already have plenty of incentives for modernizing their nuclear-delivery capabilities, let alone their conventional missiles. And the US doesn’t want its system to give it first-strike capability against great-power arsenals. So, Meh.
  • Robert W. Glover writes about the implications of complex-systems analysis for international-relations theory. It seems to me that Duck writers and bloggers would have interesting perspectives to contribute.
  • Dani Rodrik weighs in on the “great Baltic economic policy debate,” at least with respect to Latvia.
  • Juan Cole asks if Bachmann could cost the Romney the Presidency. The answer is “no.” 
  • Yes, you should probably just subscribe to Tim Burke’s feed, but… this time he takes the rah-rah out of contemporary higher-ed techno-optimism and makes it cry for mercy: “Do you really WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY using INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY?”
  • Hans-Inge Langø likes defense-spending cuts in the context of comprehensive assessment. Sequestration? Not so much
  • I miss the blogging stylings of Coming Anarchy. What happened to the blog?
  • J. Scott Shipman reviewed The Twilight War at zenpundit ten days ago, but what the heck.
  • Also older, but worth linking to, the Clinton bylined piece at the New Statesmen on US “smart power” efforts.
  • Edward Wong at the New York Times on growing pressure within China to end the “one child” policy.
  • It isn’t just acidification that’s altering marine ecosystems; heat waves pose another threat
  • In case you missed it, I explained the experiment in podcasting and how to subscribe.
  • If you have suggestions for blogs to add to my revived RSS feed, let me know.  

Podcasts and Space Hamsters and Shoulder Dragons, oh my!

Two items of business:

First, I am pleased to announce that the Duck of Minerva now comes with podcasts. I am doubly pleased to announce that I resisted the urge to refer to them as “duckcasts” (you can thank me in comments). I am running the podcast feed on a separate blog. You can subscribe to our podcasts either via that blog’s Feedburner feed or its original atom feed (to do so within iTunes, go to “Advanced” and then choose “Subscribe to Podcast” and paste the feed URL).

I will also make sure that links to the audiofiles appear on a new page accessible from the tab bar — a link to Podcast No. 1 is already there. In general, I will try to alert readers to the appearance of a new podcast — assuming that there are more to come — in the form of a post on the Duck; those posts will also be a good place for feedback and commentary.

Second, I am excited to let you all know that I have agreed to become the interviewer for a Science Fiction and Fantasy channel at the New Books Network (NBN). There is a stub channel already in existence (it consists of a cross-post from a different channel). The “real” channel won’t be live for at least a month, as I’m trying to “bank” interviews to provide a cushion for regular updates at launch. I’m thrilled, and more than a little humbled, by the quality of the authors who have already agreed — whether in principle or in practice — to appear on the podcast. 

I hope the synergistic character of the two items is already apparent. I’ve got shiny new equipment for the NBN interviews, and it seems a shame not to get more use out of it. At the same time, I’ve got a lot of work to do to become an effective interviewer (cf. the first Duck podcast, in which PTJ and I talk too fast and I seem to be operating with a -5 coherence penalty). Thus, the more chances I get to podcast the better. 

What do I have in mind for the Duck? Interviews and discussions among the Duck crew for a start. Maybe some interviews with authors of IR books. Perhaps we can get some of our field’s “big names,” let alone young and up-and-coming scholars, to have a brief, recorded chat with us. 

While the NBN channel will be updated on a schedule, I am not sure that this will be possible at the Duck due to the multiple demands on all of our time. Of course, this may prove another failed experiment. We will see. 

PS: if you have comments on the first podcast or what you’d like to see hear in future ones, leave them here.


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