We are all a lost generation

Media Matters – Altercation by Eric Alterman:

No one wants a deconstructionist auto mechanic, he noted, quoting said individual saying something like (excuse my French) “Le problème avec la transmission est seulement dans le texte.”

And then more blather about Searle and his devotion to common sense (which, as I recall it from minor dealings with him, was pretty much a devotion to his own limits of conception, much like the Intelligent-design advocate’s devotion to the idea that any mechanism they can’t understand must be divinely orchestrated).

But the more I think about it, the more I think that plenty of really good mechanics will tell you exactly what Searle derides. “What happened,” they’ll tell you, “is that the company stopped making decent parts and just slapped on some more sheet metal and advertising. I can fix it, but it’s always going to make trouble.” Think of all the penis-extender cars out there that spend half their lives in the shop for carbon on the valves or bollixed suspensions or whatever balkinesses their owners put up with to own a sleek symbol of masculinity. Or the old Detroit-iron boats that gave Japan its entree to the US market. Sure, any given car’s transmission has whatever problems of tolerance or floating metal bits or crappy alloy it may have, but ultimately the problem is in the text.


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