an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.


Don't read this blog!

I mean, thanks for dropping by my little corner of the blogospheric backwaters, but the blog you should be reading is The Bellman. The stuff I post there is much, much less likely to be imbued with dormitive powers.


[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

Literally an "in-between move". A move in a tactical sequence is called a zwischenzug* when it does not relate directly to the tactical motif in operation. |source|

image copyright TWIC

From this position, black played a zwischenzug: 19…d5
(Linares 2002, 1-0)


about your blogger

David Rowland studies philosophy at the University of Illinois - Urbana / Champaign, where he's an active member of the Graduate Employees Organization. He used to play a lot of chess, but wasn't all that good. He has a blog. And email.



Morbid, hell-bound empty woe*
Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words withou...
Zwichenzug Culture Watch, blogosphere edition
That'll be three Hail Marys
All the news that's fit to print
To execute judgement upon all
Total Information Awareness
Follow up
Listening to the commission...
Cursed be the deceiver


error log

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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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Union Label

Direct Action
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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
Safety Neal
January Girl
mimi jingcha
Hop, Skip, Jump
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian


some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Fall of the State
Dru Blood
Echidne of the Snakes
Colossal Waste of Bandwidth
Running from the Thought Police
Bionic Octopus


some philosoblogs

Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen


some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
The Volokh Conspiracy


some other links

Rule 33
This Week in Chess
War Nerd
National Priorities Project
Bible Gateway
Internet Archive
A Weekly Dose of Architecture
Orsinal: Morning Sunshine
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Safety Sign Builder
Get Your War On


some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Tiffany's argument for strong internalism
Internalism v. Externalism
What do internalists believe anyway?
Rationalism and internalism
The experimental method in philosophy
Advertising to children
On moral skepticism
A linguistic argument
More on Williams
Williams on reasons
General and particular
Normativity and morality
Political intuitions
What it is, what it was, and what it shall be
Objectivity and morality
Thinking revolution
Abortion and coercion
Moore on torture
On the phenomenology of deliberation
Even more Deliberation Day
more Deliberation Day
Deliberation Day run-down
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge, cont.
He made a porch for the throne where he might judge
Every shepherd is an abomination
Droppin' H-bombs
ad hominem

Monday, March 29, 2004


He made a porch for the throne where he might judge

More on this later, but I've discovered that an article I'm reading this afternoon as part of my >ahem< scholarly research has been making waves on the right wing of the internet for the last week or so.

The article is "Deliberation Day" by Bruce Ackerman and James Fishkin. It appeared in the Journal of Political Philosophy in June of 2002, and has apparently been expanded into a book.

In the article the authors argue for the establishment of a national holiday, Deliberation Day, to take place about a week before important national elections. On that day, citizens will gather in groups ranging from 15 to 500 in order to discuss the issues of the day. Those who take part in such forums, and follow up by voting, get a check for $150.

Sounds crazy, I know. In the article, but perhaps not the book, the authors seem to be aware that this plan is unlikely to find broad political support. There, they offer the proposal as an exercise in what they call 'rational utopianism.' I'm still working my way through, so no opinion yet on whether the idea stands up to scrutiny.

I can, however, say something about the conversation the book is generating online.

That conversation was prompted by this review in the WSJ's OpinionJournal (don't know how I missed it). The review has been blogged about at PoliBlog, Signifying Nothing, and Political Wire.

My preliminary impression is that none of the blog entries seriously grapples with the issues raised by Ackerman and Fishkin. But the first two bloggers at least appear to have given the matter some thought. Political Wire, though, merely notes the appearance of the OpinionJournal review and repeats one of its weaker points:
Unfortunately, the reviewer says the main problem with the book is that it "castigates Americans for their political ignorance but seeks to use their tax dollars to subsidize their re-education. It wants to guide ordinary people to the deeper democracy that they are apparently incapable of creating for themselves."

This critique might be appropriate if Ackerman and Fishkin were proposing that a benevolent dictator impose Deliberation Day on we poor voters. But that's not what Ackerman and Fishkin are doing. They are, rather, proposing to a democratic constituency that it adopt a particular policy for the improvement of democratic institutions. So this is yet another example of the right wing's tendency to conflate democratic governance and dictatorship.

Anyhow, I'll post more on this later. If the idea interests you, here's a link that will download a pdf of an earlier version of the paper. And here's an article by Ackerman and Fishkin in the Winter 2004 issue of Legal Affairs.

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