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.



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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
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January Girl
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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
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some labor blogs

Confined Space
Working Life
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Labor Blog
Eric Lee


some A-list blogs

This Modern World
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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

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Know which way the wind blows

I went to a screening of The Weather Underground tonight. It's a documentary that mixes footage from the sixties and seventies with extensive interviews of aging members of the movement. One of the directors, Bill Siegal, was there to introduce the film and take questions afterward. [read a review]

The film raises a lot of issues, and I'm still processing, so I don't really know what I think.

The star of the film, for me, was Mark Rudd. He made his name as the leader of a student takeover of the President's office at Columbia University in the Spring of 1968, and was one of the leaders of the Weathermen faction that took over Students for a Democratic Society at that group's convention the following Fall. These days he teaches math at a community college in New Mexico.

Near the end of the film there's a segment in which Rudd discusses his mixed feelings about the past. He remains convinced that the governmental policies he and his cohort were reacting against were wrong and had to be resisted, but he now seems shocked by his own arrogance in choosing the violent route taken by the Weather Underground. After admitting that he remains deeply distressed by the state of the nation, he shakes his head, looks into the camera and says, "I just don't know what needs to be done."

Rudd is grappling with an issue that has occupied me, on one level or another, for years now.

The problem begins with the perception that the world is fundamentally broken. Not merely unjust, but so distorted that justice is impossible unless the basic structures of our social institutions are radically altered. I don't really know when I came to hold this view. I do know that the Bush Presidency has brought a lot of people closer to my side of the street.

What are you supposed to do once you percieve the world in this way? The Weather Underground thought that violent revolution was the answer. That's pretty close to what I thought in my early 20s, not that I did anything about it. It's probably my good fortune that nothing comparable to SDS existed in central Kansas at the time (and don't throw MAPJ at me).

I've grown skeptical of violence as a mechanism for political change. Small scale violence gives your civil neighbors an excuse not to engage your ideas. Large scale violece requires a level of brutality and organization that virtually guarantees the ascension of tyrants.

On the other hand, purely civil protest is helpless in the face of real power unless, as in Eastern Europe in 1989, the protest is so massive that the legitimacy of the state is thrown into question. And that kind of scale is impossible in the face of a state that is truly interested in suppressing dissent.

Thus, the dilemma.

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