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.



Backroom shenanigans
Changing the subject
Don't follow this link
Zwichenzug Culture Watch is on hiatus...
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Know which way the wind blows
As wax before the fire
A world renowned research institution
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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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Union Label

Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


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 08, 2004


Light posting this week?

I'm heading out of town to do some union activist hoo-haw. It may turn out that I have internet access on the road, and it may turn out that I don't. That's just one of the many uncertainties standing in my life-path(tm).

In the meantime, I'm looking to capitalize on the power of distributed meat-computing.

Lots of people say that it's wrong to break the law, but very few people say why. I've been trying to figure it out. Here are the best reasons I can come up with. Tell me whether any of them are right. While you're at it, feel free to insult one another in comment form.

Have fun.


Nine reasons not to break the law

1. Some laws prohibit immoral acts. When an act is itself wrongful, committing it would be wrong even if it were not against the law. Murders, for example, fall into this category.

2. The law is superior to the individual, and so the breaking of law is illegitimate disobedience of proper authority. (There is some ambiguity here. Does the superiority have to do with the status of law as such, or does it depend upon the authority of the person or institution which established the law?)

3. The institution of law creates conditions from which the individual benefits, and the violation of law is thus contrary to duties of reciprocity.

4. The institution of law exists only because people have agreed to be governed by it. But those agreements have the same status as a promise, and so a breach of the law is a violation of the duty to abide by one's promises.

5. Each of us has a prudential duty to look out for our own well-being. The breaking of law is an unnecessary risk, and so is a violation of our personal prudential duty.

6. The institution of law creates conditions from which all citizens benefit. Each of us has a duty not to harm our fellow citizens. Although some violations of law do no immediate harm, the breaking of law tends to undermine the institution of law. Damage to that institution is a violation of our duty not to harm our fellows.

7. Each of us ought to act according to the best reasons. The law is the codification of the behaviors which society judges to be most reasonable.

8. Societies ought to be organized democratically, because that kind of organizational structure strikes the best balance between the interests of each. In such a society, the law represents the best estimate of the proper balance and establishes a moral equilibrium. Violation of law violates that equilibrium, and is wrong for that reason.

9. The institution of law is constitutive of a way of life and is not separable from customs and other regulative social practices. So the laws create the conditions within which individuals are able to function and flourish and influence the values that individuals accept and pursue. Violation of law is thus a violation of shared values.

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