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.



Total Information Awareness
Follow up
Listening to the commission...
Cursed be the deceiver
You talkin' to me?
Zwichenzug culture watch, NCAA Tournament edition
They made me the keeper of the vineyards
Transit strike blogs
An indirect citation


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone





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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
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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


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some labor blogs

Confined Space
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Labor Blog
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some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Matthew Yglesias
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
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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

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


To execute judgement upon all

Here's a critique you've heard from me before: The United States wields immense military and economic power. As a result, actions taken by the United States affect people everywhere. Those affected by American power are aware of this fact and are also aware that they have no voice whatsoever in the direction that the American policy takes. The exercise of power over someone is apt to cause resentment whether you act in their interest or not. Rightly or wrongly, the perception around the world is that the United States does not act in the interests of those over whom its power is exercised. A further source of resentment is the apparent hypocrisy of the ubiquitous American refrain that other nations bring ruin upon themselves because they aren't sufficiently committed to democracy.

While I don't think this critique represents anything like a full diagnosis of the causes of terrorism and anti-Americanism, I do think it's an important part of the story. So it's no surprise that an op-ed with the title, U.S. election: the world should also have a vote would catch my attention.

Check this out:

The options on offer from both candidates are few and the choices far between. This is not only a bad sign for the United States but also for the rest of the world. World peace and the lives of six billion people on this planet hang on the outcome of the elections. How the United States under its next president takes on the reconstruction of Iraq, tackles terrorist threats and nuclear nonproliferation, deals with Muslim societies, and copes with issues of trade, currency and the global environment, will all have a significant effect on the entire global community.

Under the current U.S.-centered international system, the United Nations has been sidelined. Longstanding U.S. allies like Britain and Japan have been relegated to a "coalition of the willing" (now minus Spain), while other major powers such as China and Russia are frantically trying to make "transactions" with the United States. No country has the power to effectively restrain America.

This all sounds right to me. And even if the core claim, the claim that the United States is the bull in the world's china shop, is false, the fact that the claim is being made is a point in favor of my analysis.

The author goes a little hyperbolic a few paragraphs later:

Charles Kupchan, a professor at Georgetown University and author of "The End of the American Era," believes that since Sept. 11, 2001, the system of checks and balances has broken down in the United States. Internally, opposition parties have almost disappeared, and those expressing a dissenting view are few. Bush critics are condemned as unpatriotic, and only in the past four to five months have opponents of Bush's foreign policy begun to creep out from behind the rocks.

That view strikes me as overly pessimistic. But whatever.

Where they really lose me is with the proposed solution:

The idea is to hold a mock election via the Internet at individual discretion, giving everyone around the world with access to the Internet the chance to cast a vote. Voters would be able to choose the candidate they think is best for the world, giving reasons for their choice. The results should then be published before the real election on Nov. 2, allowing U.S. citizens to take world opinion into account when making their own decision.

Talk about a counterproductive idea. How do you think the vote is likely to come out? Me, I think Bush wouldn't do too well. Now, imagine that the results are published a few days before the election. What do you think the effect will be on the American political scene? I'm thinking backlash. But hey, if you want to vote, this site will let you.

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