!?

Zwichenzug

an in-between move

Cool kids read The Bellman.

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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.

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Zwischenzug
[German, from zwischen, intermediate + zug, move

n.
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
Adams-Kasparov
(Linares 2002, 1-0)

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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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recent

Hey look, metablogging!
Low hanging Google fruit
Scary stuff, continued
All the right moves
Trust
This just in
Uh
Practical intersubjectivity for the sophisticated ...
Patriotism and the flag
Scary stuff

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error log


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$zwichenzug$ sell-out zone

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syndication

Atom!



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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.

Union Label


Direct Action
Gets the Goods!


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some folks I know

Mark Dilley
a daily dose of architecture
dailysoy
Hannah
funferal
Safety Neal
eripsa
January Girl
mimi jingcha
bleen
Rambleman
Washburn
Hop, Skip, Jump
E
ambivalent imbroglio
Brooke & Lian

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some blogs I read

strip mining for whimsy
It's Matt's World
School of Blog
Saheli
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 philosoblogs

E.G.
Philosoraptor
Left2Right
Fake Barn Country
Freiheit und Wissen

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some labor blogs

Confined Space
Unions-Firms-Markets
Working Life
CGEU
Dispatches From the Trenches
Labor Blog
LaborProf
Eric Lee

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some A-list blogs

This Modern World
Discourse.net
Matthew Yglesias
pandagon
Andrew Sullivan
Political Animal
Majikthise
DeLong
The Volokh Conspiracy

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some other links

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

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some philosoblogging

Six views about reasons
Seidman on reflection and rationality
And another thing
Aspirin
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
Whorf
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
Factoid
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

Sunday, July 18, 2004

 

Abortion and coercion

It's pretty clear that the Bush Administration's objection to China's efforts to curb population growth has more to do with opposition to abortion than it does to the fact that some of those abortions are coerced. All the same, it's also pretty clear that those of us who favor legalized abortion do so largely because we see the prohibition of abortion as a way of coercing women in matters relating to the control of their own bodies. Given that, it's hard to see how we could favor coerced abortion.

But, as sometimes happens in the real world, things aren't so simple.

The population explosion in China (as in other developing countries) is really serious. If population growth doesn't get under control, and I mean soon, then the world is going to become a much worse place to live. Moreover, it doesn't look like the problem is going to solve itself, since the rational thing for any individual in a developing nation to do is to have a large family.

So what we've got is a looming catastrophe that can only be averted by reducing birth rates in developing nations, but we can't rely on individuals to make the choices that would bring about that result.

This is what philosophers call a Collective Action Problem.

One thing I don't know is how coercive China's policy is. Do the police show up in the middle of the night and drag pregnant women off to abortion clinics? Or, do authorities just do a lot of pestering and threaten not to give the family a voucher for a larger apartment? Such news reports as I've seen suggest the latter, but all of the rhetoric I've heard suggests the former.

I guess it goes without saying that the preferred policy would be to up the incentives for not having children, or for not having more than one. The hope there would be that people would then choose to limit family size of their own free will. But that seems so obvious that I don't know why China wouldn't do it, unless merely economic incentives haven't proved to be sufficient to outweigh the preference for a large family.

In such a case we'd have a true moral dilemma. Allowing the population to continue to grow would be indefensible, but so would any of the policies that might solve the problem.


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