[lit-ideas] Re: Justice Scalia on privacy

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 17:57:05 EDT

In a message dated 5/4/2009 5:27:29 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx writes:
JLS's claim sounded way too  fishy.

Yes, but the question is: what was He (Witters) thinking?

from the OED:
>German regional (Low German) Peik pointed implement.

English 'poker' -- German 'poker'. Plural: 'poker'.

1534 in W. H. Turner Select. Rec. Oxf. (1880) 126 He..came downe with a 
poker in his hande.

1715 J. ADDISON Spectator No. 608 ¶13 By her good Will she never would
suffer the Poker out of her Hand.

From "Philosophy Pathways"

"The poky little room in which they took place was cold this particular 
winter's night and needed a fire to brighten the occasion. Thus it was that
Wittgenstein came to be brandishing the poker, whereupon Popper made his now
famous response to Chairman Russell's request for an example of moral rule
under  the heading of ethics:

        "Not to threaten visiting  lecturers with pokers"".

"It is then suggested, though accounts of the incident vary according to
the viewpoint of the perceiver, that an angry Wittgenstein who up to this
moment  had brandished the offending weapon (nobody seems to remember in which
hand)  threw it to the ground and charged out of the room, slamming the door
loudly  behind him."

"Russell, who was up on the speaker's platform smoking his pipe, had chided
 the enfant terrible for his behaviour saying: "The trouble with you,
Wittgenstein, is that you always get things wrong". The man who walked out so
unceremoniously might have responded to his mentor, "I know that queer things
 happen in this world. It's one of the few things I've really learned in my

"Room H3 in King's College was thus the scene of high drama."

"Wittgenstein's Poker (Faber ISDN 057120547X) is described on its dust
jacket as "The story of a ten-minute argument between two great  philosophers"".

"A list of those present reads like a who's who in philosophy."

"Russell chaired the meeting and ended up as referee for the final  fight."

"Peter Munz was there - a New Zealander whom Popper had taught in his home
country - later describing this incident as:

  "a watershed in twentieth century philosophy."

"Stephen Toulmin who was also present later co-wrote Wittgenstein's Vienna
which chronicles the city's fin de siecle gaiety and corrosive melancholy."

"The man who was a product of these times and waved a poker in the air on
the night the titans met was a quirky individual whose homosexual leanings
came  to the fore in his undergraduate years."

"Never one to take a back seat in any situation, Wittgenstein had a series
of close relationships with some of his students whom he liked to dominate
and  even persuade to leave academia and take up jobs in factories."

"Colin Wilson suggests in The Misfits - a work on sexuality and outsiders -
 that Wittgenstein picked up rough young men in Volksprater Park, the site
of the  famous Ferris wheel featured in The Third Man, an ideal setting for
that classic  Graham Greene film."

"Wittgenstein's Poker is a fascinating text to burrow into and find much
buried treasure."

"The man holding the poker is called "the ultimate modernist  outsider".

"In the end the book is a fascinating study of how different lives run on
parallel tracks and then finally intersect. It is rather like a detective
story,  leading up to the raised poker, when the murderer might have been

"But philosophers are far more gentlemanly than this."

"We have accusations about a possible Third Man connection against
Wittgenstein in a book by Kimberley Cornish who was a former PhD scholar at
Auckland University. His way-out theory suggests that the KGB's man at Cambridge
who persuaded Philby, Blunt, Burgess and McLean all to spy for the Russians
was  Wittgenstein."

"Both men were Jews, one rich, the other poor."

"Both men became teachers in academia and tended to put their students on
their mettle."

"The infamous poker from Room H3 has never been traced. Its story has now
been finally told."

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