Thursday, April 23, 2009

the retributivist instinct, revisited.

last year i wrote a little about jared diamond's article in the new yorker, "vengeance is ours". the new yorker is now being sued by the papua new guinean tribe for making false accusations, and the media ethics project at the art science research lab ( is about to release a 40,000 study entitled "jared diamond's factual collapse: the new yorker's papua new guinea revenge tale untrue". it was diamond's analysis of the facts that i found objectionable, which no factual expose can disprove, and i'm sure that it's very complicated and diamond could probably explain things in a way that made sense of his choices. but in as much as he even finessed the facts it begins to look like he used them to illustrate a conclusion that he had reached independant of particulars. its the worst kind of anthrolopogy and the worst kind of philosophy that begins with an assumed conclusion and chooses the evidence to suit it.


RhondaRShearer said...

Just to let you know there is a report posted now at (dot org --not dot com.)

The facts Diamond uses to build his arguement are false--this then discredits the whole analysis--it tumbles down like a house with bad bricks.

My feeling is the worst of this affair is how these human beings in Papua New Guinea were mistreated. No one should ever be subjected to driving Mr. Daisy (aka Diamond) as a regular working stiff for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and then suddenly find out that this big boss (Diamond is one of the WWF US board members)6 years later, has written that you, and people you named, are murderers, rapists and thieves in the famed NYer.

Sadly no one --not New Yorker fact checkers or Diamond--felt these people worthy enough to track down.

Drewski said...

I also think this counts against The New Yorker.