Posts Tagged ‘common knowledge’

This Day in Revisionist History

December 15:

“Without rules, there is no game. Without a game, there are no rules. Is any of this making sense?” – a rambling James Naismith to several confused, restless youths at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts as he attempted to introduce the new game he called “basket ball.”

If there’s one thing every American knows, it’s that there’s nothing better than seeing two teams go head-to-head on the gridiron. But you may not know that in Europe, what we call “football” is actually called “soccer,” and at one point in the United States was called “basket ball.” The inventor of this sport was a doctor by the name of James Naismith, although his version of the game bears little resemblance to the fast-paced action of the modern NFL. He posted the original rules of his newly crafted game on the wall of the gymnasium, which NPI has partially reprinted with the permission of several United States courts, which over the years have firmly established that claims of copyright infringement cannot be filed in cases of “common knowledge”: Continue reading

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Aught Lang Syne: George W. Bush

Thus far, our retrospective on the 2000s has focused mainly on “trivial” pop culture issues: things like what books we liked, which movies were good, whose album was the best, what sports team was the most memorable, etc. We’ve completely ignored things like 9/11, the war in Iraq, and the recession. Part of this is merely out of prudence: We like to show restraint in areas that seem to require some expertise. It’s also been out of charity: Unlike Mark Antony, we come to praise the Aughts, not to bury them, so focusing on the darker aspects of the Aughts is beyond our stated purpose.

Any look at this decade, though, would feel horribly insufficient without a look at the presidency of George W. Bush. Like no other single individual, President Bush defined the Aughts. Indeed, Bush may have defined the Aughts more than anyone has defined a decade since Julius Caesar—his global impact is that wide.

At this point, though, criticizing Bush is kind of like setting fire to an already beaten and bloodied horse carcass. After all, the failures of Bush are common knowledge by now, right? Continue reading