Ran into Frank of all people looking for someone to borrow the LICS'04 proceedings from - he's back from vacation. Someone totally published the result I had (and was sure wasn't worth publication) a year and half ago back when I was MELL-hacking. Well, maybe not the same exact idea, and the paper is better written than I could write, but still. I should start more assidiously writing up the ideas on the "interesting but basically throwaway nonsense" backburner.
I got so overwhelmed by nauseatic vertigo trying to read http://polaris.gseis.ucla.edu/pagre/conservatism.html
(which lincoln3 showed me) that I couldn't even start attempting to explain to myself or others what was so objectionable about it. Clearly there is something very strawmannish about it from the beginning, witness [I paraphrase slightly]
Q: What is conservatism?
A: Conservatism is the practice of eating babies smothered in BBQ sauce.
Q: What is wrong with conservatism?
A: Conservatism is incompatible with all that is good and right with the world, including your favorite band. It is a destructive system of pointy sticks and atom bombs, founded on a sort of shamelessly giggling evil, and has no place outside of "Lord of the Flies".
Anyway, all joking aside, my frutsration over that essay whetted my ol' philosophy-of-language appetite something fierce, and so I poked around Hillman for books on Wittgenstein (emphasis on on rather than by, I'm not prepared and/or crazy enough to head back to the Tractatus much less his later stuff quite yet) and I found Wittgenstein's Poker, a nice breezy little biographical book that talks around a tiff between Ludwig and Karl Popper at a talk given by the latter. It's pretty good so far, even though I don't think it has enough meat to really help me solve the above angst. Oh well. I'll save it for another time...