Friday, December 11th, 2020
I’ve been surprised and disappointed by just how many people are hesitant to take up the COVID-19 vaccines now coming online. In this concerned Nautilus article “How to Build Trust in Covid-19 Vaccines”, the authors take on the issue with sober good sense, eg:
Mandatory vaccination policies should be avoided because they could backfire. More acceptable would be tying vaccination status to travel or access to public places.
Wednesday, October 14th, 2020
Larry McEnerney on 40 years of teaching expository writing at the University of Chicago’s Little Red Schoolhouse.
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
The New York Times abandons key claims of the 1619 Project, as reported by the World Socialist Web Site — this stuff it seems is too kooky even for them.
In a rather fine essay for Commentary Magazine, Hussein Aboubakr writes:
Palestine was never merely a disputed geographical territory, it was a claim to the absolute fulfillment of the Islamic political vision, an eternal moral truth, secularized in Arab nationalism and sanctified in Islamism.
He then proceeds to show us a hopeful vision for what the post-Palestine Middle East might look like senza this murderous Arab dream.
Sunday, September 20th, 2020
I do consider Jonah Goldberg overrated, but he nails it regarding the US DoE calling out Princeton’s woke bullshit:
Princeton: Take our confessions of systematic institutional racism seriously but not literally.
Sunday, July 26th, 2020
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
“There is no linguistic justice without racial justice,” as quoted in The Linguistic Society of America’s open letter to call to remove Steven Pinker.
What a fakakta — China must be licking its chops as we stand around pissing on each other’s piss.
Monday, June 15th, 2020
David Goldman produces a fact-filled yet overarchingly-theoried analysis of the mid-pandemic race-themed disturbances. Like for Palestinians, he argues it’s about humiliation. Goldman is sympathetic but not sycophantic, analytic but not caustic.
Sunday, April 19th, 2020
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020
Benjamin Schwarz decries the University of Chicago’s English Department for toeing the woke line, despite the Chicago Principles (it’s great to see my alma mater’s font again, and saying such things).
Sunday, March 1st, 2020
Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of an Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader
Brent Schlener and Rick Tetzell
Although the simple thesis gets repeated interminably, nonetheless it’s a nice one: that Steve Jobs’s greatness stems muchly from his constant becoming, constant learning, constant trying to overcome himself (hence the title, which can be read as descriptive).
It’s great to be in his company, which you feel you are, as one of the authors was himself repeatedly so for decades.
One thing new to me was Pixar’s role in maturing Jobs; we don’t often read about who and what shaped the shaper.
Saturday, December 14th, 2019
Labour is now populism for the lightly-educated middle-classes, argues John Gray with stonking cogency — and, it turns out a month later at the December 2019 election, accuracy. Until 2008 the Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics, Gray has been referred to by one Nassim Nicholas Taleb as “prophetic”.
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
Dr Alex Joffe notes that while the West’s working classes are still relatively sensible, “in Western social and information environments saturated with virtue-signaling, [grafting BDS onto contemporary concerns and movements is] having some success with members of the image-conscious, predominantly white middle class.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
This Gates Foundation presentation on global inequality is clear, straightforward, well-written, nicely illustrated with animated graphs, and surely worth the time of anyone who can access it.
Saturday, June 15th, 2019
Who were the Icelandic Eurovision nutjobs? Very much sons of privilege.
Saturday, June 8th, 2019
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
Well, this an extravaganza of an article, practically a short book, on the American 9.9%.
Saturday, April 21st, 2018
In Amtrak’s magazine The National, Deep Springs alum David Schisgall welcomes the College’s new overlordettes, for in July 2018, after years of legal wranglers and decades of dusty nazal-gaving, the College will go co-ed.
Saturday, April 7th, 2018
From 2014: The Economist introduces us to Sebastian de Grazia’s 1962 Of Time, Work and Leisure. Increasingly, leisure is not for the rich but for the poor.
Wednesday, March 7th, 2018
Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia light up a brightly-lit room for 1 hour 43 minutes.
Tuesday, March 6th, 2018
A review of the new disenchantment with our overly-enchanting digital lives by one Arianna Huffington of all people.
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
If you read one brief op-ed piece this year, surely it must be Of Crudeness and Truth by Andrew Klavan in City Journal. “For Nurse Ratched, read Hillary Clinton, CNN, The New York Times, Yale University, Twitter, and Google/YouTube —— all the tender ministers of polite silence and enforced dishonesty. If Donald Trump’s boorishness crashes like a bull through the crystal madhouse of their leftism — well, good. It’s about time.” Like other forms of tyranny, at first we found political correctness amusing. One consequence of it: this risky presidency.
Wednesday, December 27th, 2017
When Google analysed their hiring, they were surprised to find that “among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last.” Instead, “The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills.” One smart commenter points out that since everyone will have the STEM skills anyway, these other things are the only differentiators.
Sunday, December 24th, 2017
Jonathan Haidt lists the centrifugal and centripetal forces acting on American society in his essay Age of Outrage. I learned a new word: “intersectionality”.
Wednesday, November 9th, 2016
“The press takes [Trump] literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.’ Salena Zito in this September 23 article in The Atlantic. What a thing.
Also Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit by Glenn Greenwald in The Intercept.
And What I learned after 100,000 miles on the road talking to Trump supporters by Chris Arnade in The Guardian.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
Fascinating research into the five types of UK school heads — philosophers, surgeons, soldiers, architects, accountants — and that the wrong type is being rewarded.
Monday, October 17th, 2016
Visiting Poland, George Weigel articulates the current civilizational crisis.
Sunday, September 11th, 2016
Among the lessons from a 45-year study of super-smart children is to encourage effort rather than praise ability.
Saturday, April 23rd, 2016
Possibly the world’s most important story at the moment? American middle-class impoverishment, or as the author—himself afflicted—calls it, financial impotence.
Thursday, March 17th, 2016
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015
Valuable first-hand account of contemporary Saudi Arabia by their special man in the West, Thomas L. Friedman.
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
In case anyone needed reminding, European immigrants are better educated than native Britons.
Thursday, April 24th, 2014
An enquiry into one of Egyptians’ psychic scourges: conspiracist anti-Semitism.
Sunday, April 6th, 2014
The great secret of education is to use exercise of mind and body as relaxation one to the other.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile
Sunday, September 8th, 2013
Thursday, May 9th, 2013
Some advice for Disney from fellow artist Frank Lloyd Wright on February 25, 1939, at 11am in Projection Room IV.
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
Hanna Rosin writes on the iPad and young children. The beginning could have appeared anywhere, the middle in any number of magazines, the end in only a small handful. And a rather relevant topic at the moment in this house, where Good Morning is spoken as “Where the iPad gone!”
Friday, March 8th, 2013
Surely the definitive article about internet wunderkind Aaron Swartz. Only eating white or yellow food seems a glaring sign that not everything there was quite right.
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
Monday, August 6th, 2012
What did I learn from this? I’m not sure. I love Rousseau’s inimical style, even translated. It seems what I imagine Latin would be: pithy. Like Emerson, it’s witty, profound, but I can’t remember the ideas. This however is due to my own shortcomings, not the book’s.
Sunday, March 11th, 2012
Paul Graham PyCon US 2012 keynote
wherein he spells out some of the big ambitious start-up ideas on our collective mind. Be the next Google. Fix email. Be the next Apple. Replace universities. Ongoing diagnostic healthcare.
Sunday, March 4th, 2012
“We don’t have castles and noble titles, so how do you indicate you’re part of the elite?” Wicked piece on TED by Benjamin Wallace.
Saturday, February 18th, 2012
Sunday, December 11th, 2011
Scotland’s early industrialisation produced great wealth and great poverty and after two centuries is yet to tackle that fundamental inequity. Lesley Riddoch compares Scotland’s failure and Finland’s success.
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, waxes serious on what education should really be for most of us.
Friday, April 8th, 2011
“Self-Taught Programmers vs CS-Educated Programmers” rings true and echoes out to education in general.
Thursday, March 17th, 2011
Monday, February 28th, 2011
Monday, September 6th, 2010
Pyongyang: A Journey into North Korea
Nice and enjoyable but could have been a lot longer. This should have been chapter 1 of 4 or 5 or so. What about the rest of the country? I know you can’t get there but still.
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010