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Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Promiscuous Reading-An essay in the New Yorker about a reader who had trouble completing books, even when interested in it. He notes that the last book that he read all the way through a work of shorter essays by a German philosopher, and suggests that most people have been training themselves to read texts with […]

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Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism-A piece run in the Guardian about how food and water shortages as the human population grows and environment becomes more volatile, people will have to drastically reduce the amount of animal products they consume (20% down to 5%, according the article). “We’re Not Going to Let Our Campaign […]

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What’s the Matter with Missouri-An essay in the Atlantic about the demographic and political shifts that have radicalized Missouri into a bastion of the Republican party. Boys on the side-An article in the Atlantic about the hookup culture among young people, arguing that it is largely perpetuated by women who have more choice and control […]

All Art is Propaganda

One of the most attractive concepts of the base-superstructure dichotomy in Marxism is that some things hold traction and permanence, while others are constructions (rather than everything being a construct). Of course, this is a simplified version of Marxism, of which I am by no means an expert, but I find the distinction revealing. Propaganda, […]

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On Leaving Academe-An article in the Chronicle by a former professor of computer Science that details the variety of reasons he had for leaving his job at a university, including the devaluation of education, salary, publishing demands, specialization, mass education, etc. Is there such a thing as a national literature?-Scottish author Irvine Welsh talks about […]

The First Generation of the Hellenistic Age: A Lament

The periods in history that most interest me are those with great political upheaval. Often, this means wars. One of the periods that keeps drawing me back in is the first generation of the Hellenistic period, otherwise known as the first thirty five or forty years after the death of Alexander the Great. There are […]

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A Critic’s Case for Critics Who Are Actually Critical-An op-ed in the New York Times that suggests that while nobody likes to be criticized, having these flaws is part of what it is to be human, and that real criticism is not petty putdowns, but thoughtful response. Ira Glass: By the BookAn interview in the […]

Some thoughts about Paris

Living in Botswana or being a Bonesman does not intrinsically grant anyone insight into the world, but both seem somehow more substantive than watching the world unfold on Twitter from a coffee shop in Columbia, MO. Then again, there is a case that the Lost Generation, watching the world unfold from a cafe in Paris […]

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Peru’s Nazi party leader believes even the conquistadors were Jews-An article in the Guardian about a man trying to get official recognition for the Nazi party in Peru believes that Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara–and Fransisco Pizarro–had Jewish roots and therefore that Jews have been terrorizing Peruvians for a very long time. His […]

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Ryan’s Record on Issues-An account of Paul Ryan’s record on education from the Chronicle. ‘Supporting Our Troops’ Has Become an Exercise in Denial-From Jonathan Jones, this article in the New Republic assesses the disconnect and hollowness of supporting the troops unequivocally without supporting the mission. In short, the concept of supporting the troops is ritual, […]