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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from July 2009

The Georgetown Cocktail Party Paradox

July 21st, 2009 · 7 Comments

I’ve said something similar before myself, but this from Conor Friedersdorf jibes with my own experience: There is this idea among movement conservatives—especially the rank-and-file—that Washington DC journalism is populated by a lot of disingenuous, careerist sell outs. These elites write to enrich themselves, to inflate their sense of self-importance, and to garner social capital, […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Washington, DC

The Wisdom of Clowns

July 21st, 2009 · 4 Comments

Queer blogger Ariel at Feministe has an interesting post about spending several weeks at clown school. This bit in particular struck me as suggesting an illuminating exercise: Here’s the thing about clowning: it is all about staying open to the moment and thinking on your feet. We are playing improv games and working in slapstick […]

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Tags: Sociology

More Punishment, More Crime

July 20th, 2009 · 9 Comments

Ezra notes the forthcoming release of Mark Kleiman’s intriguing book When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment.  It cuts against our retributionist instincts, but holds out the promise of achieving crime reduction while also having less recourse to prison. Having heard Kleiman talk about his thesis—and the empirical work behind […]

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Tags: Law · Sociology

Infinite Lemniscates

July 20th, 2009 · No Comments

I exhume (or imagine?) a few more in the filmography of James O. Incandenza.

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Tags: Language and Literature

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Moriarty London wgah’nagl fhtagn

July 20th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Remember this theme music? If, like me, you spent many an evening in your childhood glued to PBS Mystery‘s broadcasts of the fantastic old Granada Sherlock Holmes adventures starring the inimitable Jeremy Brett, it triggers a sort of Pavlovian surge of anticipation and endorphin release. I’d half forgotten I had the full run in my […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Language and Literature

No Swearing On 911

July 18th, 2009 · No Comments

This story’s at least a year old, but since I only just saw it, I figure it’s worth reposting. The officer responsible appears to have gotten off with a slap on the wrist, as usual:

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Tags: Nannyism · Stupid Shit

Standing Pat

July 17th, 2009 · 29 Comments

Disturbing as I find it to defend Pat Buchanan in any dispute about race, one aspect of the argument Rachel Maddow makes in this much-blogged-about exchange seems rather odd to me.  She challenges Buchanan to explain why 108 of 110 Supreme Court justices have been white, arguing that this suggests minority candidates have been unfairly […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law · Sociology

College vs. Babies

July 16th, 2009 · 11 Comments

Conor Friedersdorf finds serial plagiarist Ben Domenech stroking his chin over the pernicious collapse of values that’s causing moderns to delay marriage and reproduction. But sometimes, two charts are worth a thousand words of wankery. 8 Health > Total fertility rate 1 1 Education > Average years of schooling of adults 12 26 People > […]

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Tags: Academia · Economics · Sociology

Literary Lemniscates

July 15th, 2009 · No Comments

In a show of extreme foolhardiness, I’ve got a long, rambling post over on A Supposedly Fun Blog about the narrative structure of Infinite Jest. The foolhardy part is that I’m basing my theory on the first 60 pages or so, which means in true blog form, I’m spouting off before I really know what […]

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Tags: Language and Literature

Social Media Burnout

July 15th, 2009 · 9 Comments

I think it’s probably a mistake to extrapolate too much from one kid’s anecdotes about his circle of friends, but researcher danah boyd has also basically found that average teens aren’t leading early adoption of Twitter in the same way that they did with social networking sites. And it strikes me that Twitter is subject […]

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Tags: Sociology · Tech and Tech Policy