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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from October 2006

I Look Into the Finance Box Just to Check My Status

October 24th, 2006 · 1 Comment

The ineffable Will Wilkinson (except, one supposes, by the nominal “Will Wilkinson,” allowing him to be at least briefly effed) has a fine piece in Aussie mag Policy on the trendy “arms race” attack on status competition. Reader’s of Will’s blog will recognize the basic argument: You can’t trust any schema that treats status as […]

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Tags: Random Cool Link

Songs of Experience

October 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off on Songs of Experience

So, the current spate of articles about Barack Obama’s presidential prospects all seem to make at least a passing reference to how weird it is that a guy whose political experience is a stint in a state legislature and less than one term in the Senate has suddenly become the Great Half-White Hope of the […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics

Bleeding Yourself to Write

October 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off on Bleeding Yourself to Write

I just polished off Chuck Klosterman’sKilling Yourself to Live, which somehow manages to be as good as you’d expect it to be if it were actually about its nominal topic. See, in theory, it’s about the deaths of rock stars, and Klosterman’s trip to the sites thereof, which would (if done right) make for an […]

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Tags: Language and Literature

Why-Oh-Why Can’t We Have a Better Postal Service?

October 23rd, 2006 · Comments Off on Why-Oh-Why Can’t We Have a Better Postal Service?

So, being a huge Halloween geek, I’m often willing to put in more effort than makes any real sense on assembling a costume. This year’s required sending a jacket to a tailor in Baltimore, who made the alterations I needed and sent it back via USPS “Priority Mail” a week ago. Baltimore, for those of […]

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Tags: Personal

Not Lovely, Lovely Ludwig Van!

October 23rd, 2006 · 6 Comments

Matt McIntosh over at Catallarchy serves up a question that I think is supposed to count in favor of psychological egoism: Now say some clever scientist, considering him a danger to society, knocks out our sociopathic subject and plants a small device in his head — call it the Artificial Conscience ââ??¢ — that will […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy

Straight Outta Latveria

October 22nd, 2006 · 2 Comments

Excepting maybe Kanye West, basically all the hip-hop I like is at least a decade old: Fugees, Digable Planets, old Tribe, RZA’s GZA’s Liquid Swords album, that sort of thing. I’ll tap my foot to the odd 50 Cent song if I’m out at a bar, but I’m probably not going to buy it and […]

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Tags: Art & Culture

Quayle v. Brown

October 20th, 2006 · Comments Off on Quayle v. Brown

Lawrence Lessig links to a blog post and

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Tags: Art & Culture

There’s Just Two Kinds of People: Those Who Draw Simplistic Dichotomies, and Those Who Don’t

October 19th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Over in the L.A. Times, Jonah Goldberg gets around to conceding that the Iraq war was a mistake, and goes on to make a sound point, with an illustration that underscores his point nicely—but not in the way he intended: In the dumbed-down debate we’re having, there are only two sides: Pro-war and antiwar. This […]

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Tags: War

Why Can’t Johnny Take a Derivative?

October 19th, 2006 · Comments Off on Why Can’t Johnny Take a Derivative?

John Hood at The Corner cites a recent Brookings report in support of the familiar conclusion that American students are far more confident in their math abilities than students in other countries who do better on average. Indeed, across countries, there seems to be an inverse correlation between average confidence in math ability and average […]

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Tags: Sociology

Curse of the Pink Purger

October 18th, 2006 · 1 Comment

It’s things like this L.A. Times article on social conservatives clamoring for a “pink purge” of gay Republican staffers that make me wary of political outings that folk like John Aravosis seem so keen on, quite apart from my general feeling that people’s private lives shouldn’t be dragged into the public eye just to score […]

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Tags: Sexual Politics