Articles of Lunch

1.23.07
national archives sell out, at if:book.

This should indeed set off alarm bells, not just for historians, but for everyone. The people we elect to represent us are priviaizing public content. Not good.

12.11.06
They Live like Aristocrats. Now They Think like Them. by Marina Hyde

“Rock stars, who sold themselves as anti-establishment, would too often have us anoint them the new feudal squires.”

12.6.06
do bloggers dream of electrifying text? by Sebastian Mary.

“And then came the Internet. All of a sudden, writing is infinitely reproducible. Anyone who wants to write can self-publish. There are tools for real-time collaborative writing. And yet the popular conception of who or what an Author is still very much alive, in the popular mind at least. The publishing industry, meanwhile, has responded to the threat posed by the Net by consolidating, automating, and producing only books guaranteed to sell millions.”

12.1.06
The Social Responsibility in Teaching Sociobiology, by David P. Barash. Oh, man, I love evolution and atheism. I recently read something on the aggresive “new atheism” being waved in our faces by the likes of Richard Dawkins. Now this. I’m not even sure where to begin, honestly. When will atheists and evolutionists alike realize that they are simply the clergy of a “new” religion? Or, rather, yet another twist on the Truth.

“[T]he individual- and gene-centered view of life offers, in a sense, a perspective that is profoundly selfish”, and “The basic idea has been so productive that it has rapidly become dogma: Living things compete with each other… in a never-ending process of differential reproduction, using their bodies as vehicles, or tools, for achieving success.

I’m sorry, profoundly selfish? Dogma? Now, I understand that I am looking at this through a very particular lens, but does no one else see original sin and religious law in this? To quote Will Ferrell (in Zoolander): “Doesn’t anybody notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

11.9.06
A War Against Boys? by Michael Kimmel. Not the best article I’ve posted, and I don’t really know enough psychology or sociology to adequately asses its merit, but the whole article is worth reading for sentences like these (both heavily sarcastic, in context)
“The American university is now a ‘fluffy pink playpen of feminist studies and agitprop ‘herstory,’ taught amid a green goo of eco-motherism . . .’

“Feminist women not only promoted girls at the expense of boys, but they kicked dad out of the house and left boys wallowing in an anomic genderless soup.”

11.7.06
The Myth of the Rational Voter, by Bryan Caplan. I won’t have time to read this entire article today, but I’ve made it about a third of the way so far, and it is refreshing, to say the least.

“Regardless of what is going on in politicians’ hearts and minds, though, we can expect democracy to listen to the average voter, even when he is wrong. The empirical evidence indicates that he often is.”

and, a bonus “article”:

An Open Letter on Immigration, at The Independent Institute. No quotes, just read it.

11.6.06
Neo Culpa, by David Rose.

“According to Perle, who left the Defense Policy Board in 2004, this unfolding catastrophe has a central cause: devastating dysfunction within the administration of President George W. Bush.”

“Adelman believes that neoconservatism itself—what he defines as ‘the idea of a tough foreign policy on behalf of morality, the idea of using our power for moral good in the world’—is dead, at least for a generation.

[Quoting David Frum] “I always believed as a speechwriter that if you could persuade the president to commit himself to certain words, he would feel himself committed to the ideas that underlay those words. And the big shock to me has been that although the president said the words, he just did not absorb the ideas. And that is the root of, maybe, everything.”

10.10.06
A Comment String, over at if:book. I’m not even going to quote anything. Just read the whole thing. It’s short enough, I promise. Brilliant, too. As Bob says, it’s “deliciously thinky” (O.K., maybe one quote…).

10.3.06
Biology and Geometry Collide! by Michael C. LaBarbara. I’m never going to read this entire article, and you won’t either. Still, a quick skimming-through will yield some laughs, plus some amusing factoids.

“The protagonist in Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman (1958) is only half the size of the Amazing Colossal Man, but she also pushes the skeletal safety factor beyond reasonable limits.”

10.2.06 (it has been a while, I know…)
Creating Hardworking Idiots. Now, this isn’t quite up to the usual level of the articles I post, but it fit my general mood for the day, so deal.

“…why so many people cherish dreams of getting out of the corporate rat race.”

9.16.06
Ray of Hope, by Justin Doom (at SI.com). Not a workday, I know, but this is a story that really tugs at my heartsrings, for whatever reason.

“Ahh, the sweet smell of bureaucracy.”

9.13.06
The Quiet American, by Gaby Wood. Seriously, just when I think I’m reading a magazine not many people read… I guess it’s true:

“‘Everyone has a cartoon of themselves.'”

and,

Food Fight, by Ben McGrath. Here’s one on the lighter side of things.

“Chefs, perhaps, cannot afford eggs to throw under a Republican.”

9.12.06
what’s important to save, courtesy if:book. again, not so much an article, but this made two insaenly good posts over at the institute today, so i just had to point it out to my (two) readers.

“Google’s digitization efforts focus entirely on codex books… but the invaluable materials that might be called “print-based” ephemera — pamphlets, marketing materials, off-beat journals, zines etc. — will be absent in the future.”

9.11.06
Bridget Cross interviews Ryan Murphy: not an article, I know, but it’s an amazing interview with a poet i discovered 20 minutes ago. And do be sure to read some of his poetry here.

9.8.06
a duopoly of Reuters-AP“: illusions of diversity in online news, courtesy if:book

This is exactly why I love if:book.

9.7.06
The Risk Pool, by Malcom Gladwell

“Here, surely, is the absurdity of a system in which individual employers are responsible for providing their own employee benefits. It penalizes companies for doing what they ought to do.”

UPDATE: an extra article today! hooray! see it here.

7.25.06
The Drosophila of Cognitive Science (this will be the only linked-to post – all future articles will be added directly to this page)

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