Author Archives: Timothy Burke

Trump As Desecration

I still regret to some extent that at the beginning of Swarthmore College’s Aydelotte Foundation (before it received its current name) we decided that a good initial test of the ability to have conversations across and within disciplines was best … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 14 Comments

Helpful Hints for Skeptics

I suppose I knew in some way that there were people whose primary self-identification was “skeptic”, and even that there were people who saw themselves as part of the “skeptic community”. But it’s been interesting to encounter the kinds of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Generalist's Work, Oath for Experts | 5 Comments

Some Work Is Hard

Dear friends, have you ever felt after reading an academic article that annoyed you, hearing a scholarly talk that seemed like nonsense to you, enduring a grant proposal that seemed like a waste of money to you, that you’d like … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts | 26 Comments

There’s No Hope For Him Now, Travis

We are at the moment. Oh, it might take a few more crises and outrages, but the institutions of established political power in Washington–and in the interstate systems that bind Washington to the world–have arrived at their reckoning with Trump. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

No One Is Available To Take Your Call

So let’s think about it this way. In a democratic society (which we increasingly are not), should an electorate be allowed to choose a sleazy, corrupt, volatile, sexually abusive, contemptuous-of-duty, lying, incompetent scumbag if the candidate embraces all of that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 8 Comments

Legitimate Versions of Bret Stephens’ Column

There’s really two things that tipped me into cancellation, actually. One is Liz Spayd, the Public Editor of the New York Times, implying that it’s only rigid leftists who were upset with the hiring of Stephens, and that we weren’t … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany, Politics | 25 Comments

Good-Bye New York Times

The letter my wife and I sent to the New York Times this morning after we cancelled our very long-term subscription. ———————— Dear Mr. Dean Baquet, Ms. Liz Spayd, Mr. James Bennet: We have been reading the New York Times … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany, Politics | 4 Comments

We Have Been Here Before

“Controversial speakers on campus” is one of those stories that generates a kind of perpetual discovery of just-now-imminent threat. That sort of discourse tends to drive historians nuts, because we look back and see that people have been saying something … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics | 5 Comments

Alternate Factions

You know how the pundits (and even some more scholarly political scientists) like to say that third parties in American politics never amount to much, that they get a lot of attention but never win, and all that? I really … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

Home to Roost

Formal argument in the classic style has real limits. Sometimes when we try to rule some sentiment or response in an argument or dialogue as “out of bounds” by classing it as a logical fallacy or as some other form … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Generalist's Work, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 12 Comments