Monthly Archives: September 2008

Where There Is No Vision

I have very little understanding of the nuts-and-bolts of the current financial crisis. One thing that the media covering the crisis could talk about more clearly (except maybe I think some of them don’t understand this issue and others do … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Physician Heal Thyself

Many academic bloggers responded to various essays in the New York Times magazine devoted to colleges and teaching two Sundays back. I’ve been meaning to get around to this myself, specifically to Mark Edmundson’s essay “Geek Lessons”. Edmundson basically reprises … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 9 Comments

A Man Among Men

Paul Newman is dead at 83. The role I think I loved him in most was as Sully Sullivan in Nobody’s Fool. It was a role that almost anyone else would have screwed up by playing it broadly, making the … Continue reading

Posted in Production of History | 4 Comments

Trade Secret of Teachers

I once had a student who was a prolific (and not proficient) bluffer ask me if I knew when he had no idea what he was talking about. I said, yes, it’s almost always obvious, even when a student is … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

I Can’t Campaign! I’m Too Busy Running For President!

McCain is declining to debate because he’s too busy solving urgent problems, imagining himself as the already-president. This is like Walter Mitty refusing to go to work because he’s too busy doing emergency-room surgery.

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Not Even Wrong

I missed this story when it first appeared, but apparently Rush Limbaugh has been saying that Barack Obama’s father was actually an Arab from “an Arab part of Africa”. Look, why bother with real places at all, if you’re comfortable … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Production of History | 4 Comments

Planned Contraction or Chaotic Retreat?

Even leaving aside the economic news of the last year, I’ve become convinced that all but perhaps four or five American universities with extraordinary wealth have come to the end of a long period of bountiful growth. I’ve muttered the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 16 Comments

Lipstick on a Financial Collapse

Last week, I meant to bring up a column by Megan McArdle. I don’t often make someone else’s blog writing my point of departure, but this post got under my skin enough that I keep coming back to it mentally. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 14 Comments

Chickens Not Counted

I don’t see any reason for enthusiasm about the signing of a Zimbabwean power-sharing agreement. Whether it will be at all meaningful not only remains to be seen, but depends very much on changes that are very much below the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa | 4 Comments

I’m Totally Past Representationalist Work Now

I’ve suggested sometimes that liberal arts professors should have to take a course from one of their colleagues every three or four years. Mostly I like that idea because it is a way to build in a commitment to generalism, … Continue reading

Posted in Academia | 7 Comments