Monthly Archives: July 2014

Playing the Odds

The idea that higher education makes you a better person in some respect has long been its soft underbelly. The proposition makes most current faculty and administrators uncomfortable, especially at the smaller teaching-centered colleges that are prone to invoke tropes … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Generalist's Work, Swarthmore | 10 Comments

It Is Better to Have Wanted and Lost Than Never to Have Wanted At All

Kickstarter is, not at all on purpose, saying some interesting things about this moment in the history of capitalism and about this moment in terms of the availability of disposable income. About capitalism, I think this: people will give to … Continue reading

Posted in Consumerism, Advertising, Commodities, Politics | 5 Comments

Subtraction Stew

If the greatest trick the Devil ever played was convincing people he didn’t exist, the greatest trick of a certain kind of neoliberalism has been to convince people that in all circumstances and times we live in the shadow of … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Politics, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

King of Pain

As Jackson Lears and many other scholars and observers have noted, many Americans throughout the cultural history of the United States have accepted that the circumstances of life are inevitably determined by luck, that economic life is a matter of … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Miscellany, Politics | 9 Comments

Fighting Words

Days pass, and issues go by, and increasingly by the time I’ve thought something through for myself, the online conversation, if that’s the right word for it, has moved on. One exchange that keeps sticking with me is about the … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Digital Humanities, Generalist's Work | 4 Comments