Category Archives: Oh Not Again He’s Going to Tell Us It’s a Complex System

Trumpism and Expertise

The conventional wisdom was that the Cold War ended when the Soviet Union fell and its satellite states became independent once again. I think actually that the Cold War just ended right now in 2016. What is it that has … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | Comments Off on Trumpism and Expertise

The Room Where It Happens

It would be in a way a comfort–and also a terror–to think, “Well, that’s those people, it’s the way they think, we cannot stop them and there is no way to engage them.” It’s true, there is no way to … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics, Swarthmore | 1 Comment

On the Arrival of Rough Beasts

One of the things I find most interesting about the history of advertising is the long-running conflict between the “creatives” and their more quantitative, data-driven opponents within ad agencies. It’s a long-running, widespread opposition between a more humanistic, intuitive, interpretative … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oath for Experts, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 1 Comment

Opt Out

There is a particular kind of left position, a habitus that is sociologically and emotionally local to intellectuals, that amounts in its way to a particular kind of anti-politics machine. It’s a perspective that ends up with its nose pressed … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Information Technology and Information Literacy, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 4 Comments

Inchworm

Over the last decade, I’ve found my institutional work as a faculty member squeezed into a kind of pressure gradient. On one side, our administration has been requesting or requiring more and more data, reporting and procedures that are either … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Defining "Liberal Arts", Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Swarthmore | 5 Comments

Is There a Desert or a Garden Underneath the Kudzu of Nuance?

I like this essay by Kieran Healy a lot, even though I am probably the kind of person who habitually calls for nuance. What this helps me to understand is what I am doing when I make that nearly instinctive … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Generalist's Work, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System | 1 Comment

Hearts and Minds

Much as I disliked Jonathan Haidt’s recent book The Righteous Mind overall, I’m quite interested in many of the basic propositions that this strain of cognitive science and social psychology are proposing about mind, consciousness, agency, responsibility and will. Most … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 7 Comments

The Trouble With Sustainability II: A Dynamic Steady-State?

Have human beings ever built organizations that can sustain projects over very long time spans? Yes. Cathedral-building is a classic example. The joint-stock company, at least in its earliest iterations, is another example that many would cite. Organizations that by … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 10 Comments

The Trouble With Sustainability I: The Clock of the Short Now

More than a week later, I continue to really think about our recent “sustainability charrette” at Swarthmore College led by folks like David Orr, Hunter Lovins, John Fullerton and Nikki Silvestri. At least one of the things I keep thinking … Continue reading

Posted in Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Politics | 9 Comments

Feeling For You

Just about every day, my social media feeds surge at some point with anger at judgmental comments, sometimes specific comments by a public figure, sometimes collections or assemblies of common forms of implied or ‘polite’ judgmental remarks directed at entire … Continue reading

Posted in Miscellany, Oh Not Again He's Going to Tell Us It's a Complex System, Popular Culture | 4 Comments