Tuesday, 2 November 2010
¶ At The New Yorker Online, Eric Osnos posts a bracing Letter from China: what we look like to the Chinese as we thrash through the midterms. Actually, it makes more sense to us than anything we’ve heard here.
¶ Via Arts Journal, a couple of pieces about classical orchestras that, taken together, show us where we’re going (compact, traveling jazz-like bands) and what we’ve left behind (city-centered behemoths).
¶ At 3 Quarks Daily, Nick Werle explains the preference for fiscal austerity or Keynesian stimulus in terms of Foucault’s distinction between discipline and security. And he’s perfectly lucid, too, so once you’ve finished throwing up your hands, give his page a read.
¶ A study of the bluffing brain, reported simply at the Times, a bit more richly at Not Exactly Rocket Science. Are you a strategic deceiver? If so, there are three parts of your brain that will give you away to a mind-reader.
¶ We love Ted Wilson — or whoever it is who writes under his name for The Rumpus; he is a breath of fresh air on the Internet, because you don’t have to wonder if he’s out of his mind. He is out of his mind. And yet he is much too funny to be suffering from actual dementia. His gift for dropping deadpan bombs reminds us of Robert Benchly; perhaps Ted Wilson has tacked down a Mergenthaler Laugh Detector!
¶ The always-provocative Bob Cringely has a theory about India and China. It’s crazy, but so crazy that we’re inclined to agree.
¶ We almost forgot! Cathleen Schine wrote a terrific review of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad in the NYRB. It works especially well as an appreciation of the book, to savor after it has been read
¶ We don’t want to carp, but there is something a trifle disingenuous about Cornell University president David Skorton’s plea for humanities funding. Forgetful, anyway. Swamped by “theory” and other deconstructive programs, the liberal arts curriculum has tended more to undermine civility, in the past thirty-odd years, than to bolster it. (Inside Higher Ed; via Arts Journal)
¶ Edward James, rememberd at Mondoblogo. (Note: Monkton is a Lutyens house.)
¶ The John Evelyn Institute of Arboreal Science. (BLDGBLOG)