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Butley

Alan Bates’ performance of a lifetime (and he’s had a few) deliciously embodies Simon Gray’s scathing insider’s perspective into the grim world of humanities academia (already that in 1971). Butley has much in common with Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano insofar as all the action takes place in one day, everything falls apart, and alcohol is part and…

Discovering and Engaging Wagner

Born on this date. It’s worth giving a listen to this curated bunch of podcasts presented under the auspices of the BBC’s “Composer of the Week” series. As the one and only Bernard Williams wrote: “You can have a well-formed, deep relation to Western music while passing Wagner’s works by, finding them boring or not…

The Opium of the Intellectuals [Yet Idiot]

Raymond Aron’s classic freely available here. One of the causes of the popularity of Marxism among educated people was the fact that in its simple form it was very easy; even Sartre noticed that Marxists are lazy. Indeed, they enjoyed having one key to open all doors, one universally applicable explanation for everything, an instrument…

Dear Humanities Profs: We Are the Problem

“Academic politics are so vicious because the stakes are so small” — attributed to Henry Kissinger. Eric Bennett’s scathing assessment of activism masquerading as inquiry. “The IYI [intellectual yet idiot] pathologizes others for doing things he doesn’t understand without ever realizing it is his understanding that may be limited” — Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game. The…

Taleb on EconTalk

Russ Roberts chats with Taleb about his latest book Skin in the Game, my copy due to be in my hands tomorrow.   complexityDecision makingexpertiseintellectual yet idiotNassim Nicholas TalebprobabilityrationalityReligionRiskRuss Robertsskin in the game

The patriarchy of space exploration

Jerry Coyne takes on this POMO tripe: it’s become noticeable that the latest unexamined POMO buzzword to be added to the IYI lexicon in addition to the baseline “ghost in the machine” catchall (“patriarchy”) — is now “colonization”. Do I really have to enact the emotional labor of deconstructing this rant from a very privileged young…

Who Rules in Science?

It’s the IYIs (technically speaking “bureaucrapic fuckwits”) who are deeming what is and what is not bona fide scientific knowledge — the decision handed down is seemingly an instance of an ignoratio elenchi. Some of the toughest-minded criticism of this generalized line of wooly thinking has surprisingly emanated from Canada in the form of James Robert Brown and André…