So I read this article about the post-election Hillary Clinton in a strange little magazine called New York. Two things in particular attracted my attention. The first is the tiresome idea that everybody who says that it’s time for Hillary to leave public life is a sexist. One would think that the results of the last election would teach people not to substitute analysis with the chant of “racist and sexist.” 

Another thing is that Huma Abedin is still hovering all over Clinton. Which, to me, is mind-boggling. 

The whole article left a nasty aftertaste. 

But I also read a very good piece in the same magazine which suggests that the most promising strategy Democrats could use right now is to pedal the healthcare issue and talk about the horrible AHCA. I believe it’s true that this issue is a winner together with the words “a tax cut for the ultra rich.” This will sound like a very tiny thing, but I tried this line on the neighbor who’s a Trump supporter and it had an effect. 

Need Help! (Book Cover)

OK, folks, I have until tomorrow to select an image for my book’s cover. Here are some images that I’m considering, and I need help choosing. Think crisis literature, liquid capital, fluidity, etc. Of course, you have to imagine the photoswithout the “Istock” logo on them. Please vote in the comments.

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Image 7:


If they all stink, I can keep looking.

The Intellectual Renewal Challenge

Folks, it’s time for a new challenge. We need to refresh ourselves intellectually, get out of a mental rut, and approach the new academic year (or the Fall, for those who are not academics) feeling renewed and prepared to solve problems and find original, unexpected answers to our questions. 

The challenge is based on the principle that intellectual enrichment is impossible without some discomfort. We preach this to our students (or to the whiny folks on faraway campuses who beg for safe spaces and trigger warnings.) Now is the time to practice what we preach. 

WEEK 1. Starting with the basics

This week we will try to introduce some variety into our sleeping arrangements. At least twice this week, try to sleep in a way you normally don’t. Sleep on a different side of the bed, put your head where your feet normally are, sleep in a different room. 

The goal is too see something different when you wake up, force yourself to take a different route to the bathroom if you do get up at night, etc. We are experimenting with geography here, so keep that in mind. 

Welcome to the Challenge!