Friday Link Encyclopedia

How to become an intellectual. Really good. “Attention can be thought of as a long, slow, surprised gaze at whatever it is.” I loved this article.

A great suggestion on how to treat your adult child like an adult. Of course, it only works for parents who see at least something good in their children. Usually, it’s all “I’m such a fantastic parent, so why have I ended up with such horrible children?” OK, don’t mind me, I’m just bitter.

Unsurprisingly, Pope Francis has been really bad for Catholicism. The number of practicing Catholics is plummeting.

Aristos always get whatever their bored Highnesses desire.

Finally, an explanation for the plummeting graduation rates in DC that have been on the news this week. Turns out they are largely owed to ridiculously draconian absence policies.

I was happy to hear that the Obamas occupy second place on the world’s most admired list. But then I saw the rest of the list.

What the UK police is actually doing. I’m still under the impression from that bleaker than bleak novel about police force cuts in the UK, so this story sounded downright shambolic.

This is why home insurance rates are going up up up. And people say I’m exaggerating the danger.

It’s all good to exalt capitalism until it bites you in the ass. Fair warning: this is the Laura Ingraham story that American readers know by heart. Only read if you are not from here.

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17 thoughts on “Friday Link Encyclopedia”

  1. Lot of buzz around James Comey’s book. If you had information vital to the nation’s interest, would you divulge it immediately, or would you wait an year to write a book and plan a speaking tour around it?

    This is what passes for honorable these days.

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    1. He’s a disgusting little twerp. First, he handed Trump the election and now he want to make a quick buck out of it. It was in his power to prevent all this and he didn’t. Fuck him.

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  2. Regarding Reed College link, I was amused by students who decry “whiteness” and “Eurocentrizm” of studying texts from the Mediterranean countries, such as Iraq, Iran and Egypt, while defining today’s Arabs and/or Muslims as not white at the same time. Were I a student, I would’ve chosen the old version of the course since the new one seems to me more currently American, more restricted in time and place for political reasons.

    Some comments expressed the view that:

    // As a parent I don’t pay to send my child to college for them to learn to shut up, sit still and bow uncritically to authority. I may not agree with everything they’re doing but I see these students as very engaged with their education (the charge that they don’t care about it can’t be leveled here). I also see them engaging in leadership, working as a group, organizing, public speaking, etc. in their campaign. These are good things and the kind of ‘higher order’ skills I think colleges are, or should be, for. //

    // I was happy to hear that the Obamas occupy second place on the world’s most admired list. But then I saw the rest of the list.

    🙂

    Have you seen that Benjamin Netanyahu is “10th on the list of Americans’ top 20 most admired men produced by YouGov, an online survey company based in Britain.

    He follows the Dalai Lama at 9th place, Donald Trump at 8th, Stephen Hawking at 4th, Pope Francist at 2nd and Barack Obama at 1st place among Americans.

    The most admired American Jew is Vermont Sen. (and Democratic presidential contender) Bernie Sanders at 6th place, followed by 16th-placed Jon Stewart.”

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/netanyahu-is-10th-most-admired-man-in-america-online-poll/

    I wanted to see whom Israeli Jews admire, but couldn’t find it. The survey probably didn’t include us. 😦

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    1. That’s what the Iranian professor who was teaching one of the sessions tried to explain to the little buggers. But they don’t care about any of this. They want to humiliate the help. And of course their parents are very happy. This is exactly what they want: to preserve their class status as American aristocracy. And the brown immigrant professors (one is Hispanic and one Iranian) should shut the fuck up and bow down.

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  3. \ what they want: to preserve their class status as American aristocracy. And the brown immigrant professors (one is Hispanic and one Iranian) should shut the fuck up and bow down.

    This made me think of the connection between certain professions becoming less respected with the massive entrance of women and the position of professors with the massive entrance of women and especially immigrants of both genders.

    \ How to become an intellectual. Really good. “Attention can be thought of as a long, slow, surprised gaze at whatever it is.” I loved this article.

    I disagreed with “the penury, obscurity, and unhappiness likely to follow from” joining an intellectual vocation, unless he defines “penury” as earning less than a bank manager . University professors earn more than most other middle class workers.

    I also disagree with presenting joining the academy as unnecessary. Very few people will be able to follow Faulkner’s example and write between midnight and 4 a.m. while working a usual 40+ hours job, taking care of children and so on. I know I can’t think when I am tired after a long day at work.

    Also, academy gives one opportunities to present results. How many non-academics publish articles in academic journals in your field? Have you seen any?

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    1. If academic jobs became less respected, these people wouldn’t fight so hard to police their borders. It’s the other way round. They want to keep these jobs for themselves,for their kids. You can’t keep out uppity newcomers by any other way than creating complex and incomprehensible speech codes that only the very leisurely and rich have the time to study.

      There are no battles around the speech codes of roofers and gardeners, right? That’s because Reedies don’t want their jobs.

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    2. As for intellectual life, I know so many academics who do not lead the life of the mind,tenured professors who don’t read a single new book a year. And I also know many people outside of academia who are intellectuals of the first order.

      As for penury, please remember that for an American not being able to afford a 3-car garage and having to resign oneself to a two-car one is evidence of extreme hardship and world’s basic unfairness.

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  4. My working hypothesis on the current UK police situation. In the Fluid State (better name than the Market State I think) police energies are redirected from addressing crime to simply keeping public peace between different interests groups (ethno-racial, religious and even ideological) so you don’t need many (because they’re not supposed to be investigating crimes and finding guilty parties and imprisoning them) just enough to run down people saying the wrong things in public or making unnecessary work for them (by stabbing a burglar rather than just letting them take some stuff and leave which will cause no work for them).

    I’m willing to modify that if conflicting evidence turns up (I won’t hold my breath though).

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    1. This is in regards to recent news story? Prison population per capita has been increasing in the UK, and the composition of that population hasn’t seen any major changes. Levels of recorded property crime (yeah yeah, I know, lies and damned lies) have also been falling, which wouldn’t be the case if it was a matter of policy or ideology to consistently let these cases go.

      And there’s call to name me naïve in regards to an institution’s capacity of falsifying data when it suits its agenda, but here’s right back at you. What kind of properly cynical analysis presumes that an institution shifted from a state of performing its ethically proper functions to a corrupted state where those functions are warped? Where did you get that initial clean slate from?

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      1. It’s either true or not true that police force was dramatically cut throughout the country, resulting in a massive closure of police stations. If it is true, then expending scarce police resources on interrogating under caution a boring suburban mom who sent out some tweets can only lend itself to one explanation. And that’s the one Cliff is giving.

        It’s one thing when a police force has been massively expanded and engages in this extra policing to construct a more robust police state. But when it’s done while the police force is being dramatically reduced, then what other name can you give it?

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      2. There’s no need to falsify data that you don’t collect. We had a police chief locally decide, and publicly announce, that “property crimes don’t matter, and waste our time” they took away the public’s ability to call after hours about non-emergencies (if people were actively robbing you, it was okay to call 911 to report it) and directed all non emergency callers to the 8-5 “front desk” line, which actually went to an endlessly looping phone tree. And hey, reports of property crime dropped like a rock! Our local police force is also per capita one of the most highly staffed in our region.

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        1. “There’s no need to falsify data that you don’t collect. We had a police chief locally decide, and publicly announce, that “property crimes don’t matter, and waste our time” they took away the public’s ability to call after hours about non-emergencies (if people were actively robbing you, it was okay to call 911 to report it) and directed all non emergency callers to the 8-5 “front desk” line, which actually went to an endlessly looping phone tree.”

          • That’s what I’m talking about, yes, this kind of thing. And I’m still hoping it’s not true because it’s just so unbelievable. Fuck austerity.

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          1. “Fuck austerity.”

            I agree with the general sentiment, but I don’t think austerity is the prime motivator but simply the new role in the fluid state (which most people will be too disoriented to notice until it’s too late, as in the UK).

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