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« Philip Bess on Chesterton | Main | Multiculturalism Linkage »

May 18, 2007


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Thanks to the Patriarch for pointing out this amazing Flickr photoset. Eloquent images, accompanied by commentary that's as dense and emotion-laden as any memoir or novel.

* Jay Manifold reads Bryan Sykes' book about Britain's genetic heritage, "Saxons, Vikings, and Celts." A lot of well-summarized info, as well as many interesting comments from Lex, Shannon, and da boyz.

* Here's one kickass cello hoedown.

* Alias Clio attempts a taxonomy of bad-boy types: here, here, here, and (UPDATED -- Clio has got bad boys on the brain) here.

* Michael Bierut's mom accuses him of being a font slut. Michael also points out an irresistable collection of Alvin Lustig bookjacket designs for New Directions.

* Thursday connects the dots between G.K. Chesterton, literary criticism, and western monotheism.

* Hong Kong resident Mr. Tall wonders about his environmental footprint, discovers Jane Jacobs, and tries to figure out why crowded Hong Kong works as well as it does.

* Mr. Tall also links to a priceless Guardian guide to Britain's most hated buildings. Funnily enough, not a single one of them is in a traditional style.

* How on earth did they achieve this effect? I suspect digital trickery. And, hey, that Kylie sure is a cutie, isn't she? (Link thanks to Charlton Griffin.)

* Lester Hunt is one philosopher who shows no fear of the Big Questions yet who also keeps his feet on the ground. Here he wonders about his feelings before nature: Are they religious? If not, why not? Here he ventures a lovely theory: "Nature can seem to have the sort of 'meaning' that a face has."

* Chris Dillow's list of reasons why you should buy his new book is one of the funniest sales pitches I can remember.

* Colleen recalls meeting Nancy Reagan's mother.

* Tyler Cowen asks which novels might be helpful in teaching economics. What to make of the fact that many commenters volunteered the titles of sci-fi novels?

* Tim Worstall wonders mischievously: If the original copies the copiers, is it still art?

* Alice Bachini writes in praise of "in-sourcing."

* Prof. Bainbridge volunteers a refreshing list of qualities he'd like to see our next President have.

* Glenn Abel celebrates the great movie tradition of the madcap heiress.

* S.Y. Affolee muses about Asian women, depression, and suicide.

* The Econophysics Blog calls Nassim Taleb's new book about improbability "The Black Swan" "the most important book in social science since Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations." Here's Taleb's homepage. (Links thanks to Dave Lull.)



posted by Michael at May 18, 2007


Has there been any important book in social science since Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations"? As distinct from important footnotes.

Posted by: dearieme on May 18, 2007 8:13 AM

When the government was wasting our money celebrating the millenium, someone pointed out that much more happiness would result if the same sum were spent demolishing Britain's most hated buildings. My list would include the St James Centre in Edinburgh: a horrible blemish on a wonderful city.

Posted by: dearieme on May 18, 2007 8:16 AM

Dude, it's totally unfair that you not only write great posts, but you have awesome linkage posts too.

Posted by: yahmdallah on May 18, 2007 10:13 AM

For anyone who's interested, I added another bad boy post to the collection this morning.

Thanks for the links.

Posted by: alias clio on May 18, 2007 10:55 AM

Novels helpful in teaching economics? Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South is one that comes to mind.

North and South is the story of a young woman from the rural south of England, in which poor tenant farmers and land workers were patronized with soup and medicine by lady bountiful squires' wives, but never paid enough to make a decent living. She moves to the North (Yorkshire, I think), the land of mills and millworkers who are much better paid than landworkers, but who starve to death when business is slow.

Gaskell makes it clear that neither situation is desirable, without being certain of what to do about it. I think it's valuable - and used to recommend it to students when teaching 19th century history - because it's readable as a novel but does a good job of illustrating the painful transition from a farming to an industrial economy.

Posted by: alias clio on May 18, 2007 4:39 PM

Holy moly! That Kylie/michel gondry piece is great! Here's another one by Chemical Brothers, with similar effects. Alas, I see that Gondry has made some of my favorite music vids, the schizophrenic Human Behavior and the nutty Daft Punk song, Around the world . (That Daft Punk video brings back memories; I used to give visiting lectures about multimedia and American music and music videos. I used the Daft Punk song as a good example as a purely formal dance number (in a Busby Berkely sense).

Your youtube page url gave a link to Gondry talking about how the Kylie video was made. All interesting, but it took away the magic of it.

Posted by: Robert Nagle on May 20, 2007 3:57 AM

dearieme: Yes. Leopold Kohr's The Breakdown of Nations.

Posted by: Hal O'Brien on May 20, 2007 5:37 PM

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