Where do you search?

by Eszter Hargittai on October 3, 2003

This post is about academic literature searches in particular. (I could write a whole dissertation about Web search in general.. wait.. I did.:)

In an attempt to consolidate advice for students about academic literature searches, a grad school peer of mine posted a helpful page of resources for tracking down literature of interest on various sociological topics. This made me wonder: what are people’s favorite resources for academic literature searches? It also relates to the discussion about bundling e-journals started by Chris the other day.

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Abstract sex and viral trading

by Chris Bertram on October 3, 2003

Via the British philosophers listserv comes notice of a “Capitalism and Philosophy Lab” on the theme of “Libidinal Economics”. The programme is as follows:

bq. Mark Fisher will discuss Baudrillard’s “Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign”.
Nick Midgely will discuss Klossowski’s “Living Currency”
Luciana Parisi will discuss abstract sex and viral trading.

Commenters are invited to speculate (or even to write authoritatively) on the possible content of the third paper.

Humourless political philosophers?

by Chris Bertram on October 3, 2003

A Guardian “profile of Al Franken”:http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1054951,00.html , comedian author of “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0525947647/junius-20 has this

bq. “Well, probably the people taken most seriously down the ages have not been satirists,” Franken concedes. “Marx – there wasn’t much funny in Marx, I don’t think. John Stuart Mill? Not a laugh. Hobbes? Humourless.

False, false, false, I’d say. (Actually, come to think of it false, true, false – though if anyone _can_ find an intentionally funny passage in Mill, I’ll take that back.) Marx’s humour is mainly of the dry and sarcastic kind. His wit and erudition saturates just about every page of Capital – A good example would be the end of vol. 1, ch. 6 on “The sale and purchase of labour power” (but as Glenn Reynolds likes to say say — “read the whole thing”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140445684/junius-20 ). As for Hobbes, I’d recommend the side-splitting final pages of “Leviathan”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140431950/junius-20 ch. XLVII, “Of the BENEFIT that proceedeth from such Darknesse, and to whom it accreweth” where Hobbes compares the church of Rome to the Kingdome of Fairies.

Turning that frown upside down since 2002

by Ted on October 3, 2003

I agree with Daniel Drezner that scandal-blogging is exhausting. So here are some happy thoughts:

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What was Leo Strauss up to?

by Henry Farrell on October 3, 2003

… ask Steven Lenzner and William Kristol in a recent “Public Interest”:http://www.thepublicinterest.com/current/article1.html puff-piece. It’s a good question, even if it begs a rude answer. Which Lenzner and Kristol don’t provide, of course; according to them, Strauss revived the Western tradition of reading and philosophizing, more or less single-handed. They describe Strauss’s style of close reading as focusing on how classical authors employ

bq. various types of meaningful silences, intentional ambiguity, dissimulation, the significance of centrally placed speeches, inexact repetitions of earlier statements, use or non-use of the first person singular, concealment of a work’s plan, and so forth.

All of which is legitimate, sez Strauss, because the Great Writers chose their words precisely and exactly, using ellipses and rhetorical evasions to convey hidden secrets to the wise, while concealing them from the rude and undiscriminating gaze of the grubbing multitudes. In short, the ancients were writing with a particular reader in mind, and that reader was Leo Strauss.

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Go West

by Brian on October 3, 2003

Brad DeLong quotes Stephen Cohen on California’s Uttermost Westerness.

Everybody knows that you can’t go west from California. There is no place wester. If we go from California to New York, we go Back East. If we go from California to Tokyo, we go to the Far East. We cannot go west. There is no way to do it.

But Tokyo isn’t the only place you can fly from California. When I’m flying from LA or SF to Sydney I certainly feel like I’m going west, not to the East. I suppose if you really want to feel like you’re on the western edge of things, you’d not only fly to Sydney but keep on going to Perth. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone whose identity was as bound up with being Western as Western Australians.