Discipline and puzzle

by Michael Bérubé on March 29, 2007

Late last year, I had <a href=”http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i16/16a00801.htm”>lunch with David Horowitz</a> on the <i>Chronicle of Higher Education</i>’s dime, and this world-historical event was noted on <a href=”https://crookedtimber.org/2006/12/05/horowitz-v-berube/”>this very blog</a>. Alas, not everyone understood what I was trying to do in that little encounter. Moreover, those who did understand my approach, including various CTers, disagreed as to whether I did the right thing. <a href=”https://crookedtimber.org/2006/12/05/horowitz-v-berube/#comment-181414″>Harry</a> thought I pretty much blew it, whereas <a href=”https://crookedtimber.org/2006/12/05/horowitz-v-berube/#comment-181433″>Henry</a> thought I took exactly the right tack. Which is fine, really, because as you’ve already gathered, I seem thoroughly incapable of winning universal assent to stuff I say. I’m tempted to blame this on <i>the very structure of language itself</i>, but much of the time it’s my fault; my tactics misfire, I misgauge the occasion. And sometimes people just disagree with me.

But here’s what I was thinking at the time: OK, I’ve agreed to meet David Horowitz. In this context — the <i>Chronicle</i>, as opposed to <i>Hannity & Colmes</i> — this grants Horowitz, and his complaints about academe, a certain legitimacy. My job, therefore, is to contest that legitimacy, and to model a way of dealing with Horowitz that does not give him what he wants: namely, (1) important concessions or (2) outrage. He feeds on (2), of course, and uses it to power the David Horowitz Freedom Center and Massive Persecution Complex he runs out of Los Angeles; and most of the time, we give it to him by the truckload. Liberal and left academics need to try (3), mockery and dismissal, and thereby demonstrate, as I put it <a href=”http://www.michaelberube.com/index.php/weblog/its_just_lunch/”>on my blog</a>, that when someone tries to blame tuition increases on Cornel West’s speaking fees, that person needs to be ridiculed and given a double minor for unsportsmanlike bullshit.

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Running on empty

by Maria on March 29, 2007

Rather worrying news from Ireland where figures from the last quarter of 2006 show that, as expected, new building is declining, but also that exports dropped by 10% when they’d been expected to rise by more than 2%. [click to continue…]

How long would it take to swim across the Atlantic Ocean?

by Eszter Hargittai on March 29, 2007

Google Maps has the answer for me if I am headed from Stanford to Budapest. The only part left for me to figure out is how much to subtract for driving from California to Massachusetts and then from France to Hungary. Subtracting that from 31 days 14 hours I should have the answer. Alternatively, I can do a search for Boston to Brest, France and calculate it from that although I don’t get why they’re making me reach the coast at Le Havre since that’s quite a bit of extra swimming. Google Maps estimates that trip at about 29 days 5 hours, which makes me wonder how they got 31 days 14 hours for the other trip.

Hmm.. maybe I’ll stick to flying.

(Skip down to direction #33 on the first map or #9 on the second if this is all too cryptic.)


The Sincerest Form of Flottery

by Kieran Healy on March 29, 2007

This is just too funny. John Lott, having had his lawsuit against Steven Levitt and _Freakonomics_ thrown out, has gone and written a knock-off called — I’m not making this up — Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Freaky Theories Don’t. The jacket design is right out of the “David Horowitz playbook”:https://crookedtimber.org/2007/03/22/cover-story/, too.

Presumably it’s blurbed by Mary Rosh. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to the final chapters of my two forthcoming books, Greedonomics: A rogue trader shoots first and Fritonomics: Exploring the hidden side of snack foods.