Is there a fire truck gene?

by Eszter Hargittai on November 23, 2007

Thanks to Tina over at the new Scatterplot, I just found a fantastic blog: outside the (toy) box. Here is an excellent post about gender socialization through toys. Plus the author maintains a helpful list of anti-sexist/anti-consumerist children’s books. Additions to that list here or there are welcomed.

The Case Against Perfection

by Harry on November 23, 2007

Until Brian’s posts about cloning, I hadn’t thought much about the various technologies available for choosing how children will turn out, and insofar as I had my instincts were conservative, but my assumptions libertarian. That is, my own reaction to such technologies was that they should not be used, but I didn’t have any real reasons for thinking that, so I assumed that some general presumption in favour of liberty decided in favour of permitting them. My views have changed, or perhaps just solidified, since then, to a point that I am comfortably perfectionist in Raz’s sense and conservative in Cohen’s sense, and by the time I read The Case Against Perfection (UK) I was already predisposed to agree with Michael Sandel’s skepticism. I’ve now used the book in a couple of classes, and it works brilliantly with students; Sandel can be a terrific writer, as he is here, and he covers a lot of ground accessibly. There’s even a chapter offering a theory of the value of sport which may or may not be correct but explains, to my satisfaction, why I find 20-20 so dreary. (This last thing is a bit difficult to explain to students without a 2-hour session explaining how cricket works, lucky things).

[click to continue…]