October 22, 2005

Destroy All Bookmarks!

Recent advances in high-energy physics. (Apropos of the second link, I bought my copy of Streater and Wightman's PCT, Spin & Statistics, and All That at university library booksale, where it was shelved under "politics/current events"; I guess they missed the "T" in "PCT".)

"Pittsburgh Unprepared For Full-Scale Zombie Attack", warns The Onion (via Johnny Logic). Here in Shadyside, we can expect to be attacked by fashionably-dressed yuppie zombies (yombies?), who will serve our freshly-sliced brains in a balsamic reduction, dusted with fennel pollen and accompanied by organic heirloom tomatoes. (I rented Night of the Living Dead shortly after moving here, but found it unwatchably bad.)

The Head Heeb looks at 18th century forensics.

The Abstract Factory turns out "the only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject".

Bill Tozier finds tongues in trees. (I had no idea that maples actually fluoresce.) Also, an astute observation on cell-phone hazards.

Why does Leon Kass say modern women are "car-owning, pill-popping, body-piercing, career-oriented, degree-granted, sexually confident, frequent-flyer, atheistic sluts" like it's a bad thing?

Tim Burke on UNESCO, Department of Bad Ideas.

Larry Bartels on "What's the Matter with What's the Matter with Kansas?" (via Phil Klinkner at PolySigh, who somehow forgot to actually give the link).

Mark Liberman elucidates an important linguistic question: when does "fuzzy" mean "smoothed piecewise linear"?

Michael Bérubé looks forward to the Miers court (as does Brad DeLong), and dares anyone to mess with his reading of Thomas Kuhn. (I like Bérubé's writing, generally, and I hope that I'll get around to posting something about The Employment of English, and how complex systems is like cultural studies. But it does bug me that he seems to care so much more about whether he got Kuhn right than about whether Kuhn got it right, since subsequent work has revealed a lot of problems with Kuhn's scheme as an accurate description of scientific change; see e.g. the papers in Scrutinizing Science.)

I have mixed feelings about stuff like this, since things like this, this and this seem pretty well institutionalized. The fact that the career military (like career academia) is socially quite isolated from the rest of the country, and tends to look down on the people it's pledged to serve, is a long-standing problem. (It's a bit more worrisome in the case of the officer corps than the professoriat.) Under the circumstances, one should be encouraging the decent, sane, capable people who are left in the service to do what they can to redeem its honor, rather than shame them into leaving. Speaking of which: Phil Carter of Intel Dump makes his first post after being deployed to Iraq.

Matthew Yglesias on the intellectuals' war, or rather case for war, and its basic folly. (Includes self-criticism.) Also from MY: why blaming declining benefits for American workers on globalization is bullshit (ObKrugman: Pop Internationalism), and why some form of American social democracy is nearly inevitable. (Brad DeLong points out that however much sense that might make, barbarism is always an alternative.) Relatedly, Nathan Newman points out that the only reason GM's workers are getting reduced health benefits rather than none is that they have a strong union; also that Harriet Miers would benefit from restoring the estate tax.


Posted at October 22, 2005 16:24 | permanent link

Three-Toed Sloth