February 2011

On the other side of the water

February 22, 2011

If you are uncertain of what is at stake in Madison as both the rhetoric and power plays ratchet up, cast your eyes eastward across Lake Michigan to the state of the same name. Consider…Detroit. The teachers of Wisconsin who have flocked from throughout throughout the Badger State to roost outside the state house and […]

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The Brawl that made Wisconsin famous

February 18, 2011

The deal is going down in Wisconsin. If you thought the solution or yielding to America’s fiscal problems could be resolved without taking arms against this sea of troubles, think again. Throughout the nation disjoint factions have heard the call and now rush at one another in a tumult similar to that memorably described in […]

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Flathead: Thomas Friedman’s moustache drives an olive-green Lexus

February 17, 2011

I started to call this post “The Unbearable Lightness of Thomas Friedman” but discovered that the NY Times columnist had already been the subject of not one but two articles similarly titled. Likewise a play on the title of Friedman’s most recent lightweight book was also taken (“Hot, Fat, and Clouded”). Friedman has been at […]

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The clothes have no emperor

February 16, 2011

President Obama has run through a little more than half of his term now and has made clear his executive style. Given his resume and including his brief tenure as a guest-time college lecturer, the characteristics of that style should surprise no one. Obama exhorts his listeners, both those allied with him and those aligned […]

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I lost on Jeopardy!, baby

February 15, 2011

The speed with which computers have surpassed the expectations of all but the most visionary science fiction writers has been astounding.  David Levy, both an international master at chess and an early expert on artificial intelligence, famously wagered that in the next ten years–starting in 1968–no computer could win a chess match with him. He […]

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Content is a pawn

February 14, 2011

The ballyhooed sale of the Huffington Post to AOL for $315 million cannot go by without many inferring lessons of great import from it. Before concluding, however, that the sale represents anything serious people should consider seriously–that Arianna Huffington is a shrewd thinker and visionary about the Web, for example, or that the acquisition represents […]

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Affirmative action and the Academy

February 12, 2011

A recent talk by Jonathan Haidt and covered by the New York Times–despite stating what is obvious to anyone familiar with academia and even most of those who are not–has caused a stir in its claims regarding the representation of political ideologies within the professoriate. Although the vast disproportion of Democrats and liberals to Republicans, […]

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Multicultural is an oxymoron

February 11, 2011

Culture as a concept once had a certain monolithic quality to it as its antithesis was barbarism. A cultured person was educated and appreciative of life’s finer pursuits. Deriving from the Latin cultus, its roots are similar to those of cultivate: to till and prepare for growth. Similar to education, culture existed along an axis […]

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Campaigning and elections in the networked century

February 10, 2011

Because the American electoral system has structurally evolved only slightly since its 18th century blueprint, we have contradictory vectors at work in our political system. That is not entirely a bad thing as the Founding Fathers saw virtue in setting political influence against itself, not just in the form of division of power and checks […]

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The slice man cometh

February 9, 2011

The sheer momentum of growth in the federal government causes anyone familiar with history to believe two things about spending, one of which has already proved false, and the second may be about to too. Regardless of who has been in charge, Republican or Democrat, that momentum may have slowed a bit here and there, […]

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