With my story sitting waiting for more, more, more (it’s like a plant whispering, “Feed me, Harvey!” from the depths of my hard drive), reams of wonderful photos to post to my photoblog, clothes to fold and put away, comments on my blog waiting for responses, and my head groggy from a short but much-needed nap, I sat down with my evening’s dinneran immense bowl of salad, and that is alland set about catching up on all the wonderful articles I’ve missed over at Arts & Letters Daily. I feel the same urge to catch up on missed posts on my RSS feeds, but… well, maybe after my story is finished. But Arts&Letters, well, that’s just different.
Here’s a roundup of interesting things:
- An interesting look at why the French aren’t anywhere near as fat as the rest of us, though they’re the cream, cheese, and wine fiends of the world.
- A good piece on the culture of science and the need for more development of ethics and integrity in research, and a review of Simon Singh’s interesting-sounding Big Bang.
- A fascinating review of several books on World War Iwhich is interesting even if you’re not interested in the war or the books specifically.
- A couple of pieces on consmetic neurology, and yes, you read that correctly. Isn’t the going world wonderfully cyberpunk?
- More news from the senile culture war: avowed Leftists seem unable to change tack, strategy, or even theory, which sadly seems to be aiding the Right Wing against the rest of society, if you ask me.
- News of a religious-based killing in the Netherlands. I wonder what would’ve happened if Rushdhie’d been caught this way, instead of a nasty-mouthed Dutch social critic with a hatred for Islam.
- An analysis of Francis Fukuyama’s criticism of Charles Krauthammer’s thinking, and by translations what we’ve come to consider Neocons in general (original criticism now inaccessible at The National Interest, but reproduced here). A tantalizing excerpt:
The War on Terror is, in other words, a classic counter-insurgency war, except that it is one being played out on a global scale. There are genuine bad guys out there who are much more bitter ideological enemies than the Soviets ever were, but their success depends on the attitudes of the broader populations around them who can be alternatively supportive, hostile or indifferent- depending on how we play our cards. As we are seeing vividly in Iraqi cities like Fallujah and Najaf, counter-insurgency wars are incredibly difficult to fight, because we must somehow destroy the enemy without alienating the broader population and making things worse. Counter-insurgency requires a tricky mixture of precisely targeted force, political judgment and extremely good intelligence: a combination of carrots and sticks.
Ah, Fukuyama. I always find him interesting, even when I’d like to yell at him. But here, I think, he is at least on the right kind of track, perhaps. Well, pointing in the right kind of direction, anyway.
- News of the death of Iris Chang, who pretty much woke up the West to what happened in Nanjing and puts the lie to the American habit of ignoring how nutfuck nasty the Japanese actually were during the Second World War.
- “Crack babies” speak out against the mythology that the press has built around them.
- On strategy in the long term for the Democrats, and how losing to Bush may actually be an aid to the Leftists in America… in the long run.
- A pretty good article on the religious writings of one of my favorite philosophers, Kierkegaard.
- A book review of a work dealing with German witch-hunts in the baroque era, and the psychology that may have been underlying them.
- What’s it like to play a zombie in a B-movie?
- A retrospective on Colin Powell, who’s gonna retire soon.
- Yet another sorta-interesting looking book to add to my “maybe, if I ever see it used in Bangkok or something” list.
Even if my salad ritual helps me achieve my goal of being less “round”, I take comfort in knowing I’ll be more well-rounded than ever if I keep up with Arts & Letters Daily from now on.