1)since in my last post I declared the internet connection to be good, it of course crapped out (apparently, caine and I used too much broadband watching videos, so we’re locked out of the internet for 4 days), which is why I’m posting this from Barnes & Noble in Bismarck, and why the post I was going to write will have to wait. Instead, some mostly shallow,
2)I thought the Minot Daily was unreadably conservative and stupid, but the Bismarck Tribune has them beat, by publishing Ross
DoucheDouthat (of “women on birth-control turn me off” and “straight marriage should be special because I like being special” fame) in their Op/Ed section. I’m thinking the only way to sink lower than that is to let O’Keefe or Breitbart write for your paper. Or, you know, turn into the Whirled Nut Daily.
3)I have found my copy of Yes Means Yes, and as soon as I’m done reading Matt Taibbi’s Great Derangement, I’m going to re-read it and take notes. I’m still not entirely sure how to sum up its awesomeness, but I figure writing general evaluations of their sub-themes, plus highlighting their most personally thought-provoking sections will be the way to go here.
4)I’m reading SKEPTIC right now, and one of the articles was about Public Intellectuals, and whether they’re needed, what their use is supposed to be, and whether the Public Intellectual is in decline in the US right now. Fascinating article, especially because it touches on something that I’ve been talking about for a while now: the need for a well educated and voluntarily/happily self-educating populace. The article itself doesn’t really talk about this, but it mentions on the one hand that the role of the Public Intellectual is to do what the average person doesn’t have the resources, education, and time to do (think deep, long, and hard about all sorts of social issues), and on the other the fact that in the US, the quality of the Public Intellectual has suffered, because who becomes a widely known PI is determined by their entertainment value and how well their messages confirm the opinions and biases of the general population, rather than the thoroughness and quality of their argument/presentation. It also mentions that the role of the PI has shrunk to academia, where it used to include artists and other non-academic professions. All of which, as far as I’m concerned, are consequences of the way universities work in the US. for one, as they become more expensive, fewer people go; two, for the same reason, people treat them like paying tuition is buying a degree, thus causing grade inflation and similar loss of quality; three, people treat them like investments in their career, and therefore become Fachidioten with a very narrow education in only the areas they find directly relevant to their future careers. On the other side of this are free(ish) public universities in Europe, where people study “useless” shit for fun, where a larger percentage of the population goes to university, and where in general consider knowing stuff a positive trait. From a directly, purely economic POW, the US model is certainly more profitable, but OTOH it does result in a country full of teabaggers. So yeah, heavily subsidized universities are good for the health of a country, because it produces more, and better quality, Public Intellectuals. Whole populations of public intellectuals, for that matter.
5)So… purely hypothetically… what are the prognoses for Hawaii, in re AGW? Is it still going to be a livable place some 15-25 years from now? For that matter, is much of it still going to exist by then…?