Monthly Archives: July 2009

private opinion polls

These results from the latest New York Times survey are supposed to be evidence that “the public continues to be ill-informed and hypocritical.” People want lower taxes, no spending cuts, and a smaller deficit. It’s like the citizen who was … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation, populism | Leave a comment

reforming the humanities

Last week, I submitted the copy-edited version of my next book for layout and production. It is entitled Reforming the Humanities: Literature and Ethics from Dante Through Modern Times, and it will be published by Palgrave Macmillan this year. The … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | Leave a comment

tactics, wonkery, values

Back in 2004, I wrote a long post on this blog, arguing that the problem for the left was not bad tactics, nor a lack of resources, but a lack of positive vision. This was part of the argument: In … Continue reading

Posted in revitalizing the left | Leave a comment

deliberation and the California budget mess

A concrete proposal for a deliberative public forum made it to today’s Times op-ed page. Chris Elmendorf and Ethan J. Leib call for a “citizens assembly” that would meet when the legislature deadlocks on a budget. The California legislature needs … Continue reading

Posted in deliberation | Leave a comment

starfish stories

(Madison, WI) The original starfish story, very popular among proponents of service: Once a man was walking along a beach. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day. Off in the distance he could see a person going … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

assessing the Obama civic agenda after 6 months

We had a panel discussion today at the Tisch College of Citizenship that was taped by C-SPAN for broadcast sometime in August. Our “text” was then-candidate Barack Obama’s statement in 2007: “I will ask for your service and your active … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the civic renewal movement (4)

In 2005, I wrote three consecutive posts that later became a published article: The Civic Renewal Movement (1) listed the main types of work that are happening under the heading of “civic renewal,” from deliberative democracy to the defense of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Congress is too small

The size of the US House of Representatives is set by an ordinary law; it’s not a Constitutional matter. The number of Representatives has remained at 435 since 1910, even as the population of the US has tripled. The bigger … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bent Flyvbjerg

My latest enthusiasm–also a subject of discussion in our Summer Institute today–is the Danish professor Bent Flyvbjerg. His slogan is “social science as phronesis.” The Greek word ???????? means “practical wisdom,” prudence, or wise practical thought. It is always about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

the irony of Marc Chagall

Marc Chagall was not a major artist, in my opinion. He was a decorative illustrator who developed a distinctive and memorable overall style without producing any particularly memorable works. As Richard Dorment wrote recently in the New York Review, we … Continue reading

Posted in fine arts | Leave a comment