Monthly Archives: March 2010

bringing loyalty back

I understand “citizens” as members of communities (of any size) who take responsibility for building and improving those communities, along with the other members. In his short, classic book entitled Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, Albert Hirschman argued that we have … Continue reading

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10 books that I would like to say influenced me

Various bloggers are listing the top 10 books that have influenced them. Some of these lists look pretty pretentious. I would be the first to admit that the books that have really influenced me are a miscellaneous bunch, starting with … Continue reading

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guard dogs, human sleep, and the origins of culture

The fossil record shows evidence of domesticated dogs at least 31,000 years ago; the first date of domestication is unknown. Believers in the Great Leap Forward assert that human beings made rapid cultural progress starting about 50,000 years ago, when … Continue reading

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state, market, and original sin

Imagine that the pure and original human condition is freedom from all political constraint; and when governments intervene, they introduce arbitrary and illegitimate power. Then the market is Eden and the government is original sin. In that case, anyone who … Continue reading

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on Minnesota Public Radio

From 9 to 10 am Central Time today, I’ll be on Minnesota Public Radio’s show called Midmorning with Kerri Miller. It’s a call-in show, so call in. My fellow guest will be Morley Winograd, co-author of Millenial Makeover: MySpace, YouTube, … Continue reading

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debating Bleak House

Steven Maloney has a thoughtful post about moral issues in Dickens’ Bleak House. He cites two of my posts on the same subject, so this is a bit of a back-and-forth. I would summarize my thoughts about the novel as … Continue reading

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the press turns to explanation, after the decision is made

“American consumers, who spent a year watching Congress scratch and claw over sweeping health care legislation, can now try to figure out what the overhaul would mean for them.” — Tara Siegel Bernard, today’s New York Times. Actually, the news … Continue reading

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the changing politics of flagrant rights-violations

Senators John McCain and Joseph Lieberman recently introduced the “Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2011” (PDF). This legislation would allow the executive branch to name any person (citizen or non-citizen, whether in the US or overseas) as … Continue reading

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what is a university?

I’m taking a training course for managers at Tufts, in which I learn techniques for assessing staff performance, mentoring, and so on. The idea is that Tufts University is a single entity that succeeds or fails as a whole. The … Continue reading

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public deliberation news

In lieu of a substantive post on this busy day, some links about public deliberation … A new CIRCLE study finds that reorganizing a high school to encourage daily meetings about school policy boosted voluntary service. … The deliberative democracy … Continue reading

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