Monthly Archives: May 2010

debating civic environmentalism

Yesterday, I helped to lead a kind of seminar for Tufts faculty at TELI, the Tufts Environmental Literacy Institute. We assigned chapter 9 of Mark Sagoff’s Price, Principle, and the Environment, which is entitled “The View from Quincy Library or … Continue reading

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where is the public on climate change?

Our views of our fellow citizens tend to oscillate. If we’re upset about something, we pessimistically assume that most people are stuck on the other side, or else we optimistically want to change their opinions with skillful “communications” and new … Continue reading

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naive and sentimental art

These are two works of European Gothic architecture that epitomize the charm of the middle ages. Bonafatius Bridge, Bruges Chimères on the roof of Notre Dame de Paris The Chimères were made and placed on Notre Dame in the 1800s. … Continue reading

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young voters in Kentucky

Two belated notes about the Kentucky Senate primary from someone who studies youth voting. First, Rand Paul did well among young Republican voters. They were his strongest constituency, backing him by 61%-19%. His second-strongest constituency was the generation of retirement … Continue reading

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three Europes

1. A steep and crooked alley, armspan’s width, cobbled; a tiny car squeezed between walls of stone or stucco that are studded with iron grilles, draping flowerpots, drying towels, and sleeping cats. 2. A soccer field reached by a pedestrian … Continue reading

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Heathrow after a red-eye

Like fat roaches stopped When the kitchen light flicks on Jets on the tarmac Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Tell … Continue reading

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rethinking the humanities

(Lisbon, Portugal) I am here for a conference on the humanities. A major question was whether they are “in crisis”–because of falling budgets and enrollments, or deep epistemological and cultural discontents, or technology and pop culture, or all of the … Continue reading

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in London

I am on a long journey: Boston -> Washington -> Boston -> London -> Lisbon, all within 48 hours. I had a layover at Heathrow that was long enough to allow me a quick trip to Paddington and then back … Continue reading

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Brad Rourke’s PACE paper on the executive branch and civic engagement

(Washington, DC) In March, courtesy of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement (PACE), I was able to meet with White House staff to discuss strategies for public engagement and civic renewal. The meeting was informed by a fine draft paper by … Continue reading

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Zadie Smith, White Teeth

“Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.” Zadie Smith finished her first book, White Teeth, while she was an undergraduate. It’s much more than a prodigy’s tour de force; I think it’s a fine … Continue reading

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