Sunday, April 20, 2008

Big Roundup of Links

Busy weekend! Almost no time for blogging. Here are a bunch of articles and other links that have piqued my interest lately:
  • Jonathan Chait on conservatives' political correctness:
    Bill O'Reilly's or Tim Russert's endless invocations of their working-class backgrounds are the equivalent of the campus activist who introduces every opinion by saying "As a woman of color . . . ."
  • Similarly, Paul Waldman writes on big media figures' desperate grasps at working-class credibility in "How Blue is Your Collar?"
    [quoting Michael Kinsley]...it's the only kind of snobbery with any real power in America today: reverse snobbery.
  • April is National Poetry Month. At poets.org, you can sign up to get a new poem in your mailbox every day for the rest of the month.
  • Here is an interesting blog on science denialism.
  • A couple weeks ago Ilya Somin made his case that Warren Harding wasn't as bad as he's generally thought to be. Meanwhile, Wikipedia has a pretty good roundup of various surveys of historians and the public as to the presidents' relative merit.
  • A site called The Fielding Bible has announced its awards for the best and worst fielders at each position in Major League Baseball. Read up on their interesting quantified "plus/minus" system of evaluating fielders.
  • Drake Bennett writes some interesting thoughts on how we may want to re-think some of our basic economic assumptions to explain how poverty influences behavior, comparing severe poverty to being stung by a swarm of bees.
  • On a site called 2 Blowhards, architects are criticized for still clinging to bad, soul-sucking, modernist "Towers in the Park" planning that was discredited back in the 1960s by Jane Jacobs.
  • Leonard Pitts, Jr. notes the absurdity of the "Obama is only successful because he's black" idea.

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