Tag Archives: Hazlitt

The Hedgehog’s Array: March 10, 2016

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Fair Usage,” Elisa Gabbert
“Descriptivism can quickly succumb to its own kind of smugness; it forms its own set of shibboleths and rules.”

“A bookseller’s guide to book thieves,” Emily Rhodes
“Stealing books is not, I think, wholly bad.”

“Everybody Freeze!,” Corey Pein 
“Thanks to all this high-profile backing, a true transhuman miracle has occurred: Alcor, a preposterous operation built on the unethical sale of false hope, remains in business.”

“A Century of Fakers,” Sasha Chapin
“It’s hard to know what to do with the fact that you can buy shoes studded with over four hundred diamonds in a world where hundreds of thousands of people are dying of diarrhea.”

“‘The less I can see, of the world, the more I can focus,” Susie Steiner
“Someone once told me, at great length, how losing his sight would be the absolute worst thing he could imagine. He’s dead now. There really are worse things.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“Between the Hipsters and the Hasids,” Matthew Schmitz
“Starry-eyed longing for a binding community can become yet another way of surrendering to this world. Rather than living and working where we are, we dream of where else we might be.”

“The Counter-Desecration Phrasebook,” Alan Jacobs
“It is language, McFarlane reminds us—as we are constantly reminded by the writers who attend to place—that builds the vital bridge between the mountains out there and the mountains of the mind.”

“What’s Pro-Life About an AR-15?,” James Mumford
“Just because you’re free to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: November 20, 2015

hedgehog array logo_FLAT_72dpi[3]Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Art for All of Us?,” Sarah Ruden
“From my own long observation of fashionable efforts to deal with traumatic memories in post-apartheid South Africa, I have to say that the storytelling-as-therapy premise has got nothing better to recommend it than its convenience.”

“Bloom and Bust,” Phillip Longman
“Inequality, an issue politicians talked about hesitantly, if at all, a decade ago, is now a central focus of candidates in both parties. The terms of the debate, however, are about individuals and classes: the elite versus the middle, the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. That’s fair enough. But the language we currently use to describe inequality doesn’t capture the way it is manifest geographically.”

“Worlds in Waiting: The Promise of Little Magazines,” David Marcus
“In the background to all of this is the question of money.”

“Lucky Jim Bond: Inside Kingsley Amis’s Quietly Subversive 007,” David B. Hobbs
“Now, we tend to think about James Bond as biennial film appointment—another chance to sell explosions and Omega watches to 13-year-old boys, even though today’s Bond fans are typically men over 35. Fair enough. MGM estimates that over half the world has seen a Bond film. But the character was a literary ‘phenomenon’ before Sean Connery sipped his first celluloid martini.”

“Forensic Pseudoscience,” Nathan J. Robinson
“It would be unreasonable to expect any human endeavor to be completely without error, and one might wonder just how systemic the problems of forensic science truly are.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: October 2, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“The Amazing Inner Lives of Animals,” Tim Flannery
“Most of us will never see a wild elephant, much less spend the time observing them that is required to understand them as individuals. But there are animals that share our lives, and whose societies, emotional depth, and intelligence are readily accessible.”

“Behind the Draped Mirror,” Colin Dickey
“The period of mourning is always delicate, temporally speaking. The procession from death to the afterlife is represented in many human cultures as a journey, sometimes including a psychopomp like Anubis or Charon, a ferryman to guide us on our way.”

“Unstable Atoms,” Kerry Clare
“Closer to home, the past itself functions as another kind of otherwhere. From Mary-Rose’s perspective, there seems to be an impassable gulf between then and now, even though the characters are the same people.”

“Thinking with Heidegger: On the Theological Implications of an ‘A-theistic’ Philosophy,” Christopher Barnett
“Thus Heidegger’s intellectual formation lies very much in the traditional Catholicism of his hometown. What, then, led him away from this heritage and toward the a-theological character of his later thinking?”

“From Silkworms to Songbirds: Why We No Longer Preach Like Jonathan Edwards,” Ted A. Smith
“Edwards saw these typological connections everywhere. He saw shadows of divine things in the way a snake caught its prey, what it is like to climb a hill, the waves of a stormy sea, flaxen clothing, cornmeal, the stench of a corpse, milk, and the habit of taking off one’s clothes before sleeping.”

“Has Child Protective Services Gone Too Far?,” Michelle Goldberg
“Advocates for families caught up in the child-welfare system hope that the national debate sparked by the free-range parenting movement will draw attention to the threats and intrusions that poor and minority parents endure all the time.”

Hedgehogs abroad:

“How to Tame an Internet Troll,” Frank Pasquale
“The fantasy of using words alone to right a perceived injustice—or trigger a meltdown—has renewed relevance today.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: April 3, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“My Quantified Email Self Experiment: A Failure,” Paul Ford
“Before this experiment, I would have told you that I used to be very passive and conflict-resistant, and that it took a long time to get my back up — but now I’m much more willing to stand up for my ideas. But no, that’s entirely wrong, too. According to my archive I was constantly in some fight or another over email. I apparently have three inches of plate in my skull. And in fact, because I believed, and have believed for so long, that I once was passive but am no longer, I think I tend to be even more likely to be passive-aggressively aggrieved than the typical person.”

“The Overdose,” Bob Wachter
“The clinicians involved in Pablo’s case that day — physicians, nurses and pharmacists—all made small errors or had mistaken judgments that contributed to their patient’s extraordinary overdose. Yet it was the computer systems, and the awkward and sometimes unsafe ways that they interact with busy and fallible human beings, that ultimately were to blame. And the biggest culprit may well have been the hospital’s incessant electronic alerts.”

“Equipment for Living,” Michael Robbins
“But I take it that our having to ask ourselves what poems and pop songs are for, and our compulsion to suggest answers, is a good thing—that it’s the fields that are certain of their purpose and their standing that lend themselves most to reified thinking.”

“This Portentous Composition: Swan Lake’s Place in Soviet Politics,” Amelia Schonbek
“Why Swan Lake? It may seem like a random artistic choice, but to anyone who lived in the former USSR, it made perfect sense.”

“Were We Too Hard on Jonah Lehrer?,” Daniel Engber
“Here’s the truth about Jonah Lehrer: His career has not been destroyed, nor has he apologized for the full extent of his mistakes. This master storyteller did not wander in the wilderness and find some inner peace. He disappeared into the bushes, licked his wounds, and re-emerged with another, even more bewitching tale—the story of his own redemption.”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: March 13, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“Democratic Romanticism and Its Critics,” Mark Schmitt
“The idea that American democracy should be more transparent and more inclusive, that it should put the broad public interest ahead of partisanship or local or private interests, is so benign that it’s hard to find a coherent argument against those aspirations. Who speaks for partisanship, patronage, corruption, or secrecy?”

“Do Fanboys Dream of Electric Cars?,” Navneet Alang
“If the smartwatch becomes truly popular, who knows what the world might look like after eagerly adopting newest invention?”

“In Defense of Doing Wrong,” Ben Wizner
“One of my ACLU colleagues, who’s a very fierce privacy advocate … emailed me the other day and said she was sick of talking about surveillance and democracy and liberty. She thought it was time for us to talk more about drugs and porn and adultery and gossip.”

“Confessing and Confiding,” Emily Fox Gordon
“The trauma narrative mode had long been in the ascendant, of course, both in the literary world and in the culture, long enough to have weathered decades of satirical assaults and earnest opinion pieces calling into question the narcissism at its core.”

“Death to Death Row,” Lucy Hughes-Hallett
“Lehrfreund and Jabbar are the executive directors of the Death Penalty Project (DPP), a charity that provides free legal representation to those condemned to death. Personally, both would like to see capital punishment abolished everywhere, but they don’t march in the streets waving banners. They don’t harangue politicians. They don’t barge in where they’re not wanted. They use the law to change the law.”

“Bot or Not?,” James Gleick
“Because the Twitterverse is made of text, rather than rocks and trees and bones and blood, it’s suddenly quite easy to make bots. Now there are millions, by Twitter’s own estimates—most of them short-lived and invisible nuisances. All they need to do is read text and write text. For example, there is a Twitter creature going by the name of @ComposedOf, whose life is composed of nothing more than searching for tweets containing the phrase ‘comprised of.'”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: January 9, 2015

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“My Life with Charlie Hebdo,” Eve-Alice Roustang
“I wish I could say tonight that we are all Charlie Hedbo readers. I’m proud that for a year or two, I was.”

“Here’s to a More Incredulous Age,” Michelle Dean
“The man responsible for the early Vanity Fair, Frank Crowninshield, was more of a to-the-manor-born type. Carter expends a lot of energy describing Crowninshield as a ‘cultural clairvoyant’ who spent ‘twenty-two roller-coaster years’ atop the masthead. He was, in fact, something more of a genteel, dandyish Boston Brahmin. He just happened to see something in his world to rebel against.”

Marketing Motherhood,” Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig
“On any rack of women’s magazines, a number of issues are ready to inform mothers or moms-to-be on how best to carry out the vocation of motherhood.”

“The Pen vs. the Gun,” Philip Gourevitch
“It’s hard to imagine how the Charlie Hebdo crew would have wrung a joke out of their own executions. But you can bet that they wouldn’t have shrunk from the challenge, and you can be sure that the result would have been at odds with any standard of good taste.”

“I Am Almost a Camera,” 
Brett Busang
“It has always been the case that instead of looking at the world, painters and photographers look into it. But by the 1940s Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock openly averred that they cared nothing for replication.… Into this ferment, Richard Estes played both ends—the out and the in—against one another and came up with a captivating solution.”

“Ouster of Editor Points to Challenges for Small Journals Hosted at Colleges,” Peter Monaghan
“Publicity, promotion, distribution. There lie the problems, says Jay Tolson, editor of The Hedgehog Review at UVa’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture: ‘There are no problems with the editorial content; the product is excellent. It should have been more aggressively promoted.'”

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The Hedgehog’s Array: December 19, 2014

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Noteworthy reads from the last week:

“The Year of Outrage,” Slate Staff
“Following the news in 2014 is a bit like flying a kite in flat country during tornado season. Every so often, a whirlwind of outrage touches down, sowing destruction and chaos before disappearing into the sky.”

“How ‘The Interview’ Handled the Assassination of Kim Jong-Un,” Richard Brody
“The threat posed by ‘The Interview’ to the real Kim Jong-un isn’t just that it holds him up to ridicule, but that it could subject him to ridicule at home—not least, by dramatizing that prospect.”

“Host in the Shell,” Sara Black McCulloch
“Sometimes our immune systems lie to us. Autoimmune disorders attack the nonthreatening self, destroying vital body tissue, as with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Graves’ disease. Like even the best intelligence agencies, our immune systems sometimes fail to recognize when the self becomes a threat, the body a double agent: the cancer is coming from inside the house, at least where the house is flesh, and the immune system doesn’t see its cells as foreign.”

“The Art of Arrival,” Rebecca Solnit
“She had lived there in a house she had built herself with the beloved for whom she had left her first husband in the 1960s, and she lived there long after he had died, serene, with the air of someone who has truly arrived, not restless for other places, for life to change, for company or bustle or entertainment.”

“When We Speak of Nationality, What Do We Mean?,” Taiye Selasi
“There was nothing, it seemed, in the idea of Italy—in the notion of the nation—capable of overriding the realities of language, class and color. Returning to Berlin, my latest home, I couldn’t shake the thought: When we speak of nationality, then, what do we actually mean?”

“How the Essay Was Won And Where It Got Us,” Tobias Carroll
“The essay, as a form, can inspire introspection and make the familiar seem revitalized, or entirely strange.”

“Automation for the People?,” Christine Rosen
“Modern automation also appears to be erasing jobs from our lives. Although technology-induced joblessness has stoked fear since angry Luddites smashed the first mechanized looms, Carr persuasively argues that this time things really are different….”

“Athens on the Midway: Defending Leo Strauss,” Gary Rosen
“What, then, makes Strauss so compelling? What explains the allure of Straussian teachers and teaching? Many of the same things, I suspect, that have made Strauss and the Straussians so inviting a target for their critics inside and outside the academy.”

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