Been busy!

October 19, 2021
Sorry I've been out of touch!  A lot of writing obligations.  But I'm back, but just like before, no better I'm afraid.  Story of my life.
Oh this seems right to me, about Menand’s The Free World:
“Menand notes in passing Jakobson’s claim that the world’s languages were based on 12 binary oppositions. The Free World presents us with at least as many: moralism vs realism in foreign policy, extrinsic vs intrinsic in literary studies and dissonance vs consonance in music. But if you look closely—or perhaps stand back—you notice again and again a battle between the dogmatic on the one hand and the pragmatic on the other.”
On the other hand, this is a ridiculous claim: “for more than a quarter of a century, Menand has been a leading scholar of pragmatism in its philosophical form.” No he hasn’t.  It is no insult to Menand at all to say he’s not a “scholar of pragmatism,” much less a “leading” one.  He wrote a very good general audience book, The Metaphysical Club, but that does not make anyone a “scholar.”  C’mon.
“What’s really interesting is some of the biggest pushback I’ve gotten hasn’t been about my critiques of his demeanor or the way he’s treated students or colleagues. It’s been about criticizing his economics. I also have run into a lot of blowback for criticizing Raj Chetty’s analysis of the stimulus checks, because I shouldn’t have done it in public. And that’s not even the Twitter. This is just legitimately having, in public, a debate about the quality of their economic advice is not the way it’s supposed to be done. Because they outrank me. Larry’s smarter than I am. As I am told, repeatedly.“
Really interesting interview with Claudia Sahm, an economist who has an interesting presence on social media, in a good way.  On many many things, and all of it worth your while.

Missed this when it came out—about the “meritocracy trap,” and it seems really good.  I’ll get the book.
An old post by Kieran Healy on rudeness in philosophy, which does seem an unusually transparently rude field.  Healy thinks like a social theorist, which is illuminating, on this issue and many others.
Fascinating to read the story about China’s energy problems on the same day that the US Department of the Interior announced that they would be open to having wind farms on all the federal waters of the American coast.  The different availability of energy supplies, not just carbon-based, in the US and China he’s really important, and I am delighted to see the US developing this, not only for immediate energy policy matters, but also for Geo political matters.
Not totally high on this essay but I post it because, among other things, it has a picture of Ras Tanura beach, which is where I tried to spend as much time as possible in 3rd and 4th grades.  We would go there after school, and sometimes not actually go home until dinner.
Be well everyone.  I know I've promised this before, but I hope, I really hope, to be better about posting things here, in the near future.