Some links

March 30, 2022

Let’s be suspicious of what some people call the “passion paradigm” of work, precisely because it creates new obligations on the hyper-individuated self.


This is not a hard call:

“Regional public universities (RPUs) are important anchor institutions to promote economic and community development for distressed communities, and are a class of institution that stands to benefit from substantially more federal support. RPUs provide a variety of advantages for communities: Places with an RPU historically have had faster employment growth and higher per capita income. RPUs are also important sources of human capital, driving in-migration to communities and supporting a workforce with significantly higher bachelor’s degree attainment rates. RPUs can even support economic resilience during downturns.”


Scythians! Sometimes they weren’t just restless wanderers; sometimes they brunched. (Actually this seems to align a bit with Khazanov’s old Nomads and the Outside World, which still makes sense to me.)


Review of a new bio of Czeslaw Milosz’s time in California.  Not bad.  Better?  Read Milosz.

More: A nice piece on Milosz. Ted Gioia, the author, notes that Milosz especially lamented American students’ lack of historical awareness, which he described as “half a knowledge of history and half a knowledge of evil.”


Discovery of Mary Astell’s—a 17th/18th century English philosopher—annotated books, or at least 47 of them, in a Cambridge College library.  This is pretty cool.  She was really engaged with the Cambridge Platonists, for example, and Malebranche and Descartes, and was a very accomplished thinker herself. This is really cool. 

And here is a link to a good on-line discussion of her thought.


This is very true, and pleasure does not need a politics.  Politics was made for humans, not humans for politics.  Politics-free life is not a “privilege,” it is a right all should enjoy.  Not everyone gets to experience this fact these days, but it doesn’t mean we should forbid it to ourselves; it means we should fight for their right to it as well as our own.


Good interview in The Republic—a journal out of Nigeria well worth your attention—with Howard French, New York Times journalist and author of Born in Blackness, about Africa’s (constitutive) relationship to modernity.


Nice little collection of covers of The Jimmy Webb song “Wichita Lineman,” and gestures at the many other covers of it that have been made.


Be well everyone!