A week's worth of links

September 17, 2022

Well, not really a week's worth.  But after a week, some links.  Actually I was just in Rome this past week, which was an amazing experience--I hadn't been in Rome for over forty years.  Spoiler alert: it's still there.  And wonderful, more wonderful than I could take in when I saw it last.

Such splendor is not to be expected of some links, but for what they're worth, here they are.


An interview with Francis Fukuyama on Ukraine. I have a review of Fukuyama's Liberalism and its Discontents coming out soon; I'll share it when it's public.


I have mentioned John Ganz’s column/blog a few times, but it warrants another mention here. This piece is really good:

"The cynical pose, which flatters itself on being always undeceived, is in practice highly gullible and distinguishable from naivety only in the sour churlishness of its affect. These attitudes should be expected in the nether regions of the press and intelligentsia, where people make their livings writing semi-pornographic conspiracy literature and closely identify with the mob. But these stances have infected the broader intellectual climate as well. The whole pamphlet literature of the demi-monde provides a new language that sounds provocative and fresh compared to the stale banalities of bien-pensant humanitarian liberalism. It is tempting material for those who treat both life and politics as an irresponsible flight from one pose to another. Even among the putatively more serious, there’s just the simple need to find some take that appears oppositional and critical. The bohemian provocateur can at least always just disown every past statement as a lark, not something to be taken entirely seriously, but the academic has to puff themselves up and insist on their actual correctness in the face of refuting facts."


A nice reflection on Ralph Vaughan Williams, perhaps the most popular English composer of the past several centuries.


OMG I didn’t know DC hosts a giant fountain pen convention every August.  Next August, I’m definitely going!


Ancient DNA : Some of the most interesting developments in ancient history in the past decade have come from the combination of DNA studies and archaeological work.  This report is about a new study just completed and announced, and some of the implications of it.  It looks very interesting, not just for the findings, but for the way that the study incorporates both archaeological work and DNA studies, crossing the divide between two communities of scholars who have viewed each other with suspicion.  Recommended.


The great "student swap" means that public universities are more embedded in a national and even international market for students, which means that academia in general is far more in a market situation, for good or ill, or most likely both; it also means that government has systematically disinvested in them over past several decades. Which you knew already, I bet.


This is a very sound summary setting what the January 6 committee has established. It is devastating for Trump and his sludge-like cronies.


Be well everyone!  Until next time--