Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Culture'

Exclamation Marks Mean Accessibility – “The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns”, Sasha Issenberg

November 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Elitism, Politics

The publication of Get Out the Vote! was part of a conscious effort by Gerber and Green to step out of the academy and ensure that lessons from these studies reached a nonscholarly audience. The authors believed they had made this populist mission apparent through the inclusion of an exclamation mark in the book’s title. […]

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Hedgehogs and Forecasting – “The Signal and the Noise: The Art and Science of Prediction”, Nate Silver

November 17th, 2012 · No Comments · Elitism, Prediction, Statistical Inference, Statistics

In fact, a little knowledge may be a dangerous thing in the hands of a hedgehog with a Ph.D. One of Tetlock’s more remarkable findings is that, while foxes tend to get better at forecasting with experience, the opposite is true of hedgehogs: their performance tends to worsen as they pick up additional credentials. Tetlock […]

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I Said Meaninglessly – “Leaving the Atocha Station”, Ben Lerner

November 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Art, Dialogue, Elitism, Poetry, The Media

“The language of poetry is the exact opposite of the language of mass media,” I said, meaninglessly.

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An American Free Space – “Leaving the Atocha Station”, Ben Lerner

November 8th, 2012 · No Comments · American, Culture

…making contact with authentic Spain, which I only defined negatively as an American-free space

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Infinite Disdain – “Leaving the Atocha Station”, Ben Lerner

November 8th, 2012 · No Comments · Elitism, USA, War

On the highway to Toledo we passed several tour buses full of what looked like Americans, digital cameras already in hand, and as we drew past them I expressed infinite disdain, which I could do easily with my eyebrows, for every tourist whose gaze I met. My look accused them of supporting the war, of […]

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The Disconnect Between My Experience of Actual Artworks and the Claims Made on Their Behalf – “Leaving the Atocha Station”, Ben Lerner

November 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Art, Criticism, Culture, Poetry

Insofar as I was interested in the arts, I was interested in the disconnect between my experience of actual artworks and the claims made on their behalf; the closest I’d come to having a profound experience of art was probably the experience of this distance, a profound experience of the absence of profundity.

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Less a Particular Poem than the Echo of Poetic Possibility – “Leaving the Atocha Station”, Ben Lerner

November 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Criticism, Culture, Poetry

Although I claimed to be a poet, although my supposed talent as a writer had earned me my fellowship in Spain, I tended to find lines of poetry beautiful only when I encountered them quoted in prose, in the essays my professors had assigned in college, where the line breaks were replaced with slashes, so […]

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Valuing Employment – “Gang leader for a day: a rogue sociologist takes to the streets”, Sudhir Venkatesh

November 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Crime, Culture, Economics, Policy, Sociology

J.T. once asked me what sociologists had to say about gangs and inner-city poverty. I told him that some sociologists believed in a “culture of poverty”—that is, poor blacks didn’t work because they didn’t value employment as highly as other ethnic groups did, and they transmitted this attitude across generations. “So you want me to […]

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Loyalty and Judgement – “A Moveable Feast”, Ernest Hemingway

November 4th, 2012 · No Comments · Criticism, Quotes, Writing

He liked the works of his friends, which is beautiful as loyalty but can be disastrous as judgement.

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You Should Only Read What is Truly Good or is Frankly Bad – “A Moveable Feast”, Ernest Hemingway

October 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Culture, Elitism, Reading Related

‘Huxley is a dead man,’ Miss Stein said. ‘Why do you want to read a dead man? Can’t you see he is dead?’ I could not see, then, that he was a dead man and I said that his books amused me and kept me from thinking. ‘You should only read what is truly good […]

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