Last week, I confessed that, although the rational side of my brain is undecided between Barack Obama and John McCain, the “portion of my brain that views politics as a sport can’t help ‘rooting’ for Obama” because he is “the scrappy mid-major going up against the staid, boring, established program; he’s Boise State against Oklahoma (’They said this day would never come: a WAC team in a BCS bowl! Yes, we can!’), he’s Appalachian State against Michigan… or, as McCain might prefer to say, he’s Hawaii against Georgia.”
Now, Ben Smith uses a college-football metaphor, saying that Obama’s 50-state, expand-the-map strategy is the political equivalent of the “spread offense.”
If so, Obama’s definitely going to win Michigan. :)
Crispin Sartwell, a self-described anarchist and a professor of philosophy at a small liberal-arts college in Pennsylvania, speaks the truth about academia:
Within the academy, conservatives really are an oppressed minority. At the University of Colorado, for instance, one professor found that, of 800 or so on the faculty, only 32 are registered Republicans. This strikes me as high, and I assume they all teach business or physical education. … [B]ecause there’s a consensus, there is precious little self-examination; a slant that we all share becomes invisible.
Academic consensus is a particularly irritating variety of groupthink. First of all, the fact that everyone agrees and everyone has a doctorate leads to the occasionally explicit idea that all intelligent people think the same thing Ã¢â‚¬â€ that no one could disagree with, say, Obama-ism, without being an idiot.
That the American professoriate is near-unanimous for Barack Obama is a problem on many levels, but certainly pedagogically. Ideological uniformity does a disservice to students and makes a mockery of the pious commitment of these professors simply to convey knowledge. Professors are as herd-like in their opinions as other groups that demographers like to identify Ã¢â‚¬â€ "working-class white men," for example. Indeed, surely more so. …
That this smog of consensus is incompatible with the supposedly high-minded educational mission of colleges and universities is obvious. But academics are massively self-deceived about this, which makes it all the more disgusting and effective.
(Hat tip: my dad.)
For all the Mac users and now iPhone users out there, Steve Jobs’s keynote from the World Wide Developers Conference is underway. So far, iPhone 2.0 features have been discussed, including enterprise support and the SDK. Later today, the next version of OS X will be discussed as well. If you are interested in reading, MacRumors.com is liveblogging here: http://www.macrumorslive.com/
UPDATE: iPhone 3G Announced
UPDATE BY BRENDAN: In light of a) the much faster connection speed,
b) the new lower price (just $199 for the 8GB model, literally one-third of what the first iPhones cost last June), c) the various new
cool features (particularly GPS), and d) the fact that my Sprint contract recently expired, I would like to offer the following
graphical commentary, which roughly sums up my feelings:
P.S. But, I ask again: can you use it as a modem???
Having shocked y’all Friday morning by announcing that I’m retiring the blog on July 20, I figure Monday morning is a good time for yet another shocker. Would a three-page manifesto to Irish Trojan favorite son Joe Lieberman, lambasting him for dishonest and unworthy campaign rhetoric, do the trick?
I sent the letter Friday afternoon to Joe’s D.C. office, and now I’m reprinting it on the blog. I don’t mean to grandstand about this, but having been so vocal in defense of Lieberman, I figure I owe y’all an update on where I stand now. (In point of fact, my sentiments shouldn’t be too shocking; I alluded to my growing disillusionment with Lieberman last month.)
It’s important to emphasize that I have no problem whatsoever with Lieberman endorsing McCain and arguing against Obama’s candidacy; it’s the way he’s been opposing Obama that bothers me, not the mere fact that he’s doing so at all. I object to such things as his role in spreading the Obama’s-a-Marxist and Hamas-loves-Obama memes, his implication that Democrats are not "pro-American," and several other specific statements he’s made recently. Anyway, here’s the money quote:
What happened to your 2006 message, promising a less hyper-partisan brand of politics? Based on your recent statements, it appears you have completely abandoned the premise that Democrats and Republicans have honest disagreements on the issues. Instead of substantively engaging important topics of legitimate debate and disagreement, you have repeatedly demonstrated a willingness to vilify and caricature the Democratic Party …
I am deeply disappointed that you have sunk to these lows, and having been such a vocal advocate on your behalf, I must admit that I am somewhat embarrassed. It is becoming more and more difficult to defend you against your critics in the blogosphere, who increasingly feel that they were Ã¢â‚¬Å“right all alongÃ¢â‚¬Â about you.
On reflection, "completely abandoned the premise" is probably a bit much. But it gets the message across, anyway. Joe needs to tone down his rhetoric, or folks like me who once greatly admired him will increasingly come to view him as just another typical politician.
Read the whole thing after the jump.