Monday, February 24, 2014

More on Kristof.
Josh Marshall: "I was supposed to be a history professor"
Atrios was supposed to be an economics professor.

Bertram on Ukraine and Farrell on Snowdon are sincere, admonishing, superior, self-serving.
The End of Hypocrisy. No end to irony.

Victoria Nuland: "Matt, as you have made clear again and again in this room, we are not always consistent."

notetaking. a comment (mine) at The Immanent Frame
Humanism is defined by irony; modernity as it’s come down to us now knows irony mostly in it’s blackest form. Cries of “God is dead” were the cries of people who once believed now desperate to find a replacement, the secularism of the ex-theologian not the bemused and maybe slightly drunken village atheist. More’s the pity. The secularism of scientific determinism is secular anti-humanism. Compared to the author of “In Praise of Folly” the author of “Discourse on Method” wasn’t much of a humanist, so the pleasures of architecture lost out to the moral imperatives of engineering.
The rise of political Islam is a modern phenomenon in reaction to modern pressures -an ideology to meet what was perceived as ideology- but it’s also the result of partnerships of conservative elites with Western interests. It’s impossible to separate modern Saudi from the history of oil. Perhaps the author should do a bit more research on 20th century Arab secularism.
Still Iran today is more modern than it was under the Shah. The Iranian revolution has produced a broader based middle class than existed before. The same is true for Turkey under Erdogan. And secularization follows, always. The hope is that it follows the secularization of European Judaism rather than European Christianity, for which it was such a crisis. Europe’s Muslims are the new Jews. They’re where the next generation of European humanists will come from, or are already.
"Mein beiden Klempner"
German Humanists disdained science. Naturwissenschaft. Geisteswissenschaft. Scientific socialism was Engels, the British factory owner. Marx was a journalist and gave lectures in workingmen's clubs. He exchanged letters with American presidents. knew much of Shakespeare by heart. How did this turn into the Frankfurt School?
To add to the military metaphors: Soldier of the judicial press (Bertin). The poets of strife. The litterateurs of the advance guard. This habitude of military metaphors denotes minds not military, but made for discipline, that is, for conformity, minds born domesticated, Belgian minds, which can think only in society. 
"the advance guard".

My ignorance disgust me.
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2/25 Marshall again
My old college professor Tony Grafton rightly made the point that scholars aren't narrowing their fields of inquiry for the hell of it. Narrowing of focus is often the price of discovering genuinely new information, opening doors to new knowledge. And narrowness itself is probably too ambiguous a word to be useful in this context.
It's sad that Grafton would fall for that, especially since the past is what's being forgotten, in the academy as much as outside it.

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