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September 5th, 2007

Today's links courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily, or one degree of separation therefrom.

NY Times: Admit It. You Love It. It Matters.
Particularly in academia, where bodies are just carts for hauling around brains, the thrill and social play and complex masquerade of fashion is “very much denigrated,” Ms. Showalter said. “The academic uniform has some variations,” she said, “but basically is intended to make you look like you’re not paying attention to fashion, and not vain, and not interested in it, God forbid.”

Columbia Journalism Review: Goodbye To All That
Like the Book Review, the sports section was nearly ad-free and yet nowhere was the demand made that the section ought to gear its coverage to encourage advertising from the very teams its editors and reporters were charged with covering. The sports section, like most sections of the newspaper, if one were to have separately totaled up its costs, lost money. The same was true of the Book Review. Nor was the Los Angeles Times alone. This was the case at most of America’s newspapers.

Roy F. Baumeister: Is There Anything Good About Men?
Experts estimate Genghis Khan had several hundred and perhaps more than a thousand children. He took big risks and eventually conquered most of the known world. For him, the big risks led to huge payoffs in offspring. My point is that no woman, even if she conquered twice as much territory as Genghis Khan, could have had a thousand children. Striving for greatness in that sense offered the human female no such biological payoff. For the man, the possibility was there, and so the blood of Genghis Khan runs through a large segment of today’s human population. By definition, only a few men can achieve greatness, but for the few men who do, the gains have been real. And we are descended from those great men much more than from other men. Remember, most of the mediocre men left no descendants at all.

The Smart Set: The Trouble With Farmers
What do the farmers really believe, anyway? Have they found something real and timeless as they tarried out in the fields under a summer sun that bronzed their skin and baked their skulls just right? Don't they know that the mute indifference of nature is as terrifying and empty as the noisy scrambling of the metropolis? Surely they know. They just don't want to let on that it is all the same because it would lessen their one advantage to power in the universal will.

-The Gneech

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