Thursday, 16 August 2007


I leave you this fine evening with a column by Victor Davis Hanson.


This site is too cool. The page containing diagrams of buildings under construction is my favorite. In case you’re wondering, I got these links here.

Yankee Watch

My beloved Detroit Tigers continued their mastery of the New York Yankees, beating the Bronx Bombs this evening, 8-5, in Yankee Stadium. To add insult to injury, some of Detroit’s starters are sick and could not play. Heh. The Boston Red Sox didn’t play today, so their magic number to eliminate New York is down to 37. The Yankees are closer to third-place Toronto than they are to first-place Boston. Yankee fans should worry about avoiding third place rather than trying, hopelessly, to win the division. “Go Yankees!” indeed.


Here is an interesting column by Daniel Henninger. For the record, I don’t assign any value, intrinsic or extrinsic, to racial, sexual, or ethnic diversity. The only sort of diversity that matters to me is intellectual diversity, i.e., diversity of ideas. This is why it’s scandalous that universities are such hotbeds of progressivism. If progressives had any brains, they’d realize that it’s in their interest to have an intellectually diverse faculty, as opposed to one in which everyone thinks alike. How else are they to hone their analytical, critical, and argumentative skills? How else are they to learn and grow? How else are they to acquire knowledge? Is it any wonder that progressives are so dogmatic? They’ve lost the ability to think! They’ve put solidarity ahead of truth, emotion ahead of reason, and benevolence ahead of justice.

Addendum: Someone might say, snidely, that if I don’t like academia, I should leave it. Who says I don’t like academia? I love academia. I wouldn’t be anywhere else. When I wonder aloud why someone like Paul Krugman doesn’t move to France, it’s because he seems so unhappy living in the United States. I want him to be happy. I want everyone to be happy. This reasoning doesn’t apply to me, since I’m quite happy being a professor. I just think academia would be a better place, and more true to its mission, if it were intellectually diverse.

Best of the Web Today


Stuart Hampshire (1914-2004) on Rationalism

[T]here is one tenet of the great rationalist philosophers which seems to me quite incredible: the belief, or assumption, that it is possible to construct a philosophical system which has a claim to being accepted as true and adequate, in the sense that an experimentally confirmed scientific theory can be accepted as true and adequate. What one can do in philosophy, at the best, is to propose both clarifications and revisions of the conceptual scheme temporarily in use.

(Stuart Hampshire, “A Statement About Philosophy,” chap. 4 in The Owl of Minerva: Philosophers on Philosophy, ed. Charles J. Bontempo and S. Jack Odell [New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1975], 89-101, at 99)

Baseball Notes

1. My beloved Detroit Tigers are in New York for a four-game series against the Yankees. I’ll be happy with a split. Anything better would be a windfall. The Yankees have to win at least three of the four games, since it’s in their home park. Good luck, losers!

2. What did Prince Fielder do to get suspended for three games? My newspaper didn’t provide any details.

Addendum: After I posted the second note, I did an Internet search for “Prince Fielder” and came across the news story, to which I linked. The story answers my question, so I should have deleted the question. Sorry for the confusion.

From the Mailbag


The moral-choice discussion at Freakonomics contains the sentence

Note that the same criticism about non-ecological reductionism applies to fields called “analytical,” or “nerdified” philosophy, also known as “anal” philosophy. [near the end of the comments by Nassim Nicholas Taleb]

For some reason, it made me think of you.

Mark Spahn

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

As a renter for the last five years, I am frustrated to hear your call to bail out homeowners who have been living beyond their means (“Getting the Rescue Right,” editorial, Aug. 10).

People were not forced into these bad mortgage agreements, and, along with lenders, are finally receiving their just deserts. Any federal support of lenders or homeowners would only encourage more risky behavior, keep the price of housing artificially high and leave financially responsible would-be buyers like me out in the cold.

Scott Ogawa
Seattle, Aug. 10, 2007

Note from KBJ: Does the letter writer not realize that we live in the No-Risk, No-Responsibility, No-Fault Society? Holding people to their bargains? What a quaint idea!


Karl Rove is doing a great service to our country. I hope (1) that Fred Thompson runs for president and (2) that Rove goes to work for him. By the way, have you seen Fred’s slogan? “Kill the terrorists; protect the borders; punch the hippies.”

A Year Ago