November 28, 2005

Nothing to see here

It appears the Review came out awhile ago and I missed seeing the online edition. Not much of a loss from the looks of it--the diligence of the staff apparently couldn't get around a lack of content.

The most earth-shattering coverage comes in the announcement that a Jewish fraternity is being considered. Any victory for the Greeks is a victory for the Review, right? Good writing, though, by Kale Bongers.

Good writing again by Scott Glabe tackling the curious case of Venezuelan politics, but it seems a curious focus for a Review article, especially given their statement (in this issue) that "we steer clear of... foreign policy." I personally would have liked to know a lot more about the plans of this Human Rights Foundation for campus events. Could this turn out to be one of the hand-holding, "otherawareness-raising-groups" groups the Review abhors?

Dan Linsalata's article on the McKinsey "probe" is informative, but hardly insightful. I wish there had been some real speculation on why the administration is finally addressing the administration's metastasis and in such a hurry. The best we get is that there was pressure from the Trustee Board. Oh. Really? Bombshell.

I'm not implying anything, but the editorial on divestment has a sentence that strangely repeats a claim that I made over at Vox in Sox, that "[t]raditionally, academia was the preserve of those who wanted to change the world indirectly; they used the pen’s might rather than the sword’s to influence others." I'd like to think that maybe my thoughts made some sense for once to the Reviewers, but they probably came up with the notion of indirect influence as a primarily academic pursuit independently.

Regardless, the editorial ends up saying that divestment was a bad thing because it could commit us to making all of our investment decisions based on moral criteria. I hardly need to point out the alarmism there. The problem with reductiones ad absurdum is that most cases never reach an absurd point except in theory.

The Steward's Folly editorial takes some unpacking, mostly because the author relies on a multitude of referential pronouns whose antecedents are unclear, or in regular speech, I'm not sure what specifically he's referring to half the time. I'll comment on this piece later today.

Finally, there are a myriad of typographical errors in the online versions of the articles--I am unsure if these typos are absent in the paper copies, but it signals a bit of a rush job at any rate.


  1. Anonymous9:28 AM

    The Review issue is a little flat this time around, but I highly doubt that your Vox in Sox op-ed had anything to do with it.

    The ideas that the "pen is mightier than the sword," that ideas matter, that change is more effectively accomplished slowly, that it's better to prevent the disease than treat the symptoms, etc., aren't exactly original. Academics write a lot about the world, and are clearly interested in policy, but with few exceptions they're not actually making decisions. So of course they influence things indirectly. There's no other way for them to do it. If academics thought they were influencing things directly, they'd be deluded. If they thought they weren't having any influence at all, then they'd be pretty useless.

    Thoughtful op-ed in Vox and Sox, but the "[i]'m not implying anything but..." line doesn't hold any water. If you weren't actually implying anything, you might have said "I agree with one of their points and I've written something similar," or something along those lines.

  2. Notice to all future readers of the Little Green Blog:

    As per the above anonymous's comments, all statements I make hereinout are to be taken literally. LGB is also a no-fun zone. Toilet-papering of the Review offices commences at noon. That is all.

  3. Also, how dare you imply that I agree with the Review!

    The Review must agree with me!!

    In fact, everything I say or write is original, brilliant, and non-derivative. Plato learned everything he knew from me.

  4. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Sorry... having never seen you in peson, I have no idea how serious you're being. The tone of the post sounded serious.

    If you said it was "gully-ass to be bitin' your lyrics," I might've thought differently.

    Some circles take insinuations of plagiarism more seriously than others. My mistake.

  5. sorry--i should be clearer that most of my comments are to be taken in a tongue in cheek manner. also, i probably shouldn't react so exuberantly if someone does take me literally. i apologize.