This category contains 13 posts

Megan McArdle’s claim in response to a “New York Times Magazine” article

So, I was planning a long series of posts about human nature and the significance of genetic and hormonal influences in many areas. I will get to that, but I felt compelled to respond to a particular claim. Megan McArdle, a blogger at The Atlantic online, responded affirmatively to a story by Tara Parker Pope … Continue reading

Part 2 on Occupy Wall Street’s Targets

Another crucial part of Rajan’s hypothesis about inequality and the financial crisis is the GSEs (government sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack) were driving some of the lower lending standards. In turn, lenders at banks lowered their standards. What followed was the financial crisis. He is not the only one to make this … Continue reading

Are there specific books that a store should carry?

So, I was at Barnes and Noble hanging out this weekend and I planned on picking up a birthday present for my friends. This friend likes Virginia Woolf, so I figured I’d send get her something by Elizabeth Bowen. When the modern library compiled their list of the best novels of the 20th century, Bowen … Continue reading

Terminology for the Downturn

An intriguing dilemma arises with the language of the downturn. In surveys, voters consistently say that they believe we’re in a recession. Yet, economists aren’t aborad. The definition of a recession is negative GDP and we haven’t been there yet, though we could be headed there.  So, how can we reconcile the public’s feelings of … Continue reading

Not Just Showing, Part III

            For some examples on going beyond ‘showing’ versus ‘telling’: First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the … Continue reading

More than “showing”, part 2

So, I don’t refute the point that Bransford and Jertz make per se. My primarily goal is to illuminate the limitations of what they say and emphasize how it sometimes misses the point. Joshua Hendkin had an excellent discussion on this in the Elegant Variation. He points out other examples of showing versus telling that … Continue reading

More than showing, part 1

            I think pretty much anyone who’s engaged creative writing classes or handouts has heard the phrase: show , don’t tell. Does it help writers as much as some folks who repeat it like to think? Success in fiction depends crucially on being in internal states, and a writer can’t just inform the reader what’s going on. … Continue reading

Is Occupy Wall Street angry at the right people? Part 1

Is Occupy Wall Street unhealthy class warfare? How should Democrats and those with center-left orientations see it? Is the conservative manta of “53%” a compelling counterargument to “We are the 99%”? These are all worthwhile questions that warrant further discussion, with many people sure to make interesting and articulate arguments on either side. Another question … Continue reading

What would an ideal headline look like to you?

What should headlines look like? In defending a controversial post, author and professor Katie Roiphe noted that deadlines are designed to get attention. This is understandable, but a lot of people and buzz can surround some headlines, which in turn leads to the headline making the story in some respects. And some people are just … Continue reading

What deters you from going to the movie theater?

Movie theater revenue is down.  I watched a dozen plus movies in the past year, so I’m really not a part of that. But, clearly a lot of folks just aren’t going to the movies as much. Why? And what should be done about it? I was prompted to think about this because of some … Continue reading