Saturday, January 28. 2023
I'm not sure how to define a great book, but Wolfe's novel, depicting NYC life in the 1980s, is a darn compelling read, a page-turner. Educational too, about law and government.
The Great Books podcast seems to overlook the dark comedic aspect, but it's an intro to the book if you haven't read it.
Tuesday, January 3. 2023
Early Spring Cleaning?
Task Rabbits are excellent help in cleaning out attics, basements, garages, and closets. Most of us have accumulated stuff that will never be used or wanted.
There is a list of words that make me cringe. I can't think of them now, but generally they seem to be inflated or pretentious. Here's a few:
- curate (it means pick and choose)
- utilize (it means use)
- medication (it means "medicine")
What words make you cringe?
Thursday, December 29. 2022
Reasons the 28-Gauge is an Ideal Gauge
For upland, I like a 20 ga. if only because it is lighter than a 12 or 16 ga. I've owned a 28 but never used it for hunting.
New 28s on the market.
Friday, December 23. 2022
Thursday, December 15. 2022
I have never used Twitter. Who has time? Maybe it is a hobby for many. From the recent news, Twitter seems important to lots of people.
Bari Weiss: Our reporting on Twitter
Do our readers like to use Twitter?
Saturday, December 10. 2022
Berger and Luckmann published their now-classic text The Social Construction of Reality in 1967. It is/was a wonderful book, sparking endless half-stoned college dorm debates and discussions back in the day.
I used to like to offer the question of whether the sociologists and social psychologists accept that they are also constructions.
If you take the general concept to an extreme it becomes insane. Human nature, physics, biology, and chemistry, are not imaginary. Even the occasional academic falls off a ladder and breaks a neck. Fortunately for us, our culture recognizes such things even though we do risky things daily.
The Youtube links at this article are remarkable. The lady thinks that sexual motives are constructed. She has strong opinions. It is all about power. Really? Women have huge power over men.
Thursday, December 8. 2022
"Modulation is the essential part of the art. Without it there is little music, for a piece derives its true beauty not from the large number of fixed modes which it embraces but rather from the subtle fabric of its modulation."
Charles-Henri Blainville (1767)
If a reader has a more comprehensible explanation than Wikipedia has, let me know.
Tuesday, December 6. 2022
The rule is that "shall" is for singular intention, "will" is for plural. I shall be there; we will be there.
"Shall" sounds quaint now, doesn't it? Maybe "I'll" and "we'll" cover it all.
Is the New England Subspecies of Ruffed Grouse the King of Game Birds?
Of course it is debatable, but I think so. Partridges are difficult to find, you need a good dog, and you usually need the magic cartouches that can shoot through trees.
The old expression is that these birds are hunted with legs.
Friday, December 2. 2022
We routinely use a lot of phrases in English which derive from the days of sailing ships.
This lengthy list does not include "true colors," which refers to the naval warfare trick of sailing under false colors (false flag), and the gentlemanly tradition of raising your true flag before firing a first shot. My error - it does include that term.
Thursday, December 1. 2022
In 1969, a survey by Martin Trow for the Carnegie Commission found that college faculties were fairly evenly split politically, with about three left-of-center faculty to every two right-of-center. By the end of the twentieth century, 30 years later, that had become a five-to-one ratio. This advantage allowed the Left to ensure that virtually all new professorial appointments were leftists. Accordingly, the left-to-right ratio began to rise sharply. It went from five-to-one to about eight-to-one in just five or six years, a startling change in so short a time. It’s now probably something like 15 to 1, and still rising.
When recruiting is focused so heavily on political ideology, you don’t simply wind up with academic scholars who happen to be all politically left: what you really get is political activists, not academic scholars. Scholars are defined by intellectual curiosity, but that’s the last thing you’ll find in political activists.
Tuesday, November 29. 2022
Yes, as with probably most medieval cathedrals, the exterior sculptures had been painted.
Wednesday, November 16. 2022
Thursday, November 10. 2022
Saturday, November 5. 2022
From The New Yorker's The Sad Death of Affirmative Action. It’s clear that what’s at stake isn’t a vision of social and racial justice that would ameliorate inequalities for a broad swath of people but, rather, a fight for spots in the élite ranks of society.
The decision to stop requiring the SAT or ACT, which was taken up by nearly every élite college in the country, most likely did not come out of some sudden collective epiphany about the harms of standardized testing. Rather, I’d imagine that those scores could be the potential evidentiary basis for lawsuits that compared admissions rates between applicants of different races. It’s far easier to explain gaps in grade-point average, extracurricular activities, and the like than it is to explain why someone who got a 1590 didn’t get in, but someone who got a 1350 did.
“What colleges and universities will need to do after affirmative action is eliminated is find ways to achieve diversity that can’t be documented as violating the Constitution,” Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, told me. “So they can’t have any explicit use of race. They have to make sure that their admissions statistics don’t reveal any use of race. But they can use proxies for race.”
Thursday, November 3. 2022
The Court's interest in revisiting racial affirmative action got me thinking a bit more about the idea of meritocracy.
Merit, say, for employment in my field, is relatively easy to assess. We want to hire people who are personable enough to be good colleagues, bright, eager, good writers and speakers, and easily-trainable. If they don't work out, they have to leave. We do not care about your golf game.
So, in my view, merit has to do with the right fit for a job or task. The right talent stack, as Adams would put it.
I know that many private secondary schools (the PSSAT) and, of course, still most higher ed wants test scores. The SAT and ACT are basically proxies for IQ or, at least, functional IQ as it has to be applied to a test. But is IQ a measure of general merit as a human being? Of course not. It matters, but how much?
Let's say you are head of admissions at a competitive higher ed school with far more applicants than spaces. Your job is to try to field a group of smart kids with enough talents to field sports teams, an orchestra, some math geniuses, etc. Fill each bucket.
What would you do?
Thursday, October 27. 2022
Saturday, October 22. 2022
Hunting Canada Geese is good fun. Get out in the dark, set up, hide, wait, drink coffee. It can be tricky though, and picking the right spot to set up makes all the difference.
Are they tasty? You bet. Red meat, like steak. Serve rare, sliced thin. A recipe: Bacon-Wrapped Wild Goose Breasts
Ultimate Goose-hunting tips.