MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016
Our plans for the rest of the week: Before the week is done, we plan to complete our short, award-winning series of posts, AUTHORITARIAN WATCH.
How the heck did Amanda Taub come up with her "astonishing" data about the number of authoritarians here in the U.S.? We'll show you the humble four-question test she seems to have used in pursuing that task. We'll ask you if you think it makes sense to talk politics in this way.
We'll also continue our series of posts from our famous "self-governing" file. With our gatekeepers now long gone—with one party in the hands of a madman, the other run by college sophomores—is it possible that we the people have reached the point where we're simply "too dumb to be self-governing?"
We think that's become a seminal question. We expect to pursue it all week.
Starting tomorrow, we'll be returning to our award-winning series of reports, "The culture of incoherence."
In this week's reports, we'll recall Albert Einstein's 1916 attempt to make his revolutionary scientific work accessible to non-specialists. Next week, we'll review one part of Nova's recent attempt to do the same, and we'll examine the part of Einstein's book from which Nova was working.
In discussing "the culture of incoherence," we're discussing a fascinating, far-flung part of academic, journalistic and publishing culture. We plan to explore this sprawling culture in the weeks and months ahead.
These reports will have no obvious political content. Given the state of our politics, with our team's teen-aged college kids fighting their team's obvious lunatic, would you ask us not to follow Plato's lead and basically head for the hills?
Tomorrow: Origins of a false claim
Concerning Plato's choice: In 399 B.C., an Athenian jury condemned Socrates to death on charges of impiety and subverting the young. For thoughtful detail, click here.
Quoting Plato, in the Seventh Letter: "When I saw all this, and other things as bad, I was disgusted and drew back from the wickedness of the times." He turned his attention to loftier topics, turning his back on the politics of his era.
Plato headed for higher ground. With high school kids now running our tribe, with all our gatekeepers gone long gone, would you really deny this famous choice to us?