A new museum in Sweden focuses on marketplace failures, a reminder to us that there is no internal logic to technology that makes any particular innovation necessary or inevitable.
Here’s one of America’s few public intellectuals talking about the very tension we were considering in class yesterday.
People go out of their way to convince themselves that there are documented cases of human children being raised by wolves or apes (or eels or crickets or whatever). That doesn’t happen. Here it did not happen again.
Regarding our discussion of the perils of a winner-take-all approach in democratic contestation, see this item in today’s WaPo: “Senate Republicans Go ‘Nuclear,’ Pave the way for Gorsuch Confirmation to Supreme Court.”
We’ll discuss affordable housing a bit tomorrow; here’s a story from KUT about the City of Austin’s work on the issue: “Austin’s Affordability Programs May Drive Up Costs Even Further For Some Residents.”
We’ll be talking about poverty and the idea of relative deprivation this week, topics that relate to our ongoing discussion of the culture wars and this weird political season. Conservative political scientist Charles Murray (the Bell Curve thesis guy in Conley’s Chapter 10) developed a quiz that is useful for helping us think about whether there is a real cultural separation between an upper class “bubble” and the larger mainstream American culture. Take the quiz and we’ll discuss. And here’s an essay by Yale Professor Gerald Jaynes, who disagrees with the whole premise of Murray’s quiz: “‘Mainstream America’ Doesn’t Actually Exist.”
In class today we discussed economic arrangements that perpetuate inequality, and that got us into a bit of discussion about identity politics, white privilege, and so forth. Here’s the op/ed I quoted from, by (conservative) Hoover Institution Fellow Shelby Steele, who is hostile to what he sees as liberal political correctness: “The Exhaustion of American Liberalism.” Whether you agree or disagree with him (and you will surely do one or the other), note the battle lines implied in his critique of liberalism. Americans are not talking much these days about labor unions, or the communists, or military budgets. In 2017, we’re all supposed to be partisans, it seems, in the culture wars.
Here is a study guide for the midterm exam, including the four questions that are fair game for the essay portion.
Keeping in mind that socialization is a lifelong process, what do you think of this “adulting school”? Reasonable 21st century adaptation, or goofball indulgence? Why do you suppose such a school has come along now?