Socrates Week
December 23, 2009

I came across two interesting reads this week. One is about the phenomenon of “trolling”, and the other is about the state of American democracy. The unifying thread is that both use Socrates as central motifs in the article. Get it? We’re Ancient Greece!!


More NPR Listening
September 30, 2009

Here are two more NPR shows worth a listen.

The first is last week’s episode of the Diane Rehm Show on natural gas. It starts off with twenty minutes of interviews with a natural gas executive and two sympathetic experts, congratulating each other on the amazing progress and future prospects of natural gas as a fuel source. Then they start taking calls from the listeners, and spend the rest of the show desperately trying to play down the barrage of angry callers recounting how natural gas drillers have devastated their homes and poisoned their water. It’s worth noting that the whole hour was sponsored by the natural gas industry. Whoops.

Second is yesterday’s episode of Fresh Air, featuring an interview with Taylor Branch about his new book, “The Clinton Tapes”. Branch and Clinton secretly recorded interviews throughout the Clinton presidency in an effort to produce an oral history for posterity. Amazingly, these tapes remained secret, even throughout all the subpoenas and investigations Clinton faced. Most of the interview is a summary of the history Clinton administration, but it’s told almost in first-person present, since Branch is drawing off contemporary secret interviews of the main character in this history. Pretty fascinating.