Last fall, a few days before Halloween and about a month after the publication of Mind and Cosmos, the controversial new book by the philosopher Thomas Nagel, several of the world’s leading philosophers gathered with a group of cutting-edge scientists in the conference room of a charming inn in the Berkshires. They faced one another around a big table set with pitchers of iced water and trays of hard candies wrapped in cellophane and talked and talked, as public intellectuals do. PowerPoint was often brought into play.
At the end of the New York Times blog post that first reported Jon Huntsman would be dropping out of the presidential race today, there's an interesting bit of analysis explaining why the former governor of Utah never caught fire within the Republican field:
Mr. Ferguson is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, and he’s a valiant guide through this emotional territory. He’s got a big, beating heart, but he tucks it behind a dry prose style that owes a little bit to Mark Twain and Tom Wolfe — to name the first two white-suited writers who come to mind — and also to Dave Barry (whom I suspect wears Dockers).
Two memorable events in Washington, D.C. yesterday afternoon: a recital at the Kennedy Center by the spectacular Peruvian tenor, Juan Diego Florez; and a book party at a home in Northwest D.C. for the spectacular American author, our own Andrew Ferguson.
The Washington Post has a review up of the new book by Andrew Ferguson, Senior Editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD. The new book, Crazy U, tells the story of Ferguson's struggles getting his son through the college admissions process.
Ferguson's regular readers are unlikely to be surprised by this, but the Post's nonfiction editor gave Crazy Ua rave review:
It’s starting to dawn on me that my personal campaign to eliminate the use of the word issue to mean difficulty, misapprehension, disturbance, irritation, objection, and a dozen unrelated words is doomed. My parallel campaign against reaching out is probably in trouble too.
WE DIDN'T ARRIVE here overnight, all at once--here at the tail end of this hallucinatory primary season, when politics slipped down the rabbit hole of postmodernism and became an activity that is only about itself. Scanning back through the last few years and my own meager experience, I can find three landmarks that, had I been paying attention, might have offered a hint of what we, the people, were getting ourselves into.