Craig McGregor on Living in the Bush

This morning, as I rummaged through my bookshelves in one of those periodic, vain attempts I make to try and organize them, I came upon my copy of Australia Fair?: Recollections, Observations, Irreverences (edited by Russell Braddon, Methuen, London, 1984). I had purchased it in 2000, in Sydney, at the Berkelouw’s bookshop on Oxford StreetContinue reading “Craig McGregor on Living in the Bush”

The Subway: Let the Love-Hate Clichés Roll

When I first moved to New York City, I lived on 95th Street in Manhattan and rode down to 42nd Street for my graduate seminars.  My first commute on the subways was blindingly quick: I took the 2 or 3 downtown express at 96th and Broadway and one stop later (at 72nd Street) I disembarkedContinue reading “The Subway: Let the Love-Hate Clichés Roll”

The Police as Paramilitary Force: A Problematic Conception

It is rare to find a police force—anywhere in the world—that enjoys cordial relationships with the community it polices i.e., a police force that is viewed and treated inclusively as a member of the community, one not so much against the bad guys as for the good guys, and which conceives of itself as providingContinue reading “The Police as Paramilitary Force: A Problematic Conception”

Twenty20 Franchises and the Evolution of Modern Cricket

As the fixing-scandal ridden sixth season of the Indian Premier League ended on Sunday, I thought it might be time to revisit the opening section of my concluding chapter in Brave New Pitch: The Evolution of Modern Cricket, where I had attempted to assess where the world of cricket might be headed in response toContinue reading “Twenty20 Franchises and the Evolution of Modern Cricket”

Does Explanation Constitute Justification? Geras Contra Greenwald and Eagleton

And does it thereby also run the risk of shading into apologia when the event being explained is one that would strike some as a heinous act? In response to the Woolwich killing of a British soldier by machete-wielding assailants, Glenn Greenwald thinks not. Terry Eagleton agrees (in a fashion). Norman Geras disagrees. (As the linksContinue reading “Does Explanation Constitute Justification? Geras Contra Greenwald and Eagleton”

Freud, Pointing to Poets

Some distinctive features of Sigmund Freud‘s writings are: a clarity of exposition–at least in works intended for more general audiences–which offset the density and novelty of the subject matter; a tendency to philosophize while simultaneously disdaining philosophical speculation; an unswerving overt commitment to science, scientific probity, virtue, and methodology; and lastly, and most entertainingly, a keenContinue reading “Freud, Pointing to Poets”

Viscusi and Queneau: The Combinatorics of Poetry

Reviewing Daniel Levin Becker‘s Many Subtle Channels: In Praise of Potential Literature (‘Anticipatory Plagiarism‘, London Review of Books, 6 December 2012) allows Paul Grimstad to take a tour through the wild and wacky world of experimental literature by way of some of the usual suspects. Most notably, Georges Perec and Oulipo (‘Ouvroir de littérature potentielle’; ‘workshop of potentialContinue reading “Viscusi and Queneau: The Combinatorics of Poetry”

The ‘Adversarial’ Nature of Unions

One of the strangest objections to the presence of unions in the workplace is that unions make the workplace adversarial, that they introduce conflict into the relationship between the worker and the manager (or between the two classes), that rather than letting workers and management concentrate on maximizing output (or throughput) and enterprise profit, whichContinue reading “The ‘Adversarial’ Nature of Unions”

Amazon, E-Commerce and Monopolies

A couple of interesting comments in response to my post yesterday on Matthew Yglesias and Amazon. First, JW writes: I’m not sure I agree with your point…I think the reason e-commerce and Amazon are less scary is that it is harder to charge monopolistic prices because entry is so easy. If Amazon starts charging monopolisticContinue reading “Amazon, E-Commerce and Monopolies”

Matthew Yglesias Does Not Seem to Understand E-Commerce

Matthew Yglesias is skeptical of people who think e-commerce giant Amazon has a creepy, monopolistic plan to take over the world of retail. He quotes Jay Goltz, ‘proprietor of a small retail store’ as saying it is ‘impossible to make money competing with Amazon…because Amazon itself isn’t making money’: Why would a company choose toContinue reading “Matthew Yglesias Does Not Seem to Understand E-Commerce”