When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

I love policy discussions, but the demands for policy discussion on gun control after the shootings in Newtown today are terribly wrong-headed. The problem is that demanding a policy discussion is not the same thing as having a policy discussion. At this point, we’re just talking about talking about gun control. It’s all “mention” and… Continue reading When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

Some recent posts by Dan Kahan on the subject of “cultural cognition” deserve attention: (Cultural cognition refers to the tendency of individuals to conform their beliefs about disputed matters of fact (e.g., whether global warming is a serious threat; whether the death penalty deters murder; whether gun control makes society more safe or less) to values that… Continue reading Cultural Cognition is Not a Bias

Chesterton’s Fence

I try to defend conservatism sometimes. I also like Chesterton. Here’s one reason why: In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say,… Continue reading Chesterton’s Fence

Foucault on Education and Human Capital

From Foucault’s Collège de France lecture on March 14th, 1979 (in what the publisher has misnamed The Birth of Biopolitics despite the fact that that year’s lectures basically spelled the end of Foucault’s work on biopolitics and focused on the limitation of state control over the market): What does it mean to form human capital, and so… Continue reading Foucault on Education and Human Capital

Academically Adrift’s Methodological Shipwreck

On Tuesday we had a university-wide faculty meeting on revising the general education requirements at Morgan State, and predictably President Wilson held up a copy of Arum and Roksa’s Academically Adrift and made some comments about how we had to do better while horribly mangling the actual findings of the book. Though there’s a lot going… Continue reading Academically Adrift’s Methodological Shipwreck