BRIEFLY NOTED: For 2021-10-13 We

Things that went whizzing by I want to remember:

First:

Dan Drezner: A Pyrrhic Victory for Plutocrats at Yale: ‘A major theme of “The Ideas Industry” is that it is difficult for public intellectuals to speak truth to power and next to impossible for public intellectuals to speak truth to money…. Plutocrats tend to fund a lot…. Plutocrats think they must be pretty smart to get so rich…. Last week, the New York Times’ Jennifer Schuessler wrote about the resignation of distinguished historian Beverly Gage from running Yale University’s Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy. Gage had been in charge of the program since 2017…. According to Schuessler, “an opinion article in The New York Times by another instructor in the program calling Donald Trump a demagogue who threatened the Constitution prompted complaints from Mr. Brady.” Those complaints took the form of phone calls and emails in which Brady complained that “there was no grand strategy in [the op-ed].”… Yale has a massive problem on its hands. Nowhere in the essay or the author description is Yale’s grand strategy program mentioned or referenced….Calling Trump a demagogue seems… conceptually precise…. Things then went from bad to worse…. Yale’s administration sided with Brady, agreeing to the creation of an outside five-member “board of visitors” to consult on appointments… handpicked by the donors, which included—wait for it—Kissinger. According to the Times story, Salovey told Gage to see things “from the university’s perspective,” characterizing the problem not as one of academic freedom but rather donor management. In response, Gage resigned…. Everyone… is now fully aware of just how far Yale’s administration is willing to warp academic freedom in the pursuit of donor management. To say this is not a good look for an institution that relies on prestige and recognition would be an understatement…. Yale… disputed Gage’s account in their conversations with the Times. Within 24 hours of the story running, however, it was singing a different tune…

LINK: <https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2021/10/05/pyrrhic-victory-plutocratic-yale/>

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One Video:

Jeff MacKie-Mason: Brave New Heights: Libraries After the Pandemic: ‘How a global health crisis inspired libraries to reimagine what they do and what the future of libraries will look like… <https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=UfOPfu2aM-c&t=1s>

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Very Briefly Noted:

  • Brink Lindsey & Samuel Hammond: Faster Growth, Fairer Growth: A New Policy Synthesis: ‘The way forward is not to be found in either the ideological fantasies of democratic socialists or the reactionary sputtering of neonationalists, integralists, and other assorted “post-liberals”… [but] lies in revising and updating the basic model that emerged as the clear worldwide winner in the great ideological struggles of the 20th century: the liberal democratic capitalist welfare state… <https://www.niskanencenter.org/faster_fairer/a_new_policy_synthesis.html>

  • Diane Coyle: What Critics of Economics Get Wrong <https://www.chronicle.com/article/what-critics-of-economics-get-wrong>

  • Adam Tooze: Chartbook on Shutdown #4: ‘Watching the world watching China’s Evergrande…. Even in recent months, big Western money was flowing into Evergrande. As late as August, BlackRock bought five different Evergrande dollar bonds for its high yield funds… <

Chartbook
Chartbook on Shutdown #4 - Neither Chernobyl Nor Lehman
As John Authors argues in one of his latest columns, there is little doubt that anxiety about the Evergrande crisis has been moving global markets in recent days, though there are plenty of other stories to worry about. This latest incident is one more demonstration of the eerie fact that in the first decades of the 21st century, the trajectory of globa…
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  • James Pethokoukis: A New Roaring Twenties Would Make America Better, as Well as Richer: ’When a society experiences rising standards of living, broadly distributed across the population at large, it is also likely to make progress along a variety of dimensions that are the very essence of what a free, open, democratic society is all about…

Faster, Please!
A New Roaring Twenties would make America better, as well as richer
"The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt…
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Paragraphs:

Kiona N. Smith: Pompeii Tomb Reveals Formerly Enslaved Man’s Rise to Wealth & Power: ‘The tomb’s inscription also offers the first evidence of Greek theater in the city…. Archaeologists rediscovered Marcus Venerius Secundio’s tomb in the ancient cemetery, or necropolis, of Porta Sarno in the eastern part of Pompeii… large and imposing, with a colorfully painted facade depicting green plants on a blue background; traces of the paint still cling to the stone even after 2,000 years. It was also sealed so well that its occupant’s remains had partially mummified, preserving some soft tissue and a few tufts of white hair, along with some scraps of fabric…. Archaeologists were able to match the name inscribed over the tomb’s entrance to a name on wax tablets in the house of a banker named Lucius Caecilius Jucundus…. The banker’s tablets recorded Marcus as a “public slave” who worked as a custodian in the Temple of Venus, which once stood at the western end of town (that’s almost certainly where the second part of his name, Venerius, comes from). But at some point he became a libertus, or freedman, and began to build a new life for himself. Slavery in Rome wasn’t always a permanent state, and many liberti went on to build relatively prosperous lives for themselves. Evidence of their history persists all over Pompeii. And the libertus Marcus evidently did quite well for himself indeed; the epitaph carved into the stone over his tomb boasts that he once sponsored four full days of theatrical performances for the people of Pompeii, given in both Greek and Latin…

LINK: <https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/08/pompeii-tomb-reveals-formerly-enslaved-mans-rise-to-wealth-and-power/>


Alex Power: The Long Twentieth Century: ‘The “main story” of the 20th century is that of technology… the automobile, the skyscraper, and the phonograph record… the cell phone and the Internet…. It is a non-trivial question to ask if the Long Twentieth Century is over…. Our thesis is that the technological developments of the Long Twentieth Century were extraordinary, and cannot be surpassed in breadth. To highlight merely some of the most important…. Vehicle technologies: the automobile, mechanized farm equipment (tractors), mechanized construction equipment, tanks, airplanes, and rockets. Advanced agriculture: improved fertilizers, improved strains of crops, industrial animal confines, and so on. Electric appliances: air conditioning, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, and so on. Medical technologies: organ transplants, the elimination of many infectious diseases, hormonal birth control, insulin, hearing aids, etc. Communications technologies: the phonograph record, audio CDs, radio, television, and so on. Computer technologies: computer mainframes, desktop microcomputers, cell phones, the Internet, and their various applications. Synthetic materials: plastics, polyesters, and so on. Nuclear technologies: nuclear weapons and nuclear-fission power plants. Structural technologies: skyscrapers, long bridges and viaducts, highways…

LINK:

Yevaud (Newsletter)
The Long Twentieth Century
In his history works, Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm refers to the “short twentieth century”, roughly the period from 1914 to 1991. The period before World War I is considered as part of his long 19th century. One could presume that, to a Marxist, the period after the demise of the Soviet bloc is too depressing to consider; in this case his book on t…
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