[supplied title]


18 December 2009
by andrew

points of origins

You know those stories about immigrants having their names changed, not by their own choice, upon arrival at Ellis Island or other points of entry? I hadn’t given them much thought, but it turns out that most of the stories, … Continue reading

20 May 2009
by andrew


May 2005 Interview with Jared Diamond published in World History Connected: DIAMOND: Partly. I have lots of discussions with people in the social sciences, especially economists. And there are some groups of historians—environmental historians, economic historians, yes, and world historians … Continue reading

19 February 2009
by andrew
Comments Off on big sky, country

big sky, country

Who would have thought that in a democracy based on geographic representation, elected officials would have the effrontery to announce that their policies would help their constituents? But it’s happening. Despite all the talk about not having earmarks in the … Continue reading

8 January 2009
by andrew
Comments Off on if it’s not in a dictionary, is it even a word?

if it’s not in a dictionary, is it even a word?

Often, yes.

4 November 2008
by andrew
Comments Off on civilian leadership

civilian leadership

Timothy Noah wonders why, since 1964, presidential candidates who were war heroes have been so unsuccessful: With the sole exception of George H.W. Bush in 1988—who won by waging the dirtiest presidential campaign of the modern era and then served … Continue reading

12 June 2008
by andrew
Comments Off on the Atlantis mythly

the Atlantis mythly

Let’s not get carried away. The scientists discovered no traces of human habitation in the Lost City, let alone a Patrick-Duffy-lookalike sub-species of homo sapiens, but it must be more than a coincidence that they discovered something deep under the … Continue reading

3 June 2008
by andrew
Comments Off on in their day

in their day

What was scholarship like back in the golden days? When I started reading blogs a few years ago, I paid a lot of attention to the kinds of discussions of higher education discussed in that link. Partly because I was … Continue reading

27 April 2008
by andrew

s is for scholar

Matthew Yglesias gets a cake upon which various words have been misspelled in his honor. Garance Franke-Ruta speculates: As blogs move us into a less heavily copy-edited world, I sometimes wonder if we’re moving back into a more 16th and … Continue reading

11 April 2008
by andrew

history vs. memory, round [some large number written in Roman numerals]

A while back in comments elsewhere, I wondered about a story I’ve heard about the 1960 Nixon-Kennedy debates. Supposedly, Nixon did better among radio listeners and Kennedy did better among television viewers. But there’s a problem with that account: there were … Continue reading

10 February 2008
by andrew


The comments to this post – and the subject of the post itself – reminded me of something I wondered about some years back when I was thinking of the different ways different countries have approached dramatic transitions from one type of … Continue reading