Monthly Archive: January, 2012

putting nash in the closet

As distraction from my dissertation, I’ve been reading Sylvia Nasar’s book A Beautiful Mind. It’s pretty light; she doesn’t explain much about Nash’s discoveries, and the book is an odd mixture of lurid,… Continue reading

the obama memos & obama’s long game

Here at the Kugelmass Episodes, we play your requests. Today’s letter comes from alert reader tomemos, who asked for my take on this New Yorker article about Obama’s recently released batch of internal… Continue reading

pinker’s fallacy

Something’s been bothering me about the line of reasoning in Steven Pinker’s book The Better Angels of Our Nature, but it took me awhile. It seemed fairly clear that the book wasn’t pragmatically… Continue reading

calmedy central

The New York Times is ratcheting up its onslaught. As of the first week of January, the paper was featuring not one, but two articles about escaping our noisy modern world, simultaneously. They’re… Continue reading

filtering an epidemic

(An homage to this story, which was written by an otherwise excellent journalist and which I’m therefore going to blame on his editor.) Sure, it’s fun to joke around. But sometimes, here at… Continue reading

recap of the south carolina debate

Probably many of you weren’t able to “tune in” for yesterday’s debate between candidates running in the Tea Party primary. So I’m providing a helpful recap. Note: Candidates A, B, etc. are not… Continue reading

the stinkbug and the imagist

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods, They kill us for their sport. –William Shakespeare, King Lear (Warning: this post contains a graphic image.) If you grow up in a… Continue reading

murakami’s eye talks to freud’s ghost

If you have, at any point, been forced to read Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Nature,” then you have certainly encountered and been repulsed by Emerson’s image of Nature as a gigantic, omniscient, transparent… Continue reading

eugenides does the portrait in different voices

According to [Eve] Sedgwick, performative utterances can be ‘transformative’ performatives, which create an instant change of personal or environmental status, or ‘promisory’ performatives, which describe the world as it might be in the… Continue reading

Bourbaki v. Job

So, like, right now for example. The Haitians need to come to America. But some people are all, “What about the strain on our resources?” Well, it’s like when I had this garden… Continue reading