David Foster Wallace ruins everything. (NYT Mag)
"At 20 I congratulated myself on my awareness of the subjectivity of aesthetic judgments, the arbitrariness of critical proclamations, the folly of received wisdom. I pored over the Deconstructionists and the French feminists and advocated, in complete seriousness, the overthrow of language. (Also, the patriarchy.) Then I went to law school and was forced to confront serious practical and ethical questions — Brown v. Board of Education, for instance, and Roe v. Wade — that managed not to be resolved by the insights of Derrida."
Your favorite quotes are probably made up. (NYT)
"Gandhi’s words have been tweaked a little too in recent years. Perhaps you’ve noticed a bumper sticker that purports to quote him: 'Be the change you wish to see in the world.' When you first come across it, this does sound like something Gandhi would have said. But when you think about it a little, it starts to sound more like ... a bumper sticker. Displayed brightly on the back of a Prius, it suggests that your responsibilities begin and end with your own behavior. It’s apolitical, and a little smug."
Did you know that Michelle Bachmann started a charter school? (New Yorker)
"'The minutes of the school’s board meetings show that Bachmann, who was a member of the board, and her fellow-administrators repeatedly violated that rule. The C.E.O. of New Heights was Dennis L. Meyer, an evangelical-Christian activist and former schoolteacher who ran a prison ministry. At one of the first meetings, on July 20th, Meyer set the tone for how the school would be run: “Denny encouraged the board to do things and move forward not because we ‘think’ it should be done a certain way, but because God wants us to.'"
Don't go to grad school. (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
"Nearly six years ago, I wrote a column called "So You Want to Go to Grad School?" (The Chronicle, June 6, 2003). My purpose was to warn undergraduates away from pursuing Ph.D.'s in the humanities by telling them what I had learned about the academic labor system from personal observation and experience. It was a message many prospective graduate students were not getting from their professors, who were generally too eager to clone themselves."
(Also check out Felix Salmon with an interesting chart on Law School salaries and an even more interesting chart on the overall value of advanced degrees.)
It's really depressing that these two Larry Lessig videos only have 355 & 245 views on youtube. That's not just because I've been pushing them excessively on Facebook, but also because they're really good. Luckily, he has a book on the subject coming out tomorrow. (Apropos of all that, check out which of your Senators and Representatives are receiving money from whom.)