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Posts Tagged ‘criticism’

I have been meaning to do a lengthy post on Naomi Klein for a long, long time. The lady deserves it. She is charismatic, enormously influential among my liberal friends and intellectually dishonest. She is a brilliant manipulator of words and distorter of facts. She is the arch-proponent and promoter of elitist collectivism. Though a mere journalist, her best-selling books have assured her a vaunted place in the leftist pantheon. Like Keynes and Galbraith, she is frequently and approvingly quoted — but here’s the thing, Keynes and Galbraith were great economists (wrong perhaps, but still great). She is a bit like a modern day Ellsworth Toohey.

Unfortunately, my activities this term (editing a paper, writing another, making a research statement, applying for jobs) are leaving me little time for such posts — so it will have to wait. For now, I recommend Jesse Walker’s excellent Reason article.

And if you are in the mood for something longer, do check out Jonah Norberg’s masterly destruction of Klein’s bestselling book “The Shock Doctrine”.

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From the TOI pages:

The city police have registered a case of sedition and conspiracy against The Times of India, the editor of its Ahmedabad edition, a correspondent and a photographer on the basis of a complaint from the newly-appointed city police commissioner, O P Mathur.

Mathur’s complaint comes in response to a series of documented investigative reports published by the paper, questioning his competence to guarantee the security of the people of Ahmedabad, which is high on the hit list of terrorists.

Hmph. I didn’t even know there was an entire section of the Indian penal code that deals with “sedition.” And apparently in Gujarat it can be used to stop newspapers from publishing stuff the cops don’t like. Wow. One learns new things every day.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that the cop thinks free speech is a Pakistani concept.

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“It is a melancholy experience for a professional mathematician to find himself writing about mathematics. The function of a mathematician is to do something, to prove new theorems, to add to mathematics, and not to talk about what he or other mathematicians have done. Statesmen despise publicists, painters despise art-critics, and physiologists, physicists, or mathematicians have usually similar feelings: there is no scorn more profound, or on the whole more justifiable, than that of the men who make for the men who explain. Exposition, criticism, appreciation, is work for second-rate minds.”

G H Hardy, the opening lines of A Mathematician’s apology.

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