Tue 19 January 2010 | tags: culture, dahlialithwick, dailylinks, dinosaurcomics, emilybazelon, evolution, gaymarriage, gender, italy, jonathanhaidt, ladygaga, language, languagelog, marthacoakley, massachusetts, morality, orinkerr, perryvschwarzenegger, philosophy, politics, psychology, religion, scottbrown, senate, slate, spain, trix, volokhconspiracy, -- (permalink)
What I've been reading lately:
- Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion: A Talk With Jonathan Haidt - If I had a list of "people who I wish had blogs," Jonathan Haidt would top it. If you like this article, read his book The Happiness Hypothesis.
- Massachusetts: Dem attacks on Coakley get personal | Washington
- Until today I had only been peripherally aware of the Senate race in Massachusetts to fill the seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy. The Democratic candidate doesn't sound too popular: 'The strategist ... quoted a fellow Democrat who said, "'I'd rather have Scott Brown for two years than Martha Coakley for the rest of my life."' Inevitably, most of the articles on it that have popped up in the last few days have focused on the horse race: who's ahead in the polls and how a loss will break the Democrats' supermajority in the Senate. I hate horse race stories.
- Language Log » Ludicrous, even derogatory? (Gendered occupation names) - In old legal opinions you often run into terms like "executrix" and "prosecutrix" to be the female equivalents of "executor" and "prosecutor." I think English is poorer without these words. The only place where the "-trix" suffix seems to have survived is "dominatrix." Is that progress? The use of "actor" to mean both males and females also bugs me. I'll agree to it when the world's female actors also agree to have just one "Best Actor" category at the Oscars, and eliminate "Best Actress." Anyway the article reports how Spain and Italy handle these issues differently from each other. Italians think it's demeaning and/or ridiculous to stick a feminine suffix on a traditionally masculine noun (eg ministra in place of ministro), whereas the Spanish do it all the time.
- Dinosaur Comics Compressed Song Lyrics - Lady Gaga - I like to think that Dinosaur Comics is a new form of haiku. The images in the 6 panels never change. The text rarely has anything to do with the images. But there's something very Zen to me about dinosaurs having esoteric conversations while stomping things.
- Hypocrisy, Same-Sex Marriage, and Televising Public Interest
- I was unconvinced and disappointed by Slate's coverage of the Supreme Court's decision to prohibit broadcast of the Perry v Schwarzenegger gay marriage trial. Both Dahlia Lithwick's and Emily Bazelon's pieces seemed one-sided, argumentative, and shallow. Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy gives a more balanced take here.