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4. Was it ever not? How could that have been?

Between say 1940 and 1970, science research took big risks because people accepted the fantastic might be true and the wars and cold war made lots of money available.

Do psychics have any power?

That seems more likely than the idea you can take a gram of matter and destroy an entire city, or maybe ignite the atmosphere and erase all life.

Fly at 1000 MPH, yeah right.

I grew up reading about asteroid mining before Sputnik - the mining was done by teenagers 5 years older than I was, in scifi for boys approved by (liberal) librarians - the pulp Astounding et al were not real literature.

If Einstein hadn't made the leap and today we didn't know about splitting the atom, I think Einstein et al would be ignored as wachos just making up physics to get government money. Satellites would not exist other than as oddities because the quantum mechanics to understand transistors and solar arrays would not exist and the physics would too weird to get funding. The evidence for global warming is solid and global warming theory begins before Einstein's first paper.

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Han shot first then he didn't because the guy that makes and owned the movie made it that way.

Possibly the greatest argument against artists' moral right to their work.

Now if only you could explain that in obscurantist French.

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Do you think you are making a critique of Cowen when you are really making a critique of academia? The only difference between Cowen and what every other professor is trying to do is that Cowen is better.

They finally had enough of him. Good. Dude was worse than CBBB.

OK, maybe not that bad.

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Any respect I had for Camille Paglia is gone.

Why? You like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry I guess. @6: another good book to the Economist selected "The New New Deal" is this TC recommended book of 2012: Money Well Spent?: The Truth Behind the Trillion-Dollar Stimulus, the Biggest Economic Recovery Plan in History - Grabell

"Why? You like Taylor Swift and Katy Perry I guess."

Why would you jump to this conclusion?

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She seems to imply that the entertainment industry picked Perry and Swift and said "we are going to make these two women the most popular singers." In fact, there are all different kinds of artists out there. The ones who rise to the top are the ones the public likes the most. Ultimately, it's society that she hates.

She makes Swift and Perry the focus of all her grievances about the perceived attitude of white, middle class women, based on observations such as the way Swift speaks. This seems grossly unfair.

And it's not clear what sort of white, middle class artist she would like to see. Nor is it clear what separates the sex-charged music of Perry from that of artists like Beyonce, J-Lo, and Rihanna. The only clear difference is that the latter three are expressing their minority cultures and therefore good, while Perry's music is an expression of white culture and therefore bad.

What a lame article that was.

Interesting to note that she said absolutely nothing about Lady Gaga who is blond, white, middle class, and completely different in style and image than Perry and Swift. Probably because Gaga invalidates whatever point she was trying to make.

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3. Shitboomer Paglia wages continued war against millennial generation, makes attack on cultural front.

Though it is shocking Britney is making $50mil+ per annum these days.

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Wow Paglia's piece is pretty shockingly lacking in self-awareness and knowledge of pop culture, beyond the small sliver at the top. Lots of pretense to basically say, My day was better, a tired argument that doesn't improve with the help of a good vocabulary. OBVIOUSLY Perry and Swift aren't the intellectual cream of the pop culture crop, but it's willfully narrow-minded to make broad assumptions based on three artists.

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At least Taylor Swift had nothing to do with *Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull*.

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3. So...someone pissed in Camille's Corn Flakes again?

Seriously, that's what you got? I have a critique of her argument but it's not worth it here. This place constantly surprises me...here's a contrarian, anti-feminist feminist who argues libertarian positions...and from the comments, she gets is venom. Odd.

On a lighter note, I would love to hear how she thinks pop culture is corrupting economists. Sigh and smile:

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2012/12/this-debuted-at-harvard-holiday-party.html

of course that's not all I got, just all I thought the article and subject were worth.

so anyway, I went back and reread it, out of respect for you. And I profoundly disagree with almost everything she wrote, and again noted an undeniable tone of plain pissed-offedness on her part. But it's such a superficial topic...

And seriously, I do strive to take every argument I come across on its merits rather than on some signalling of sympathies.

"of course that’s not all I got, just all I thought the article and subject were worth." I think you hit the nail on the head. This article is not about you or 95% of the commenters. Hence the blow off...fine. I don't engage every topic here.

Here's my take: It's Paglia's frustration (pissed offedness) at the fact that even though women's role in society has changed dramatically the entertainment role models that girls and young women have are dated. I have a high tolerance for nonlinear writing, but even I was struggling with what her desired role model would be. Also I don't think the tensions that she sees are caused by Hollywood. Art reflecting life.

> even I was struggling with what her desired role model would be.

Back in the day Paglia that Madonna was awesome

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#4. But the finding that so many leading-edge scientists aren’t funded by the NIH raises the question, Ioannidis argues, whether the NIH encourages conformity, or even mediocrity

The system that determines who gets NIH funding relies on peer reviews. Because of the sheer numbers involved, it means, by definition, an opinion of mediocrity. Surprise! Shocking revelation in Nature by the brilliant investigator! Mediocrity breeds mediocrity - who would have thought?

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Re: Econ.'s books of the year

To me, very disappointing selection of "Current Affairs" books (categ. one) -- is that because the reviewers chose poorly or because it was a lean year?

The "History" section seems good, and the "Science and Tech." books also seems packed with worthy and interesting books.

Goldacre is illuminating and disturbing (but fairminded) on Pharma.

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I still don't understand why Tyler hasn't posted the FT best books of the year list, which is quite good: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/88bdb3c0-37cf-11e2-a97e-00144feabdc0.html

Bizarrely, the Economist cites Hobbes as England's first philosopher. So Francis Bacon doesn't count?

Once again, I love how they so blithely declare Shane Warne to be "the finest cricketer of our time". At least they didn't declare him Australia's first philosopher...

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