A short while ago, he asked this:
taking requests? I doubt if, but here goes anyway – charisma half-life of Taylor Swift, Jorge Bergoglio, and James Levine as seen fifty years from now; when will the unquestionably converging IQs of point guards, quarterbacks, and chess champions meet up; what would life be like for a tenured economics professor who decides to spend a year studying midAtlantic Lepidoptera in the wild and learning Norwegian; Peter Hitchens versus Christopher Hitchens – who was or is less deceptive and deceived, assuming an ability to consider them as intellectual equals; how old was TC when he read “all of Harold Bloom’s canon” leaving out some of the Icelandic sagas. Not that any of these topics will be taken up, but if TC or Alex takes one of them seriously how about the Hitchens one, which has the whole Pascalian eternal potential return thing going for it.
The expected creative powers of female musical artists are continuing to increase, especially when it comes to composition. Taylor Swift therefore will produce another album of good songs, though the burden of extreme fame
, and the accompanying difficulty of replenishing her creative wells, will hold her back from five more such albums. Bergoglio will pass and be forgotten, as he has not built the necessary coalition within the Vatican and also I do not predict the triumph of liberal religion. Many future conductors will sound like James Levine and he, for all his talents, will not be remembered, even though his Mahler’s 3rd is perfect. If you treat intelligence as sufficiently multi-dimensional, and grasp how much of the human brain is used to coordinate our bodies, you see the chess champion may never catch up to Magic Johnson circa 1984. An economics professor cannot these days learn good Norwegian because the butterflies all speak English to him. The two Hitchens brothers fought an obsolete battle, in any case “society” needs to believe in something and in this regard actually neither Peter nor Christopher — taking his lived theology into account — was in the running with an alternative. Perhaps “emotional stance” is sometimes a more useful category than “belief” and I consider myself increasingly detached from that entire question. Not long ago I was reading more of the sagas.
Happy New Year’s Eve! And yes, I think disaggregate is indeed the word you want.
Note that Alex’s answers may differ from these.
Any more reader requests?