Dunce Confederacy

Links of interest

Posted in Dunce 1, Links of interest by Dunce Confederate on September 26, 2010

It occurs to me that one of those things that good bloggers do is post links to other articles and so on that they find interesting.  I’m nothing if not a parasitical replicant of my idols so here’s a few things that have caught my eye in the last few days:

I’ve just finished reading ‘Arrival city: how the largest migration in history is reshaping our world” by Doug Sanders, a fascinating account of the ‘final wave of human migration’ – an account of the chaotic creation of ‘arrival cities’ by rural evacuees on the outskirts of major current settlements and why, against all initial expectations, slums are actually our last, best hope for revamping the political, economic and environmental development agenda.  I thoroughly recommend it. Sanders gave an interview on ABC’s Saturday extra program a few weeks ago which you can hear here (warning, it inexplicably cuts out halfway).

If you haven’t seen it, here is the video of Stephen Colbert’s capitol hill ‘expert witness’ testimonial on migrant labor rights – it is quite hilarious and the seriousness of his final answer adds a certain poignancy to the occasion.

Previous video is slightly bested by this one, ‘drunk history vol.5’ in which History academics get drunk and recount episodes of American history to video montages featuring famous actors…this episode has Will Ferrell as Abraham Lincoln and Don Cheadle as Fredrick Douglass (black abolitionist….probably a tautology) and Zooey Deschenal as Mary Todd Lincoln.

A great Op-ed piece in the NYT from Ron Chernow about the vagaries of claiming to uphold the ideological purism of the founding fathers, when even the founding fathers were unable to agree on what the constitution really meant.

Malcolm Turnbull’s commission to ‘destroy’ the National Broadband Network’ has opened with an explosive blog on the failure of Colonnaded streets to migrate from Asia Minor into the Greco-Roman heartlands…Interesting more for what it represents than what it contains, the piece mostly consists of quotes from a podcast he listened to and a book he downloaded online (presumably he divulges these facts to boost his credentials in the realm of technology), but it does highlight a) the amount of free time shadow ministers have in comparison to their counterparts and b) his pretentiousness really knows no bounds.

And finally, via Paul Krugman, ‘The best line I’ve ever heard about Ayn Rand’s influence’:

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

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