Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Places to Patronize (in the good way)

I'm adding a few sites to the blogroll. Here's a taste of each.

First, God of the Machine, a smart, infrequently updated site concerning itself with various intellectual and literary topics. (Friend of mine I think would most enjoy this site: Tim.) Here's a sample from a good post:
The first piece of advice in Strunk and White’s Elements of Style concerns punctuation — the proper use of the apostrophe. I learn that I must write "Charles's execution," but "Jesus' crucifixion." Already my prose is improving, though not at the rate I would like.

Items 2 through 8 also concern punctuation. I learn to balance my commas, and to handle colons, semi-colons, and em-dashes with aplomb.

Punctuation is important. Its abuse can be a source of unintentional hilarity. ("I would like to thank my parents, God and Ayn Rand.") Some would go so far as to regard it as an index to character. . . . But The Elements of Style purports to be a guide to writing English. A badly punctuated essay can be corrected in minutes. A badly written essay can probably never be corrected at all.
Secondly, there is Asymetrical Information, a site maintained by "Jane Galt," who is really Megan McArdle, a staffer at The Economist who seems to be a common-sense classical liberal in the mode to which I aspire. Here's a sample:
The post below also applies to behavioural economics, which the left seems to believe is a magical proof of the benevolence of government intervention, because after all, people are stupid, so they need the government to protect them from themselves. My take is a little subtler than that:

1) People are often stupid
2) Bureaucrats are the same stupid people, with bad incentives.
Thirdly, there's Crooked Timber, a quite frequently updated blog maintained by more than a dozen writers, all of whom seem to be philosophy academics. It features a few questions like this one:
I’ve just spotted that Benedict Anderson has produced a revised version of Imagined Communities, his influential 1983 book about nationalism. Is it worth buying if you own the original?
It also offers posts like this one, which leads to interesting comments from readers as well.

Lastly (for now), there's Colby Cosh, a Canadian blogger who certainly keeps the links coming. I haven't read enough to situate him on the political spectrum, if that would even be useful, but I saw posts about The Band, hockey, and the best possible responses to our environmental problems. All of which I'm happy to read about.

I believe all four of these sites linked to one of the others at some point, which is probably how I found them all within 48 hours. Enjoy.


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