Archive for December, 2003

So much to skip, so little time. I begin with myself, having sucked a bit of late. This and this were too twee and precious for words. This wasn’t really very funny. This was half-right but embarrassingly wrong in several details, and God of the Machine is supposed to be in the details. This and […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 29, 2003 @ 6:50 PM | Blogs

Another bulletin from the Dept. of Almost Right: Larry Ribstein, blogging on the Forbes list of top ten business movies: Forbes story on the Ten Greatest Business Movies and related stories on, says a lot about films attitude toward business. The top ten were: Citizen Kane, The Godfather: Part II, It’s a Wonderful Life, […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 26, 2003 @ 8:19 PM | Movies

A while ago Brian Micklethwait had a bit about discomfiture in art to which many bloggers linked approvingly: As for the endlessly repeated claim that art is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, I don’t buy that. And I don’t believe the people who say that they do buy it are being honest. I think […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 26, 2003 @ 1:03 AM | Culture

To understand the absurd seriousness with which Americans treat higher education, look at their cars. Jacques Steinberg’s The Gatekeepers, which trails a Wesleyan admissions officer and six supplicants for places in the class of 2004, documents this magic moment: A week before his decision was due, he mailed off a $250 deposit and his official […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 22, 2003 @ 12:56 PM | Business,Culture

With a title like that this should be in German and long. Instead it will be in English and short. George Hunka and AC Douglas have gone off the rails with this whole transcendence business. George, normally dyspeptic, soars into the empyrean: As Kant will happily tell you, there’s no escaping the boundaries of human […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 18, 2003 @ 6:27 PM | Culture

I tire of having to straighten everybody out on everything, but really, all these intelligent bloggers discussing great covers and not one mention of Devo’s (Can’t Get No) Satisfaction? Satisfaction never truly belonged to the Rolling Stones anyway. The Who might have made it their own but never the Stones, who were too smug and […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 14, 2003 @ 6:45 PM | Culture

Bad academic writing is called by its perpetrators “difficult” in the same way indulgent parents call their rotten children “difficult.” “Delinquent” would be apter in both cases. Jonathan Culler and Kevin Lamb have proferred the standard excuses in Just Being Difficult? Academic Writing in the Public Arena, which I haven’t read and doubt I could […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 13, 2003 @ 6:15 PM | Language

Terry Teachout writes of the perils of the goyim among the Jews, but what of the perils of the Jews among the goyim? One of the minor joys of Richard Rhodes’s book The Making of the Atomic Bomb is this stock answer of a Russian physicist when confronted, as he frequently was, with anti-Semitic remarks: […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 8, 2003 @ 8:10 PM | Navel-Gazing

This place has gone to seed, in large part, because I’ve been doing some actual work, trying to get a software release out — late, inadequate, but out — and as a consequence have followed Floyd McWilliams’s and Evan Kirchhoff’s theorizing about the future of software with more than academic interest. Evan starts here, Floyd […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 7, 2003 @ 3:00 PM | Business,Code

These are my first words about Michael Jackson, and I promise they will be my last. What interests me about Michael is not Michael himself, whose habits and daily life are so far outside the realm of ordinary human concerns that the word “eccentric,” implying that he might still be in orbit with the rest […]

Aaron Haspel | Posted December 6, 2003 @ 12:08 PM | Culture