Here’s the letter I sent to an FCC commissioner who went to my alma mater and is opposed to net neutrality: Dear Mr. O’Rielly, I am a member of the University of Rochester’s Class of 2014. Since then, I’ve earned an M.A. from the U of R and am working on my Ph.D. I am […]Read more "How to Defend Net Neutrality: An Example Letter"
Today’s revelation of the “Paradise Papers” comes from the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. So far as we know, this group did not perform the hack that obtained these financial documents, but simply interpreted the data. For this work, the ICIJ is to be commended. They document the tax-evasion schemes of plutocrats, celebrities, and politicians […]Read more "Explore the Paradise Papers"
Hi Tangents followers! I recently attended the Mormon Church’s Hill Cumorah pageant outside Rochester, N.Y. This all-volunteer, 75-minute theatrical performance stages the Book of Mormon as a (mostly) family-friendly drama. The show embodies the LDS religion’s messages of supernatural self-fulfillment and a mythic history for the United States. Read more in Emory University’s Sacred Matters magazine! […]Read more "Dan at the Hill Cumorah Pageant"
The warring monarchies of early modern Europe are not my specialty, compared to my European-historian peers, so I read Pierre Goubert’s Louis XIV and Twenty Million Frenchmen (1966; English version 1970) at a mild disadvantage. Still, I found that I rarely needed to peruse Wikipedia for extra context, as Goubert writes with a non-specialist audience […]Read more "The History of History 13: Where’d All These Frenchmen Come From?"
This is the fourth year-end wrap-up I’ve written about music. My past discussions of particular songs or albums have tended to be lengthy, so this year I’ll try to assess items with brevity. While 2016 may not have seen as many inventive recordings as in 2015, the year had a proliferation of well-honed albums and […]Read more "Mountains of the Moon, Earth to Heaven: The Best Music of 2016"
After reading Kenneth Pomeranz’s Great Divergence and Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis, we staggered into class this week with the literary equivalent of battle scars. We had read two dense tomes in a week and lived to tell the tale. Most people launched into conversation by stressing the density of Pomeranz, with his many footnotes and nuanced case […]Read more "The History of History 12: How the West Won (For a While…)"
Our readings this week disrupted the chronological approach to great books that we have used so far. Last week, we read Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904–05). This week, we read Immanuel Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis (2004) and Kenneth Pomeranz’s The Great Divergence (2000). These two books reflect a century’s worth of […]Read more "The History of History 11: The Great Divergence"