Word got around some months ago that a French psychoanalyst had published a guide to talking about books without reading them. After seeing a few blog conversations on this development, news that the volume would be translated into English seemed anticlimactic -- redundant, even.
The editors of the cultural magazine .N+1 are publishing a booklet called What We Should Have Known: Two Discussions that they have prepared for undergraduates. Copies have only just come back from the printer, it seems, but I’ve had a look at a prepublication PDF and now feel a certain evangelizing fervor for the whole project.
A few months back, Intellectual Affairs reported on the work of a couple of social scientists who were studying the contemporary antiwar movement. They have been showing up at the national demonstrations over the past several years and – with the help of assistants instructed in a method of random sampling – conducting surveys of the participants. The data so harvested was then coded and fed into a computer, and the responses cross-correlated in order to find any patterns hidden in the data.
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