Unexpected Affinities

It turns out John Derbyshire likes Juvenal too:

AK: In the past, critics would have placed your nape under the guillotine and held your severed head aloft for the delectation of the multitude. Now they will have to make do with the hope that you will spend the rest of your days in abject poverty, sleeping rough and queuing in soup kitchens, completely forgotten. Maybe they dream you’ll end up like Bobby Driscoll, abandoned by all, your skeleton found years later in an abandoned tenement in a big city slum. Will their cruelty be gratified?

JD: Probably. Have you ever been in an old folks home? Helped nurse an Alzheimer’s or stroke patient? I have done all three. The opinion journalist I most admired in my young adulthood was Bernard Levin. He ended up drooling and in diapers. But Doctor Johnson told us all this 263 years ago… and he was imitating Juvenal, who told the tale 1600 years earlier… and Juvenal took his theme in part from Herodotus, writing six centuries before (the Solon-Croesus exchanges) The theme was probably common enough in the Paleolithic. Perhaps even chimps know about it.

Derbyshire also links to Roissy – apparently he even reads the comments. No wonder he has good sense. His real sin is failing to pretend he’s dumber than he is. God forbid a conservative ever writes something incisive.

At Alt-Right, Richard Spencer points to Derbyshire’s comments on Putnam’s diversity study:

In September 2006, political scientist Robert Putnam was awarded the Johan Skytte Prize, one of the most prestigious in his field. The prize is awarded in Uppsala, Sweden, by a Scandinavian scholarly association. (Skytte was a seventeenth-century Swedish grandee.)

As usual with such events in the academic world, Putnam presented a research paper to commemorate the event. The paper is titled “E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the Twenty-first Century.” [ . . . ]

The paper has a very curious structure. After a brief introduction (two pages), there are three main sections, headed as follows:

1. The Prospects and Benefits of Immigration and Ethnic Diversity (three pages)
2. Immigration and Diversity Foster Social Isolation (nineteen pages)
3. Becoming Comfortable with Diversity (seven pages)

I’ve had some mild amusement here at my desk trying to think up imaginary research papers similarly structured. One for publication in a health journal, perhaps, with three sections titled

1. Health benefits of drinking green tea
2. Green tea causes intestinal cancer
3. Making the switch to green tea

I mentioned the Putnam study in this post.


About Pechorin

A Hero of Our Time
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