A few unexpected book review arrivals, as well as some family summer sickness (it always _feels_ worse in the summer, yes?), have taken me off my game plan for today. Originally I had hoped to post Part IIIb of my series on common sense and M.J. Adler (last post here). It’s still coming, next Thursday probably, but just not today.
Since necessity is the mother of invention (i.e. I have nothing substantial to put up), let’s try something new: an open thread. I’ll call it “Lacy’s Open Thread” to personalize the effort—so you won’t confuse it with Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Lost Battalion” series at his Atlantic blog (an effort that is clearly inspired me–hence the shout out).
To further personalize this post, here are a few conversation seeds:
1. Check out Nicholas Carr’s reflections on Marshall McLuhan, here and here. I find Carr to be one of the most fascinating writers on the intersection of cognitive ability (or disability) and technology.
2. Here’s an entry by Salon’s Michael Lind in the “American exceptionalism” discussion.
3. Here’s a Bookforum Omnivore blog entry on the intellectual status of the Left (in the world and in America).
At this point long-time readers may be wondering what is the difference between my “open thread” offering and my “light reading” series. First, I haven’t actually read everything I’ve linked above (except the first McLuhan entry). Second, feel free to dismiss my seeds to talk about whatever you want.
So, what’s on your mind? Something from the past, or the present? Historiography? The debt crisis? The heat wave? Your writing malaise? Boy/girl troubles? Chef Ramsey? Vacation planning?
I’m also open to a meta-level conversation on whether you think an “open thread” is a good or bad idea for USIH (e.g. starting it midsummer might be a bad idea, even if the overall notion is fine).
Take it away… – TL
Note: Here’s a shameless, self-serving plug—If you havent’ joined S-USIH, what are you waiting for? Send us your info and a check. At this point you may be asking what’s in it for you? A newsletter (forthcoming)! Comradery! Pride! Partial entry into the USIH conference (participants must be S-USIH members). What else could you want?