Joel Garver of LaSalle provided me with the following quotation from Jorge Luis Borges, a quotation that Joel read in a series of lectures on postmodernism this summer: Borges refers to “a ‘certain Chinese encylopaedia’ in which it is written that ‘animals are divided into: . . . . Continue Reading »


Years ago, I enjoyed Michael Lewis’s Liar’s Poker , a superbly written account of Lewis’s years on Wall Street. His latest, Moneyball , is even better. Lewis tells the story of the Oakland A’s, and particularly of their GM Billy Beane, and how he revolutionized the way . . . . Continue Reading »


In his recent book, Seeds of Wealth: Four Plants that Made Men Rich , Henry Hobhouse defends the automobile as an environmental boon. Reviewing the book in the August 15 issue of the TLS , Paul Levy summarizes Hobhouse’s argument: In 1900, apart from a few steam and internal combustion-driven . . . . Continue Reading »

Terrorism & Piracy

There is a fascinating article in the current Atlantic Monthly about terrorism, business, and piracy on the high seas. William Langewiesche, who did a series of articles for the Atlantic on the aftermath of 9/11, tells some harrowing stories about the chaotic world that occupies a sizable portion . . . . Continue Reading »