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Waughian Conservatism

From First Thoughts

While working on a recording together, Johnny Cash asked Bob Dylan if he knew “Ring of Fire.” Dylan said he did and began to play it on the piano, croaking it out in typical Dylanesque fashion. When he was done he turned to his friend and said, “It goes something like that, . . . . Continue Reading »

Let Sotomayor Talk

From First Thoughts

Since the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, Republicans have been wondering how to challenge her without it backfiring on them. Hadley Arkes proposes a novel solution : Let Sotomayor talk—and get on the record what the Democrats don’t want explained about the law: . . . . Continue Reading »

Re: Designer Babies

From First Thoughts

As I mentioned yesterday , when it comes to issues of bioethics the “degradation of language only leads to linguistic confusion and muddy thinking.” A prime example can be found in the BBC article that Ryan cites . The term design means to intend for a definite purpose—and the gene . . . . Continue Reading »

Wanna Change Culture? Watch Your Language

From First Thoughts

Stanford neuroscientist Lera Boroditsky has an interesting article on how the languages we speak shape the way we think . She notes that the consensus in her field is that “people who speak different languages do indeed think differently and that even flukes of grammar can profoundly affect how . . . . Continue Reading »

Pro-Life Plaster

From First Thoughts

Brazilian student Jorge Lopes has pioneered the conversion of data from ultrasound and MRI scans into life-size plaster models of living embryos using a method called rapid prototyping. ‘It’s amazing to see the faces of the mothers,” says Lopes, who created the technology for his . . . . Continue Reading »