The other day I realized I didn’t know what civilization was, which ordinarily would not give much pause, for I am resigned to incomprehension regarding humanity, but the thing was I had to teach “civilization” as a vocabulary word. So I looked it up. As ever with the Shorter Oxford, I get easily distracted, […]

The Brink’s Job

      The Greeks of the sixth century and earlier were intellectual pioneers. It was the first time that they or anybody else began, as one historian has put it, “to think of space, time, man, and the state in any clear and coherent manner.” –David Fromkin, The Way of the World   I […]

Are We Running Out of Band Names?

  So asks this article. Apparently it’s a problem. John Paul Jones noted it a few years back, too: “Every other name is taken,” Mr. Jones explains. “Think of a great band name and Google it, and you’ll find a French-Canadian jam band with a MySpace page.” Well, anyone who knows me knows¬†that I am […]