• John Yoo, currently back over in Italy—again—for yet another academic junket, passes along the following story by email from Rome:
I was sitting in the Lufthansa lounge in Munich airport on my way to Rome just now. Up comes a tall German-looking fellow.
Q: Are you John Yoo?
Q: I listen to your podcast!
John: Really? In Germany?
Q: No! In Finland!
John: What??? How???
Q: I have lived in the States. We love Lucretia!!!
John: Have you figured out who she is?
Q: No, but she must be some character! I feel bad for Steve.
As John concludes, “You can’t make this stuff up!” Indeed.
• Talk about a total buzzkill on an otherwise pleasant weekend:
A biographer researching the German philosopher Hegel has uncovered a massive treasure trove of previously undocumented lectures that could change perceptions regarding one of the leading figures of modern western philosophy.
He said an early reading of the notes had hinted at a fresh understanding of how Hegel formed his influential ideas on aesthetics, the philosophy around beauty and art, and how he analysed Shakespeare’s plays to help develop his ideas.
Thanks, I think I’ll pass.
• Oh c’mon man: now they’re just trolling us:
It is fashionable to bash Freud today because of his strange theories, especially about sex. But he has had a massive influence on scholarship and public thinking. . .
Actually, when you get further into this story, it turns out that Facebook is Peter Thiel’s fault:
Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, has said studying [Rene] Girard led him to recognize the power of social media.
In a New York Times article, Thiel said he gave Facebook its first $100,000 investment because he saw Professor Girard’s theories being validated in the concept of social media.
Freud influenced Girard, who influenced Thiel. Freud led to Facebook.
Well that certainly seems like ironclad logic.
• From the Harvard Crimson:
Across the University, for every academic employee there are approximately 1.45 administrators. When only considering faculty, this ratio jumps to 3.09. Harvard employs 7,024 total full-time administrators, only slightly fewer than the undergraduate population. What do they all do?
The sensible headline of the article: “Fire Them All. God Will Know His Own.” I wonder how many Harvard students will know the reference? I’d wager it is less than 5 percent.