Daily Office: Friday


¶ Matins: A final word on “denialism,” this time from the New Humanist. Keith Kahn-Harris writes comprehensively about the matter, citing, among other things, the danger of mistaking diverging views from denials, and he enumerates five characteristics that make the difference. What we hope for is an essay that will address the other side of the problem, which critical thinkers are too apt to overlook: the problem of expertise without authority. Mr Kahn-Harris’s word is “sanctimony,” which speaks volumes.

¶ Lauds: Elise Nakhnikian makes a very compelling case for watching Bout de souffle this weekend. (The House Next Door)

¶ Prime: One nugget to carry away from the entry by Peter Boone and Simon Johnson at The Baseline Scenario, “The Very Bad Luck of the Irish,” is the alarming jump in the relative size of Ireland’s budget deficit when the Gross Domestic Product metric is replaced by the Gross National Product.

¶ Tierce: “Tell me why this wouldn’t work!” demands Tim Carmody, referring to his really rather brilliant idea, Showroulette. (Snarkmarket)

¶ Sext: At The Millions, Nell Boeschenstein writes with heartbreaking restraint about being fired at a job that, although she wasn’t cut out for it, she took because she couldn’t make a living as a writer: “Skills and Interests.”

¶ Nones: n case you’re just tuning in, Joshua Kurlantzick explains “What the Heck Is Going on in Thailand” — at Foreign Policy, for a change. Mr Kurlantzick’s sketch of a solution to Thailand’s impasse is elegantly stated and, even if, as he says, looks to be “very far away,” it is not by any means idealistic.

¶ Vespers: You don’t have to be particularly interested in poetry to be absorbed by “The Other Mother Tongue,” Michael Scharf’s review of a new anthology of Indian verse in English. (Boston Review; via 3 Quarks Daily)

¶ Compline: Lest you regard denialism as an American problem only, here is Timothy Garton Ash’s cry from the wilderness for a second Churchill to lead Europe out of its doldrums. Almost every public figure named in the following paragraphs is an expert without any widespread authority. Churchill, famously, was an authority without expertise whom the experts tried ceaseless to sideline. (Guardian; via RealClearWorld)