Alms Watch 2007

So, maybe I should just rename by blog to “Greg Clark: Please be my adviser.” I mean seriously, what am I doing here, he already gave me a pass on my prelim exam.

It’s too bad everyone (and Clark, I think) is assuming Clark’s finding show genetic changes. Culture seems to me to be much more likely. Why haven’t we heard from the Anthropologists? Grant McCracken? Anybody, anybody? Shouldn’t they be telling us all their theories for how culture gets transmitted?

9 thoughts on “Alms Watch 2007”

  1. Seriously, I’m sure he appreciates not having to search the net to find out the latest buzz.

    But I’m not sure if you’d want him as your advisor considering your negative view of empirical research. Actually, come to think of it, his work seems to be exactly the type of research you love to criticize.

  2. Heh. Actually, that was somewhat of a joke. History is hard work; I’m not sure I’m up to it.

    What is this negative view of which you speak? I think there should be a closer relationship between theorists and empiricists… that’s all.

  3. I am sure it doesn’t mean that much, but some of the links are useful for teaching 110A…(especially the last diagram)

  4. I agree that the cultural aspect is more interesting. The misplaced attention is probably due to the fact that most folks haven’t read the actual book so they’re just responding to what they heard or to a review they read. And I got my suspicions about the diligence with which book reviewers actually read the books they’re assigned.

  5. Stephen King makes a similar comment in this week’s Entertainment Weekly about the reviewers of Harry Potter: “In their hurry to churn out column inches, and thus remain members of good standing in the Church of What’s Happening Now, very few of the Potter reviewers have said anything worth remembering… They take a perfunctory wave at things like plot and language, but do little more…and really, how can they? When you have only four days to read a 750-page book, then write an 1,100-word review on it, how much time do you have to really enjoy the book? To think about the book?”

    In the case of Farewell to Alms its the last question that probably is most operative for reviewers on a deadline.

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