Blog me, blog me, say that you blog me
Written by Bwog Staff
If you read the recent Spec article, you know that professors across the blogosphere are now at risk. What they write online could result in a loss of promotions, denied tenure, or trolls eating their firstborn. Bwog decided to send Dan D’Addario to look at a few faculty blogs. What did we learn? A great deal about the “spaghetti bowl” problem and fruit crumble served in crème brulee dishes.
Reflective Pundit – Professor Brigitte Nacos
Professor Nacos stated in a Spec article “I wanted to establish a blog that is not so extreme but more reflective.” That tone is constant throughout reflectivepundit. She links to a variety of news sources, making her blog a Reader’s Digest of all the best political articles of the day. The analysis is well-argued and clear, generally liberal without toeing a party line – for instance, she is dead-set against the release of Death of a President, the Bush assassination film that many leftists have argued is a necessary political allegory.As her blog’s title would indicate, Professor Regan refuses easy interpretations. She also fits in a long-overdue takedown of the Huffington Post, for which Bwog thanks her.
Professor Nacos is always civil and engages debate – despite, strangely, having no comments on any recent entry. But that doesn’t stop her from undisguised skepticism. And she isn’t afraid of a tart aside. Responding in a post to a claim about senators who would boost the “independence movement”: “Chaffee? Yes. But Lieberman?” Oh, meow.
Professor Bhagwati acquits himself well in the first of several planned interviews of Columbia faculty on the International Herald Tribune blog. Next up is Joseph Stiglitz, then Jeffrey Sachs. (Over-under on the number of Angelina Jolie questions: Three and a half.) Bhagwati is promoting the book In Defense of Globalization, so it’s hardly a mystery where he stands on the subject, but he makes an effort to present unbiased responses to some pretty complex questions. In a stunning coincidence, Professor Bhagwati appears to be aiming his writing at an audience that would read a business blog run by the International Herald Tribune – good thing Bwog took Principles of Economics.
There are some interesting responses from Bhagwati – he tells one reader that economists are “deeply involved” in the Kyoto Protocol renewal, even though some of them “cannot spell the word [environment] (it is far too long!).” He also refers to the problematic system of Preferential Trade Agreements as the “spaghetti bowl” problem “since eating spaghetti makes a mess for my tie and shirt!” Suddenly, Preferential Trade Agreements made so much more sense to me, and Bwog has a little crush on Professor Bhagwati.
While Professor Nacos is an observant, slightly catty history professor, Professor Davidson is more like a book-loving, slightly batty aunt. Hers is likely one of the most accessible professors’ blogs out there; she frequently discusses novels, but as the title “Light reading” indicates, it’s hardly Camus. “I do want to read Hannibal Rising!” she insists in a post titled “It is probably a foolish desire.” Professor Davidson, your Thomas Harris is the Columbia undergrad’s Us Weekly. Bwog feels you.
Recently, she’s written a cogent analysis of a Joan Didion piece on Dick Cheney in the New York Review of Books and long pull-quotes from Adam Smith on self-approbation. She also sounds off on Benjamin Rush, who describes “extreme hunger” and its effects on morals. She’s politically informed, linking to a variety of recent pieces – but generally reserves judgment and veers away from preaching.
But wouldn’t you rather hear Professor Davidson’s strangely specific thoughts on fruit crumbles and the crockery in which they should be served? Bwog thought so.