Greyfriars Kirkyard (Photo: Dan Nexon) 
  • Aleppo reportedly running low on food and water.
  • Australian media: “A US military report, to be formally released tomorrow, contains a recommendation to massively expand America’s defence presence in Australia by building a base in Perth for a US aircraft carrier and supporting fleet.”
  • The Economist on Mitt Romney: “Like Bush, but without the cosmopolitan flair.” Well, at least they didn’t recycle the “wimp” line, like a certain US weekly experiencing late-stage death-spiral.
  • Meanwhile, Dan Drezner, in a pattern becoming increasingly familiar to his colleagues, tries to make lemonade out of them lemons: this time by revisiting whether “culture matters” in explaining differential economic performance. Jacob Heilbrunn. for his part, declares that Romney’s possible display of the fundamental attribution error makes him “interesting.” I’ll wager a Protestant Ethic, raise him a Confucian  Capitalist, and then try to find some rich Jewish relatives to foot the bill.
  • Lest I seem too given to Romney-bashing lately, I suspect he’d make a perfectly competent President; but he’s in desperate need of better foreign-policy peeps. 
  • Anyway,  Slate reruns Jordan Ellenberg’s excellent defense of the current gymnastics scoring system.
  • I have nothing to say about the death of Gore Vidal.  
  • Ray Kwong at Asia Security Watch… oh, just go read and watch.
  • Steve Walt uses the same gimmick I do to get students to reflect on nationalism and in-group bias. We academics think that we’re so clever, but really we’re just sheeple with too many letters after our names.
  • Via Laura McKenna: the Chronicle of Higher Education provides details concerning the Senate report on for-profit colleges. I agree that these schools are basically evil, but we should be careful about overstating the importance of the legal-technical distinction between “for-profit” and “not-for-profit” private schools of higher education. Not-for-profit privates provide financial benefits to their stakeholders, including administrators and academics. Sometimes they behave just as badly, as Paul Campos’ crusade against the “law-school scam” makes clear.
  • Recorded my first NBN interview yesterday, with the always interesting and engaging Ken Macleod. We discussed his excellent recent-ish book, The Night Sessions — hence the photo for this morning’s linkage. Macleod’s one of those “ideas people.” And he writes SF… and has a blog. If I can wrap a few more interviews, the channel should launch by the end of August. 
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