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Steve Ersinghaus

Last Build Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:53:39 +0000


Thinking About Lines of History

Wed, 28 Feb 2018 21:36:37 +0000

Last year I jumped on the chance to preorder Ron Chernow’s book on U.S. Grant. The Amazing R and I had just come back from a visit to Antietam. When the biography came via mail, I ate it up. I should write a review but I’m too busy following up on the text and thinking […]

An Odd Test Post

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 16:06:08 +0000

I’m taking students through the wordpress back end. It’s fun. They like it. At least those students who are awake.

On Taking Law Enforcement Away

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 19:06:46 +0000

This tweet by the so-called president makes very little sense: The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017 “So-called judge” and “which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country” are more than just inappropriate. And […]

When an Oxymoron Becomes Du Jour

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 19:14:53 +0000

Studying figures of speech can be fun. The new meme these days is “fake news.” This is, of course, an oxymoron.

On “The text with words”

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:51:15 +0000

From The Journey to the West. The Buddhist Patriarch says: However, those creatures in your Land of the East are so foolish and unenlightened that I have no choice but to impart to you now the text with words. This is a significant section of the novel, which redefines a previous judgement, switching “dumb” for […]

The Purpose of Sleep

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:09:23 +0000

On the Purpose of Sleep: Some have argued that it’s a way to save energy. Others have suggested that slumber provides an opportunity to clear away the brain’s cellular waste. Still others have proposed that sleep simply forces animals to lie still, letting them hide from predators.

How to Write about Being Incorrect

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:48:14 +0000

I’m somewhat puzzled by this use of language by David Graham at The Atlantic regarding the whole Frederick Douglass imbroglio. He writes: In a way, Trump isn’t totally wrong about Douglass “getting recognized more and more,” though one is left to scratch one’s head at where precisely he noticed that. First we have the hedge […]

A College from Scratch

Tue, 23 Feb 2016 23:31:03 +0000

This is an interesting project, building a college from the ground up. Christine Ortiz is taking a leave from her prestigious post as a professor and dean at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to start a radical, new nonprofit university that she says will have no majors, no lectures, and no classrooms.

All Poems are Failures (as poems)

Tue, 23 Jun 2015 19:15:34 +0000

Good stuff: Poems can, of course, succeed in any number of less grand ambitions than the ones I’m describing (they can be funny or lovely or offer solace or courage or inspiration to certain audiences at certain times; they can play a role in constituting a community; and so on), but I’m attempting to account […]

On Willful Ignorance

Fri, 19 Jun 2015 14:43:06 +0000

From The Chronicle: Anyone who has been paying attention to the fault lines of academic debate for the past 20 years already knows that the “science wars” were fought by natural scientists (and their defenders in the philosophy of science) on the one side and literary critics and cultural-studies folks on the other. The latter […]