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May 22, 2004 5:25 pm


More Noted ...



Kirk at American Amnesia points to this interview, published by the Council on Foreign Relations, with John Lewis Gaddis, Robert A. Lovett Professor of American History at Yale. One of the interesting features at American Amnesia is its own series of interviews with noted public intellectuals, historians, and documentarians: Noam Chomsky, Benjamin DeMott, Errol Morris, and Howard Zinn. Next up in AA's series of interviews: Gar Alperovitz, Niall Ferguson, and Michael Waltzer.

There is a continuing controversy at the University of Louisville, where representatives of the KKK claim free speech rights. (See also: here). Communications professor Ede Warner argues that the klansmen should be barred from speaking on the grounds that they are terrorists. Warner has a point, but it's been quite while since the kluxers were a serious threat in the United States. I'd argue for allowing them a forum because their own representations are the best evidence of their pitiful inanity. Seriously, folks, in the long run undergraduates are quite capable of recognizing nonsense when they hear it.
Update: Erin O'Connor's Critical Mass has more on the background to this story.

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Jonathan Dresner - 5/24/2004

It gets worse. I haven't been following the auto news that closely, but I know that there are a few make/models out there that are co-produced by two different companies, each of which puts a different name on it. Honest: identical cars with different brands and titles.


Jonathan Dresner - 5/24/2004

Umm.... those are two of the cars we looked at.


David Lion Salmanson - 5/24/2004

Bad example, Jon. At least the Taurus and Saturn are different makers. Can somebody please explain how the low end Acura is different from the high end Honda Accord? That's segmented advertising. For buying products that are not differentiated except by advertising, nobody can top intra-divisional competition within the auto industry to wit: Dodge Plymouth Chrysler, Ford and Mercury, the 18 million (note: exaggeration for effect)name plates by General Motors on the same 4 cars.


Richard Henry Morgan - 5/23/2004

Tell the truth, Jon. Did you arrive at those two exemplars by consideration of their similarities, or by carefully segmented advertising aimed at you as part of a population?


Jonathan Dresner - 5/23/2004

No, but it is the difference between your Taurus and my Saturn....


Richard Henry Morgan - 5/23/2004

I was sincere about the comic relief -- I had a rough day. I'm sure there is something of value somewhere on the site, and Ferguson (?) -- I hadn't realized I'd joined his fan club. Let me know beforehand next time, will you?


Ralph E. Luker - 5/23/2004

I didn't guarantee that the people interviewed wouldn't say something stupid. You'll get your chance to oooh and aaaah when Kirk interviews Niall Ferguson.


Richard Henry Morgan - 5/23/2004

Thanks for the tip about American Amnesia. I took a gander at Noam's little contribution, including this tidbit:

"But since there's very little competition -- corporations are basically all producing the same things -- you have to have a very carefully designed, segmented advertising to try to induce various parts of the population to buy your product."

Yeah, that's the difference between my Ford Taurus and the Ferrari next to me at the stoplight -- segmented advertising. Yeah. Segmented advertising certainly explains technological innovation in the microchip industry. What a twit.

Thanks for the comic relief, Ralph.

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