The 2014 election cycle is wrapping up as I curate for November 5. No comments on the elections, directly, but most of this week’s issue focuses on politics at the edges—and, in the final selection—the missing center.
Courtesy of my friend Tony Canton, here’s some provocative thinking from David Schanzer and Jay Sullivan, writing for the New York Times on November 2: Cancel the Midterms. Borrowing from my life in nonprofits—and with the recognition that government can no more be run like a charity than it should be run like a business—it may be time to look at our governance model. The conceit that what worked in 1787 should work now, even with the several amendments to the Constitution over 200 or so years, is breathtaking!
The Right’s Scary Turning Point: Why this Election Matters More Than You Think is written by Dave Dryen for Salon on November 4. And here’s Midterm Elections, the Senate, and Republican Science Denial by Phil Plait for Slate, posted on November 4. Interesting observations!
Jordan Ellenberg—he’s a UW-Madison math professor and author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, and a great writer—wrote Forecasting the Forecaster, explaining why Nate Silver will almost surely be wrong about a few races, even though his statistical modeling is likely excellent. The piece was posted at Slate on November 3. (Great takeaway line? “We always think we’re right, but we don’t think we’re always right.” Chew on that one … and be sure to read the update, where Professor Ellenberg’s error gets noted.)
And then there’s that “vision” thing, famously derided by President George H.W. “Malapropster I” Bush. Here’s Our Politicians are Flunking the Vision Test by Eugene Robinson for the Washington Post on November 3.
The Curator cannot ignore our collective sorrow at the passing of Tom Magliozzi. Here’s the finest piece I have read, The Secret Genius of Car Talk by Nathan Heller for browbeat, Slate’s culture blog, posted on November 3. Godspeed!
And for food? Well, because Election Night nourishment involves pizza, and I used a new dough recipe which is made with beer, here’s Attention: Pizza Dough with Beer from Baking Steel. No, I did not have pumpkin beer, so I used something left over from a party. (My esophagus and beer, consumed as a liquid, have a very poor relationship, so beer sits until I throw it away. New use, maybe.) Here’s my product: