Unspeakable Truths

Thoughts from Victor Davis Hanson:

I am fortunate for a wonderful graduate education in the PhD program at Stanford, but I learned more about the way the world works in two months of farming (which saved a wretch like me) than in four years of concentrated study.

In short, the world does not work on a nine-month schedule. It does not recognize concepts like tenure. It does not care for words without action. And brilliance is not measured by vocabulary or SAT scores. Wowing a dean, or repartee into a seminar, or clever put-downs of rivals in the faculty lounge don’t translate into running a railroad—or running the country. One Harry Truman, or Dwight Eisenhower is worth three Bill Clintons or Barack Obamas. If that sounds reductionist, simplistic, or anti-intellectual, it is not meant to—but so be it nonetheless.

I’ve never been less impressed with Ivy League degrees than I am now.


Apparently there’s a conference in California in a couple months on the subject. It might be interesting to attend, if it’s in LA (or wherever it is, but I’ll be more likely to attend if it’s in southern Cal).

[Update a couple minutes later]

This looks like it. It’s at Asilomar.

Well, March is a beautiful time to drive up the coast highway, though it’s pretty chilly in Pacific Grove that time of year (or any time, really — the wind off Point Joe can be bitter even in the summer).

My concern is that the people discussing space-based solutions will use bad (i.e., overly high) estimates for launch costs, because they won’t understand the economics of space technology.

An Interview With Christopher Hitchens

By Michael Totten. Parts I and II:

Hitchens: It’s not “the regime” or “the theocracy.” It’s now very clear that the Revolutionary Guards have committed a coup in all but name–well, I name it, but it hasn’t yet been named generally. They didn’t rig an election. They didn’t even hold one.

MJT: They never counted the votes. There’s no “recount” to be done.

Hitchens: The seizure of power by a paramilitary gang that just so happens to be the guardian and the guarantor and the incubator of the internationally illegal weapons program. If that doesn’t concentrate one’s mind, I don’t know what will.

MJT: If the Obama Administration calls you up and says, “Christopher, we need you to come in here, we need your advice.” What would you tell them?

Hitchens: I would say, as I did with Saddam Hussein–albeit belatedly, I tried to avoid this conclusion–that any fight you’re going to have eventually, have now. Don’t wait until they’re more equally matched. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

The existence of theocratic regimes that have illegally acquired weapons of mass destruction, that are war with their own people, that are exporting their violence to neighboring countries, sending death squads as far away as Argentina to kill other people as well as dissident members of their own nationality–the existence of such regimes is incompatible with us. If there is going to be a confrontation, we should pick the time, not them.

We’re saying, “Let’s give them time to get ready. Then we’ll be more justified in hitting them.” That’s honestly what they’re saying. When we have total proof, when we can see them coming for us, we’ll feel okay about resisting.

Read all, and hit Michael’s tip jar.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!