Good Reads That I Disagree With

Hello From HoustonI’m in Houston this week for work, and all full up of Tex-Mex food. Since I’ve been sitting on planes so much lately, I’ve done lots of reading. I thought I’d throw out some of the better pieces I’ve come across, with some minimal commentary about why I think the author’s thesis are wrong.

Pandora’s Briefcase Gladwell writes a typically intriguing piece about what spying means for our relationship to knowledge. Also typically, I think one of his underlying assumptions, that there is some a priori truth that’s obscured, is wrong, and thus his conclusion is way, way off base.

Condo’s of the Living Dead A. A. Gill argues that the super-lux buildings of “New New York” are soulless, nouve-riche status symbols. I don’t disagree but rather marvel at the quality of his condescension. Rarely is strawman-directed snobbery so readable.

America’s True History of Religious Tolerance Kenneth Davis argues that America’s checkered, violent past belies our ideal of religious tolerance. I’d argue that “tolerance” is a continuum, not an all-or-nothing proposition. Occasional violent flare-ups, like the murder of Joseph Smith don’t mean that the intervening, and increasingly long, periods of tranquility were worthless. Change takes time.

All three of these pieces suffer from a similar fault; thinking about life, and what makes it worth living, in a categorical way. How many things in life are really immutable? Isn’t life, and our decisions, much more contextual, more nuanced, more subtle and complex, than these three pieces would suggest?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Good Reads and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Good Reads That I Disagree With

  1. Pingback: Certainly the Problem is Uncertainty | Whiskey and Car Keys

Comments are closed.