Oliver Sacks has Died

Oliver SacksSource: The New York Times, August 30

With Oliver Sacks, “Science Became Poetry.”

Whether writing about his patients, his love of chemistry or the power of music, Dr. Sacks leapfrogged among disciplines, shedding light on connections between science and art.

Paul Krugman on Donald Trump and the Nature of Conservatism

Source: The New York Times, August 27

Frank Bruni marvels at polls indicating that Donald Trump, with his multiple marriages and casinos, is the preferred candidate among Republican evangelicals. Others are shocked to see a crude mercantilist make so much headway in the alleged party of free markets. What happened to conservative principles?

Actually, nothing – because those alleged principles were never real. Conservative religiosity, conservative faith in markets, were never about living a godly life or letting the invisible hand promote entrepreneurship.

Instead, it was all as Corey Robin describes it: conservatism is “a reactionary movement, a defense of power and privilege against democratic challenges from below, particularly in the private spheres of the family and the workplace.”

It’s really about who’s boss, and making sure that the man in charge stays boss. Trump is admired for putting women and workers in their place, and it doesn’t matter if he covets his neighbor’s wife or demands trade wars.

The point is that Trump isn’t a diversion, he’s a revelation, bringing the real motivations of the movement out into the open.