Saturday, September 01, 2007

Best Website on the Internet for Interdisciplinary Folk

I've been meaning to note this on the blog for a while, but I would argue that (formerly consistently contains the best collection of interesting and informative links on the Internet. When you are very interdisciplinary, you're never quite sure what will be helpful or important to think about. Bookforum's front page gives a wonderful selection of interesting work from across the web, including first chapters of books, online journal articles, drafts of papers, book reviews, commentary, and more.

Today's Bookforum may be especially interesting to readers of our blog, since it has a larger than usual number of links to education related topics, including reviews of books on the loss of "play" in the modern age, our failure to support "gifted" children, and an article on the "Top 5 Myths about Girls, Math, and Science. I won't link to these directly--you need to go to Bookforum and see for yourself.

The person who pulls these together every day has got to be a little compulsive (he's writing his dissertation at the same time, somehow). You can see an interview with him, here. Interesting quote: "[Alfredo] Perez doesn’t link to blogs. That way, madness lies. “It would be too much work to consider linking to the blogosphere,” he says."

The interviewer (a member of Crooked Timber) goes on to note that Perez

places a special emphasis on pointing readers to “articles that are sure — or have the potential — to become part of what’s debated in the public sphere.” That includes things like op-eds in The New York Times, articles on public policy in The American Prospect, and essays from the socialist journal Dissent — “material that I think should be a part of the ‘required reading’ for anyone who wants to stay on top of the news and public debates.”

His default list of required readings shows a certain tilt to the left. But he also links to material far removed from his own politics — publications such as Reason, First Things First, Policy Review, and "The Occidental Quarterly." Actually, it was Perez’s site that first introduced me to the latter periodical, which describes itself as a “journal of Western thought and opinion.” Its editors are keen on eugenics, stricter immigration laws, and the European cultural tradition (in particular the German contribution thereto).

“I think it obvious,” says Perez, “that anyone interested in public debates about more philosophical matters has to be familiar with those on ‘the other side.’ I think it’s just plain smart to do so. Reading counterarguments to your position can often be more helpful than readings that just confirm your own point of view."


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.

Hugh O'Donnell said...

Appreciate the head-up folks, but not all the links work for me. I get the classic "404 Not Found" message.

Aaron Schutz said...

Okay, sorry. It was acting wierd. I killed most of the links and the one remaining one to bookforum seems to work.

Anonymous said...

It is a shame that Bookforum has lost a lot of its thrill---I certainly read a lot more about celebraties these days. A shame is gone.