Myshkin the Point

Tyler Cowen is fascinated by cutting-edge communications technology, and by literary criticism. But this is no Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup: the two great things don’t go great together.

Tyler Cowen, who is often a great source of insights on new literature, last night had a post about Dostoyevsky. It largely consists of an account of his own utility function (which, come to think of it, is largely what Facebook consists of: precisely why advertisers love it, though I don’t see why anyone else should). And then this:

If you enter “Dostoyevsky” into the search function of Twitter, you don’t come up with much interesting these days.

Heavens. We’d better just write him out of the canon then. Cowen’s commenter “vanderleun” nails it:

That [sentence] just says so much about so many things not even distantly related to Dostoyevsky that it can be put up as a “Koan for Our Era.”

Precisely. If you meet the Tweeter on the road, kill him.

Author: Andrew Sabl

Andrew Sabl, a political theorist, is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics and Hume’s Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England, both from Princeton University Press. His research interests include political ethics, liberal and democratic theory, toleration, the work of David Hume, and the realist school of contemporary political thought. He is currently finishing a book for Harvard University Press titled The Uses of Hypocrisy: An Essay on Toleration. He divides his time between Toronto and Brooklyn.

7 thoughts on “Myshkin the Point”

  1. “If you enter ‘Dostoyevsky’ into the search function of Twitter, you don’t come up with much interesting these days.”

    That’s true these days, but back 30-40 years ago you’d find lots of interesting Dostoevsky tidbits on Twitter.

    1. I wonder what one would get for “Dickens”, but not enough to try it… At least the characters’ names are shorter.

      1. There’s a whole ‘nother batch of tweets for Dostoevsky, an alternate spelling (10 letters instead of 11).

  2. Is there another RBC that treats that glorified Koch lobbyist with the scorn he deserves? I want to read that.

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