Thought for the day

Holbo on friends and enemies.

John Holbo, blogging at Crooked Timber:

The highest quality signals are given off by friends disagreeing with friends and enemies agreeing with enemies.

He’s writing about peer review, but the truth is of wider application.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

6 thoughts on “Thought for the day”

  1. Friend Wimberley…
    I’ll have to disagree with you.

    The highest quality signals are the smoke signals that hide the tracks of our oligarchs.

    We’re supposed to fret about Lance’s 2001 urine test…
    We’re supposed to gawk at Wiener’s step-ins…
    We’re supposed to scowl at Edward’s indictment…
    We’re supposed to bray at Palin’s history lessons…


    The fact that the Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein lied to Congress goes unattended and forgotten.

  2. This is why so many centrists pine for bipartisan solutions. They are incapable of evaluating policies themselves, and judge everything by how many people agree to it.

  3. It’s one of those “a great nation will fall” sorts of truths. It’s pretty clear in both cases that there’s an important signal, but much less clear what it is.

  4. But koreyel:

    What can you be talking about? Just consider how the Peter Diamond scandal has burst across all the news media for the past several days. Why, you can scarcely look at TV news or visit a news-related website without seeing banner headlines denouncing Richard Shelby for having blocked his nomination to the Federal Reserve at a time when our country’s future hangs in a precarious balance, and a Nobel Laureate with special expertise on unemployment could provide the kind of leadership that is so desperately needed in a crisis like the one we face. The deafening chorus calling for Shelby’s resignation in the face of this scandal, the horror of the political pundits of all persuasions at this unconscionable sabotage of the country’s prospects for economic recovery, the constant drumbeats of nothing but “Peter Diamond, Peter Diamond, Peter Diamond” all testify against what you are trying to insinuate.

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