and that’s a great name for a blog, too

If you like stimulating conversation, you should be reading Crooked Timber. These are just from the last few days:
How will history judge? Micah picks up on this post at En Banc and asks, What will the America of 2104 think of the America of 2004?
In this post, philosopher Brian Weatherson points with sensible trepidation to Peter Singer’s new book, The President of Good and Evil: The Convenient Ethics of George W. Bush. Given the timing of its release, I honestly suspect the book is aimed more at getting Singer back on TV than anything else. Nonetheless, Brian raises interesting questions that he’d like to see Singer tackle, and the comment thread has some interesting back-and-forth about Singer’s most famous ideas regarding abortion and infanticide.
Speaking of books, this post is a must-read. Harry wants to know of “two books you think every educated person should have read, published 1970 or later”. On another blog, this topic could be tiresome, but on CT I can almost guarantee that you’ll get some great reading recommendations out of it. For me, so far:
The History and Geography of Human Genes – Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza
In Search of Lost Time – Marcel Proust
Feynman�s Lectures on Physics
Maus – Art Spiegelman
Development as Freedom – Amartya Sen
Love in the Time of Cholera – Marquez
The Drowned and the Saved – Primo Levi
The Eighth Day of Creation – Horace Judson
Understanding Media – Marshall McLuhan
An Artist in the Floating World, Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
Sometimes a Great Notion – Ken Kesey
The Sheltering Sky – Paul Bowles
Finally, this post is a quick pointer to a book review, but the comments thread finds its way to the question “what is science?”, which I find endlessly interesting. Commenter Keith M Ellis does a bang-up job of making Kuhnians (Kuhnites? Kuhnts?) look ridiculous.
Update: that remark was unfair, the more so since I keep comments off on posts highlighting conversations on other blogs. My apologies to Mr Ellis; see the thread (in the next day or so; I’m really busy) for a more substantive contribution from me.
Update: see also here.