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In The Campus Bookstore Today

I stopped by the campus bookstore today and did some browsing. I found a book called The Republican Brain by Chris Mooney, who also authored the Republican War On Science.  I haven't read his previous book. This one doesn't look very inviting either.

The subtitle "The Science Of Why They Deny Science-- and Reality"  suggests the book is yet another attempt to ground political arguments in cognitive science. The trouble with this approach is that the focus of the argument becomes the opponents brain rather than the actual facts and principles under discussion.In other words, cognitive science provides a very modern, high tech ad hominem argument.

Of course I haven't read the book. It's entirely possible it's more nuanced and fair than the provocative title suggests, so I won't make further criticisms. I could read the book, but my conservative brain would probably be pathologically resistant to it's brilliant arguments.

Jonah Goldberg has read it, and so he has a right to criticize. Which he does in this review.

I also saw a copy of Steven Colbert's latest book I Am A Pole (And So Can You!). It looked like it might be amusing, but the most attractive part was the blurb by Maurice Sendak: "The sad thing is, I like it". This will go down in blurb history, especially since it was released  on the day of Sendak's death.

The blurb alone tempted me to buy the book. But I was strong. And besides, it's only 32 pages long so I could probably read it for free sometime.