Thursday, May 13, 2004

Three Posts by Dan

Dan Drezner has had several recent posts that caught my attention. I liked his call to have Rummy resign. Hubby has been stomping around the house lately, arguing the same thing.

Dan also discusses what is more influential: blogging or academic literature. He writes, I doubt that politicians ever listened to what E.E. Schattschneider, David Mayhew, Hans Morgenthau, or Graham Allison said on a day-to-day basis -- but the political world they live in was partily constructed by their ideas.

I added a comment that academics are very influential today. Their credentials allow them to be behind-the-scene advisors, though most academic articles are largely ignored by everyone. Sorry, but bloggers haven't had that kind of impact yet.

His most recent post on the decline of the adult sitcom quotes David Brooks:

[P]arents have gone to extraordinary lengths not to let jobs get in the way of child rearing. They have added work time, but on average, they have not stolen those hours from child-rearing time. The time has come out of housework, relaxation, and adult friendships.

Well, for me, nothing killed adult interaction more that dissertation writing. By hanging out at the playground, I met a whole gang of new friends. We've had a lot of parties, thinly veiled as birthday parties for the kids, and then hung around drinking beers. Opportunities for adult interaction is one major advantage to raising kids in the city.

I'm not sure that the decline in adult interaction can be solely blamed on intensive child rearing. There are so many other variables of modern life that have affected social life. Increased mobility of families. The rise of housing developments that lack downtown centers. The increase in work obligations.

I haven't read Brooks' book, yet. But I would like to check out his facts. Some writers would argue that there is still much adult interaction, it just takes place in the workplace. And perhaps on the internet.

Still, social isolation is a huge interest of mine. It has a major impact on politics. We don't want to bowl alone.

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