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Is reading the best way to teach writing?

• Ross Douthat and I agree: People should read Gene Healy's "The Cult of the President."

• Conventional wisdom holds that people crave comfort food in times of change. Apparently not.

Rober Ebert on Alcoholics Anonymous.

Will it never end?

By Ezra Klein  |  August 25, 2009; 6:38 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Misremembering the Past
Next: The Cause of Ted Kennedy's Life


I notice this Tab Dump is timestamped "By Ezra Klein | August 25, 2009; 6:38 PM ET", putting me into a real time warp.

Posted by: rmgregory | August 25, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

a summer evening,
leave your troubles behind...
gilberto and jobim reunited for "a garota da ipanema!"

Posted by: jkaren | August 25, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

"de ipanema!"

Posted by: jkaren | August 25, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Participants in this blog may want to listen to T.R. Reid at

Posted by: lensch | August 25, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Me and a guy from Charlie Company worked out an agreement earlier today. The cult can drink the kool-aid, we have a different take on things.

Posted by: Dermitt | August 25, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

"Is reading the best way to teach writing?"

It's certainly how I learned to write. I'd have a hard time spitting out the rules for usage of commas or semicolons, but because I've been a voracious reader since childhood, correct constructions look and sound right, and bad constructions look and sound wrong.

After reading thousands upon thousands of examples of properly constructed sentences, it was hard, even in childhood, to write any other kind.

Posted by: rt42 | August 26, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"Conventional wisdom holds that people crave comfort food in times of change. Apparently not."

I thought the conventional wisdom was that people crave comfort food in *difficult* times.

With respect to "times of change," there's a hell of a big difference between the times when you're the driver of the changes in your life, and when the changes are being inflicted on you. In the former, of course you're going to be more adventurous than normal with respect to food. But not in the latter.

The best study in the world is useless if it's designed to answer the wrong questions.

Posted by: rt42 | August 26, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

I'm with rt42 on comfort food and change. The study was conducted entirely on undergraduates -- it's not just that undergraduates are experiencing a lot of change in their lives, change is one of the things undergraduates are culturally inculcated to desire to seek out. So there's no independence whatsoever between the control and experimental variables in the study. With all due respect to Professor Wood, I think her paper (at least as it is described in the article in TIME) is pretty much useless.

Posted by: JonathanTE | August 26, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Last night I was at Rep. Donna Edwards town hall. While the crowd, including me, overwhelmingly supported health reform, the couple sitting next to me had a sign saying "My 82 year old mother deserves treatment, not killing!" I had to ask them, who wants to kill your 82 year old mother? The answer: Ezekiel Emanuel. Neither I nor the guy I was with could persuade them that Dr. Emanuel had no intention of killing her mother. Completely unhinged.

Posted by: steveh46 | August 26, 2009 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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