You Do Not Want PJ O'Rourke to Review Your Book
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
In the Sunday NY Times Book Review, the conservative satirist PJ O'Rourke reviews Taylor Clark's Starbucked, an investigative and sociological look at the rise of America's most prominent coffee chain.
For Clark (a fellow Dartmouth grad) and contributor to an Oregon alternative weekly, a review at the NY Times is the much hoped for catalyst to gain attention and acclaim for his first book. Unfortunately, O'Rourke has other ideas. In the hands of the skilled satirist, the review itself emerges as much better than the book and O'Rourke lets you know it.
Back in June, I wrote about the editorial process in choosing reviews at the NY Times. In this case, Clark ends up on the losing side of both random and systematic bias.
The full review is a must read and will be full of at least a half dozen "laugh out louds," but for a taste, consider below how O'Rourke ends the essay:
I never came to like "Starbucked." But I grew very fond of its writer. Most books about social and business phenomena give the reader something to think about. This book gave the author something to think about. Reading "Starbucked" produced an odd reversal of roles and left me, at least, feeling less like a student of the subject than a teacher. Not that I mean to instruct Clark. But I experienced the pleasure a teacher must feel when he watches a kid with promise outgrowing the vagaries and muddles of immaturity (and the jitters of too many coffee-fueled all-nighters) and coming into his own as a young man of learning, reason and sense.
I lift a cup -- of something stronger than Frappuccino -- to you, Taylor Clark. Now go tackle Microsoft.
Fight or flight? We've all been there. Now we have an understanding of how it works.
The Spilhaus Projection may be more than 75 years old, but it has never been more relevant than today.
- Athelstan Spilhaus designed an oceanic thermometer to fight the Nazis, and the weather balloon that got mistaken for a UFO in Roswell.
- In 1942, he produced a world map with a unique perspective, presenting the world's oceans as one body of water.
- The Spilhaus Projection could be just what the oceans need to get the attention their problems deserve.
It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction
- It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
- If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
- The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
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