Fringe Thoughts

Aileen I’m new to the world of academic blogs. I’ve been lurking, with fascination, on a couple of them for the last few weeks. US academia seems so different from my experience of academia in Ireland. I’m a little jealous of the networks that seem to exist over there. I’ve been thinking I need to create some networks of my own., so I’ve convinced two others to join me in a blog. I’d planned to call the blog “Toolsforchange” as my co-conspirator, Laurence Cox, has built an excellent social movement resource built on that name (see blogroll for link), but all the possible domain names had been snaffled by groups offering mediation and self-help. I was stumped. Than late last night I read this excellent post from Kieran Healy on It provided me both the inspiration to start and the name I needed (though I was tempted to go for “effortless brilliance” instead). But how to start my first post? Before Christmas I read a collection of letters by C.Wright Mills. It’s a good place to look for inspiration. So here’s something suitably ambitious for a beginning

“In the country I live we can write what ever we want; nobody locks us up. Nobody has to. Many of us lock our selves up. Many intellectuals of the USA are voluntarily abdicating the carrying out of protest and the debating of alternatives to the stupid policies and lack of policies of the power elite in the United States. They are abdicating the role of reason in human affairs. They are abdicating the making of history. (p277)”

Wow! What a challenge!