Posted inArts & Culture

When Libertarians Go Shopping

The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness by Virginia Postrel (HarperCollins) A billboard for CB2, Crate and Barrel’s somewhat trendier offspring, began popping up on Brown Line platforms this past winter depicting a pair of analog wall clocks made of concentric rings of polished hardwood. The […]

Posted inNews & Politics

More Than a Market

Dear Reader, Harold Henderson is characteristically on the mark in noting (“Useless Information,” February 15), contra Robert McChesney, that the relative concentration of media outlets alone or even in large part can’t determine their quality. Misinformation and downright nonsense appear to be as consistent with widely dispersed, “indie” sources of information (as in the Internet) […]

Posted inNews & Politics


Dear Reader, The rabble must be thoroughly confused by now. Elite economists advise them continuously to spend, spend, spend, exercising their consumer sovereignty. Now the keepers of Buy Nothing Day suggest that the shopping masses can’t distinguish between simple gift giving, prudent consumption, and an engineered Furby frenzy and urge them to curb their profligacy […]

Posted inNews & Politics

Madness in His Method

Dear Reader, I appreciate Harold Henderson’s ongoing attempts to bring sobriety and rational argumentation into environmental debates. And I can understand his frustration when such attempts are simply dismissed by environmental activists who are too impatient or, worse, dogmatically wedded to particular views to consider counterarguments (as seen in the responses [Letters, October 7] to […]