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Interesting thoughts about your political proclivities possibly shifting. I’m going though a similar figuring at the same time. I still lean liberal left but most of my opinion sources are center right (Dispatch, Bulwark) - partly because I like to be challenged and partly cause I might be tiring of all the structural critiques and appreciate messages of personal responsibility (especially when wielded against the whiny online right).

I guess you could call me somewhat in line with John McWhorter or Thomas Chatterton Williams.

I’m still the second most liberal person in my government agency, but I got the impression that I’d be considered an unredeemable apostate by the Twitter left.

As for the ungodly amount of money we spend on war implements (for good or ill) my personal metric is the $42M construction cost for a 70,000 square feet college of education building that I managed for the past 5 years. Every time I hear something like “this missile costs $18m” I now think “damn, that’s almost half of my building!”

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Thanks! I don't know the Dispatch - checking that out.

Yeah, it just feels like in all the chaos of Trump and wokeism that the center got completely cleared out. I do find Biden to be an effective president - governing exactly from the center. There is a pretty cogent center-right position developing intellectually - in places like The Bulwark - although at the moment that seems to be more of an intellectual position than something attached to actual political figures. So I think it's important to claw back to a real center - with people talking about stuff that actually matters (overruns in defense spending, for instance) as opposed to symbolic culture wars issues.

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Cool have fun. They have a little too much faith in the market for my taste and I’m still bitter about the dual mismanagement of Katrina and Iraq...but at least those old neo-cons at least have the courage to stand up against the worst excesses of their side and have earned my occasional attention.

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Off topic wishing to remind you what happens at the 2/3 mark exactly in Mgster Ludi. It is that Knecht shows to be a persuasive writer. Out of 20 years of including history in his private studies delivers the other Mgsters a critique really sympathetic to the game players but as if Nassim Taleb saying they donot have dogs in the game. Must be that some new theme comes out in a Bach fugue at the 66 percent mark because : the formalism. I just bet after that mark that Knecht gets in real trouble. Like a detective in a TV show. It was how it was in Manns Magic Mountn the Kid gets a b r oken heart and goes off to wage war. After my day job i will be listening toLudi reading abt Ronan Farrow thanks.

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God you have read a lot - and really impressed at how much you remember of all of it. Nice note. Thank you!

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I have to titter that I was right about where Knecht goes from the point he publishes his circular letter to the Directors of Castalia. That glacial lake he dives in does the beating that a TV detective would have gotten at this point in a drama, from the Underworld I guess is the gist. But look today how there is soft culture happening on Substack, next to your own, who keep experimenting What if decency can be made to work for us moderns? But today look and see that Freddie De Boer and Me both were on the similar tip from books, like Utopias, asin Mgstr Ludi, and he draws the next stepping stone in the form of a pop-referential short story, with deeps! And I do my usual banging around the kitchen , do we need to kill our heroes? Freddie's and my notes of hope we strike in fictions sound like one of your portraits of decent people in a blur of projects to accomplish. Potential on this public Sstack word processor for idea exchange, that was my guess today.

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