ISA HOPKINS

Raconteur. Adventurer. Kimchi Enthusiast.

Big Thinking For a Big Society

Currently, the British government is pushing the idea of something called the “Big Society,” a response to the financial crisis in which markets are more regulated and the public sector is cared for, with a (hypothetical) resulting increase in both opportunity and access.  It’s the sort of social-program-heavy government intervention that most liberals were expecting from Obama, although the British have a few advantages on us in that regard: first of all, although.. Read More

Friday Night Fun

Yes, I’m blogging on a Friday night.  Feel free to judge me for it. I leave you to your weekend with a nice bit of environmental contrarianism that’s really progressive pragmatism.  “Off the grid” is, indeed, a fallacy today, and dangerous in that it only serves to enable our national delusion that each man can truly be his own island.  Those who try to go off the grid might seem to have nobler.. Read More

Mix’n’Match

I give you an article by Elizabeth Warren, she of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency-architecting and sassy interviews on “The Daily Show.”  I loved her before, but I love her even more now.  The article is a few years old (2005 publication date) but still quite relevant, particularly when considering much of the rhetoric surrounding the mortgage modification debate.  What I was most struck by, however, was the following sentence: “Failing schools impose.. Read More

Big Ideas

Sometimes, I am in love with Kevin Drum of Mother Jones (and not just because he was also a one-time Techer who left because he liked words more than math.  Call me, Kevin!  We can totally start a club with Harold McGee!  It’ll be awesome!).  Like when he writes things like this. In other news, very, very big things are already starting to brew around the 2012 Farm Bill.  It’s still early in.. Read More

Book Review: “Empire of Illusion”

I recently finished a short little book (more of a long essay, really) by Chris Hedges, entitled “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle.”  Generally I prefer my polemics to be of a more easily digestible length, but this was recommended by a friend, so I stuck it out, growing progressively more frustrated along the way. Hedges’s position — not uncommon amongst a certain breed of scholars, both.. Read More

Cultural Tourism

A fascinating little teaser for a book that I aim to pick up soon.  Of all the The divergent cultural narratives that appear cheap mlb jerseys in DELLA our interconnected age, & “why somebody doesn’t wholesale nba jerseys have legs” is Besser not one that Ready! many of us Lions have wholesale nfl jerseys taken the time wholesale mlb jerseys to wholesale nfl jerseys explore or even consider.

Bits & Pieces

Another great post over at Rortybomb, about the fundamental anti-consumer problems with overdraft charges. This story is full of ???????????????????????????????????? insights that seem glaringly obvious, Custom but, given the last sixty years of policy, apparently aren’t.  Studies show that a long commute is the factor most deleterious to happiness, but people persistently underestimate the effect of a lengthy drive to and from work on their state of mind (similarly, people have a tendency.. Read More