Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Is 'The Big Shaggy'? | The Atlantic Wire

What Is 'The Big Shaggy'? The Atlantic Wire: "Brooks's main argument is very sensible: It's important to study the humanities in order to understand a complex world. While fields such as economics, political science and game theory are important, they don't inform us about the emotional passions that drive people. Right on.

Unfortunately, halfway through the column, he sort of loses us:

[People] have yearnings and fears that reside in an inner beast you could call The Big Shaggy.
You can see The Big Shaggy at work when a governor of South Carolina suddenly chucks it all for a love voyage south of the equator, or when a smart, philosophical congressman from Indiana risks everything for an in-office affair.
You can see The Big Shaggy at work when self-destructive overconfidence overtakes oil engineers in the gulf, when go-go enthusiasm intoxicates investment bankers or when bone-chilling distrust grips politics.
Those are the destructive sides of The Big Shaggy."