As you may recall, the incredibly brilliant Judge Richard Posner entrusted A3G with the privilege of breaking the news of his new blog, The Becker-Posner Blog. Like many of you, A3G has been enjoying the blog immensely since its debut.
A3G will leave substantive comments on the weighty issues discussed in The Becker-Posner Blog to others (e.g., the smart folks over at the Volokh Conspiracy). She will confine herself to what she knows best, namely, style. Judge Posner is not only an analytical genius, but a brilliant prose stylist -- and to A3G, of course, the latter is far more important.
To make her point, she would like to direct your attention to some of The Giant Hedgehog's recent remarks on the controversy swirling around Harvard's embatled president, Lawrence H. Summers. Take the following comment from this post, which could be read as poking fun at the extremism of Summers's enemies:
For these actions, Summers -- the most exciting and dynamic president that Harvard has had since James Conant -- has been (or at least has felt) compelled to undergo a humiliating course of communist-style "reeducation," involving repeated and increasingly abject confessions, self-criticism, and promises to reform. He has been paraded in a metaphoric dunce cap.
Terrifically funny stuff. Or consider this comment, which could be viewed as mocking Summers:
Were Summers an expert on the reasons for gender-related occupational patterns, and as a result had special insight into the issue of women's lack of proportional representation in science careers, there might have been a real cost in his failing to speak to the issue. However, since he is not an expert in this area, there would have been no great loss to human knowledge had he kept silent and let the experts engage with the issue.
"[N]o great loss to human knowledge" -- what a gem of comic understatement!
The Posnerian prose style is wonderfully dry, and Judge Posner's amazing writerly feat is his generation of delight from desiccation. The Giant Hedgehog doesn't laugh at his own jokes, which just makes them funnier. And when he cuts you down, with a clean slice of his linguistic lightsaber, his face bears no expression. It's all done with a clinical elegance; disdain is a dish best served cold. Magnificent!