Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON
LECTURE ONE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d__In2PQS60
LECTURE TWO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al7O2puvdDA

ALSO AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ONE THROUGH TEN ON IDEOLOGICAL CRITIQUE



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Friday, May 2, 2014

A BORING AFTERNOON

Meanwhile, I am slogging slowly through one-page descriptions of 1,114 charitable foundations, chosen with the judicious use of keywords from a database of more than two million foundations, looking for possible support for or partners with the African Storybook Project, which I have described on this site.  This is useful but mind-numbing work.  The idea is that when I am done [I am now about halfway through], I will look more closely at the foundations whose contact information I have laboriously copied into my notebook, to see which ones merit a preliminary contact.  At this point I have found thirty-three, so I imagine when I am done I will have sixty or seventy to follow up on.  This is not nearly as intellectually exciting as watching the U. S. Senate on C-Span.  At least there, when the Senate is waiting for a senator to come to the floor and speak, or everyone is twiddling thumbs during a quorum call, the nameless flunky who chooses the music to play usually picks beautiful eighteenth century selections.  I often wonder who that person is, and how he or she gets away with it.

Today's political excitement is the frisson caused by the speculation that Elizabeth Warren might challenge Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.  I am afraid that calls to mind the old stories about the plucky little flea climbing laboriously up an elephant's leg, yelling "rape!"   But as Raskolnikov did not quite say, everything is permitted in the Hot Stove League.

Faithful readers of this blog continue to send me links to yet more reviews of Piketty.  I am sort of Piketty'd out, though I owe a serious response to Chris's comment.

A propos nothing in particular, it occurred to me that having bragged about my younger son, Tobias, I ought also to brag about my older son, Patrick.  As I have mentioned, Patrick started and is the Managing Director of a San Francisco based hedge fund called Grandmaster Capital.  The name of the fund memorializes the fact that before becoming a financier, Patrick was one of the most famous International Chess Grandmasters America has ever produced.  He twice won the United States Chess Championship and served as a second to Anand in the Anand-Kasparov World Championship match [about which Patrick wrote a book.]  Patrick's most famous game was played when he was twenty, in 1988.  A small group of America's strongest young players played a simultaneous match against Kasparov.  Patrick had black and defeated Kasparov in 25 moves.  It is the shortest game Kasparov ever lost.

This is not the most brilliant thing Patrick ever has done.  That prize goes to his success in persuading Diana Schneider to marry him.  His second most brilliant accomplishment was fathering Samuel Emerson Wolff [aged 8] and Athena Emily Wolff [aged 5].

By the way, I taught Patrick to play chess, and for several years had no difficulty in defeating him over the board.  But then he turned eight, and started whupping me pretty regularly, so I had to back away and become a non-playing fan.

4 comments:

Mikey said...

Prof. Wolff,

That game is recorded here on ChessGames, along with many of his others.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Great! Thank you. Are you a chess player?

Mikey said...

Only in the loosest sense.

My middle children (youngest son and oldest daughter) played when they were in elementary school, and I studied at bit to make sure I could offer them at least a slight challenge. I managed to improve my openings a bit, so I wasn't as completely hopeless in the mid-game.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Try putting on your game face with a future grandmaster!