The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Belated Thursday Quick Links

February 28, 2014

This duck is a bit under water these days. We’ve reached the mid-semester pre-spring break moment of high activity and low energy (warm weather and SXSW beckon). In the meantime, I’ve flagged a few stories, a great Economist round-up on the health of the oceans (not good), a post by Chris Bertram on the changing face of blogging (more corporate, less fun), Rosa Brooks tells Sheryl Sandberg to take a hike (lean back, don’t lean in), the air quality is so bad in Beijing that (the dogs wear masks) and more…


  • Not new news but the oceans are in bad shape with overfishing and pollution and climate change and the like. The Economist does a great write up and hosts a gathering to discuss. Twitter feed here

Academic Blogging in the Age of Ubiquity

  • Chris Bertram from Crooked Timber bemoaned the rising corporate preoccupations of academic blogs as they become more mainstream and business-y

I wish all of those engaged in these ventures every success, but to my mind, blogging-as-corporate-outreach and blogging-as-research-dissemination rather miss the point (never mind missing the decade). At the conference, there was lots of discussion of business-models and markets, of how many full-time staff were necessary to run a decent blog, of budgets and (of course) of “reputation management”.

On the Challenges of Leaning In

Rosa Brooks leans back (and then takes a swing at Sheryl Sandberg) – It’s hard to lean in professionally when you have to come home and take care of the kids and keep the house running

Here’s the thing: We’ve created a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.

But in a world in which leaning in at work has come to mean doing more work, more often, for longer hours, women will disproportionately drop out or be eased out.

Why? Because unlike most men, women — particularly women with children — are still expected to work that “second shift” at home. Men today do more housework and childcare than men in their fathers’ generation, but women today still do far more housework and childcare than men.

China’s Air

  • The Chinese public is getting angry: one man filed suit against the capital of Hebei province’s environmental bureau for lax enforcement of environmental regulations
  • So bad that I saw this photo of a guy walking his dog and thought, it’s getting intolerable.


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Joshua Busby is an Associate Professor in the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin. He is the author of Moral Movements and Foreign Policy (Cambridge, 2010) and the co-author, with Ethan Kapstein, of AIDS Drugs for All: Social Movements and Market Transformations (Cambridge, 2013). His main research interests include transnational advocacy and social movements, international security and climate change, global public health and HIV/ AIDS, energy and environmental policy, and U.S. foreign policy. He also tends to blog about global wildlife conservation.