Thursday, April 22, 2004

what a crazy crazy day. although it's been threatening to rain all day, it hasn't actually rained, so we've just had gloom and doom all day. it would be kind of nice, if i were in Singapore and not in Chicago, where gloomy weather is depressing rather than refreshing...

started out with The European Union tackling the five-hundred-page MONSTER that is Moravcsik's The Choice For Europe. boy, am i glad that is over with. three solid hours (well give or take a few minutes) of arguing over what precisely is the argument -is there bargaining? if national preferences are convergent from exogenous factors, what's left to bargain over/coordinate? ad nauseum. though i did get a few shots in re: diffuse cost/concentrated benefits, which is one of my favourite arguments. it's so nicely, widely applicable to so many arenas, and it has the additional bonus of being one of those cocktail phrases like Ms Yeo's 'physical manifestation of a psychological state'. -grin- at the end of it i'm questioning what i read four hundred pages of descriptive writing for, since he seems -ultimately- not to advance any sort of prescriptive theory, but rather a 'well now that events have played themselves out, let me take a shot at putting the pieces together' kind of argument. not a ken waltz start-from-basic-assumptions systemtic theory at all. :)

then straight off to Motet rehearsal with Will conducting in Mandel today. did some Sweeney Todd, and was frightened by how unprepared it sounded when we started. improved pretty much 100% over the course of rehearsal, but that's not saying much. we all know it's easy to get big percentages when the base is small. God help us for the sunday concert. please let the men remember how to carry a tune.

then sprinting off to Mearsheimer's class, though eschewing the five flights of stairs in favour of waiting for the elevator today. i'm tired and old. the class itself was sort of ...slow. we spent much of it talking about last week's reading, particularly the hidden assumption of uncertainty of intent which much of the class didn't seem to understand was a necessary condition for generating fear. there seem to be so many more dunderheads in Mearsheimer's class than Sebastian's. it's ridiculous -by the end of half an hour i was wishing three people would just die of a heart attack there and then. and then we managed to trigger an extended -though entertaining- Mearsheimer-monologue...with disturbing references to himself in the third person. "John's gonna go after these arguments", "In John's book, he's got to kill these" while crossing out balance of power, offence-defence balance, and offence/defence distinguishability...and so in in that vein. it's vaguely disturbing that he refers to himself as 'John'. but also vaguely amusing, in the eccentric uncle sort of way.

so. back home. time to go take a break from work. my 'ead 'urts.


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