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Sometimes, I poke my head out of the ivory tower to check the weather

Hat tip to Dale Price:

How Thick Is Your Bubble?

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Score » 11 out of 20 (55% )
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On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 9 and 12.In other words, even if you’re part of the new upper class, you’ve had a lot of exposure to the rest of America.
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Not bad for a technocrat with pseudo-intellectual pretensions living in a homeschool bubble within the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor!

The quiz is in promotion of the new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010
by Charles Murray.

David French at National Review Online:

I taught at Cornell Law School for two years (until my wife declared Ithaca “too cold” for our southern blood), and during that time I was surrounded by faculty and students who talked incessantly about poverty, race, and class. Yet as they talked, I realized that few — if any — had ever spent significant time outside their own “superZIPs” (to borrow Murray’s term). They hadn’t seen how policies worked on the ground, they didn’t understand the real-life incompetence of anti-poverty bureaucracies, nor did they comprehend the tremendous social forces tearing at the fabric of poor families. In their well-meaning, wonkish minds, poverty was like a computer virus that needed just the right update to the anti-virus policy software.

Well worth reading are Charles Hugh Smith‘s thoughts on the new American divide, as well as Charles Murray’s Wall Street Journal essay introducing the book.  Smith, especially, has a good claim to bridge both sides of the cultural divide, since he has been both a construction worker and a student at the same elite prep school in Hawaii as President Barak Obama.

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