Modern-Life, Observations.

Vox de intellectu – the voice of understanding

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"There is always an easy solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong."(H.L. Mencken, Mencken Chrestomathy, p. 443 )  

vox.com is a brand-new website dedicated to presenting and analyzing news and public policy.   Rather than oversimplify for the sake of concision or demagoguery, Vox.com intends to provide more depth of coverage in an accessible way.   Ezra Klein, a well-known journalist, leads the effort. 

One of their features is a an ongoing set of “card” decks that will tell you, in maybe ten minutes, everything you need to know about a relevant subject.   Their first effort is a card deck that attempts to provide some explanation and background for the current crisis in the Ukraine.   The deck includes 17 cards of several paragraphs each, some with maps or charts or other images, answered specific questions about the crisis:

1. What is the Ukraine crisis?
2. Is it “Ukraine” or “the Ukraine”?
3. What is Crimea?
4. So should Crimea be part of Russia or Ukraine?
5. This all started with the Euromaidan protests, right? What’s that?
6. Who is Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych?
7. I hear that Ukraine is divided between east and west. Can you explain that?
8. What does Ukraine’s east-west divide have to do with the current crisis?
9. How did Ukraine get so divided?
10. Why is Russia so obsessed with Ukraine?
11. What is Putin trying to accomplish?
12. Is the Ukraine crisis a new Cold War?
13. Why does Putin keep talking about Yugoslavia?
14. What is the US-Russia ‘reset’?
15. Did Putin annex Crimea because he thought Obama was weak?
16. What are the US and Europe doing to try to solve the crisis?
17. Is Russia going to invade eastern Ukraine?

To get up to speed on a subjects always takes some time, but ten minutes is well worth it for an important subject, at least to get started.  Here’s to the philosophy of Vox.com, here’s to their early efforts, and here’s to their long-term success.  For someone like myself, who tends to be on the nerdy side, this approach is appealing.

One thought on “Vox de intellectu – the voice of understanding

  1. Just wanted to thank you for the Vox recommendation. Haven’t read your blog for a while and found this while trying to get caught up on your musings. Hope all is well with you–was sorry to miss you when you were up here last month, but hope your Mom is doing better after the work you did to make her home more comfortable. Lots of Love!

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