Wednesday, December 23, 2009

European values 2009

A number is lodged in my head and won't drift away. During the night between last Saturday and Sunday, 15 homeless people froze to death in Warsaw. I truly wish the price of freedom weren't that high...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The end of repugnance?

A striking NYT article ("Building a Baby, with Few Ground Rules," 13 Dec.) gives sense of the legal and ethical conundrums surrounding "gestational surrogacy" in the US. The first couple of paragraphs, describing how a woman was able to order a set of twins using information she obtained over the internet, really made me cringe. This, I hope, is the normal human reaction behind the exclusion of certain transactions from the market economy - what economists call "repugnant markets." A court did rule in one case involving surrogacy that "there are, in a civilized society, some things that money cannot buy." Which begs the question: for how much longer?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Brave new philosopher's persona

An interview with Martha Nussbaum in the New York Times carries a really striking photo of her - clad in mini skirt and stiletto shoes. This left me wondering - why would someone at her age and with her reputation try to look youthful and sexy?