Who Are Today’s Great Cultural Critics? (Are There Any?)

"Cultural criticism, we should remind ourselves, can be almost as important as the art itself, can indeed be part of the art. There have been great creative critics, from Alexander Pope (in The Dunciad, Epistle to Lord Burlington, etc) and Dr Johnson onwards, who combined the two arts with the skill of genius. Byron was another, in his English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, Vision of Judgment, and parts of Don Juan. Can you name a great contemporary cultural critic? Someone who could, in writing about literature and other aspects of our culture, hold a candle to T. S. Eliot on poetry, or Herbert Read on modern art? I asked several highly knowledgeable people, who struggled to do so."

Here’s A Problem: A Failure To Fail

"Learning resilience is fundamental to a successful career as a scientist. The experiments we try will fail many times before they work, whether as an undergraduate, a PhD student, or a postdoc gunning for a faculty position... But actually overcoming failure is challenging. Many students who began science degrees with me switched to other majors the first time a project failed. One failure and they were gone."