In a lot ways the pseudo-reasonable ramblings of David Brooks inspired our work here. It's a pleasure, then, to see our analysis echoed by others:
There is no pleasure for the pundit quite like the neat, clear-edged dichotomy. I have felt these pleasures myself. But few columnists fall for it quite as regularly as The New York Times' David Brooks, for which it seems to provide a sense of order and clarity in a messy world always hurtling toward chaos. Today Brooks tackles a fascinating theme in economics: the notion of mechanical policies or solutions to what ails us. The irony here is that Brooks' dichotomy, which the Times headlines "Two Cultures" in a glib reference to C.P. Snow's now ancient (and glib) dichotomy between science and the humanities, is as clankingly mechanical as the mechanistic tendencies he claims as the province of dreaded liberal technocrats.
Here's David Brooks from 2004 (see here):
There are two sorts of people in the information-age elite, spreadsheet people and paragraph people. Spreadsheet people work with numbers, wear loafers and support Republicans. Paragraph people work with prose, don’t shine their shoes as often as they should and back Democrats.
New York Times–the breadth of reporting, the insight. I think I might order up the Weekender (click this link–hilarious). Now in case one is inclined to object that it's hard to write a 750 word op-ed twice a week, I'll agree with you. It probably is hard to come up with something engaging, refreshing, and enlightening. But if this is what you come up with, then, maybe, paraphrasing Kant here, "
metaphysics punditry isn't for you."