Remnantology

Dedicated to the examination of the remnants. Phil Levy's words in reference to history, archaeology, Judaism, academe, music, outdoorsing…

Dispatches from Reportland.

There is a special joy to writing archaeological reports. In writing regular prose one thinks economically. Every line of page space is valuable real estate, and so, each idea has to make a case for its inclusion. In most writing one is wary of opening unwanted doors, or hinting too broadly at themes one does not plan on addressing. The result is that great care taken to tie up ends and not waste time. But in reports, there is no idea, no research choice, no hypothesis on the way to another hypothesis that should be silenced. If books and articles are about persuasion, craftsmanship, and artifice, then reports are their more democratic populist cousins. You ideas had better measure up to make it into article prose, but over in Reportland, everyone gets their moment in the spotlight no matter how consequential or trivial they are. Reports are great places to indulge the anal-retentive detail-mad side of one’s mind.

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