The telescope is needed for ultraviolet astronomy.… Read the rest
Archive for March 2004
Pair from enemy tribes in Pakistan marry under police protection.… Read the rest
It’s now possible to measure fuzzy states like sadness and schizophrenia.… Read the rest
In Rwanda people have to live next door to the people who murdered all their relatives.… Read the rest
It has to figure out who will be famous twenty years from now, obviously.… Read the rest
I trust you saw this review of Alain de Botton’s latest scholarly work via News. If not, do have a look; it’s very funny. Very enraged, very impolite, and very funny. It starts well -
Alain de Botton is the kind of public intellectual our debased culture deserves. This prince of précis, this queen of quotation, pastes together entire books by citing and then restating in inferior prose the ideas of great writers from centuries gone by. Aping the forms of philosophical thought in tones of complacent condescension, he provides for his readers the comforting sensation of reading something profound at little cost of mental effort.
And it goes on well, too.
the second half of the book offers “Solutions”
Restoration of statue of boar abandoned for fear of ‘offending’ Muslims in Derby.… Read the rest
Atheists are one group it’s okie doke to despise.… Read the rest
US scholar says case was brought for political reasons.… Read the rest
Paranoid, reactionary, death-loving ideas underlie Occidentalism as well as Orientalism.… Read the rest
New child protection law could lead to problems being misinterpreted. Or not.… Read the rest
And more. Another item from Normblog, that made me laugh a good deal. About people who pontificate in a repetitive repetitive manner about clichés and the end of civilization as we know it. I know people like that, I’ve been trapped at dinner tables and in cars with them on more than one occasion. (Some people even think I do that! Would you believe it!) Drone drone drone they go, droning about droning bores. Rather the way I am now. I’ll let Norm tell it:
Not only that, there are ‘more dangerous’ clichés, says Mortimer, like ‘”the war against terrorism” when we aren’t at war with any country’. One reads this sort of thing so often now, I’m thinking
More of the miscellany. I want to look at a sentence or two from a comment on the hijab issue – a comment prompted by this article. I’m not bothering to link to the comment, because it’s quite typical and not all that interesting, in my view. It’s the typicality that makes the sentence worth looking at. It’s the kind of Everyone Says It sort of thing that – well, that everyone says, without really thinking about it much, or perhaps at all. So people go on saying it, and they hear it, and no one ever (or hardly anyone hardly ever) stops to take a closer look at it, and it infects public rhetoric more and more. A … Read the rest
The weasel words, the pretending to discover what everyone already knows, the whimsy.… Read the rest
Dang, I’ve been having a hard time keeping up lately. Not very surprisingly. This writing a book caper does tend to take more than a few minutes a day, after all, and the time has to come from somewhere. And there are other odds and ends, and so – items I want to comment on have been piling up. I do what I can, I wake up nice and early, a good deal earlier than I would like to in fact, but still the piling up goes on. So I’m just going to do a miscellany, a grab-bag, an everything all at once comment, and whittle the pile down a little.
Some people oppose his ‘largely secular legacy.’ … Read the rest
To admit uncertainty is sometimes appropriate.… Read the rest
‘Evans is not awed by the Nazis themselves. He defies their efforts to defy reason.’… Read the rest
One of the ban’s architects explains the thinking behind it.… Read the rest