All entries by this author

Smorgasbord or Prix Fixe? *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Quantity or quality, breadth or depth, freedom or discipline? The quandaries of higher education.… Read the rest

Porn Studs and the Job Market *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Sure studying dirty movies is enlightening but will the kid be able to get a job?… Read the rest

Terry Eagleton Sounding Like a Neocon Pundit?! *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

‘In his view, we have nothing to lose but our postmodernism.’… Read the rest


Aug 5th, 2004 1:42 am | By

Remember the lists of life-altering books? Way back last month – out of sight out of mind? I thought I would link to another, because it has The Uses of Literacy, by Richard Hoggart. As good a reason as any.

So once I started a book-related subject I thought I might as well continue with this article by Mark Edmundson. It says one or two things that I often say to myself (sometimes with oaths, sometimes in a kind of whining sniveling croon).

Yet for many people, the process of socialization doesn’t quite work. The values they acquire from all the well-meaning authorities don’t fit them. And it is these people who often become obsessed readers. They don’t

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Martha Nussbaum on Disgust *

Aug 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Have we sufficiently investigated the thoughts involved in shame and disgust?… Read the rest

British Council Investigates Columnist *

Aug 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Pseudonymous writer criticised Islam in Telegraph, could be Council employee. Naughty.… Read the rest

The Guardian Newspaper is Dreadful

Aug 3rd, 2004 5:39 pm | By

I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of just about everybody who writes for the Guardian. Here’s one Madeline Bunting:

Over the course of the 20th century, as our technological ingenuity made war ever more brutal

What the hell is she talking about? Has she never heard of the Somme – more than 1 million dead in five months – or Paschendaele?

That was the bit which I found particularly irritating. But the whole thing is full of nonsense.

Among Saturday’s demonstrators were New Labour’s natural allies – fair-minded, decent people, the kind who don’t walk on the other side of the street.

Ridiculous. New Labour people are fair-minded, decent fellows. Not like those dastardly Lib-Dems. Okay, I … Read the rest

Reading is Risky *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

People read to remake themselves, Mark Edmundson says.… Read the rest

Sidney Morgenbesser 1921-2004 *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

‘Why is there something not nothing?’ ‘Even if there were nothing, you’d still be complaining.’… Read the rest

Gribbin Reviews Penrose *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

No specialist knowledge needed – any more than to do a PhD on string theory.… Read the rest

Save the Wild Rice!

Aug 3rd, 2004 3:32 am | By

It’s not only the Vatican, of course. Perhaps I was too hard on the Vatican? No. I wasn’t. (I mean, apart from anything else – was their Jesus a huge fan of marriage and having children and family values? No. Was ‘Saint’ Paul? No. So what are they basing all that on? I mean, they’re not even consistent!) But that doesn’t mean I can’t be hard on other god-botherers and spirit-annoyers, does it. No.

PZ Myers has an excellent rant at Pharyngula about the latter group.

The editorial page of yesterday’s Star-Tribune was full of articles on a ‘controversy’, the sequencing of the wild rice genome. I read them all through twice, and I still don’t see what the problem

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‘Science isn’t the only way to truth’ *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Right, because there are Other Ways of Knowing, all of them wrong.… Read the rest

Leave the Sacred Grain of Wild Rice Alone *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Is wild rice a crop or a sacred gift from the Creator?… Read the rest

Masks and Disguises *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Milosevic was framed and Darfur is about oil. Right?… Read the rest

Wishful Thinking *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Hoaxes are swallowed by people who want them to be true.… Read the rest

UK Universities Give Degrees to Failing Students *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

‘Science graduates who cannot do what their certificate implies are potentially dangerous.’ … Read the rest

Is Prince Charles Bad For People’s Health? *

Aug 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

New study finds people may be sentencing themselves to death by choosing alternative therapies.… Read the rest

Darling Cardinal

Aug 1st, 2004 10:50 pm | By

Just a little more on the dear Vatican. Because they are such fun there, I can’t tear myself away from the subject. They say the most amusing things!

Among the fundamental values linked to women’s actual lives is what has been called a “capacity for the other”. Although a certain type of feminist rhetoric makes demands “for ourselves”, women preserve the deep intuition of the goodness in their lives of those actions which elicit life, and contribute to the growth and protection of the other. This intuition is linked to women’s physical capacity to give life. Whether lived out or remaining potential, this capacity is a reality that structures the female personality in a profound way. It allows her to

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The Vatican Letter Itself *

Aug 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Persuasive stuff.… Read the rest

Difference Feminism, Vatican-style *

Aug 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Feminine capacity to ‘live for the other’ makes women pre-eminent source of social good. Ick.… Read the rest