All entries by this author

Matthew Lockwood on Anti-developmentalism *

Sep 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Argues that African states actively discourage business, trade and innovation.… Read the rest

Revealed at Last

Sep 5th, 2005 10:46 pm | By

So the truth is out. The well-kept secret that there is a large and growing gap between rich and poor in the US has suddenly tumbled out of the bag and into the spotlight. Well whaddya know – you mean all those people working in Walmarts and motels and chicken-processing plants and McDonald’s aren’t earning enough to buy a big house in the suburbs and an SUV? Well I’ll be damned – I coulda sworn everybody who did an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay in this country got to be a millionaire in a couple of years or so.

As President Bush scurries back to the Gulf Coast, it is clear that this is the greatest

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Sharia Court Protest Spreads to Europe *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Protests are planned September 8 in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Stockholm.… Read the rest

Katrina Versus Complacent Journalism *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Reporters suddenly ditched the deference.… Read the rest

Satan Was Hired for Work by Postmodernism *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

‘I know some people are willing to kill anyone who is not a pluralist.’… Read the rest

Stephen Law Reviews Julian Baggini *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Thought experiments can induce an overwhelming sense of intellectual vertigo.… Read the rest

God Ain’t Listening *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Would all-powerful God shrug as Katrina sliced into America’s belly like a huge circular saw? … Read the rest

What Determines the Meanings of Words? *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

The question has tantalized philosophers as well as judges.… Read the rest

Nick Cohen on Foreign Office Fantasy *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

FO has abandoned Arab liberals in quest for approval of their enemies on the religious right.… Read the rest

Plan for New Law on Forced Marriages *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Some worry children will not want to see parents prosecuted.… Read the rest

White House Chooses Interesting Strategy *

Sep 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Keep insisting no one could have foreseen results of major hurricane despite evidence to contrary.… Read the rest

White House Jokes

Sep 5th, 2005 2:50 am | By

I just feel compelled to point out a couple of items from this Guardian article on the Bush team’s effort to undo the damage, because they’re funny.

On Saturday Mr Bush ordered 7,000 more troops to the Gulf coast. As important as the content of the speech was its sombre tone. It was clear the White House realised that making a joke about his young hell-raising days in New Orleans in the course of a flying visit to the flooded city on Friday, was a mistake that reinforced allegations he had failed to take the disaster seriously enough.

Gee, you think?

The second element of the White House plan is to insist, in an echo of the September 11

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The Shallows

Sep 4th, 2005 7:08 pm | By

And not only why is it deeper, but why is it considered a level of explanation? That’s a serious, literal question. I really don’t understand what it means – to talk of a deeper level of explanation based on unsupported assertions as opposed to a shallower level of explanation based on warranted assertions. How can explanations that float free of any rational epistemic requirements and checks and standards be deeper than those that are constrained by what we are able to figure out about the real world via tested methods? To put it more bluntly, how can explanations that are simply made up be deeper than those that are the result of careful inquiry and investigation? Is that what … Read the rest

The Deeps

Sep 4th, 2005 6:38 pm | By

Let’s talk a little more about this idea of ‘a deeper level of explanation than the laws of physics’ that Paul Davies refers to.

…belief in God is largely a matter of taste, to be judged by its explanatory value rather than logical compulsion. Personally I feel more comfortable with a deeper level of explanation than the laws of physics. Whether the use of “God” for that deeper level is appropriate is, of course, a matter of debate.

What’s interesting about that is the question of what the word ‘deeper’ is gesturing at. Well, what is it? What makes this putative deeper level of explanation deeper? Deeper than the laws of physics, and possibly to be identified with ‘God’. So … Read the rest

Bush’s Science Problem *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

Conclusions changed for political reasons by people who have not done the scientific work.… Read the rest

Allan Bloom and the Conservative Mind *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

He repudiated most political, religious and economic premises of neocons.… Read the rest

Colm Tóibín on Edmund Wilson *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

Not just a two-bit book reviewer.… Read the rest

Hurricane Raises Awkward Questions *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

And awkward answers, too.… Read the rest

National Geographic Predicted Every Detail *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

The carless and infirm left behind, the deaths from dehydration while waiting for rescue.… Read the rest

US Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist Dies *

Sep 4th, 2005 | Filed by

William Rehnquist helped lead a conservative revolution on the Supreme Court. … Read the rest