All entries by this author

Revisionist History of Empire *

Feb 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Has Niall Ferguson’s TV version of Empire got its facts wrong?… Read the rest



To Boldly Split an Infinitive *

Feb 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Roy Hattersley cites Cobbett on grammar as a positional good, and calls a Tory MP half Polonius half rude mechanical.… Read the rest



Student Shoots Teacher, is Expelled, Then Unexpelled *

Feb 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Welsh teachers’ union wants changes to law after independent panel orders school to take back pupil who shot teacher.… Read the rest



That Would Explain a Lot *

Feb 9th, 2003 | Filed by

Psychologists study people’s tendency to over-estimate their abilities, especially the ability to think well.… Read the rest



The ‘Jukes’ Family and Eugenics *

Feb 9th, 2003 | Filed by

Unnoticed methodological flaws, ideology deciding conclusions, fashion displacing careful analysis.… Read the rest



Darwin Knew About the Sweet Peas *

Feb 8th, 2003 | Filed by

Richard Dawkins says Darwin was right to bring together sexual selection and the Descent of Man.… Read the rest



Things Fall Apart

Feb 7th, 2003 4:47 pm | By

Well now…I must say, I’m a bit shocked. My comfortable certainties are all upset, what I thought I knew is sous rature, my binary oppositions are problematized, and things are just generally messed up. If the trendiest of trendy hippest of hippy French philosophers doesn’t like Seinfeld, well–well why bother, that’s all.

Earlier on in the film, an interviewer from South African television chooses to open her questions with a reference to Seinfeld : does Professor Derrida see any affinities between his thought and this ironic, situation comedy? Derrida’s eyes narrow. “Deconstruction as I understand it doesn’t produce any sit-com,” he says in English, audibly putting the last words into pointed italics. “Stop watching sit-com. And do

Read the rest


The Red Queen Process *

Feb 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Inclusive fitness, the utility of altruism, gene shuffling, the mumbling professor turns into Indiana Jones. The importance of William Hamilton.… Read the rest



Education for Profit *

Feb 7th, 2003 | Filed by

The EU may decide to ‘liberalise’ higher education, putting an end to government subsidies. What price history or philosophy, one wonders.… Read the rest



Does All His Own Stunts *

Feb 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Derrida does his own problematizing and struggles to find sufficiently gnomic replies.… Read the rest



Karl Marx Meets Leo Marx *

Feb 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Policing the borders, becoming the Other, subaltern disciplines, historical privileging of the imperial metaphysic perspective as the agent of knowledge production. A feast of jargon awaits.… Read the rest



Vice-Chancellor and Minister Disagree *

Feb 6th, 2003 | Filed by

Cambridge doesn’t attract enough working class students, says Hodge; it does, says Sir Alec.… Read the rest



Rebel From Newark *

Feb 5th, 2003 | Filed by

Leslie Fiedler loved to smash his own idols, could leave nothing unsaid, disdained subtleties, and crowed at the grave of modernism.… Read the rest



Stop That This Instant!

Feb 4th, 2003 8:10 pm | By

Oh my. We are in Alice country. A principal tells a teacher off because her students were engaged in an activity other than…watching television.

Why, the little slackers! The naughty little skivers! What were they doing? Talking? Throwing spit balls? Composing new rap lyrics? Copulating? No. They were…it’s almost too painful to relate…they were reading.

Well. We don’t want that kind of thing in the American school system, thank you. That sort of behavior leads to literacy, and elitism, and intellectual curiosity, and wanting to know more about things like history and philosophy. We don’t want that, now do we, no, because we’re glad to be a Beta. So the principal took to spying on the teacher to … Read the rest



Surveys, Damned Surveys and Statistics *

Feb 4th, 2003 | Filed by

Where is that evidence again?… Read the rest



Another ‘The Dog Ate My Data’ Case *

Feb 4th, 2003 | Filed by

This time it’s the pro-gun scholar who can’t find his figures.… Read the rest



Caught Reading in School! *

Feb 4th, 2003 | Filed by

Principal to teacher: your students were reading instead of watching television. Don’t let it happen again!… Read the rest



Free Speech For Me But Not For You *

Feb 3rd, 2003 | Filed by

Radicals when on the bottom, censors when on top. Napoleon, anyone?… Read the rest



Celebrate or Be Dull, Ben Okri Says *

Feb 2nd, 2003 | Filed by

Okri says Britain must respect its living writers.… Read the rest



Public Distrust of Science *

Feb 1st, 2003 | Filed by

The Royal Society is concerned about media coverage of new research before it has been peer reviewed (which does not mean checked by the House of Lords).… Read the rest