All entries by this author

Sinbad the Bland *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

US academic says new Sinbad movie enforces status quo stereotypes.… Read the rest

Arguing from the Wallet *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

An entertainment executive’s political ‘analysis’ is both incoherent and self-interested.… Read the rest

Vicious Association of Education with Class *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

‘British schools have done precious little education but they have done an awful lot of socialisation.’… Read the rest

The Idiots Will Take it From Here *

Jul 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

‘The West Wing’ is less about ideology than it is about the role of intelligence in politics.… Read the rest

Which is Dominant?

Jul 23rd, 2003 2:06 am | By

Well, I’ve had some correspondence about the Science and Religion In Focus, which I suppose is not surprising. I thought I might as well discuss the issue a little more here, so that people can comment directly. To quote from Bill’s letter on the Letters page:

And aren’t these quotations reflective of a climate of opinion that is dominant in many quarters, notably (in my experience)in American academia? So dominant, in fact, that the viewpoint you deem right is pretty much taken for granted, hardly needing to be articulated–which condition you may be confusing with polite silence. In other areas, of course, including American electoral politics, the situation is rather different.

Well, maybe. It depends what you mean by ‘many … Read the rest

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Class, poverty, consumerism, fast food, ‘ironic’ advertising, exercise just a little – it all adds up.… Read the rest

High Fructose Corn Syrup and Obesity *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Class, poverty, consumerism, fast food, ‘ironic’ advertising, exercise just a little – it all adds up.… Read the rest

Hello? Remember Africa? *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Why is the left so indifferent to what’s happening in the Congo and Liberia?… Read the rest

Habermas and Derrida Have a Plan *

Jul 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Can emotional European patriotism be created? If so, can a rationalist and a deconstructionist do the job?… Read the rest

If it Contradicts Bush, It Isn’t True *

Jul 21st, 2003 | Filed by

The Right is also capable (to say the least) of judging truth claims via ideology instead of vice versa.… Read the rest

What Are Long-term Impacts of No GM Foods? *

Jul 21st, 2003 | Filed by

‘We cannot know everything’ but there are risks in not using GM crops too.… Read the rest

‘The Last Taboo’

Jul 20th, 2003 8:01 pm | By

As long as we’re talking about religion and science, the futility or non-futility of scientists, atheists, rationalists, skeptics, and secularists arguing with believers, whether or not people can change their minds, what kind of influence religion has in the public realm, and related matters, we might as well add this famous New Republic article by Wendy Kaminer to the mix.

Obviously, people carry their faith in God, Satan, crystals or UFOs into town meetings, community organizations and voting booths. Obviously, a core belief in the supernatural is not severable from beliefs about the natural world and the social order. It is the inevitable effect of religion on public policy that makes it a matter of public concern. Advocates of

Read the rest

Conflict of Interest? Surely Not!

Jul 20th, 2003 7:16 pm | By

Well I feel vindicated. I read an article in The American Prospect a couple of weeks ago that I thought made some staggeringly stupid remarks based on some even more staggeringly stupid assumptions. I almost wrote a Note and Comment about it, but then got too busy with other subjects and so let it slide. But now there is a review in The Washington Post of a book by the same author, pointing out some of the flaws I noticed and some others besides – in particular, the fact (which the Prospect did not make clear enough) that Danny Goldberg is an entertainment industry executive, so his enthusiasm for popular culture has considerable financial interest behind it. There I was … Read the rest

Michael Ruse on Matt Ridley *

Jul 20th, 2003 | Filed by

‘…the nature-versus-nurture, biology-versus-culture, genes-versus-environment dichotomy has broken down.’… Read the rest

War-crimes not a resigning matter

Jul 20th, 2003 10:17 am | By

Tam Dalyell, UK MP and father of the House of Commons, may not be fashionable, but I’m pretty sure he has “nonsense” inscribed on his forehead. At the end of March, he had this to say about Tony Blair:

I…believe that since Mr Blair is going ahead with his support for a US attack without unambiguous UN authorisation, he should be branded as a war criminal and sent to The Hague.
The Guardian, March 27th 2003

Okay, so maybe there will be one or two Baathists reading this who will think that this is not such a bad idea. But I wonder what they will think about Mr Dalyell’s latest offering in today’s Observer/Guardian:

My view is that, depending on

Read the rest

The Absentation of Actuality *

Jul 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Is there a law that requires postmodernists to write badly?… Read the rest

The Hip-hop Archives *

Jul 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Henry Louis Gates decides not to skip Harvard, rebuilds African-American Studies department.… Read the rest

Medieval History is Not Merely Ornamental *

Jul 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Not that anyone really said it was, but the story got attention, so that helps.… Read the rest

When in Doubt, Show Tits *

Jul 19th, 2003 | Filed by

French feminists attack Green campaign that features a female breast for no apparent reason.… Read the rest

Cynthia Ozick on Azar Nafisi *

Jul 18th, 2003 | Filed by

Theocratic tyranny, a bus full of writers on the edge of a cliff, vigilantes and fanatics take over the revolution.… Read the rest