All entries by this author

Good Enough and Smart Enough?

Nov 16th, 2004 10:33 pm | By

This New York Times article by Ron Suskind about Bush’s ‘faith-based’ certainty got a lot of attention and comment, I gather, but I was away from my desk at the time – away from my desk, from radio and newspapers, from telephones and people, tables and chairs, bread and butter – no, I exaggerate. I was still in civilization. But I was mostly too busy running around and looking at things to pay attention to things like the New York Times magazine or comments on same, so I missed the reaction. But it is a very interesting article. I would like to think it’s a little exaggerated, a little animus-driven – but I’m not sure I can manage it. It’s … Read the rest

Hitchens on the Pornography of Power *

Nov 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Kissinger told Guzzetti not to slow down the rate of kidnappings and murders but to speed it up.… Read the rest

Best Literary Lives *

Nov 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Aubrey, Johnson, Gaskell, Malcolm. Add Boswell, Lewes, Holmes.… Read the rest

Many Xmas Humour Books Are Crap *

Nov 16th, 2004 | Filed by

But some aren’t. Independent fails to mention obvious exception.… Read the rest

Philosophy as Therapy via Thought-Clarification *

Nov 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Tim LeBon cites the Symposium and Stoicism.… Read the rest

Guardian Readers on Livingstone and Qaradawi *

Nov 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Why does mayor meet Qaradawi but not liberal Muslims and victims of Islamist repression and dictatorship?… Read the rest


Nov 15th, 2004 11:09 pm | By

Lotta proofreading done today. So I’ll give myself a little dessert, and link to a few miscellaneous items I’ve been meaning to link to for a week or so.

There is Julian in the Guardian on ‘dating’ for instance. It’s funny, I’m an American, but I’ve always hated that word. It just sounds like such a silly, stilted, unreal, arbitrary activity – ‘dating’.

Although I find US-bashing a tiresome game, I do object to one lamentable feature of the American way of life that has insidiously infected our indigenous culture: dating. When I grew up, no one talked about dating, let alone did it. You “went out” with someone or, if you wanted to be cool, were “seeing” someone. But

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Nov 15th, 2004 5:49 pm | By

It was a worm, that’s what. A damn worm. That’s why B&W has been a little quiet for the past few days, and why I wrote a despairing valedictory N&C on Saturday which I later replaced with an incomprehensible one – it’s because I spent three days wrestling with the worm Orobouros. Only I didn’t know that was what I was wrestling with. But my invaluable colleague was able to figure it out and find out how to fix it, so now B&W will be normally noisy again. After today. I have a lot of proofreading to do today (but I may make noise anyway by way of recreation), and then after that – well I have a lot of … Read the rest

Colin Powell Resigns *

Nov 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Lone moderate in US administration some see as hawkish and unilateralist.… Read the rest

James Trefil Reviews Richard Dawkins *

Nov 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Great stuff – intriguingly written, honest about controversies, clear about the science.… Read the rest

Making No Sense in Defense of Nonsense *

Nov 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Lacking empirical fact and logic, creationism uses political approaches to winning arguments.… Read the rest

Iris Chang *

Nov 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Her book outraged Japanese conservatives. Because?… Read the rest

Race, Class, Culture, and Education *

Nov 15th, 2004 | Filed by

How factors combine and then reinforce each other.… Read the rest

Political Islam vs. Secularism

Nov 15th, 2004 | By Azar Majedi

‘Islam against Islam’ is an interesting topic. The irony of a believer criticising the beliefs is provocative. I am not a Moslem; I am an atheist. However, I have lived Islam; I have firsthand experience of Islam. I was born within a religious conflict: a religious mother and an atheist father. From childhood, I began to see the flaws, the restrictions, the misogyny, the backwardness, the dogma, the superstition, and uncritical nature of Islam vis-à-vis the enlightenment, the freethinking spirit of atheist thinking.

I became an atheist at the age of 12.

The establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran after a failed revolution laid bare many other appalling and cruel dimensions of Islam, which we later came to label … Read the rest

Iris Chang Commits Suicide *

Nov 14th, 2004 | Filed by

Author of The Rape of Nanking created awareness and controversy.… Read the rest

Politics and Morality

Nov 13th, 2004 10:07 pm | By

Okay, here I am doing my best. Brushing the sweat out of my eyes, swatting at mosquitoes, worrying about frostbite, avoiding hidden cravasses, catching bullets in my teeth, eating old bread with maggots and weevils and turnip crumbs in it, being charged by cranky lions and rhinos and people who sell insurance. Here’s one item I was thinking about before the virus pounced and turned my computer into an evil demon. Mark Bauerlein has an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed – but even though it’s interesting I have some disagreements with it. It’s about the familiar subject of lefty groupthink in (US) universities. One problem is that he says campuses, colleges, academics, rather than specifying ‘certain branches’ … Read the rest


Nov 13th, 2004 6:21 pm | By

Well perhaps not as bad as I thought.

I can’t just delete now because of the RSS feed.

And look what I just found! What a lovely surprise. I can pretend I’m still there.… Read the rest

Rohan Jayasekera Answers His Critics *

Nov 13th, 2004 | Filed by

Sort of.… Read the rest

The Fundamentalist El Niño *

Nov 13th, 2004 | Filed by

Evangelicals have taken advantage of religion’s immunity from criticism.… Read the rest

Blogger Threatened for ‘Insults’ to Allah *

Nov 12th, 2004 | Filed by

Allah not threatened for insults to blogger.… Read the rest