All entries by this author

What Is It Like to Be a Black Nerd? *

Apr 13th, 2003 | Filed by

Especially a female black nerd. One boyfriend tried to get her pregnant to solve the problem…… Read the rest

Whose Bones?

Apr 12th, 2003 | By

Archaeology, Anthropology and other scientific, research-based, evidence-dependent fields of study sometimes come into conflict with indigenous peoples in the areas they examine. A particularly long-standing and deeply felt grievance has been the wholesale and non-consensual removal of indigenous artifacts and human remains, by mostly non-indigenous scientists, to museums and universities. Indignation at this state of affairs on the part of the people whose artifacts and relatives’ skeletons these are is entirely understandable, but it is possible that the situation has now been over-corrected.

Many scientists, historians, and researchers, while agreeing that some collections should never have existed in the first place, consider that others should not be returned now, because they are so old that direct tribal affiliation is impossible … Read the rest

Don’t Panic *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

SARS is not another 1918 flu, and breathing through a piece of cloth is a drag.… Read the rest

Yank Troops Baffle British Colleagues *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

How US soldiers behave, Daddy’s popsicle stand, and other views from world newspapers.… Read the rest

Gloomy Reality *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

Azar Nafisi and her students escaped the ‘relentless fictions’ of the mullahs by reading Lolita.… Read the rest

Tom Paulin on Hazlitt *

Apr 11th, 2003 | Filed by

Paulin considers the mystery of Hazlitt’s neglect.… Read the rest

Recognition for Hazlitt *

Apr 11th, 2003 | Filed by

The brilliant, radical, nonsense-teasing essayist gets a little overdue grave-tidying.… Read the rest

Abstract, Imaginative Thinking

Apr 10th, 2003 7:24 pm | By

It is not very astonishing, but it is nonetheless highly unfortunate, that science is under attack, given an incurious, narrow, semi-educated, fundamentalist god-botherer in the White House. Some of the battlegrounds in that attack are discussed in this article in The Guardian, which points out the rhetorical skill with which the anti-science moves are dressed up in ‘scientific’ clothes.

…these aren’t the old wars of science versus religion. The new assaults on the conventional wisdom frame themselves, without exception, as scientific theories, no less deserving of a hearing than any other. Proponents of ID – using a strategy previously unheard of among anti-Darwinists – grant almost all the premises of evolution (the idea that species develop; that the world wasn’t

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MEPs Vote Against Stem Cell Research *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Christian Conservatives set agenda in European stem cell research debate.… Read the rest

Internet Porn, Unfettered Access, Harassment *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Librarians file suit over threatening behavior by porn viewers and library policy of non-interference.… Read the rest

No to Misuse of Genetic Tests *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

UK government advisors recommend strict control of genetic testing.… Read the rest

American Science Under Threat *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

How US science is in trouble on a number of fronts, because of religious pressures from the Bush administration.… Read the rest

Nonsense About ‘Partisan Bickering’ *

Apr 9th, 2003 | Filed by

The US Right is proud to be partisan, the Left (what there is of it) is keen to roll over and die.… Read the rest

Culture Clash *

Apr 9th, 2003 | Filed by

A commitment to gender equality is an indicator of commitment to egalitarianism and tolerance overall.… Read the rest

Napoleon is Almost at the Gates *

Apr 8th, 2003 | Filed by

Franco-phobia and the long-standing joke about the leftist bias of the US media.… Read the rest

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

Apr 7th, 2003 6:25 pm | By

This is an interesting but irritating essay in the Guardian. It takes a look at the question of what books ‘everyone’ should have read by age eighteen or twenty, and also at the teaching and study of English literature at the secondary school level. It contains some peculiar albeit doubtless popular ideas about what literature is, what kind of people like it and why, what it tells us and does for us.

English is perceived as a “girly subject” and it struck me that the essence of the subject lies in being honest about your feelings – your personal response to texts. As Kate in the upper sixth says, it is about “empathy”…For me, this explained a great deal about

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Is Literature a Girly Subject? *

Apr 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Is it about ‘being honest about your feelings’? What should secondary school students read?… Read the rest

Which is Pollyanna, Which is Jeremiah? *

Apr 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Complacency about the status quo can be at least as dangerous as optimism about new technology, Matt Ridley argues.… Read the rest

Geeks Can Be Altruistic Too *

Apr 7th, 2003 | Filed by

They’re not all Ayn Randian Cyberselfish stock option millionaires, some are underpaid, overworked human rights researchers.… Read the rest

Greenhouse gases in the middle ages? *

Apr 7th, 2003 | Filed by

Perhaps global warming isn’t only a modern phenomenon…… Read the rest