All entries by this author

Thousands are Offended, BBC is Resolute *

Jan 9th, 2005 | Filed by

Rude words, nappies, Jesus, chocolate, lesbians – it all goes to show.… Read the rest

David Aaronovitch, Fluffy New Britain Optimist *

Jan 9th, 2005 | Filed by

This is exactly the kind of offensive material that I want to see on TV.… Read the rest

Fraud in Science *

Jan 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Science may be self-correcting but fraud wastes money and does harm.… Read the rest

Some Uncertainties More Uncertain Than Others *

Jan 8th, 2005 | Filed by

The first duty is to rewrite the encyclopaedia every day – except the semiotics entry.… Read the rest

Punishment-from-Allah Theorists on the Job *

Jan 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Corruption, sin, infidels, heresy, man-made laws, fornication, sexual perversion.… Read the rest

Conspiracy Theorists on the Job *

Jan 8th, 2005 | Filed by

Maybe eco-weapons that cause earthquakes via electromagnetic waves were being tested. … Read the rest

Linked by Meaning in a Non-linear Fashion

Jan 7th, 2005 9:10 pm | By

Here’s something to make you think, to shake your comfortable old positivist assumptions down to their roots, to alert you to the fact that there are deeper levels of reality that you’ve been forgetting to take into account…

I am glad to see that this page is being read by the press. On 6th December, Catherine Bennett of the Guardian (UK national newspaper and dyed-in-the-wool astrological sceptic) writes: On the Astrology News website, there is already speculation that the tsunami “because it involves destruction originating from a submarine source … appears to fall in line with the mythological themes of Sedna”. Suggesting that the California Institute of Technology scientists whose decision it was, last year, to name the planet

Read the rest

The Fight Against Poverty Neglects Science *

Jan 7th, 2005 | Filed by

UN advisers: potential of science and technology against poverty much more than governments realise.… Read the rest

Were Astrologers Asleep or What? *

Jan 7th, 2005 | Filed by

Why didn’t they mention the tsunami? And why are they still making ‘predictions’?… Read the rest

Thomas DeGregori onTragedy as Teacher *

Jan 7th, 2005 | Filed by

How and how not to think about tsunamis; how and how not to help afterwards.… Read the rest

Anderson, Sowell, Crosby on Affirmative Action *

Jan 7th, 2005 | Filed by

Affirmative action is recursive: whether it works depends on our interpretations of it. … Read the rest

Kicking and Spanking

Jan 6th, 2005 7:00 pm | By

This is an odd piece – a mix of harsh but possibly true observations and macho unpleasantness. Of course the one so often does slop over into the other. I do that slopping often myself, at least so I’m told (and I’m sure it’s true). That’s what’s usually going on in disagreements over Richard Dawkins (and Christopher Hitchens, too: he attracts such Necker cube-like clashes of perception the way chocolate attracts, er, me). Many people think Dawkins is being rude, tactless, brutal, self-satisfied and the like, while others think he is being honest and fog-dispelling. I tend to the latter view, but then I’m an atheist myself, so what he says doesn’t get up my nose at the outset.

But … Read the rest


Jan 6th, 2005 6:26 pm | By

Well said, Salman. In a sharp letter to the Guardian in reply to a silly comment of Ian Jack’s on Saturday (I saw the comment at the time, rolled my eyes and wanted to argue with it, but also wanted a rest from the sound of my own voice arguing), in which he mentions the ‘currently fashionable Blairite politics of religious appeasement at all costs.’

Should we now censor ourselves because the current potentates of the Islamic faith are more repressive than their predecessors? Do we have no principles of our own? The continuing collapse of liberal, democratic, secular and humanist principles in the face of the increasingly strident demands of organised religions is perhaps the most worrying aspect of

Read the rest

A Culture of Conformity in the Humanities? *

Jan 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Scholes, Appiah, Menand, Guillory and others discuss the problem.… Read the rest

Politics of Religious Appeasment at all Costs *

Jan 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Salman Rushdie laments collapse of liberal principles before religions’ strident demands.… Read the rest

Unionists Around the World Condemn Murder *

Jan 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Last month at ICFTU congress Salih spoke of hopes to build a democratic union.… Read the rest

Shock and Revulsion at Torture and Murder *

Jan 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Attack on the right of Iraqi workers to trade union representation.… Read the rest

AFL-CIO Condemns Murder of Iraqi Trade Unionist *

Jan 6th, 2005 | Filed by

Hadi Salih was shot by assassins who broke into his Baghdad home January 4.… Read the rest

Massimo Pigliucci on Nonsense on Stilts *

Jan 5th, 2005 | Filed by

Rhetoric, mistaken claims, sweeping statements, unhelpful analogy taken for deep insight… … Read the rest

Steven Weinberg on Oppenheimer Biography *

Jan 5th, 2005 | Filed by

He was wide open to new ideas and had the ability to understand anything.… Read the rest