All entries by this author

Ektopos Has its First Birthday *

Apr 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Excellent philosophy site reaches a milestone.… Read the rest

Terry Eagleton on Edward Said *

Apr 1st, 2004 | Filed by

‘He is more interested in emancipating the dispossessed than in bending genders or floating signifiers.’… Read the rest

The Fun of Working for the Bush Administration *

Apr 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Leon Kass told Elizabeth Blackburn ethics panel would consider diverse views. But no.… Read the rest

A Few Treats

Apr 1st, 2004 5:49 am | By

As you may have surmised, I’ve been busy. Very busy. Working flat-out on this dictionary. It’s nearly done now, and then I’ll have more time to write long windy inconsequential N&Cs again.

But one good thing about this dictionary caper is that I find a lot of stark staring nonsense while googling for just that purpose. We’re going to have a Nonsense File in a few months, when my colleague has a spare moment to program one. For now I’ll just present you with some links here.

This one for example is a really good (good in a special sense) bit of Lacanian literary criticism. I don’t see how you can fail to enjoy it. I’ll just give you a … Read the rest

Astronomer on Importance of the Hubble *

Mar 31st, 2004 | Filed by

The telescope is needed for ultraviolet astronomy.… Read the rest

Honour Killings Averted *

Mar 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Pair from enemy tribes in Pakistan marry under police protection.… Read the rest

Martin Seligman on Eudaimonia *

Mar 30th, 2004 | Filed by

It’s now possible to measure fuzzy states like sadness and schizophrenia.… Read the rest

How Do You Apologize for Mass Murder? *

Mar 30th, 2004 | Filed by

In Rwanda people have to live next door to the people who murdered all their relatives.… Read the rest

Theory is Too So Still Relevant! *

Mar 29th, 2004 | Filed by

It has to figure out who will be famous twenty years from now, obviously.… Read the rest

Odds and Sods

Mar 28th, 2004 11:48 pm | By

I trust you saw this review of Alain de Botton’s latest scholarly work via News. If not, do have a look; it’s very funny. Very enraged, very impolite, and very funny. It starts well –

Alain de Botton is the kind of public intellectual our debased culture deserves. This prince of précis, this queen of quotation, pastes together entire books by citing and then restating in inferior prose the ideas of great writers from centuries gone by. Aping the forms of philosophical thought in tones of complacent condescension, he provides for his readers the comforting sensation of reading something profound at little cost of mental effort.

And it goes on well, too.

the second half of the book offers “Solutions”

Read the rest

Taboo, Unclean, Yuk, Pollution *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Restoration of statue of boar abandoned for fear of ‘offending’ Muslims in Derby.… Read the rest

Atheists Need Protection From the Majority *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Atheists are one group it’s okie doke to despise.… Read the rest

BBC on Laine Case *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

US scholar says case was brought for political reasons.… Read the rest

Hitchens Reviews Buruma and Margalit *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Paranoid, reactionary, death-loving ideas underlie Occidentalism as well as Orientalism.… Read the rest

Potential for False Abuse Claims *

Mar 28th, 2004 | Filed by

New child protection law could lead to problems being misinterpreted. Or not.… Read the rest

Miscellany 3

Mar 27th, 2004 11:21 pm | By

And more. Another item from Normblog, that made me laugh a good deal. About people who pontificate in a repetitive repetitive manner about clichés and the end of civilization as we know it. I know people like that, I’ve been trapped at dinner tables and in cars with them on more than one occasion. (Some people even think I do that! Would you believe it!) Drone drone drone they go, droning about droning bores. Rather the way I am now. I’ll let Norm tell it:

Not only that, there are ‘more dangerous’ clichés, says Mortimer, like ‘”the war against terrorism” when we aren’t at war with any country’. One reads this sort of thing so often now, I’m thinking

Read the rest

Miscellany 2

Mar 27th, 2004 8:11 pm | By

More of the miscellany. I want to look at a sentence or two from a comment on the hijab issue – a comment prompted by this article. I’m not bothering to link to the comment, because it’s quite typical and not all that interesting, in my view. It’s the typicality that makes the sentence worth looking at. It’s the kind of Everyone Says It sort of thing that – well, that everyone says, without really thinking about it much, or perhaps at all. So people go on saying it, and they hear it, and no one ever (or hardly anyone hardly ever) stops to take a closer look at it, and it infects public rhetoric more and more. A … Read the rest

Steven Poole Shreds Alain de Botton *

Mar 27th, 2004 | Filed by

The weasel words, the pretending to discover what everyone already knows, the whimsy.… Read the rest


Mar 26th, 2004 7:07 pm | By

Dang, I’ve been having a hard time keeping up lately. Not very surprisingly. This writing a book caper does tend to take more than a few minutes a day, after all, and the time has to come from somewhere. And there are other odds and ends, and so – items I want to comment on have been piling up. I do what I can, I wake up nice and early, a good deal earlier than I would like to in fact, but still the piling up goes on. So I’m just going to do a miscellany, a grab-bag, an everything all at once comment, and whittle the pile down a little.

There’s this from Normblog on something George Monbiot said … Read the rest

Tagore’s Nobel Medal is Missing *

Mar 26th, 2004 | Filed by

Some people oppose his ‘largely secular legacy.’ … Read the rest