All entries by this author

Too Short, Too Shy, Tits Too Small? *

Aug 26th, 2003 | Filed by

Take a pill! Have an op! Fix yourself, you must be broken.… Read the rest

Humanitarian Workers Are Targets Now *

Aug 26th, 2003 | Filed by

They work in dangerous places because that’s where the need is.… Read the rest

Hispanic, Latina, Hispanic-Latina *

Aug 26th, 2003 | Filed by

The absurd knots people tie themselves in when they obsess over what ‘race’ they are…… Read the rest

Forget Substance, Just Give Me Style *

Aug 26th, 2003 | Filed by

Is being cool the president’s job?… Read the rest

Rough Edges at Harvard *

Aug 25th, 2003 | Filed by

More multicultural understanding, or more reading and math?… Read the rest

Groupthink? *

Aug 25th, 2003 | Filed by

Are pro-GM scientists bullying dissenters to get them to agree?… Read the rest

Irritating Fella

Aug 24th, 2003 11:44 pm | By

But I already knew I disliked Alan Wolfe’s work – I just didn’t know quite how much. That’s how I found the comment about postmodernists, as a matter of fact: I was googling him to try to pin down exactly who he is and why he says such irritating things. Now I know he founded a Center for Religion, it all makes sense. I did a Note and Comment on an article of his a couple of months ago, one of the ones that disappeared when we had the server mishap, but I don’t think I’ll bother typing it back in, because the article in question is from the New Republic and it’s gone subscription. It was an irritating piece … Read the rest

Category Mistake

Aug 24th, 2003 10:45 pm | By

Now wait a minute. There is a limit. I can make fun of postmodernism as well as the next person, but it has to be actual postmodernism, not just any old thing I don’t happen to agree with. There’s no shortage of real, avowed, self-declared pomos out there, there’s no need to start expanding the pool by calling people postmodernist who aren’t.

By ‘engaging big issues with the depth of insight that social science can offer,’ Wolfe said, the Boisi Center will stand in ‘a great tradition’ reaching back to pioneering sociologists such as Max Weber, author of The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, and Emile Durkheim, author of The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, scholars who treated

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Oh That Old Ploy *

Aug 24th, 2003 | Filed by

Astrology’s alibi: we’re ‘not a science but a symbolic, allusive language.’… Read the rest

Valid Points? Or Merely the Usual Suspects? *

Aug 24th, 2003 | Filed by

Did Habermas and Derrida ignore the Others, are they Eurocentric, what about Africa and Asia?… Read the rest

C. Wright Mills *

Aug 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

‘his name rarely appears on the reading lists of fashionable graduate courses in social and cultural theory’ and that’s reccomendation enough.… Read the rest

Foucault on Society *

Aug 23rd, 2003 | Filed by

He wasn’t the first to point out the importance of the despised and excluded, but he did it well.… Read the rest

And Another Thing

Aug 22nd, 2003 8:20 pm | By

The subject of yesterday’s Comment interests me perhaps out of proportion to its importance…but then again perhaps not. It does involve certain habits of thought and silly ways of arguing (what one might call bad moves) that one finds in a lot of fashionable nonsense. Or to put it another way, there is some fashionable nonsense going on in Colgan’s diatribe.

For one thing there’s the sly business of motive-questioning – which in fact in cases like this surely backfires on the perpetrator. What does it amount to saying, after all? ‘There can’t possibly be a legitimate reason for thinking and writing that my novel is bad, therefore anyone who does think and write so must have some invidious motive.’ … Read the rest

Helpful Hints from Michael Hann *

Aug 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

The newspapapers as guides to what to say about Martin Amis.… Read the rest

‘Family-Friendly’ Policies and Gender Roles *

Aug 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Study shows the relationship between workplace flexibility and who does the housework to be complex.… Read the rest

Who Is Rubbishing Whom?

Aug 21st, 2003 8:23 pm | By

Well we’ve seen this kind of thing before. For instance we heard it in a story also in the Guardian, and by the same reporter. Perhaps she specializes in silly self-flattering self-justifying whinges by bad novelists. What a dismal career choice.

But never mind that. The point is, what makes people think it’s a good idea to say things like this? Do they not realize how stupid and self-serving it makes them look? Yo! You wrote a novel, you got it published, you put it out there. Now people have a right and even a duty to say whatever they like about it. That’s how the system works. You do not have a right to prevent them. Got that? You … Read the rest

Popularising Without Dumbing Down *

Aug 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Stephen Law abandoned ‘dippy’ ideas for reasoned ones.… Read the rest

Ted Honderich Page *

Aug 21st, 2003 | Filed by

With links to letters from Habermas and others relevant to publication controversy.… Read the rest

Science as Democratizer *

Aug 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Critical thinking is good for democracy, and science can unify people.… Read the rest

Trotsky’s Great Grand-daughter *

Aug 21st, 2003 | Filed by

‘If you want to be a scientist, you cannot allow politics to get in the way of your objectivity.’… Read the rest