Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
I haven't, yet, had time to look at the details of their proposal, since it's admissions interview time (i.e. the busiest time of year for an Oxford tutor). I'm generally opposed to compulsion, but do think it sounds like it has many benefits for all involved, so much would depend on how it's implemented.
I dislike the idea of compulsory service or making students pay, but would cautiously welcome it if it was a way for the unemployed to gain skills/experience and do something useful in exchange for their benefits (i.e. if it was incentivized rather than strictly compulsory).
I note with interest that one of the authors is my former classmate Sonia Sodha, who has appeared on this blog before. She seems to be doing well in the policy world...
Saturday, December 05, 2009
The example seems relevant to a claim made by my friend Karl in his 2009 PPE paper: "Current titleholders do not hold full property rights, and they did not pay for full property rights when
they bought their rights from earlier holders. Those titleholders would have charged more for those titles if they constituted stronger rights of ownership, or perhaps they would have retained those incidents of ownership for themselves. That is, most current titleholders lose nothing to government taxation and regulation, because they never bought the right to be free of it" (p.58).
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
It seems that Sir Paul McCartney is on board with the idea, suggesting that people give up meat on Mondays. (Though the cynic in me wonders whether he'd profit from increased sales of his ex-wife's vegetarian alternatives, I applaud the sentiment.)
Of course, though, another alternative would be if we could artificially grow our own substitutes, which might remove many of the ethical objections (though, as my girlfriend points out, artificial meat grown by cloning animal cells still wouldn't be vegan).
Monday, November 30, 2009
I raise this because it seems that the distinction has even reached Amazon shoppers, as seen from this forum thread. Since it concerns one of my supervisor's books, I felt compelled to weigh in (even though the issue seemed to have been resolved). I don't know why someone felt the need to try to distinguish political theory from political science, or why he chose to do so in such an inept way (not sure I should quote it here, since it wasn't put out in public, but it strikes me as quite funny).
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Eloise asks how long he's counting on living. He does hang out with the human enhancement crowd, so maybe to 150... (There's an interesting discussion with several philosophers on the issue in the latest Oxford Today.)
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I was reminded of this on hearing that a South Korean woman passed her multiple choice driving theory test at the 950th attempt. I wonder what the odds are of a monkey passing in that many attempts? (Unfortunately, even if I knew how, I can't work this out as the article doesn't tell us how many options there are for each question.)
I wonder if the same monkey would go away and write some Shakespeare afterwards...
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
What bothers me is not so much (or only) the extravagant cost, but the complexity of ticket selling. It's often seemed to me that what I've paid has depended on the seller in question. A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I got returns from Oxford to Coventry, which I was expecting to pay almost £50 for (with her railcard), for less than half that because the conductor sold us separate tickets from Oxford to Banbury and Banbury to Coventry. Where's the sense?
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Some personal favourites:
What's wrong with the music industry
Homophobia and lesbians
An Englishman in NZ
A second bite at the sandwich
UPDATE: Some more...
Not suitable for nut allergies
One way to keep your PIN safe
How not to approach college
Free legal advice
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Monday, October 05, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
The issue is usage, not etymology.
If we go round saying all words mean whatever there [sic] etymological root means, everything will actually mean something else, and language will be destabilised.
Is that what you want? Who the **** are you? Derrida?
Maybe there is a market for Soccer & Philosophy after all...
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
"there is also an issue here of inter-generational social justice... More by luck than desert, the generation of Lambert, Balls, Laidlaw and even Peston have had it pretty good... thanks to the accident of when we happened to have been born"
Sunday, September 20, 2009
(It strikes me that this is pretty good, but I haven't watched the many other videos).
UPDATE: I think I actually prefer this animation, but by making it much shorter they skip out the fact that there are two (main) stages of enlightenment. The shadows the prisoners see are - importantly - copies of copies (i.e. shadows of statues).
Friday, September 18, 2009
This is something that's stressing many on the market, even to the point of debating membership of professional bodies.
One friend of mine told me that he'd had more interviews since lumping all his publications into a single list (peer review journal articles marked by an asterisk). Nonetheless, it seems that that's not the consensus view on how best to structure a CV. My eye was caught by the discussion here.
Spiros suggests that some things, including conference proceedings, popular culture books, online reviews (except NDPR) and any edited volume not by a big name editor/press shouldn't be included on the CV at all. That seems a bit extreme to me, although I think it probably is best to clearly distinguish these items from peer-reviewed research.
My CV has a section for 'research and publications'. (This allowed me to list, in a separate sub-section, working papers and those under review, without being accused of trying to pass them off as publications). Until recently, that was simply divided into 'research articles' and 'book reviews'. The problem with this is that there are one or two items in the latter category that are quite substantial (e.g. I wrote a 2,500 word book review for Res Publica that underwent - an admittedly fairly light - peer-review). On the other hand, not all of my research-related publications are really that impressive. I recently had a summary of my PhD published in an online journal (see here); which is clearly research but it feels a bit wrong trying to pass that off alongside my articles in ETMP, Philosophy and Utilitas.
My latest CV, prepared for another assault on the job market, divides publications into 'scholarly research articles' and 'other pieces' (which includes notes, replies, reviews, introductions, etc). This allows me to put the pieces I want to draw attention to up front, while still including things like the EJPE piece or popular philosophy contributions in the latter, along with my book reviews (I'd consider them to have about equal weight - which I know is virtually none). I also put my 'working papers' sub-section between the two, so people associate it with further scholarly research on-going.
I'm quite happy with the current layout, but others should feel free to discuss their preferred layouts or advice.
Monday, September 14, 2009
At the moment, the article is simply called 'Democracy and Non-Voting.' I quite like this title actually - it's not especially clever or catchy, but short and too the point. One of the referees did ask, however, whether I might be able to come up with something a bit more engaging. Any suggestions gratefully welcomed.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Here's a new one though: if a composer creates a 1,000 year long piece of music, then no-one will ever hear the whole thing, so what's the point?
Friday, September 11, 2009
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Personally I'm inclined to think this isn't much of a problem, at least provided that parties don't have/try to use this knowledge. The fairness of a coin flip rests on epistemic randomness - because it may be the case that I have flipped the coin already, so the answer is determined but unknown to you when you call (since the coin is covered by my hand).
People with the knowledge here may be able to eke out a slight advantage, but then the knowledge can also be used to counteract such gamesmanship (e.g. by 'randomizing' whether you flip the coin in your hand after catching it). A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, at least if it's the preserve of the few, but if all have it the problems can be overcome.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Friday, September 04, 2009
p.s. See also further tributes and anecdotes on Leiter.
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
[Homer floods the town as an art project]
Bart Simpson: Are you sure this is art, not vandalism?
Homer: That's for the courts to decide, son.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Only one year into my career as 'faculty member,' I'm less clear on my long-term goals although, in the short-term, I aspire to find another job (my current contract has another year to run) and publish more articles (hopefully in top journals). I'll see where that leads me, although I also have other, non-academic goals (i.e. settling down somewhere - buying a house and, probably one day, starting a family).
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I haven't actually taken my Oxford MA yet. I'm due to graduate my D.Phil in October (I hope), so was tempted to do this at the same time - although I'm not sure it's worth paying for given that I haven't bothered to take my M.Phil degree, which would be free.*
One problem with this, of course, is it may be that I would technically be expected to wear my D.Phil gown to various official occasions (most don't do this because the MA is technically the higher degree!).
*The graduation itself would be free, but one cost is that I would have to deposit a hard-bound copy of the thesis in the Bodelian - costing more than £10 certainly.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 07, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
See also Chris Brooke, Thom Brooks, Chris Bertram (and links here), Michael Rosen's account of the funeral (on Leiter), Nick Vrousalis and Stuart White. Also Times obituary and the Guardian.
It seems that his Why Not Socialism? is to be published posthumously - I assume this was already in the works, but I don't know whether the book is an expansion on or simply a reprinting of the essay already published in this collection.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
I went to see a Liverpool Reserve XI play a pre-season friendly against Notts County this evening (taking advantage of my girlfriend living in Nottingham and celebrating our half-year anniversary in style!). It was a stronger line up than expected in some ways, featuring the likes of Darby, Pacheco and Nemeth – although I was disappointed not to see Hammill or Dalle Valle.
The match ended 2-2, which probably isn’t so encouraging. If this had been Arsenal’s young reserves then they would probably have wiped the floor with a League 2 outfit.
The hotly-tipped Pacheco scored the opener and definitely showed some nice touches, but he really was small and I’m worried he won’t make it in England. At least, he’s destined to be no more than the next Benayoun rather than the next Messi.
Of the others, I wasn’t hugely impressed. The defending was shaky at times, especially from set pieces, despite one of their centre forwards looking about 5’4” himself (kind of like a mini-me duplicate of the other actually). I didn’t think Nemeth looked too impressive – he did some good work in the build up to the first goal, but then went down rather easily in the box (just as well the ball came Pacheco’s way). I was fairly impressed with a couple of substitutes though – Simon and Saric I think they were – who livened things up a bit when they came on.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Now, however, it looks like that might be coming true - a group of cub scouts were prevented from holding a protest meeting at the House of Commons because they don't have a vote yet. It seems unfair to penalize those who don't have the right to vote, as opposed to those who fail to exercise it.
Anyway, one thing this throws up is the issue of what it is to 'assist' someone. Helping someone get a plane to Switzerland, so that they can then receive help, is a bit of a grey area. Until there's a test case, it would be hard to say what the law is here. The Lords have just rejected an amendment that would make this definitely legal, however.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Hobbes points out that a state of war need not be one of constant fighting, but the lasting disposition to such - just as "the nature of Foule weather, lyeth not in a showre or two of rain; but in an inclination thereto of many dayes together" [Leviathan, ch.13]. I really think Americans need to have experienced English summer to appreciate this claim...
Apparently, however, even heavier rain in London led to three tube stops flooding and severe rail disruption - no doubt almost bringing about a return to the state of nature there...
Monday, July 06, 2009
The Journal of Applied Philosophy, now established asThis may explain why I'm still waiting for a verdict on a paper I submitted in October, despite being assured in May that the referees' reports were in and it was just awaiting editorial decision...
the premier journal in its field, is seeking to appoint
a co-editor to work alongside the current editor, Suzanne
Uniacke. We are looking for someone with relevant
philosophical interests and experience, a commitment to
work as part of a team, and an understanding of the
Journal's status and remit.
The position will receive an appropriate honorarium and
the appointment will initially be for three years.
Expressions of interest in the position should be made,
by 1st September 2009, to the Chair of the Management
Committee of the Journal, Professor David Archard
(d.archard[at]lancaster.ac.uk), from whom further
information about the position can also be obtained.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I was struck by this recently reported example, however. Apparently an orthodox Jewish couple object to light sensors outside their home because their religion forbids them switching lights on on religious holidays.
Firstly, it seems to me that a religious code that "bans lights and other electrical equipment being switched on" can't be that old, and thus I wonder at its provenance. I don't recall anything about electrical goods in the Old Testament (though lights or lamps could of course be there). Secondly, it's not really clear to me what the objection is. It seems that they don't object to lights being on - apparently what they want is the lights to be on the whole time - only to them being switched on.
Presumably, what matters is whether they switch the lights on. I assume their religious code isn't forbidding anyone to switch lights on or they'd have to go around interfering with others. In this case, it's not clear why motion sensors count as them doing it. After all, they could easily cause others to switch lights on - e.g. if I was to see them enter a dark room and turn the light on for them, I don't see why this should be against their religion. Motion sensors should therefore be interpreted as the action of someone else.
It's quite common for people to circumvent religious requirements in this way. I understand that in Israel Jewish doctors feel it's wrong to turn off life support. Apparently what happens is that machines are built that will turn off unless reset - then the doctor simply fails to reset and life support is withdrawn by omission rather than act. Whether this is morally significant is highly doubtful, but since when was religion about morality anyway?
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Friday, June 05, 2009
That or the problem with most surveys is 'garbage in, garbage out'...
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Speedy publication is important for those early in their career. I'm happy to report that I received off-prints of my ETMP piece yesterday - and was suitable impressed with the quick turnaround (first submitted Nov 2008; R&R Dec 2008; revisions submitted Jan 09 and accepted in just over two weeks; online publication Feb 2009; in print this month).
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Philosophers needed University of Ghana, Legon
All levels of experience are welcome. PhD required.
Predominantly undergraduate teaching. African philosophy,
logic, mind, epistemology, metaphysics, theoretical/
applied ethics, philosophy of science, social and political,
hermeneutics. Address all further queries to: Head of
Department Prof. Lauer.
Initially your application should include a CV. Then if
the department establishment is interested consensually
I will send you application forms. At that stage we will
ask for two letters of reference, which can be emailed.
On request an overview of the department will be attached
by email. Without access to email please send your
inquiry and CV by airmail express if not courier to
Prof. Helen Lauer, Head of Department Philosophy, PO Box
LG 211, University of Ghana, Legon GHANA (West Africa).
Starting dates August 1, 2009 or more likely now January 1, 2010.
Monday, May 18, 2009
[P]olitical philosophers (political theorists within philosophy departments?) at present seem to be divided between Kantians who think that it is illuminating to explore the normative issues of politics in terms of something they call "ideal theory" and those (Platonists?) who think that even the Kantians are too empirical.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Here's one I just spotted: 30/03/08 Dilbert congratulates PHB on being the first human to fail the Turing test. 16/03/09 (just under a year later) he's obviously so frustrated that he's now shouting what should be everyone's new slogan...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Since many electoral systems only ask people to declare their first preference, so this isn't always feasible. More importantly, I don't think Arrow ever tells us what to do when the dead guy wins...
(Similar stories here)
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
I. Thou shalt connect new lectures to previous ones.
II. Thou shalt move beyond chalk and talk.
III. Thou shalt not lecture like a caffeinated hummingbird or a tree sloth.
IV. Thou shalt not assume too much.
V. Thou shalt link known to unknown.
VI. Thou shalt be enthusiastic.
VII. Thou shalt not be a pompous ass.
VIII. Thou shalt not tolerate disruptive or disrespectful students.
IX. Thou shalt not lecture outdoors.
X. Thou shalt seize learning moments.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
It's gratifying to once more see similar concerns raised in contemporary society - this time teachers complaining about the effects of reality TV on children.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
At the end of the day, what matters is quality, not quantity. In today's management-driven universities, there's a real danger a number of great figures from the past would have 'perished' because they simply didn't publish enough...
| || |
Argument with Cephalus, Polemarchus & Thrasymachus
Challenge to Socrates
Initial founding of good city; division of labour
Early education of Guardians; censorship of poetry
Upbringing of the Guardians, inc. physical regimen
Account of virtues, inc. justice
Division of individual soul (psyche)
Prescriptions for the Guardians, inc. family life and war
Rule of philosophers; true philosophers distinguished from lovers of sights and sophists
The Form of the Good: the Sun and Divided Line
Education of the Guardians
Deviant constitutions (timarchy, oligarchy, democracy, tyranny) and corresponding men
Comparing the happiness of just and unjust men
Exile of imitative poetry
Immortality of the soul and afterlife rewards
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
|1. Ethics (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)|
|2. Philosophy & Public Affairs loses to Ethics by 150–52|
|3. Philosophical Review loses to Ethics by 174–25, loses to Philosophy & Public Affairs by 141–54|
|4. Journal of Philosophy loses to Ethics by 196–16, loses to Philosophical Review by 78–67|
|5. Journal of Political Philosophy loses to Ethics by 184–12, loses to Journal of Philosophy by 92–69|
|6. Nous loses to Ethics by 186–18, loses to Journal of Political Philosophy by 84–69|
|7. Philosophy & Phenomenological Research loses to Ethics by 191–10, loses to Nous by 86–55|
|8. Utilitas loses to Ethics by 198–15, loses to Philosophy & Phenomenological Research by 76–68|
|9. Mind loses to Ethics by 189–19, loses to Utilitas by 80–68|
|10. Philosophical Studies loses to Ethics by 190–16, loses to Mind by 85–58|
16. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
17. Political Theory
|1. Philosophy and Public Affairs (Condorcet winner: wins contests with all other choices)|
|2. Ethics loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 12–11|
|3. Journal of Political Philosophy loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 27–1, loses to Ethics by 26–1|
|4. Journal of Philosophy loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 29–1, loses to Journal of Political Philosophy by 14–8|
|5. Politics, Philosophy, and Economics loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 27–0, loses to Journal of Philosophy by 14–8|
|6. Journal of Moral Philosophy loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 27–3, loses to Politics, Philosophy, and Economics by 15–10|
|7. Utilitas loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 27–2, loses to Journal of Moral Philosophy by 14–10|
|8. Law and Philosophy loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 26–1, loses to Utilitas by 10–5|
|9. Political Theory loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 26–1, loses to Law and Philosophy by 9–8|
|10. Philosophical Review loses to Philosophy and Public Affairs by 25–2, loses to Political Theory by 8–7|
29. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
34. Res Publica
35. Contemporary Political Theory
No surprises to many that the top two in both polls are Ethics and P&PA, albeit that their order is reversed. There are some interesting differences between the two, however. What's particularly interesting is to see the high placement of general philosophy journals, such as J. Phil or Phil. Rev., which I'd be less inclined to look at than the likes of JPP or PPE. Brooks' blog also includes some general politics journals, such as Political Studies (though not, it seems, APSR). The choice which field to appeal to is also something that I've commented on before.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Both these proposals involve sticks rather than carrots. If they want to encourage healthy eating, then I'd like to see the money raised used to subsidize fruit and vegetables, lowering the price on things we presumably want people to consumer more of. It could be argued that such moves are paternalistic but, like the taxes on unhealthy products (and, for that matter, compulsory motor helmets) they could be justified as reducing the burden we place on the NHS (and thus others).
UPDATE: Anyone interested in this issue, and looking for a PhD scholarship, may want to look at this.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
United took the lead mid-way through the first-half, with a Ronaldo penalty after Reina needlessly up-ended Park (no complaints there - perhaps Reina felt pressured into it given Hyypia's lack of pace, but Park wasn't going anywhere dangerous at the time). Parity was restored eight minutes later, when Skrtel hit a long ball for Torres to chase - Vidic let it bounce and Torres was past him to beat Van Der Saar.
Some Utd fans had made a lot of the fact that Torres didn't do too much to trouble their defence last season, but he certainly gave Vidic a torrid time today. I think he did have one penalty shout of his own, when Vidic blocked him off with two out-stretched arms in the penalty area - maybe it would have been given had we not been at Old Trafford. We did get one of our own, however, when Gerrard surged into the area only to have his feet clipped from under him by Evra (who, surprisingly, wasn't carded). Gerrard stood up to despatch the penalty and complete a fantastic half of football. 2-1 at the break, but a long way to go.
The second half was surprisingly open and, when Ferguson introduced Giggs, Scholes and Berbatov (a more threatening trio than Babel, El Zhar and Ngog I have to admit) I feared the worst. I did comment to my friend, Tom, though that it was risky if they were to pick up any injuries. What I didn't expect was for Vidic to earn a straight red card - this time, unable to cope with another Gerrard run and hauling him to the ground, rugby-style. To make matters even better, Aurelio curled a fantastic free-kick round the wall and into the corner of the net, to give us a two goal cushion as well as the man advantage.
Despite this, the game never looked entirely safe, as we unsurprisingly were forced to spend a lot of time defending. I'd been surprised when Riera had been replaced by Dossena (rather than Babel, whose pace I thought would pose danger on the break), but did say again to Tom that it would be funny if he followed up his first goal against Real with another here - and he did, running on to a long clearance from Reina and lifting it expertly over Van Der Saar with his first touch. Maybe we've been too harsh on him this season - perhaps the problem is that he's not a left-back but an attacker!
I still think the league is beyond us and, to be honest, I'd be even more worried about facing Utd in Europe after this (which will no doubt fire them up) - so perhaps that's a draw to put money on, if you're a betting man. Nonetheless, it's great to savour the moment.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Interestingly, Brian Barry - who passed away earlier this week - suggested that elections provide one way of deciding who should rule when we assume all are equal. Lotteries would be an alternative: we could select our representatives by lot.
It all depends on where you are. In Oxford, no one drives through the centre of town if they can help it. The historic streets are very narrow, and lots of them don't really go anywhere much, and added to that a few key streets in the centre of town have been pedestrianised. This means that pedestrians tend to treat all the central streets as their own, and drivers know to drive slowly because people WILL just walk out.
Oddly, I can think of one street in particular where this used to happen all the time. A few years ago the council installed a pedestrian crossing. Suddenly the previously patient drivers started to behave as though the street was theirs and to get angry if pedestrians didn't wait at the crossing.
Jess, Oxford, UK
Thursday, March 12, 2009
This recent news story, of a zoo chimp that collected stones to throw at people later, came up in the tutorials though. It suggests that some animals are able to imagine and even plan for the future. Maybe this chimp has more right to life than a human baby!
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
Once again, Dilbert is ahead of the political philosophy here.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
I note that at least they allow their lecturer to 'weight' hours (I don't get this privilege).
It also suggests that tipping provides an incentive for good service. I'm unsure of this claim. It seems that the practice could in theory have that result, but if 10% (or whatever) becomes a standard - expected even for mediocre service - then it's no longer any incentive for extra effort beyond the call of duty, but merely what is expected. To have force as an incentive, it seems to me that the gratuity must be genuinely discretionary.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
I guess from my experience it's reasonably true, although I would note that the internet is changing the nature of friendship. In sixth form I was part of a very close group of about eight and we saw each other almost every day. Since coming to university, I've found it seems more normal to have different friends from different circles (college, department, extra-curricular interests, etc). One advantage of social networking sites is that they enable you to stay in touch with people, even separated by distance. I'm no longer so close to old friends from school, but still talk to several that way and it's good to always have the avenue of communication open and be able to follow news in their lives.
Personally, I'm happy to use facebook fairly indiscriminately - for example, adding people I've only met once at a conference, or perhaps not at all in real life (provided I know them 'virtually'). Obviously this means that many aren't really 'friends' in any but the most extended sense, but networking is important in life (and academia particularly), and I can certainly vouch for the benefits of keeping in touch with people I've met at conferences.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Anyway, in so far as the matter in hand goes, this was a fairly routine win. Again, it seems that we struggled to convert chances - having about two dozen shots (half on target) - but it was particularly pleasing to see Ngog notch another. We'll need more from him, Kuyt and Babel if Torres continues to be dogged by injury troubles. It looks too late to catch United - they're still four points ahead with two games in hand - but we must aim to stay ahead of Arsenal and Villa and compete with Chelsea for second spot.
Monday, March 02, 2009
This is obviously very sad news for all involved, particularly the other three members of the team (though, of course, they're no less clever for this). I find it strange that the BBC had not at any point checked this eligibility beforehand, but if they weren't told maybe that's fair enough. If there was a rule breach then stripping Corpus of the title is presumably justified, but what I do find strange is awarding it to Manchester. Just because Manchester reached the final, there's no way of knowing whether or not they would have beaten whoever would have taken Corpus' place - I think it's a serious injustice there.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Ed Balls on the School Admissions Code, here: "The code allows a role for random allocation, but I would be very concerned if it was happening other than as a last resort when other ways of allocating places have been exhausted."
UPDATE: Discussed on CT here.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The annoying thing is that - despite giving a first Premiership start to El Zhar and playing Skrtel in an unaccustomed right-back role - we looked the better team for most of the game. Obviously, this doesn't give you any divine right to win: we've won a few we haven't really deserved to this season (including Boro's visit to Anfield). Football games aren't necessarily won by the better team, they're won by the team that scores the most. With that in mind, another injury to Torres has left us decidedly light up front - with Kuyt, Babel and Ngog to choose from - and raises questions once more about the wisdom of parting with Keane's services (or, at least, not buying a replacement)...
Point of information: The Times report mentions that Gail "is studying for a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford". In fact, it's a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD or, here, D.Phil) in Classics.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
In some respects, this was a classic European away performance: weather the storm and then hit them with a sucker punch. Though Madrid had plenty of possession in their own half, we were content to let them pass it around and snuff out the danger when it came - actually restricting them to few real chances of note.
Admittedly, we didn't offer much attacking threat of our own - with Gerrard only fit enough for a token run out in the last few minutes and Torres being subbed just after the hour, obviously feeling the effects of an early knock. Nonetheless, we did have a few moments of note: Alonso came close to scoring from our own half just before half-time, but it was Benayoun's 82nd minute header that gave us a possible priceless goal. (Although, as few pundits seem to have noticed, the fact that it's an away goal is irrelevant: that will only come into play if Madrid score at least one at Anfield).
A very satisfactory result, although I hope the injury to Torres doesn't prove serious...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Maybe I was on to something, because now it seems that men and women judge whether art is beautiful in different ways as well!
In unrelated news about sex and art, teenagers who listen to sexually explicit/degrading music seem more likely to be having sex. I guess this could be another excuse to wheel out the Plato and censorship debate, although we'd really need to establish causation rather than mere correlation.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
We had enough to dominate chances for most of the game, only to fall victim to a strike from ex-Red Craig Bellamy (which took a wicked deflection off Arbeloa). Thankfully we've shown a lot of 'bounce-back-ability' this season, and an equaliser came when Kuyt pounced on a Torres mis-kick (at least Kuyt's willing to get into the box, hence him scoring so many of these important goals), but sadly there wasn't to be a late winner, like in Manchester.
The commentators seemed to think that this wrapped up the title for Manchester United. While I agree that they're obviously overwhelming favourites, and they have been for a while, it's a bit too early to chuck in the towel altogether. In any case, I think we can take some comfort from the thought that we've put in the most sustained challenge - that's something I'd have settled for at the start of the season (and it would have been beyond my wildest expectations, if I'd have known about the problems faced by Torres and Keane).
Friday, February 20, 2009
Also, performances of Wagner are still unofficially banned in Israel, raising questions about the place of moral judgements in art.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Irelands worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. Irish search and rescue workers have recovered 1826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb as digging goes on into the night.
Today I hear real life reports of something almost as amusing.
You don't even need the Englishman and Scotsman...
In related news, the OUP popular philosophy books on the seven sins are in their current sale.
UPDATE: Rob accuses me of peddling Catholic propaganda, on which point I notice a Vatican football tournament will use a blue card to 'sin bin' players.