Friday, July 31, 2009

Notts County 2-2 Liverpool XI

I’ve given up my regular blogging about Liverpool games as I just don’t have the time any more and prefer to concentrate on other matters here. Nonetheless, I suppose it’s worth making an exception for matches that I see in person…

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

Closed for Business

I briefly popped into college today to check my post, just after lunch, but didn't try to go to the Faculty or notice anything untoward. Apparently though Merton St was closed for most of the day, after a refuse lorry collided with scaffolding.

Paying for Gametes

Apparently the UK's fertility watchdog has called for a fresh debate on paying egg and sperm donors (currently banned) in order to increase numbers. I wonder if this would also lead to paying other organ donors?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


I've just about finished putting together the first draft of a teaching portfolio, but here's an interesting account of what it's like to be an adjunct with little control over syllabi. Obviously it's American focused. I'm not really sure how applicable it is to Oxford. I get almost total freedom over my own reading list and what I do for 8 weeks but, at the end, the students are tested by a common exam and I get almost no say in the overall paper.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Unlearning Review

My latest book review has just been published at Metapsychology. Pretty quick, given that I only sent the review a couple of weeks ago and the review deadline wasn't even until 1st August. Definitely compares favourably to print journals, where two reviews I wrote last summer probably won't appear for a while...

Friday, July 17, 2009

NASL Shoot-Outs

Just doing some research on penalties - here's the alternative used in the North American Soccer League (where the striker has 5 seconds to run from the 35 yard line and beat the 'keeper).

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

No Vote = No Voice

Campaigns to encourage turnout often tell people that if they don't have a vote they don't have a voice. This is false, since there are other ways to influence the democratic process, e.g. writing to newspapers or lobbying your MP. Moreover, not having anyone you deem worth voting for is a pretty good reason to complain.

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.

Assisted Suicide

At the ALSP conference last weekend I saw someone argue that the current UK suicide law - which allows suicide but not assisted suicide - effectively discriminates against the disabled who aren't able to kill themselves. This is an interesting argument, particularly because suicide is - as far as I'm aware - the only thing that it's legal to do but not legal to help someone do.

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

Job: Witch

Given how competitive the academic job market at the moment is, this opportunity to almost double my salary by posing as a witch is quite appealing...

Foul Weather

Today's sudden and brief but heavy rain showers helped me make Hobbes come alive for one of my American students.

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

JAP Editor

From Philos-L:
The Journal of Applied Philosophy, now established as 
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], from whom further
information about the position can also be obtained.
This 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...