Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Downsizing Lottery

A US Court once judged that, where there were too many people at sea for lifeboats, places should be allocated randomly (United States v Holmes, reported in this paper by John Broome). No, this post isn't about the recent Costa Concordia disaster - where the captain apparently tripped and fell into a lifeboat, without a lottery - but rather about the recent news that street cleaners in Edinburgh were downsized by lottery. This has, it seems, proven controversial and the workers in question have apparently been reinstated until a more acceptable basis can be found to determine who to lay off. Odd, I think, that a lottery should be a fair way to make life-or-death decisions, but not to decide who suffers the fate of unemployment...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Football B Teams

So Andrea Villas-Boas has apparently suggested that Premier League teams be allowed to field reserve/B teams in the lower leagues. And it seems that David Moyes even tried to register an Everton reserve side in the Conference. Didn't Benitez suggest this kind of thing years ago (to some criticism, even ridicule)? Of course, that several people share an idea doesn't mean it's necessarily a good one, but it seems to work on Spain. Perhaps it's worth some debate...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Selling Votes

John Holbo has an interesting post on buying and selling votes over on Crooked Timber. Not many comments yet, but hopefully it will provoke a debate that's worth following...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peer Review

I've just been updating my CV and, in the process, took a tally of the number of articles I'd reviewed each year. I didn't keep careful records but, by my reckoning, in 2008 (the year I completed my doctorate) I reviewed one article, in 2009 I reviewed four articles, in 2010 I reviewed 8 articles, and last year (2011) I reviewed 15 articles and a book manuscript. So far this year, I've already reviewed one article and committed to two more. Is this going to be an exponentially growing demand upon my time I wonder?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Conversation on Philosophy

The blog's been awfully quiet lately, with me being busy with marking and then away for Christmas and New Year (though the fact that it no longer reaches readers via Facebook is also a downside), but here's an interesting report of a conversation about the nature and value of philosophy, pitched towards a 'layperson'.