Archives for April, 2009

As often mentioned here, I am no fan of post-modernist hyper-relativism. This is the idea that scientific truth is impossible and that all our ideas about the world are “socially constructed”, that is, that people negotiate agreements about what the world is like and thus determine what is real. Being a realist, I am convinced…

Neal Stephenson’s Anathem

Neal Stephenson’s 90s science fiction novels Snow Crash and The Diamond Age are unforgettable, but his 2003-2004 suite of historical novels failed to pull me in. So when I learned that his 2008 effort Anathem is a science fiction story, I was very happy. This is a 900-page brick of a book, told in the…

Alvastra in the 1st Millennium

I really enjoyed my work yesterday. The forenoon saw me in the stores of the Museum of National Antiquities looking through Otto Frödin’s uncatalogued finds from the “Sverkersgården” site near Alvastra monastery. Not only did I find all the elusive 1st Millennium stuff that’s mentioned in the literature but never illustrated, but I was also…

Yesterday the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education released an evaluation of the archaeology programs offered at eight of the country’s universities and colleges. The most dramatic finding was that three of the eight offer programs of dubious quality that will be subjected to in-depth evaluation: All programs in Visby. All programs in osteology and…

Högby near Mjölby in Östergötland is a magical place because of a serious lack of historical sensitivity. In 1876 (which is really late as these things go in Sweden) the locals demolished their little 12th century church and built a new bigger one a mile to the south. This meant that the parish centre of…

Ten Years as an Editor

Today is my tenth anniversary as one of the academic archaeology journal Fornvännen‘s editors. While I was an undergrad my teacher Bo Petré encouraged me to subscribe from 1991 on, and I started contributing to the journal in 1994. That first contribution became a life-changer for me. It was my third-term paper, and when I…

There is a genre of complaints that I usually find a little silly: the Starbucks breakdown, which occurs when somebody’s offered too many options. But now I’ve run into the problem myself. Yoghurt diversification. I buy most of our milk & yoghurt to save my wife some carrying. And the damn yoghurt, that was a…

Phone Pix October-April

29 October: Sunny autumn morning among the sailing boats hibernating along Pålnäsvägen. 21 December: The dark spot marks where our feet and the wheels of our office chair have damaged the flooring over 7½ years at the home desk on Lakegatan. 9 January: Skating on Lake Lundsjön. 6 April: Fiddling with my smartphone in my…

Phone Pix September-October

13 September: Samuel and Ludvig play the piano at Ludvig’s aunt’s house in Viggbyholm. 12 October: Playing Pandemic at a gaming convention in Gröndal. 21 October: A mechanical excavator is delivered to my dad’s property to start work on the new sauna. 21 October: Seminar about Open Access at the Research Council.

Anthro Blog Carnival

The sixty-fourth Four Stone Hearth blog carnival is on-line at Quiche Moraine. Catch the best recent blogging on archaeology and anthropology! Submissions for the next carnival will be sent to me. The next open hosting slot is on 6 May. All bloggers with an interest in the subject are welcome to volunteer to me for…