Archives for May, 2009

On 16 April I wrote about an evaluation of archaeology programs offered at Swedish universities and colleges. Now Aard regular Åsa reports at the Ting & Tankar blog on the results of in-depth evaluations of certain programs that were judged to be of iffy quality (source1, source2). Three programs have been issued warnings by the…

An issue that has followed me through my career is the fight against pretentious jargon and extreme epistemological relativism in the humanities. The latter is an old idea from the sociology of science which holds that scientific knowledge does not approximate truth about the world, but is instead a kind of agreement among scientists: knowledge…

Skeptical Homies

Here’s me and my skeptical homies outside the Vasa museum last Wednesday: Manuel Paz-y-Mino from Peru and Massimo Polidoro from Italy.

The 67th Four Stone Hearth blog carnival will run at Sorting Out Science on Wednesday. Get your submissions to Sam before Tuesday evening. Anything anthro or archaeo goes! And hey, hey, hey — have you considered wearing a bone through your nose?

Moving into a house has conferred a number of unforeseen advantages. The first one I discovered was that I now have a continuing relationship with the sky again, something I really only had before during my scant two years in student housing during my late teens. I see the stars and moon in the evenings,…

Talking to Publishers

I just started investigating publishing options for my book manuscript and got my first rejection letter. That is, I apparently hadn’t described the book very well, and the publisher rejected a manuscript I’m not in fact writing. Said I, “The book’s about elite settlements in late-1st Millennium Scandinavia and its working title is ‘Mead-Halls of…

From my Australian friend Ian I got a good book, Inga Clendinnen‘s 2003 Dancing with Strangers. It’s an account of one of world history’s most absurd situations. Imagine a tropical continent inhabited exclusively by fisher-hunter-gatherers at a low population density for tens of thousands of years. They’re isolated from the rest of humanity. There is…

Italian skeptical star Massimo Polidoro is on a lecture tour of northern Europe. He spoke in the Netherlands last Friday, and here’s the remaining schedule: Mon 11 May. Gothenburg, Sweden. Tue 12 May. Stockholm, Sweden. Wed 13 May. Uppsala, Sweden. Fri 15 May. Tallinn, Estonia. Sat 16 May. Tartu, Estonia. Sun 17 May. Helsinki, Finland.…

On 30 April I asked, “Dear Reader, how old was your parent with the same sex as you when they had their first kid? How old were you when you had your first kid? Is the length of your education significantly different from that of the parent in question?” As of 7 May, I had…

Ancient Power Nodes

Anglophones find it really funny that one of Sweden’s oldest towns is named Sick Tuna — spelled Sigtuna. However, -tuna has nothing to do with fish, being instead a cognate of Eng. town and Ge. Zaun. It has something to do with enclosed areas. As a reply to a question from my friend Per Vikstrand,…