Politics

Category archives for Politics

Today I proof-read the annual index for Fornvännen, the archaeology journal I co-edit. And I took the opportunity to look at our gender stats for full-length papers. There are 16 of these in this year’s four issues. Only 31% have female first authors. An additional 31% have a male first author and at least one…

Been Driving Refugees

In the past couple of months Sweden has started to receive large numbers of refugees from Syria, Iraq and a few other war-torn Middle-eastern countries. The ones who claim the right of political asylum are adequately cared for by the immigration authorities. But many don’t claim that right. They may have more or less accurate…

Medical marijuana is just a backward strategy to get recreational marijuana legalised. It’s like the potheads twenty years ago who would praise hemp’s excellent properties as a fibre and fuel source. They didn’t care about any other fibre crops. It was a transparent ruse. A medical intervention’s legality should be pushed by worldwide medical consensus,…

I did a fun exercise with my Umeå archaeology freshmen Monday: a role-playing debate about the ethics of burial archaeology. The framework was a hearing at the Ministry of Culture regarding a planned revision of the Ancient Monuments Law. I assigned randomised groups of up to 4 students roles as archaeologists, neopagans, the Swedish Church,…

Don’t Blame The Tea-Bagger 13% On Me

The Sweden Democrats (SD) is a racist populist party that got 13% of the vote in the recent Swedish parliamentary election. They got into Parliament four years ago at the expense of the Labour Party. This time around they more than doubled their support at the expense of the Conservative Party, who lost a precarious…

I’ve been reading a 1974 edition of Sigfrid Steinberg’s 1955 classic Five Hundred Years Of Printing. Overall I’ve found it interesting and instructive, with a fine touch of sarcastic humour. But I came across a few paragraphs on the value of universal literacy that are so alien to me that I almost had to rub…

Passive Pacifist

For over 20 years I have received Pax, the journal of the Swedish Peace Society. I have always read it as a matter of duty. Rarely has it interested me much. I am a passive pacifist — a passivist, as a radical relative of mine once wrote me from prison, where he had been put…

Dynamic Map of Chinese Unrest

The Chinese Twitter equivalent Weibo censors searches for the names of places where there are protests (currently Shenzhen). You could write a script that searches for the main Chinese cities on Weibo and plots the ones that are censored on a map. Presto, a dynamic map of Chinese political unrest! With data supplied by the…

The memory of Herman Lundborg (1868-1943) is insolubly linked to the Swedish State Institute of Eugenics that he headed, and thus lives in infamy. Eugenics was the pseudoscientific belief that human populations deteriorated over time unless care was taken to weed out weak specimens and keep them from procreating. Somehow, these allegedly weak specimens tended…