Evolving Thoughts

Various divers thingies

My union is calling a strike next Tuesday. I’m not sure what to do. I don’t teach, and have no administrative duties, so should I stop thinking from for 8 hours? I’m not sure the administration would notice…

Rob Skipper at hpb etc. has a series of podcasts from the series of lectures on Darwiniana that were held there recently. They include John Beatty, Roberta Millstein and Ken Waters, all serious folk in philosophy of biology (although Roberta, at least, is not serious all the time). From the sublime to the faintly absurd, you can also see my talk in Lisbon, one of them, anyway, at CiencÓas Viva, here. I always say I am smarter in print than in person, and here you will find out why. Some technical difficulties messed up the first few minutes.

Etherwave has a nice post on the setting up of the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company by none other than Charles Darwin’s son, Horace.

Quentin Wheeler is touting for publicity by naming a beetle after Stephen Colbert. Just because the arachnologists managed to get airtime that way, Quentin…

Ireland is reviving blasphemy laws. Sensible people disagree. I might have to desecrate a cracker in Dublin…

Now that NASA head Mike Griffin is gone, people are finally able to review the absurdities of the Ares I launcher. I think that the existing heavy launchers will do fine, and that they should develop a very heavy launcher like this.

Comments

  1. #1 Susan Silberstein
    May 7, 2009

    Your strike responsibility can be to feel self righteous: if you could be striking, you would be. If there is a picket line, you can carry a sign and shout slogans. Or sing The Internationale.

    If you desecrate a cracker, someone will surely start that Wiki page for you. It could be me, but then I’d have to learn how to do footnotes.

  2. #2 John S. Wilkins
    May 7, 2009

    My singing could set back academic rights a whole century.

    I never figured out Wikipedia’s footnotes either.

  3. #3 Adrian Morgan
    May 7, 2009

    Your talk gets off to a promising start, but for technical reasons I’m struggling to listen to it. I only get audio, no video, and also not appearing is any sort of pause button that I could use to let the buffering get ahead a bit.

    I could download the whole thing, but that is one enormous file.

  4. #4 Matthew Platte
    May 7, 2009

    Was that a stunt double or do you write much older than you appear in person (on video)?

  5. #5 John S. Wilkins
    May 7, 2009

    Oh, you can stay…

  6. #6 Allen Hazen
    May 7, 2009

    Three cheers for the Irish Times! (They for many years carried Brian O’Nolan/Flann O’Brien/Myles na gCopaleen’s column “Cruiskin Lawn,” judged by James Thurber “the funniest newspaper humor column in the world”: O’Nolan tried to emulate Shaw by writing his novel “The Hard Life” in such a way as to tempt the authorities to seize it under the Irish censorship laws of the time, but someone tipped the police off and they let it go.

    Blasphemy laws are a [redacted] idea!

    As for the strike… whenever the local at the University of Melbourne calls a strike, the admin sends around an e-mail asking those academic staff who are going to go on strike to please inform them, so they know whose pay to dock.

  7. #7 Rob
    May 7, 2009

    I thought the strike was Tuesday past? And it Didnt happen.. Come to manning, have a few beers and let people pick your brain

  8. #8 dominich
    May 7, 2009

    I would like to say something clever and original but as usual Douglas Adams got there first:

    [...]

    Majikthise: “We, are Philosophers.”

    Vroomfondel : “Though we may not be.”

    Majikthise: “Yes we are.”

    Vroomfondel: “We are quite definitely here as representatives of the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Thinking Persons, and we want this machine off, and we want it off now!”

    [...]

    Vroomfondel: “We’ll go on strike!”

    Majikthise: “That’s right! You’ll have a national Philosopher’s strike on your hands!”

    Deep Thought: “Who will that inconvenience?”

  9. #9 Moses
    May 7, 2009

    You should engage in anti-thinking, not non-thinking. For eight hours you should peddle creationist clap trap, such as that found at Answers in Genesis or Ray Comfort’s Blog. You should also periodically yell “Banana” or “Intelligent Design is science” at the top of your lungs.

  10. #10 John S. Wilkins
    May 7, 2009

    My brain wouldn’t recover from that. Maybe when I was in my twenties, but that would be the death of whatever rational thinking I still have. Instead I’ll think about things I’m not paid to think about, like international politics or art.

  11. #11 Raymond Minton
    May 8, 2009

    Two observations about Ireland’s reviving their blasphemy laws. First, don’t they know that blasphemy is a victimless crime? And second, from reading your story, I learned the Irish word for “idiot”,which certainly applies to the politicians who are reviving said blasphemy laws!

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