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Philosophy

Pot-Bellied Man In Speedos Points At Naked Middle-Aged Woman And Laughs

Blogger Mr Eugenides displays courage to rival that of Leonidas (the chocolatier rather than the king of the Spartans) as he takes on intellectual giantess Polly Toynbee in the argument over government surveillance and points up classic fallacy after classic fallacy in her defence of ID cards and CCTV cameras. What case does Mr E […]

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Two More Apologies

In response to the previous PooterGeek post I received an email from a reader in Dulwich who wishes to make it clear that, despite buying property there, the Thatchers never actually took up residence in her neighbourhood. I’m sorry for suggesting otherwise. I’ve also toned down the language I used about Susan Greenfield back here […]

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Indispensable

Wikipedia will eventually triumph over all other existing encyclopedias. Does any edition of Britannica or Encarta have a “List of films ordered by the use of the word ‘fuck’“? Yesterday’s featured article was about philosopher and socialist Hilary Putnam, who is the Putnam in the “Quine-Putnam indispensability thesis” and definitely my kind of thinker. (By […]

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Missed One

Welsh non-dragon Suw Charman doesn’t write very often, but she’s interesting when she does and she fought my corner against ruthless streetcorner pushers Antoine and Jackie in the 2006 drug wars. Now she’s joined the other newcomers on my blogroll.

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The Future Of Darfur And The Future Of The Left

Because of a couple of gremlins over at the Euston Manifesto site we’ve accidentally been turning people away from applying for tickets to our meeting next Tuesday evening in London. It’s free and there will be three speakers on the subject: “Darfur: An Urgent Case for Humanitarian Intervention”. Follow the link to email us for […]

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Superman

Having popped out a couple of twins, Israeli bloggess Gloria Salt is back. Via the comments on her most recent post, I stumbled upon the output of “nationally syndicated Libertarian columnist and author” Vin Suprynowicz. Via his commentary on the war in Lebanon… It’s typical for those who crave peace to try compromise and appeasement. […]

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La Nausée

A service station just off the Fifth Circle of Hell, very early in the morning, somewhere around the peak hour for suicide attempts: My journey time has been tripled by the closure of relevant sections of the M11 and the M25. The woman who lives in my sat nav has been asked to re-calculate the […]

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By The Way

Thank you to Pete in the comments and to everyone else who’s been sending kind wishes. It’s good to be alive on days like these. I hope eventually everyone will be just as free to say in public how they think we should live in the world we share. It’s a precious gift and one […]

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Join-The-Dots

Norman Kember, former hostage, interviewed on BBC Radio 4: “They were brave, but I disagree with their profession… It’s ironic isn’t it?: You go as a peace activist and you’re rescued by the SAS.“

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The Euston Manifesto

Today, 13Apr06, we—bloggers, academics, campaigners, writers, scientists, journalists, citizens—launch the Euston Manifesto. With this document we hope to publicly assert our progressive, democratic, egalitarian, internationalist principles in the face of recent attacks upon them from the Right and, to our dismay, the Left. Many of us are of the Left, but we come from across […]

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Norm Referencing

Someone tried to post a spam link here to the home of a new philosophy called “Normism”. I’m going to do better than that: this post quotes and links directly to the Normism site. I’m sure the spammer chose me as victim because of the many references here to normblog. The marvellous thing is, Normism […]

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Know Thine Enemy

I was going to post the following when it first appeared on Jonathan Derbyshire’s ‘Blog. Norm’s post today reminded me that I hadn’t. Derbyshire makes a point that even militant atheists should concede: As Jeremy Waldron makes clear in his remarkable book God, Locke, and Equality, the principle of human equality articulated in the Second […]

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You Turn Your Head For Five Minutes…

Blimey. I switch my phone off and stay away from the Net for one day (and a Sunday at that) and everything goes to hell. Apologies to Auriol and Leasey (and anyone else who was trying to get in touch). I heard your messages and will get back to you. PooterGeek was crawling with comment […]

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Zen And The Art Of Restaurant Management

There are about fifty seats at the greasy spoon at which I, ahem, partake of brunch of a Saturday morning. When I am there I always dine in the No Smoking Area. This consists in its entirety of my two-seat corner table, the only one with a “No Smoking” sign on it.

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Fight! Fight!

Please, sir, first Mick said all that mass murderering in the olden days was Karl’s fault, then everyone just piled in.

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Anti-Managerialists Make The Case For Managerialism

Regulars will know I have little time for the whining dons who pad out the Times Higher. Hardly a week passes without some lecturer objecting even to the idea of having to divert a moment’s time from valuable work on “cultural changes in the conceptualisation of the authoritative and the factual in social life” (or […]

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Geek Fails Turing Test

I wanted to comment on a ‘Blog yesterday, but I couldn’t read the distorted characters on the security image clearly enough to type them in. Does this mean that I am really an artificial intelligence?

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Right. I’m Off.

I’ve got an article and a grant application to write—and something more important to do—so there’ll be nothing new here for the best part of a week. In the meantime here’s a Zen window in Cambridge: [click to enlarge]

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Writ

Cardinal declares, “The book is everywhere. There is a very real risk that many people who read it will believe that the fables it contains are true”, says, “It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies”. Scientist comments, “It amuses and disappoints me that the cardinal is talking about The Da […]

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Theodicy

And now it’s time for Thought For The Day. Over in our Manchester studio we welcome the Reverend Nimmo Platitude of St Gavin’s Church Of The Lost Apostle, Bamber Bridge: “Thank you, James. “This morning I toasted a bagel for my breakfast and, as I lifted one half of the deliciously warm, crispy-soft bun off […]

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Bracing!

Insert Joke Here is quoting Richard Dawkins on the bracing effects of atheism: “There is deep refreshment in standing up full-face into the keen wind of understanding … Safety and happiness would mean being satisfied with easy answers and cheap comforts, living a warm, comfortable lie. The daemonic alternative urged by my matured Devil’s Chaplain […]

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Buy Tin!

I seem to have upset the proprietor of Blognor Regis lately. Apparently I “was wetting myself over David Carr’s prehistoric Band Aid rant“. I think the figure of speech he was looking for was “taking the piss out of“. Taking the piss is a traditional British craft that some of the Beavis and Butthead types […]

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WikiWikiWoo!

I am a Wikipedian and link from PooterGeek to the wonderful Wikipedia frequently. This communal project has shown (yet again) the power of distributed collaborative work via the Net—just like the operating system running my PC and the Web server sending this page to you. Further, Wikipedia has proved conclusively that a philosopher can be […]

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David Carr Is The Anti-Swift

Hello, loonies of Libertarianism. This is good irony. It is funny, sharp, and original. It has a serious underlying point to make. This is bad irony. It is flat, smug, and tired. Somehow it doesn’t score a hit against crap British celebs making crap records for charidee. David Carr, you win this week’s Prêt-à-Porter Award […]

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No

It takes a professional philosopher to choose, of all the arguments for the existence of some kind of god, the most exquisitely wrong: “A philosophy professor who has been a leading proponent of atheism for more than 50 years has decided that God may exist after all. “Antony Flew, 81, now believes scientific evidence supports […]

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The Drugs Don’t Work

Thoughtful James Hamilton might come by to say something about this one. The Economist this week has a fascinating piece [subscription only] about the decline in suicide rates in the UK. No one has a sure explanation for why the numbers of men and women killing themselves in Britain have declined by tens of percent […]

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The Frat-Boys Do Physics And Philosophy

This is the most profound and extraordinary scientific result I have read about in months, and I only found out about it because it was linked to in last week’s Fark. (If you visit Fark, you might want to follow its lead to The Sun to see if you can parse the first sentence of […]

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A Bit Dim

Maoi points to a critique of the shiny new label for agnostics/atheists that I signed up for in passing back here.

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Morality Play

This one’s a little higher brow than yesterday’s test of your ability to distinguish females from “shemales”. Butterflies and Wheels have recently added a new morality quiz. In exchange for five minutes of effort (and some finely Jesuitical reasoning) on your part they will tell you where you fall in their morality spectrum and point […]

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