HuffPo has just posted a piece by John Zogby about a new poll of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. So do they know why they’re fighting in Iraq? The wide-ranging poll also shows that 58% of those serving in country say the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds, while 42% said it is…Read More Why the troops think they're fighting
The actor Dennis Weaver died last Friday. I’ll always remember him for one performance: his wonderful depiction of the confused and terrified driver in Spielberg’s 1971 masterpiece Duel. It’s quite brilliant – one of my personal top ten films, I think. PS Interesting… I just looked up Duel in the IMDB, and I see that…Read More The duel is finally over
Here’s an interesting perspective from the BBC’s John Simpson: Looking back on the events of the past year, it is clear that the three different popular votes which were held in Iraq, two elections and one referendum, played a big part in whipping up the violence. People who had tended to regard themselves primarily as…Read More On being compelled to pick sides
Just returned from the Members’ Opening of the David Hockney Portraits exhibition at the Boston MFA. Although the works in the exhibition go all the way back to his teenage years, and represent all of his major periods and styles, I was startled by just how many of the pictures were less than a year…Read More David Hockney portraits
There’s a bias in these lists towards stuff I haven’t played in recent weeks. For example, I just picked up the Arctic Monkeys’ excellent new album, and since that’s currently in heavy rotation, it won’t show up here for a while. With that said, here’s today’s random 10 from iTunes: “No Angel” by Sunscreem “Love…Read More Random 10
Majikthise has posted a couple of pieces here and here providing useful links to discussions of Dan Dennett’s book and Wieseltier’s execrable review. She quotes from an email from Dennett to a physicist who had written to him about the review: Look at it this way: I am running an experiment. The question is: can…Read More Dennett and Wieseltier links
I’m heading over to England next Tuesday for a week. It’s mostly for family business, though I will be doing a few days work while I’m there. The reason is simple: United Airlines made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: round trip US-UK, no blackouts, ample capacity, Economy Plus seats, for just 35,000 frequent flier…Read More "A offer I couldn't refuse…"
I had a slightly disconcerting experience today. As I mentioned earlier, we’ve been having some electrical work done, and this morning the guys came by to finish up the last installation and then map out the new circuit breaker configuration. As you might expect, the latter involved a lengthy period of flipping breakers on and…Read More Reset to factory settings
Let’s see: the British police can’t catch members of al-Qaida, so instead they decide to harrass actors who play al-Qaida suspects in a British movie. Now that’s really clever.Read More Mr. Plod gets in a snit
Over at brainstorms, oz and I are discussing the sophomoric review [login required] of Dennett’s new book in yesterday’s NYT by a pompous lit-crit idiot called Leon Wieseltier. As someone commented on an NYT forum, “I am dismayed to see that the NYTimes is continuing to ask literary critics to review philosophical books about science.…Read More Why does the NYT do this?