Monthly Archives: October 2016

Petition to Ban the Word “Amusing”…

This is not important. This is a pet hate. But it is a pet hate of pitbull proportions. The word “amusing” is used in two senses: to damn with faint praise, in which case it is slimily passive aggressive, and … Continue reading

Posted in Language, Rhetoric | 2 Comments

The Meaning and Meaninglessness of Brexit…

I don’t vote in British elections because I don’t live in Britain. Even if I did, however, I would have had a tough time choosing between Leave and Remain. The problem with the Leave campaign, I think, is that it … Continue reading

Posted in Britain, Europe, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

More Fun With New Atheists…

More astonishingly unintentional new atheist humour comes from the biologist Jerry Coyne. Coyne is known for reviewing books he has not read and now attacks a conference that has yet to take place. Not only is Coyne’s hostile judgement based … Continue reading

Posted in Rationalism, Religion, Scepticism, Science | 2 Comments

Neo-Liberalism Through Conservative Eyes…

Madsen Pirie of the Adam Smith Institute has written an elegant, illuminating article on seeing the world through “neo-liberal eyes”. The ASI has embarked on an ambitious attempt to reclaim “neo-liberalism” to denote an optimistic individualism that upholds the virtues … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatism, Ideology, Liberalism, Libertarianism | Leave a comment

More on Middlebrow Epistemology…

A while ago I wrote on “middlebrow epistemology”… that form of argumentation that has the essential qualities of a pub argument – the factoids, the simplifications, the argumentum ad passiones – but decently covers them with a figleaf of rationality. … Continue reading

Posted in Rationalism, Scepticism, Science | Leave a comment

Of Dennetts and Dawkinses…

Daniel Dennett celebrates the tenth birthday of Richard Dawkins’ assemblage of atheistic arguments, The God Delusion… Four books appeared with a few months of each other a decade ago: Sam Harris’s The End of Faith, my Breaking the Spell, Richard … Continue reading

Posted in God | 5 Comments

“Even the Conservative Peter Oborne…”

Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as Leader of the Labour Party, Peter Oborne writes, “has vindicated everything he has ever done and said as a man and a politician”. No, it hasn’t. The support of a majority of Britain’s socialist does not … Continue reading

Posted in Britain, Media, Uncategorized | 2 Comments