Author Archives: newcleckitdominie

The vocational vocative

The ever-eloquent Plashing Vole has some interesting meditations on forms of address in academia. This is an awkward one for me, though perhaps for different reasons from Dr Vole’s. (I find that my courteous pen can’t bring itself to refer … Continue reading

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Curious cosmologies and killer rabbits

Another dissertation season has been and gone. For our weaker final-year students this season meant struggling gamely with the constraints on self-expression imposed by English grammar as their supervisors understand it; for me it meant struggling less gamely to  understand … Continue reading

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On having “no experience of the real world”

I know one shouldn’t feed the trolls, and that it’s bad manners to shout about the difficulty of one’s middle-class job in this seriously screwed-up world, but the latest sneer from the Stupidist movement has  caught me on a sore … Continue reading

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The academic bullshit engine

Sir Humphrey: If local authorities don’t send us statistics, Government figures will be a nonsense. Hacker: Why? Sir Humphrey: They’ll be incomplete. Hacker: Government figures are a nonsense, anyway. Bernard: I think Sir Humphrey wants to ensure they’re a complete … Continue reading

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Lobby correspondences

And here it is to be noted that a prince ought to take care never to make an alliance with one more powerful than himself for the purpose of attacking others, unless necessity compels him, as is said above; because … Continue reading

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The loss of Ian Bell

I’d not usually try to write a tribute to somebody I’ve never met, but Ian Bell is a special case. Knowing that I’ll never again open the paper at his column to find some abuse of truth and language being … Continue reading

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Flexible, deep, or interdisciplinary: pick two

Look at what a lot of things there are to learn — pure science, the only purity there is. You can learn astronomy in a lifetime, natural history in three, literature in six.  And then after you have exhausted a … Continue reading

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