Category: language

  • I’m counting pronouns

    I woke up late because I was working late on things from the mundane physical world, which means ploughing through spreadsheets and making columns think they are rows and rows think they are columns. This meant this morning I had less time for my entertainment, which means ploughing through spreadsheets and making columns think they […]

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  • How to talk about Russia?

    I’ll confess at the start that this post doesn’t have an answer to the question in it’s title. Also the title could have been “How to talk about China?” or Israel or the USA. I’ve granted myself permission to talk about Britain and Australia in any damn way I like 🙂 but they aren’t examples […]

  • It’s Voynich time again

    Which means another round of breathless headlines, as I discussed in 2017: [https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/speaking-of-fantastical-drawings/ ] That time the theory was that the author was an Italian Jewish doctor. This time the theory is the author was a nun who lived here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragonese_Castle The peer-reviewed paper [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02639904.2019.1599566 ] presents a plausible case that the writing is in […]

  • Ye Olde Skull & Lobster: Reading Vox Day So You Don’t Have To: Part N+1

    When P.Z. Myers is cited positively and unironically by Vox Day, you know there’s something amiss with the universe. There’s heresy in the air and right-on-right attacks going down. On the one hand, we have Jordan Peterson: transphobic right-wing purveyor of semi-coherent self-help books for people frightened by women going to university. On the other […]

  • CoOrDiNaTeD aTtAcKs!

    CoOrDiNaTeD aTtAcKs!

    Cast your minds back to April 7 2015. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were beaten by the Connecticut Huskies in the NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship and Senator Rand Paul announced he was going to run for the Republic nomination for President of the United States. Meanwhile, in Sad Puppy related news, Larry Correia […]

  • Is HAL 9000 a robot?

    HAL 9000 is the artificial intelligence controlling the Discovery One in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 and Arthur C Clarke’s related novels. HAL is generally referred to as a computer and not as a robot. He is generally referred to as a computer or as an AI. Even in his entry in the “Robot Hall of Fame” […]

  • The trope that changed my mind

    Major spoilers for Get Out and lesser spoilers for Six Wakes follow below. This got long and warnings around topics that touch on (but don’t discuss in detail) body image. Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Mur Lafferty’s Six Wakes occupy different genres of speculative fiction. One is a contemporary horror film that examines privilege and […]

  • Undergraduate Career Advice!

    Yeah, but seriously if you are planning your post-school studies, seek proper professional advice and not this blog post. Via numerous Twittery things, the question of what degree a young person intent on Higher Education should study has been doing the rounds in various ways. One source was a snarky comment about English degrees from […]

  • John C Wright is upset that people didn’t take his Left=Witches argument seriously

    In a piece entitled “Rational and Magical Thinking”, Mr Wright attempts to deal with the criticism of his previous argument. Here’s a taste: Here is the difference between arguing with a rational atheist and arguing with a Leftist: suppose for the sake of argument that you penned a column describing the psychology of Leftism as […]

  • Is Hidden Figures Science Fiction?

    I’ve actually written a longer piece on this film, which is still unfinished and may be unrescuable because of far too many tangents (less obvious ones including Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Alfred Hitchcock’s use of a toilet, and the nasty rightwing Christian ‘Focus on the Family’ group). In the meantime, this is an attempt to address the […]