Yearly Archives: 2009

good riddance to 1819

I’m not entirely sure when Hazlitt’s Table Talk was written, but I was reading it over Christmas, at my sister’s house, and discovered, to my horror and astonishment, the best description you could imagine of recreational comment pages. It comes … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Journalism, Literature, Net stories | 1 Comment

Academic manners

The current LRB has a wonderful example of one style of academic review: the long essay outlining the book that ought to be written about the subject, concluded by a paragraph dismissing the work under review. But what a paragraph! … Continue reading

Posted in Journalism | 1 Comment

Plugging Marek

I had to call Marek Kohn the other day, because I was thinking about the Chief Rabbi’s eugenics, and this led me to reread A reason for everything. It really is good. The discussion of Bill Hamilton in particular is … Continue reading

Posted in God, Literature, Science without worms | 1 Comment

One dumb note

I really like the idea of MS OneNote, and find it very useful for scribbling ideas into and recording interviews. It also has exemplary synchronisation. But it is a pig to use as a repository for web clips, unless you … Continue reading

Posted in nördig, Software | Comments Off on One dumb note

Evernote dumbed down

This is a quick note, really for the benefit of Google, to point out that Evernote, which is growing more and more popular, was in important respects much better in version 2, now neither sold nor supported, than in the … Continue reading

Posted in nördig, Software | 5 Comments

Gained in translation: Tomas Tranströmer

Tomas Tranströmer is generally considered Sweden’s best living poet. He presents horrible difficulties in translation. He writes an exceptionally pure, cold Swedish without frills. It’s very hard to specify why it’s not prose but you would have to be deaf … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Sweden | 13 Comments

The world needs this T shirt

“Who told you that the argument from authority was always wrong?”

Posted in Blather | 3 Comments

On the difficulty of translating Tove Jansson

This is part of what may become a sort of series; notes on the difficulties presented by some of the books I am reading. In particular, they are examples of the discomfort I feel when I know what something means … Continue reading

Posted in Literature, Sweden | 4 Comments

Hardware costing as little as $40,000!

From the description that sold Unix to the wider world: The PDP-11/70 on which the Research Unix system is installed is a 16-bit word (8-bit byte) computer with 768K bytes of core memory; the system kernel occupies 90K bytes about … Continue reading

Posted in Blather | Comments Off on Hardware costing as little as $40,000!

What I should be doing

is investigating a story that Louise sent me about the International Society of Arctic Char fanatics, and their struggles against some horrible development in Scotland. Better yet, I could be fishing for char (röding) because despite living for years in … Continue reading

Posted in Blather, Literature, Sweden, Trouty things | 3 Comments