I see towards the end of a comment thread, where only the trolls cavort and gibber in the ruins, two things: that someone is arguing against me on the basis of a wikipedia entry whose only substantive source is an article I wrote myself six years ago; and “a sort of apology”:http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/andrew_brown/2007/10/physician_heal_thyself.html#comment-890096 I somehow missed when it first appeared.
Or, as “PZ puts it”:http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/10/scholarly_integrity.php in another context: %(loony)Yes. Science has an integrity and dedication to the honest evaluation of the evidence that religion lacks.%
Instead of brooding on the mysteries of reason, I went out to spend the afternoon in the grey light of Grafham; sometimes the wind carried a chilly drizzle, too. But it wasn’t really cold unless I was standing in the water, and even then I had the warming pleasure of watching sailors further out capsizing their little racing dinghies. Even in a wet-suit, that’s got to be colder than wading. After two hours of this, I waded ashore for the last time and drove to the harbour, where I caught a fish that had to be folded to fit into my little grayling net. This was a very nice way to celebrate the rod I absent-mindedly bought when I arrived and saw it in the sale bin. It is a Powell LGA 906, that would have been about £450 five years ago, and which I got, spanking new, reduced to £100. In the intervening years, it has not stopped being a first class rod, while other “prestige” fly rods have grown steadly more expensive: £550 is the price of a stockbroker’s trout rod today and it is utterly ludicrous. For that money you should at least expect that the handle be covered in hand-sewn Siberian hamster scrotums.
I’m prepared to bet that in a blind test where the maker’s identification was covered so that the only real criterion was how performance no one could reliably rank modern graphite rods by price. There was a period when synthetic materials were new in which rod manufacuters made fantastic progress. Now they know how to do it and new models are purely a marketing gimmick. Still, I have profited by this to get something really lovely. So I don’t feel entirely suicidal.