Scraps at the end of a long silly day

  • These quiz things seem popular on the internet, so here is a one question personality test, without any typing, to try: what is the word you see here?
  • Damian Thompson has now admitted his story was nonsense, but what I particularly enjoyed was the reaction to the story’s unravelling on the Jihadwatch site. In particular, the commentator who has won this year’s Dawkins prize for abject and sincere apology:

I am forced to conclude, as others here and elsewhere have concluded, that this story is a tissue of lies, a fabrication, a factual untruth, a malfiscient piece of propaganda advanced only to discredit us by playing upon our credulous (justified?) belief that Islamics would indeed behave in the way portrayed in this story.
Of course Islamics would and could behave in this way but this particular story appears to have no basis in fact – in actual events. It is, in all probability, a Muslim constructed story designed to show us in the worst possible light.”
“In all probability.” Couldn’t put it more judiciously myself.

  • Spot the razor blade in this potato: Richard Lewontin, reviewing the life and achievements of Steve Gould, comes to deal with other public intellectuals: “It is even possible to become a public intellectual in science with no institutional home in a technical discipline. Richard Dawkins, who was trained as a biologist and who obviously knows a great deal about genetics and evolution, is Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford”
  • From the same issue of the NYRB: Tony Judt’s fantastic speech on the holocaust and memory. I think I really should post here the profile of him that I wrote and the Guardian never used.
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7 Responses to Scraps at the end of a long silly day

  1. Re ‘what word do you see?’:

    The arrangement of the letters (particularly UTT) predisposes one to see that.

  2. ShaunR says:

    Ooh, I’m coming out of the other end of ‘Postwar’ right now, so, yes please to the Judt profile.

    (What reason was given for spiking it?)

  3. chris y says:

    Wot’s an Islamic, then?

  4. ‘Islamic’ sounds more fierce and hostile than ‘Muslim’.

    Is there some subtext I should be aware of?

  5. acb says:

    Those who see only subtext are the pure in heart. I think the use of “Islamics” is because he wants a word that expresses nothing but alien horror, untinged with any day to day uses.

    @Shaun. No reason — editors change, and, with them, fashions.

  6. Rupert says:

    Islamics could be lots of things – an exercise regime, a form of ethnic pottery, a new Arabic-English creole along the lines of ebonics.

  7. Oliver says:

    ditto on teh posting of the Judt

    It struck me the other day, incidentally, to epruse the index of Postwar for CERN — and after coming up blank, for EMBL or any other expression of European cultural investment in science. Still not seen. Does this mean there’s a flaw in Judts book — or that scientific culture is just not important?

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