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:

bq. %(loony) 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. %
%(loony)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: %(sane)”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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