Tales of irony

by Ted on October 10, 2003

Via Randy Barnett, I see that John Lott isn’t the only disgraced gun researcher who likes playing dress-up on the internet. It looks like Michael Bellesiles has a sock puppet too. “Benny Smith” knows a lot of things that only Bellesiles would know. Bellesiles hasn’t admitted it, but having read the story, I can’t think of another explanation.

That’s really embarassing for Bellesiles. What’s more embarassing, though, is the way that Lott’s fiercest critics have continued to stick up for Bellesiles. Even after his work was debunked, Bellesiles is being promoted on a speaking tour by People for the American Way. Just this week, the editors of the American Prospect published a piece by him as if he was a trustworthy source. And of course, any respectable think tank would have fired him a long time ago, but he keeps hanging on at Brookings.

Sad, really.

UPDATE: (Irony hat off) Now that I think of it, what in the world is Bellesiles doing nowadays? I just realized that I have no idea, and googling didn’t help.

(Also, now that my hat is off, I should reiterate without irony that the story about Bellesiles does seem true, and it really is embarassing for him. Don’t want to be misinterpreted.)

The New Catechism of Cliche

by Kieran Healy on October 10, 2003

Though it can never replace the old one, in what way is a new one needed?


When it is published online what must we read?

The whole thing.

What value do such posts hold for reading?

Much worth.

What sort of insightful are they?


[click to continue…]

California Leavin’?

by Brian on October 10, 2003

Brian Leiter suggests that philosophers will start fleeing California now that Arnie! has become governor.

Already the “buzz” among philosophers is that the election of the absurd Schwarzenegger, in a state already facing enormous problems, is going to lead philosophers in California, especially at UC system campuses, to start thinking about leaving. We’ll see whether Schwarzenegger can pull a “Thatcher.”

That’s not the buzz I’ve been hearing, but I’m a long way from California. Do any readers who are closer to the action want to leave any impressions?

[click to continue…]

The Monads

by Brian on October 10, 2003

I just stumbled across the webpage for The Monads. When they were compresent with us as such, the Monads were constituted by three WWU undergraduates, two of whom are now UMass graduate students, Kris McDaniel and Justin Klocksiem. I was just complimenting Kris’s philosophical abilities the other day and I forgot entirely to mention his musical accomplishments. Bad omission! If you like philosophical musical humour, you should download some of the songs they have posted. I particularly liked Meinongian Babe, which is the kind of song you might have heard on the Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs had Stephin Merrit been a philosophy major. (Note that’s an 8MB download, so if everyone downloads it we’ll probably crash the UMass server.)