Couple of Links

by Brian on March 16, 2004

Chris Sheil has been making lots of excellent points in his running review of “The”:http://backpagesblog.com/weblog/archives/000295.html “Howard”:http://backpagesblog.com/weblog/archives/000309.html “Years”:http://backpagesblog.com/weblog/archives/000341.html. I’m not sure how much interest this will have to our one or two non-Australian readers, but it’s been an excellent series so far and I hope Chris keeps it going. It’s a real pleasure to see someone prepared to use the freedoms of the blog format to spell out all the things they want to say rather than compress them into a soundbite length post.

Gabe Wildau, a (real-life) Brown philosophy grad, and Jai Singh have a smart-looking blog called “Flexible Response”:http://flexibleresponse.blogspot.com/. It’s early days, but so far they look like they’re doing a good job putting into practice the aggressive liberalism “the Gadflyer”:http://gadflyer.com/ is campaigning for.

Academics and blogging

by Henry on March 16, 2004

I’ve always been curious about why some academics blog and some don’t. Indeed, I’ve been thinking of finding out more from CT readers ever since John Holbo’s first “guest post”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/001378.html, which talks at length about his start in the blogosphere. So, in a completely unscientific survey, I’d like to turn the mike over. If you’re an academic who blogs, what prompted you to start blogging? And what keeps you going? What do you try to do in your blog? Does your blog have any relationship to your scholarship? If you’re an academic who just reads blogs, do you intend to start your own blog sometime? If yes, what are the reasons that you haven’t done so at this point in time? If no, why not? Either way, what do you get from reading blogs? Answers to any or all of these questions (or other related questions that you think are more interesting) would be appreciated. Anonymity/pseudonymity is fine. Anecdotes are positively encouraged – as I say this is a completely unscientific inquiry.

If there were an election tomorrow….

by Chris Bertram on March 16, 2004

If there were a British general election tomorrow I’d probably vote Labour, as I nearly always have done. I’d think about Iraq, the “war on terror”, Northern Ireland, the EU constitution, asylum seekers, taxes, prisons, higher education policy, Tony Blair, poverty, the environment, local government and a whole host of things. And I’d probably still vote Labour. If there were a terrorist attack which killed 200 of my compatriots, and the government, suspecting Al-Quaida, chose nevertheless to spin a story that the Real IRA were to blame, I might, just might, change my mind. But I’d still probably vote Labour. I certainly wouldn’t take kindly to commentators from other countries — themselves basically ignorant of my country’s politics and history — telling me that my task, in casting my vote, is to “send a message” to Osama bin Laden or anyone else. I’d be upset if such pundits told me that voting other than they way they recommended amounted to “dishonouring the dead”:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/03/16/do1602.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/03/16/ixportal.html . And if a Spanish person, encountering such a commentator were to punch them on the nose, I’m not saying they’d be right, but I’d understand.