Category Archives: Rants

Planet de Botton

I’m all for popularizing philosophy in the right kind of way, and admire — not to say envy — the likes of A.C. Grayling and my colleague Simon Blackburn for their prose styles, their immense energy, good sense, ability to … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 22 Comments

Routledge go mad

I have on my desk my copy of Hartley Rogers’s wonderful Theory of Recursive Functions and Effective Computability. I’ve been checking my memory that he says that, for effective computability, the steps in a particular algorithm must be idiot-proof at … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 4 Comments

Standing in King’s Parade, tearing up tenners

I had to go along  to a meeting today, ostensibly about the future of funding for graduate students. It lasted an hour, though it was fortunately held just fifteen minutes away. Still, that’s an hour-and-a-half out of my life. There … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 4 Comments

The end of civilization as we knew it

Well, that really takes the biscuit. The University Library tea room has stopped using china cup and saucers like a civilized place, and started using disposable paper cups. Ye gods, what is the world coming to? Once upon a time, … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 4 Comments

Ruse gets a beta minus.

Philosophers don’t get asked often enough to write for the newspapers and weeklies: so it is really annoying when an opportunity is wasted on second-rate maunderings. Michael Ruse writes in today’s Guardian on whether there is an “atheist schism”. And … Continue reading

Posted in Rants, Religion | 7 Comments

Research Excellence Bullshit

So, there’s another consultation document on the Research Excellence Framework — “the new arrangements for the assessment and funding of research in UK higher education institutions that will replace the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)”. A wonderful document indeed, literate and … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 9 Comments

Student evaluations

I remember, quite a few years ago, giving the same introductory logic course two years running, as far as I could tell doing as a good a job each time. But my student evaluations plummeted between one year and the … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 13 Comments

Grumpy old man, #42

I think I’m turning into a grumpy old man … [Cue suppressed laughter off stage, murmurings of “Turning? Turning? Happened years ago”, etc. But I shall ignore these scurrilous interruptions.] … and the latest cross-making irritation (especially galling for a … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 1 Comment

Lies, damned lies, and references

I’m in the midst of reading through a pile of applications for the Analysis Studentship. There are some impressive looking candidates. But I’m frankly not too impressed with some of my colleagues in various universities who are writing references. Indeed … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 8 Comments

Fools, damned fools, and the designers of online forms

I’ve a sabbatical coming up next Lent term, and I really ought to apply for matching “double your research leave” funding from the AHRC to have another term off. Not that I hold out much hope of getting it rather … Continue reading

Posted in Rants | 2 Comments