Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
October Pieces Of My Mind #3
Movie: Cloud Atlas. Intercutting between several tenuously interlinked stories, all with the same small cast in the main roles. Grade: interesting, fun, demanding!
In the 70s, as Richard Feynman put it, a lot of social scientists were engaging in cargo-cult science: aping the superficial trappings of hard science without actually being able to deliver its content. This is what we see now with psychology’s excellent & commendable reproducibility crisis, for instance. When I arrived in archaeology 15 years later, our fad theoreticians were no longer even aping hard science: they were openly hostile to the idea of any science being hard. And here am I, who would like both the cargo-cult science and the science-hostile knowledge relativism kicked off campus.
Talked to a couple of pro-Orbán (that is, normal) Hungarians. They explained quite frankly that an important reason for their anti-Muslim sentiment is that their countrymen all learn in school about the Ottoman Empire’s brutal treatment of Hungarians centuries ago.
Sudden realisation. IIRC, I’ve contributed to only one academic Festschrift, my thesis supervisor’s. This is pretty indicative of my relationship with powerful older colleagues through my quarter century as an archaeologist. I haven’t cultivated the patron-client relationships that determine academic careers. Another way to put it is that very few powerful older colleagues have impressed me, and that sentiment has been mutual.
Strange loud bassy noises outside. Can’t tell if it’s machinery or a rave party.
James Bond sleeps in long pantsless silk night shirts in Ian Fleming’s 1956 novel Diamonds Are Forever.
Part of what makes Ian Fleming’s novels so good is the loving descriptions of consumer goods: clothing, cars, weaponry.
Dear Jim Morrison, I don’t understand why this girl gotta love her man, nor in what way the world depends on her, nor how this will lead to immortality kthxbai
For the next 100 years, US political science scholars will be analysing episodes of The Apprentice, with The Shark Tank as comparative & contextualising source material.
My kid made me tea and told me about his linguistics & Japanese studies. ❤
In the novel Diamonds Are Forever, James Bond has lunch at a rural American highway diner. He thinks the juke box looks like something out of science fiction. Not like quaint 1950s design.