Scandinavian archaeology, history, skepticism, books and music
December Pieces Of My Mind #2
Copenhagen has a major laughing gas habit. Little metal ampoules littering the streets. They’re sold for whipped cream siphons. Saw them all over town this past summer.
Um. I calculated how many issues of Fornvännen and Folkvett I’ve co-edited. 128 issues.
I’ve got mixed feelings about having left academic teaching. On one hand I enjoy it and I always get a really good response from the students. On the other hand, given the extremely poor career prospects in archaeology, I am convinced that in most cases a) students are better off long-term without these courses, and b) they serve no societally useful purpose.
Nacka’s Social Democrats just elected me to serve on the municipal Education Board. We have over 100,000 inhabitants and some of the country’s best high schools.
I recently learned that Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land is from 1961. It wasn’t a response to hippie weirdness. It inspired hippie weirdness.
Me: the Geminids. Autocorrect: the feminists.
I wonder how Serbian and Croatian atheists get along.
Wise words from Birger Johansson: “Re-incarnation without the transfer of memories is pointless. Memories are what distinguish you from your clone [or twin]. Deleting the memories equals the death of the individual.”
Once talked to a guy who made inane political arguments based on folk etymology, or rather, on random word similarities. “Democracy is just THEM-ocracy”, that sort of thing. He didn’t say these things to illustrate his points, he thought he was somehow in contact with the essence of things. Not surprised to learn now that this is a characteristic of Rastafarian preaching.
Keep seeing Americans use “inhale” as if it meant eat or drink.
On our way to the restaurant there was a tiny drizzle. During our meal there was a huge hailstorm with closely spaced flashes of lightning. Then when I went back to the hotel through the thick drifts of melting hail, there was a tiny drizzle again.
New story collection by the amazing Ted Chiang on 7 May! This is a very big deal, given how rare and wonderful his efforts are.