Tag: Uncategorized

Christmas Hiatus #1

I had my bag stolen yesterday and the thumb drive on which my final post for 2006 was residing is now in the hands of the criminal classes. My discourse on Damascus Level Events will have to wait.

I’ll get you, John McClane!

Anyway, I’ll be on break until early January, so expect little from me over the next fortnight. I plan to be away from internet access for most of the time and, well, you, my faithful reader(s). Whilst I’m away I’d like you to contemplate something important. I’m not sure what, but contemplate it, damn you.

Christmas cheer to you all.


So, last night, I decided to learn LaTeX (well, to start using a frontend for it; I’ll leave learning the actual intricaces of markup until later), mostly because the bibliographic software I normally use requires me to write my thesis in Word (not strictly true but good enough for the moment). On the plus side it will make editting my thesis a lot easier. On the minus side I imagine my frustration levels will rocket into overdrive over the next few weeks. Still, come summer when I do decide to learn how to handcraft a TeX document I suspect I will geek out.

It is not going to be pretty.

Answers from last week’s quiz (with apologies to Kenneth Horne)

1. The ‘sinister’ meaning. Those of you who answered 70/74 need to see a better class of tailor.

2. Not particularly, although one respondent suggested that a certain type of ‘ex-conspiracies’ are always malevolent no matter whether it was a mutual thing or cheating with her sister.

3. Well, someone from Waikato suggested third base, although if you use the ‘shortcut’ on level two you can get all the way to the bossfight using only the hamster and jello. However, the right answer seems to be ‘it depends on what end result is being desired.’

This week’s winner is Mr. Frank Stupid, not because he entered but because he deserves a shoutout for his general amicability.

Desolate Title Page

No updates this week (aside from this post, obviously); I’ve been getting with the typey-typey and producing ‘words of academic merit’ (which usually translates to ‘Only readable by supervisors’ (which ‘readable’ might mean ‘Only to be read by’ but really means ‘Only comprehensible to’ (where ‘comprehensible’ might mean ‘You are unable to understand them’ but really means ‘Otherwise incomprehensible.’))).

Upcoming Public(?) Lecture

30 August
Emeritus Professor Mac Jackson
Was Shakespeare Shakespeare? Reflections on the authorship controversy
6.30pm, Old Government House Lecture Theatre, The University of Auckland.

There are a whole lot of conspiracies in re the writing of the Shakespeare canon; I don’t know that Dr. Jackson (who suddenly sounds like a character from Stargate) will cover tham but it could be quite an interesting look at the controversy. For those who want to ‘bone up’ before class I recommend the following light reading:

Shakespiracy theory – The New Criterion

The Paradise Conspiracy

I’m currently reading Ian Wishart’s ‘The Paradise Conspiracy.’ Wishart is most well known today for being responsible for ‘Investigate Magazine’, which isn’t exactly the paragon of rational enquiry, but ‘in the day’ Wishart was a ‘respectable’ journalist. In the second of the two prologues to ‘The Paradise Conspiracy’ Wishart talks about how his career could be ruined by publishing what he knew about the European Pacific controversy. Being in a strangely conspiratorial mindset at the moment I immediately mused about one possible story to explain Wishart’s turn to extremism. The whole promoting ID and whatnot might be that by keeping himself in the limelight (so to speak) he can’t be so easily ‘done away with.’ Sure, he has to play the fool, but better a living fool than a dead purveyor of the truth…

Not that I’m saying that this is the case (or that I even think that this is even likely) but it’s the kind of story that fits the facts and looks explanatory.

Which, some days, seems to be the point of conspiracy theories. That my initial reaction to events is slowly becoming the academic postulation of connecting stories probably should worry me. This is the beginning of a process that turns a sports journalist into someone who believes that reptilian overloards have inflitrated the world government and eat babies in the bounds of Windsor Castle.

Yes, every day I fear that I am stepping a little closer to becoming one of ‘them.’