Tag: Administrivia

House-sitting with the Fretless Zither

I’m house-sitting for the next seven weeks, which means I’m moving somewhere warmer than my flat but in a locale more awkward to commute from and more isolated in general. In theory this could mean I do a lot of work; on the other hand I don’t have to share a TV with people of differing tastes so I could end up just watching bad films 24/7.

I also have a phonoharp, aka a fretless zither, to learn to play.

Work-wise… Teaching continues apace; my students are a good bunch; talkative, friendly and eager to engage with the material. In respect to the thesis; a lot of writing, some of it quite good, seems to be occurring when I go into the office. I’m seriously working on chapter one and building up a lot of useful notes for a substantial chunk of what is either chapter four, five or six. I’m paring down my notes for chapter one and trying not to overwrite it (too much). Sometimes I forget that you do not have to deal with every issue in one section; you can signpost and handwave and make promises to deal with issues and, as long as you actually keep to your word, all will be fine and good. So my worries about Brian L. Keeley’s Public Trust Skepticism doesn’t have to be dealt with as it emerges in the explication of his definition of `Conspiracy Theory.’

Well, enough talking about doing work. I’m going back to Keeley’s definition and the da Vinci Code. Not that they are particularly related, but both are work to be done.

Another trivial update, brought to you by the vowels in the name of god…

Well, there’s not much to say this week. I’ve spent the last few days marking essays and today I’m going to embark on getting a paper ready for submission to an appropriate journal.

And then, thesis work.

On Sunday Jose is going to interview me over the upcoming adult education course I will be teaching (on Conspiracy Theories). Yes, it’s probably akin to advertising but, then again, I have no idea what Jose is going to ‘grill’ me on so it could end up being mighty informative and completely off-topic.

For those of you not in the know, there is going to be a rather interesting talk this coming Tuesday (the 17th) by Dr. William Lane (squaring off Dr. Bill Cooke) entitled ‘Is God a Delusion?’ Lane is a fierce critic of Dawkins and, by all accounts, not just a very good public speaker but also a very good philosopher. This is, for some, a bit startling, because Lane is also a fervent Christian.

It should prove to be a very interesting spectacle.

Moot: Is God a Delusion?

17 Jun 2008

Presenter John Bishop

Department Philosophy

Venue OGGB5

Time 7pm to 8pm

William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. William holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham (England) and a D.Theol from the University of Munich (Germany). He has authored or edited over thirty books including Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Atheism, Atheism and Big Ban Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity. He has also written more than a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology. William was President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society from 1996-2005, and is currently President of the Philosophy of Time Society.

Bill Cooke, Senior Lecturer, Manukau Institue of Technology. Bill has a PhD in Religious Studies from Victoria University of Wellington. He became an active atheist and humanist in 1984. Bill has served as president of the NZ Rationalist and Humanist Assoication, and editor of the Rationalist and Humanist journal, The Open Society. He has also worked as director of programs for the Center for Inquiry and is a fellow of the committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion. His books include Heathen in Godzone: Seventy Years of Rationalism in New Zealand (1998) and A Dirctionary of Atheism, Skepticism and Humanism (2006).

For those of you not conversant in Uni lingo, OGGB5 is the Owen G Glenn building, lecture theatre 5.

Trivial update

I’m in the process of moving so there’s no real update this week. I also don’t (currently) have the internet installed in my new abode. So, in lieu of an post or a series of semi-witty remarks I’m just going to direct you to the ‘Motherlode;’ a piece on the generic Conspiracy Theory of the West. I shan’t pass comment on it, but you might want to, in the comments.

Not that you like to comment. Yes, I’m singling you out especially (but not you; you play nice).

Also, those of you reading this off of an RSS feed won’t know that I have a meagre page devoted to papers I have given, articles I have written and the like. It’s fairly empty but it might pass the time.

Not Spent

The last post was part of a grand experiment using WordPress’s import filters, an experiment that went disastrously wrong. I may be spent elsewhere, but not here. Indeed, I have new vigour and life due to the release of the most recent issue of Episteme, a Social Epistemology journal that just happens to be all about Conspiracy Theories. Devouring it as I type. More when I get the chance (the internet is not particularly speedy here in Opunake).


I’ve just updated WordPress and it’s a little hard to know whether this is working for all and sundry. Comments on a comment-postcard, please.