The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Upwardly Mobile, or I Wrote a Research Proposal In the Morning And Stacked Shelves At Night, or Will Revolutionise Industrial Society For Food, or I W

I have discovered the character limit for Blogger titles!

Honestly, Sufjan, I find that after a title like that I have nothing left to say in the body. How do you do it?

I sense much fear in you.

My application is written. I'm not going to change it, and I have no doubt that I want to succeed.

Why am I finding it so hard to hit "submit"?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Help me

Walking through the streets at four ay em, four ay em, four ay em, walking through the streets at four ay em, how did I end up here.
(repeat to fade)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Book club

As a wise man once said when talking about videogames:
"I'd had enough political and theological discussions by the time I was nineteen to figure out that they are functionally inert. No-one convinces anyone of anything, everybody just heaps their baggage on the table and gestures at it wildly."

That is why I am recommending that you don't buy The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I'm a big fan of Dawkins, and we're on the same side in the culture wars. However, the thing about discussing religion is that I can sum up all the relevant details of my position and Richie's in a few sentences.
"The only kinds of knowledge are definition and observation: revelation, conviction and tradition are not sources of information. I don't really see any reason that Balaam's ass is more plausible than Sigurd talking to the birds, so I'll treat 'em both the same."

After that, we've pretty much stated our position and everything else is just being a jackass with too many opinions.

Not that Dawkins isn't methodical and rational: indeed, that's the problem. It's the only mode we have, and it's not the mode this debate is taking place in.

Pretty much the only reason to read The God Delusion is if you've never heard an eloquent atheist talk before. If you have, you've heard 90% of what's in this book. OK, I'll tell you what: have a squiz at this and if you're saying ZOMG NO-ONE HAS EVER SAID THIS BEFORE it's worth your while picking the book up.

Otherwise... try The Blind Watchmaker, or The Selfish Gene. Those are good.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The fitting word

1) I love a good mot juste.
2) I love the fact that there are circumstances where mot juste is, itself, a mot juste.
3) "Ignosticism" is a mot juste.

Or wait, is it? On reflection, mot juste implies skill in selection, whereas ignosticism is a coining (or a portmanteau? Maybe I mean wybrid.

I suppose I'm looking for a phrase that says "I like that word/ You've coined a goood one there, Sherwin." Does Mot Juste extent to that kind of use? What do you think, people who work with words for a living?

In closing: Kudos to Rabbi Wine.