Tribe

As an undergraduate I became interested in the the word ‘tribe’, as we use it colloquially. Despite thinking of it as word for something other, non-modern, non-industrial and even pre-agricultural forms of social organisation, I was aware the word was thoroughly civilised in its provenance, from the Old French tribu or directly from Latin tribus. I’ve just come […]

Last week, in my post on walking, I mentioned the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, in which the figure of the flâneur emerged. I first heard Baudelaire’s stuff as a youth, in translation, in this extraordinary recording made in 1968. It was good to hear it again, and I thought it worth sharing.

Extracts from the Rough Guide to the Sirius system, 5th static, 08/08/2444

Embarkation on Sirius One is a rough and tumble affair. This venerable spaceport has retained its grimy, industrious atmosphere and the weary traveller is likely to get jostled and disoriented. Keep your nerve however and you will soon work out what’s going on. It’s a small planet with a lot of traffic passing through. Accommodation […]

Nuer scales

The work of E.E Evans-Pritchard, the now somewhat old-fashioned, but utterly meticulous and detailed anthropologist, and I, have crossed but once. As an undergraduate I studied the first of his books from his fieldwork with the Nuer, a people of the Nile Valley What follows are fragments of notes I took at the time.

the tedious hierarchies of the printed word Dennis Potter, from the James McTaggart Memorial Lecture 1993

Notes on ‘Phenomonology, Hermeneutics, Reception Theory’ from Eagleton’s ‘Literary Theory’

Edmund Husserl: Phenomenology ‘back to the things themselves’ seeks to explore ‘human consciousness’ believing that through this we can study universal aspects of ‘phenomena’. Phenomena only exist as parts of consciousness, but phenomenology attempts to study their universal essence. Borne of the post WW1 crisis it attempts to revive the human mind as the ‘centre […]

“That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law. ” – English Bill of Rights, 1689 “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” […]

A Very Brief Introduction to Ecology

This is a transcript of an information sheet I have knocking around. No idea where I got it from. Ecology from the Greek Oikos meaning ‘home’+ology meaning ‘study of’ Quick definition the study of the distribution and abundance of organisms in their environment Ecology as a science employs the scientific method to establish principles and […]

The Fannish World of Arthur C Clarke

Despite a 1950s prudishness with the words fanzine and fandom (enclosing these terms in quotes) the book informs on Clarke’s involvement in fandom. The told story fits the standard pattern; entry via the letter columns of the early prozines, but after Clarke meets friends by chance who are into sf. From couple to neo-tribe, from […]

Well, when I sat down to watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special today, I certainly looked forward to an intriguing hour. After the event I’m just sitting here with the remains of Xmas dinner thinking that of all possibilities, the last thing I expected to be watching was the secret origin of the Great Intelligence.