Why is politics failing?

In a way this is a silly question: politics is politics, and always has been. The real question is why liberal democratic politics is becoming unrepresentative and generating cynicism, extremism and alienation among the supposedly represented. The answer is, I think, a loss of the social contract that made representative democracy work. In the US, Read More…

On rights

I am as shocked about Orlando as everyone else, but I am shocked about a lot more. So I must declare my stand. I stand for homosexuals, intersex, asexuals, and all other kinds of sexual orientation. I stand for males, females, and everything in between. I stand for every ethnic and social grouping. I stand Read More…

The place of religion in democratic secular countries

There is a religion which oppresses women, which is enthusiastically adopted by marginalised groups, which hates democracy and which has declared the modern world to be a heresy they call “Americanism”. This religion, which is run entirely by men, demands of its adherents loyalty to a small group of clerics overseas, in a pseudostate set Read More…

The Muslima problem in atheism

A while back, Richard Dawkins said some very silly things on PZ Myer’s blog Pharyngula [see this discussion at the time for details]. He wrote, in response to justified claims of sexual harassment of women at supposedly progressive skeptical conference, the following: Dear Muslima Stop whining, will you. Yes, yes, I know you had your Read More…

Begging that damned question

Something that bugs the hell out of me, literally, is the misuse of English. Of course, I was trained as a subeditor in the days when such things mattered even to journalists, so I am a fossilised dinosaur in this respect. I even try to use adverbs correctly. One thing that literally makes my head Read More…

Information is the new Aristotelianism (and Dawkins is a hylomorphist)

In seeking tales and informations [Henry VIII, Act V, scene 3] For some time now* I have had problems with the notion of information. Not, please note, with this or that piece of information, but with the notion itself, especially in the natural sciences. In this age of computers and internets, we have taken to mistaking Read More…

Bastardry: On protest and on fascism

I attended the March in March protest against the current government of Australia yesterday. My legs still hurt. I’m sure that demonstrations were not so arduous thirty years ago. I noticed that this was a privative demonstration. It was not about something so much as against something, and the something it was against varied by protestor. Some Read More…