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Saturday, November 29

Snow!

Shaker Heights, Cleveland, Ohio

the view from my window, with snow

this morning


There are quite a few Indian grad students at Case. For some of them, this will be the first time they have ever seen snow. That must be wierd.

And on a complete tangent, I find the extent to which I identify with this quote a little worrying.
posted @ 3:28 PM -

Wednesday, November 26

The Iraq Body Count Project

It says a lot about the bias on all sides of the media (some exaggerate, while others command so little of my respect that I just ignore them) that this body count was actually a good deal lower than I expected, but it still makes a point. Perhaps 7,000-9,000 civilian deaths is an acceptable toll for this mission, but let's have some respect for the dead and not pretend it's painless.

posted @ 3:26 PM -

Hear Hear

It may be appropriate to pose a question - ought our government to make plain publicly and unambiguously our condemnation of the utter lawlessness at Guantanamo Bay?
Lord Steyn

And it gets better:
As a lawyer brought up to admire the ideals of American democracy and justice I would have to say that I regard this as a monstrous failure of justice.
This is precisely the point. Last week some of the more right-wing press (and I'm referring to organs like The Telegraph, not loony extremist papers) responded to the anti-Bush demonstrations in London by asking why so many more people turned up to protest against Bush than against other leaders (such as Jiang Zemin) who are clearly more autocratic and less admirable than anyone who has ruled America since King George. The answer is that we don't expect much of China, and since the death of Mao China has been making progress. Slow progress, admittedly, and from an appalling start, but progress all the same.

America, on the other hand, is a country founded on high ideals and its present government is betraying those high ideals. An America that lived up to its own ideals at the same time as wielding the hegemonic power that it already does would be a powerful force for good in the world, just as it was in the 1940s. That is why it is so much more disappointing—even shocking—when Bush sets up a gulag and a kangaroo court than when Stalin or Mao did. This is a country from which we expect better.


Update: The Independent quotes more of Lord Steyn's statement and some reaction to it.
posted @ 2:52 PM -

Tuesday, November 25

Finally I have broadband, untainted by a saturated interior wall blocking the radio signals of a domestic wireless connection. This, needless to say, is good.

Who knows, I may even start writing here with some semblance of regularity again.
posted @ 3:16 PM -

Thursday, November 20

this is disgusting.

I have nothing to add.

posted @ 8:06 AM -

Wednesday, November 19

the reality of Sisyphus

I am looking forward to this semester being over. Before it can be over, I need more than just time passing though... I need to get various things done. At the moment I really do feel like Sisyphus. Each time I push one rock over, another is added to the queue; the backlog that started when circumstances beyond my control stole my time, and in the weeks since I just haven't been able to kill off. It's wearing me down.

At the same time I'm looking forward to next term, because it really doesn't have to be this way. This semester I've been very unlucky, and I've made some mistakes. I would still have been working hard had things not been so, but I wouldn't have been so constantly tired, I wouldn't have had to feel like what little socialising I do (which sometimes consists of bringing my laptop to Mel's or Vinay's apartment, or bringing notes to a bar, so we can have some company while we work) is a guilty distraction from the task at hand, and I would spend a larger proportion of my working hours actually doing the work I came here to do, rather than short-term deadline homeworks.

posted @ 2:43 PM -

Sunday, November 9

Feeling Gravity's Pull

I'm wondering whether I want to revive or abandon this blog. There were several reasons why I stopped posting, one of which (that I was mired in an argument I felt like writing about blow by blow, and this would clearly have been most unhelpful, as well as making at best tedious, if not outright exasperating reading) no longer applies, another of which (I promised myself I wouldn't spend time on this site while still behind with coursework) is close to no longer applying, but there was more to it than that. For one thing the 180° misinterpretation of a recent post unnerved me quite a lot, given that this should be the space where I can explain myself fully. But more deeply than this, I just haven't felt like I have anything to say of late, which is a pretty marked contrast from a couple of weeks ago.

I feel like at the moment if I were to start posting properly again I'd just be saying things without having anything to say, just because I have this space and I feel I ought to use it. Even if I do revive this page, I may well not get back to posting daily, and whatever happens this will be the last post I write before completely dealing with my backlog of work (though if tomorrow is productive I might achieve that goal by Wednesday).

One thing I should mention for now is that I've moved house. I have a new address and phone number. I think I've sent these out to everyone likely to need them, but it's quite likely that I've forgotten at least one person. If you think I should have sent you this sort of thing and I haven't, assume the omission was not deliberate, and drop me an email.

posted @ 11:37 PM -
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