January 2007

This afternoon, I spent a bit of time wandering along the canals that encircle Oxford. Their relative abandonment during the winter makes them a good place for general contemplation, even if the schedule of classes and other projects makes you feel guilty about time spent so idly.

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Proving the adage that technology is actually driven by evil spirits who let it fail just when it is most inconvenient: the MySQL database that serves as the back-end to my wiki has chosen this morning – an hour before I need to give a presentation stored in the wiki – to go kaput. SQL […]


It cannot be taken as a good sign to have a presentation in twelve hours and still not really be sure about the main thrust of what you are going to say. I feel like I have a lot of structural elements, but only a semi-rough conception of what I am going to build out […]


Now that I’ve had these earbuds for about five months, it seems worthwhile to make a few comments. While they have their peculiarities, these are acoustically excellent devices. The noise isolation is so good that I use them to sleep on planes and buses. Indeed, when wearing them I am unable to hear whether my […]


Now nearly finished with Kuhn‘s Structure of Scientific Revolutions, I am pondering how to apply it to my thesis case studies. Basically, what Kuhn has done is sketch out a theory about how scientists interact with the world and each other, generating new scientific ways of understanding the world. You start with one paradigm (say, […]


Sorry to be less esoteric and entertaining in my writing recently, but I have been focused by necessity on issues pertinent to ongoing projects. The process distorts one’s perception of the world. I cannot really judge, for instance, the extent to which the apparent increase in coverage of climate change issues in the media is […]


Another collection of thesis reading arrived today. From Amazon, I got Steven Bernstein’s The Compromise of Liberal Environmentalism and Karen Litfin’s Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Cooperation. Each has been recommended by at least five people or other important thesis sources, and neither is available to me through the Oxford library system. […]


Studying at Oxford? Interested in Strategic Studies? Web savvy? If these characteristics apply to you, consider nominating yourself to be the next webmaster of the Oxford University Strategic Studies Group. At present, I am serving in this capacity, but I will be leaving Oxford at the beginning of July. The workload is very reasonable: uploading […]

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Anyone interested in nature or geography should have a look at the spectacular television series “Planet Earth.” I watched a couple of episodes on Antonia’s very large television and was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the videography and the lengths they went to in order to get amazing imagery. I saw the episode featuring […]


Continuing to draw upon Kai’s excellent connection of DVDs, I watched All the President’s Men. Above all, it has reinforced my conviction that journalism is a noble but difficult profession. The amazing thing is that they were just relying on notes. These days, one can simply expect that all conversations, emails, and phone calls are […]