Words, words, words


in Books and literature, Daily updates, Oxford

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.

From Tristan, I received a stack of philosophy of science essays.

  • Bloor, David. “Essay Review: Popper’s Mystification of Objective Knowledge.”
  • van Fraassen, Bas C. “The Empirical Stance.” (2 copies, in case someone else in Oxford is looking for some light reading)
  • Guerlac, Henry. “Science During the French Revolution.”
  • Holton, Gerald ed. “Science and the Modern Mind: A Symposium.”
  • Miller, David ed. “Popper Selections.” (better than the two brick-like Popper books sitting on my shelf)
  • Neurath, Otto. “The Scientific Conception of the World: The Vienna Circle.”
  • Weber, Max. “Social Sciences, Law, and Culture.”

His taking the time to mail these to me is much appreciated. On the basis of this, I am willing to declare myself more or less set, in terms of thesis materials on the philosophy of science. Indeed, all signs point to the necessity of doing much more reading on the two case studies; both my supervisor and the examiners seem much more interested in the specific than the general.

The weeklong reading retreat to the original home of Dorothy and Nicholas Wadham that is happening during the last week of March is looking somewhat appealing. Unfortunately, that will also be the last week during which my supervisor is available to look anything over.

My international law presentation is due in two days, along with the final version of the fish paper. An international law paper is due in six weeks, with another due in about 14 weeks – at the same time as the thesis. As time goes on, I am seeing the progression from being jittery primarily as the result of caffeine consumption to being jittery because of stress and finally to being jittery due to a potent combination of the two.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Nick January 29, 2007 at 7:42 pm

Very useful for Starbucks loving macheads:

Free T-Mobile WiFi, by impersonating Vista

Anon January 29, 2007 at 7:51 pm

More thesis reading:

Are scientists evolving into climate crusaders?
Warnings of warming dangers have become increasingly dramatic

Milan January 29, 2007 at 8:44 pm

Thanks. Those are both rather useful links.

I will give the T-Mobile trick a try the next time I am sipping iced espresso while overlooking Cornmarket Street.

Anonymous January 29, 2007 at 10:06 pm

Find the fish…

Few Japanese would go out of their way to eat whale meat. Most would defend their country’s right to harpoon cetaceans to the edge of extinction. But that is more out of resentment at the cultural imperialism of the anti-whaling countries than any memory of the role whale meat played in feeding a starving nation after the war. But when it comes to tuna, most Japanese would go a long way for a morsel of o-toro. Now that tuna risk going the way of the whales, the Japanese are among the first to start clamouring for conservation.

At a 60-nation gathering in Kobe this week, Japan urged the world’s tuna conservation organisations to join forces in curbing “purse-seine” fishing, which uses large, circular nets that catch everything in their path. Japan, along with Australia and America, also proposed a global monitoring system—in a bid to protect the world’s tuna stocks.

Widespread illegal and unregulated fishing has pushed tuna stocks near to utter destruction. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation, the global tuna haul increased steadily from 200,000 tonnes in the early 1950s to peak at 4.3m tonnes in 2003. Catches are now falling and prices rising—thanks largely to an insatiable demand for tuna, canned and raw, from health-conscious Americans and Europeans, and now from affluent Chinese as well. Meanwhile, as tuna prices soar, more fishing vessels put to sea.

In the western Atlantic, the number of mature blue-fin tuna—the most prized member of the species reserved for the best sashimi and sushi—that are capable of spawning has fallen by 90% since 1970. In the Mediterranean, stocks of blue-fin tuna have crashed by 80% over the past three years alone. The southern blue-fin has been so heavily over-fished, especially by Japanese fleets, that quotas have had to be lowered by a further 20% all round. In return, Japan has agreed to cut its own blue-fin take by 50% annually for the next five years.

As the biggest consumers of the blue-fin delicacy, the Japanese could find themselves priced out of the tuna market and forced to eat something else. On hand, thanks to the number of minke whales caught annually for “scientific research”, is a whale-meat mountain that at present is going to waste.

Tristan Laing January 30, 2007 at 6:32 am

Each of those “essays” are actually reading packets from a week of a course. They all have 2-4 papers in them.

Milan January 30, 2007 at 12:10 pm


They certainly look substantial. Thanks again for sending them.

Milan January 30, 2007 at 4:58 pm

A few minutes ago, I sent off version 2-2 of the fish paper for MITIR. This one will hopefully be the last to include any changes to the body text. Now, it seems that it will need to be split into a with-footnotes and a without-footnotes version, for different distribution channels.

Personally, I wouldn’t trust an academic paper with no citations any father than I could throw it.

BlackHat January 30, 2007 at 5:08 pm

Re: Free T-Mobile Wi-Fi

Just spoofing your useragent is not enough. Correct instructions

Be warned, though. GMail doesn’t like this browser information and will kick you back to ugly basic HTML mode.

Milan March 1, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Note: the readings from Tristan are in my thesis document box, in the Philosophy of Science folder.

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