24 Aug 2007
Now try doing all three at the same time. Backwards, in heels.
24 Aug 2007
Gae says, No big deal. I, on the other hoof...
5 Mar 2013
I must associate mylsef with Mr Barbieri's impatience with populist disdain towards the social sciences. This often, and irritatingly, takes the form of excessive veneration for the precision, accuracy, theoretical subtlety, yaddayaddayadda of the hard' physical sciences coupled with contempt for the sloppy ways of the soft' disciplines, but by its very nature, ant discipline that involves what Von Mises called human action' cannot approximate the rigor possible when describing particles, forces, molecules, and even simple organisms.Then too, human beings bite. As Stanislav Andreski pointed out, if chemical reagents don't like what you write about them they will not jump off the shelf and burn you, or get you fired or tossed into the slammer.Andreski's brilliant Social Sciences as Sorcery was unsparing in denouncing the intellectual sins of a0the social disciplines (he was a military sociologist and I read him out of sheer curiosity, having grown up in a career Army family).But he also led me to a real appreciation of what sound work had been done in the past, and of the limitations which must be accepted to proceed with useful social investigation. His brief section on conducting interviews itself makes the book worth reading. a0Besides he is screamingly funny. The book is 40 years old and I reread it every couple of years.I also smile remembering the historian Page Smith' s description of anthropology:a0 It is arguably the funniest academic discipline The field anthropologist must at all times remember what his mother taught him that it's not polite to point.'