Sep. 29th, 2006

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  • Bert Archer meditates on the First World War's Battle of Flers-Courcelette, memorialized in Scarborough by a street name.

  • Centauri Dreams surveys the moderately alarming trend among some SETI enthusiasts to go beyond listening for signals from outer space and to actually transmit signals to target stars, hoping to make contact. I'm quite willing to concede that my automatic connection of this to Greg Bear's novel The Forge of God is a kneejerk reaction. Even so, shouldn't people trying to make first contact with extraterrestrial civilizations consult the rest of us first?

  • Joel at Far Outliers quotes extensively from an analysis by Bernard Lewis of the reasons for the structural problems of the Middle East. As I write in the comments, I'm dubious of Lewis' contention that the alignment of French colonial authorities in Syria and Lebanon with Vichy France was the critical moment--one, maybe, but the leanings towards proto-fascism had already been freely imported.

  • [ profile] feorag reports at the Pagan Prattle about a witness at a Scottish trial on satanic abuse who announced that she was pressured into making false statements by the authorities. Witch-hunts tend to render the truth so badly, don't they?

  • Jonathan Edelstein notes that the decision of the Solomon Islands' province of Guadalcanal to adopt a foreign policy towards China that contradicts the foreign policy of the Solomon Islands. This surely does not augur good things for the coherence of the Solomon Islands state.

  • Richard's too-infrequently updated Castrovalva has a collection of thought-provoking essays, the most recent examining Foucault as a neo-humanist, the modern applicability of the Romantic concept of nature, and alienation in modern literature.

  • [ profile] zarq has a wonderful collection of links on eschatological Jesuit theologian Teilhard de Chardin and his theories.

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