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Anyone who likes Show of Hands (or has heard me ramble about them repeatedly and is intrigued) may be interested in listening to the Mike Harding show tonight (8PM-9PM) on Radio 2 - he's interviewing SoH about their new album Witness. Because this is the ineffably lovely BBC, they'll also be putting the show on their website for streaming once it's been broadcast. Details at the show's homepage, here.
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I'm looking through the Show of Hands web-site, to put off the moment when I have to again look an idiot by muttering my presentation under my breath and flicking through slides on my monitor. Look through the list of gigs (which has recently been extended, by the way) and my heart leaps! For Show of Hands are playing in Oxford. May 29th. Wait a minute... that date looks familiar. Why, yes. That would be two days after my sister's wedding, so I'm overwhelmingly likely to be in Buffalo, NY while SoH are less than a mile from my flat. Sigh.
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Just listened to Science Blacklist, which is an interesting exploration of to what extent the Bush administration is distorting science to fit political ends, and to what extent this is worse than what former administrations have done. I think it's mostly very solid - there's some very disturbing stuff in there, not least a section where the guy who was Bush's go-to guy for science issues at the last election claims that the peer-review process is biased because - wait for it! - it's run by people who do lots of research.

But the program suffers slightly from a lack of appreciation of the genuine distinction that exists between science qua science and science informing policy: there are times when a government is going to have to say that science shows that X is the best approach to achieve Y, but we can't afford it/think it has undesirable consequences on Z/etc. Governments are there to make these kinds of decisions, and if you don't agree with them run for election yourself! I hasten to add that this explains only a very small proportion of the problems identified in the program, but I think overlooking it makes the program seem biased or incomplete.

I'm also very much looking forward to Who Killed Christianity?, in which various figures in the development of Christianity are accused of twisting the original method off course. First in the dock: St. Paul. That's on Tuesday morning at 9.30.

In other news - I think 'Hard Shoulder', from Show of Hands' latest album Country Life is my favorite song. For at least the next hour.


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November 2013

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