For info on the history and lingering effects of the harmful and destructive Indian schools, this article discusses some of those "archaic" laws that remain on the books: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/04/30/6-boarding-school-l...
I have a piece in The National Interest, looking at various recent events including the latest round of the Argentinian debt crisis, in which a New York court ruled in favor of a group of ‘vulture’ investors, led by a New York billionaire, and the agreement of the US Department of Justice and Citibank, involving a financial settlement to avoid a lawsuit over bad mortgage deals and CDOs in the pre-crisis period.
My central observation is that while legal forms are being observed, these are obviously political processes, with outcomes reflecting relative political power rather than any kind of neutral application of the law. So, the international financial system is part of international power politics: it matters a lot that Citibank is a US bank, while BNP Paribas is French and so on. This is very different from the picture of a global, as opposed to international, financial system. Suhc a systemt, independent of, and standing in judgement on, national governments seemed to be emerging in the 1990s, but broke down in the financial crisis, when banks ran to their national governments for support.
As an illustration, I found this ad put out by the ‘vultures’. Try interchanging “US” and “Argentina” throughout and assuming an adverse judgement by an Argentinian court against the US government.
The University of Waterloo is hosting a workshop on computational rhetoric on July 31, 2014. There will be a webcast component, so you can participate at a distance.
Somehow I saw this rather lame attempt to parody Ann Coulter yesterday. I don’t mind football, I’ve even come to enjoy watching it a bit as a result of my daughter’s enthusiasm, but I do enjoy the odd rant against it, and have always found it funny that Americans assume that because of my accent I have a favorite team and know the offside rule (I don’t have a favorite team, but I do know the offside rule, though my knowing it is rather like my ability to recall the entire cast of the Love Boat, the result of an unhealthy tendency to remember entirely unimportant things that I don’t care about).
So here are “Coulter”’s objections to football (many of which, btw, suggest “she” has never seen a game), with responses providing evidence that the article is, in fact, an attempt by Geoffrey Boycott to popularize cricket among American conservatives:
Cricket: wickets, sixes, fours, catches, run—outs; long hops, dropped catches, hit wicket, Alastair Cook’s current form. Anyway, the perfect balance between teamwork and individual achievement/failure.
2. No serious sport is co-ed, even at the kindergarten level.
Cricket isn’t co-ed (whatever that means).
3. No other “sport” ends in as many scoreless ties as soccer.
Cricket: No scoreless ties. On this count cricket is superior to all “American” sports, because even scored ties are almost impossible, and are the most thrilling games of all (33 first class ties since 1948, worldwide). If scoring is what you care about, cricket beats all other sports hands down: the 1st test between India and England last week yielded 1342 runs and 29 wickets!
4. The prospect of either personal humiliation or major injury is required to count as a sport…Baseball and basketball present a constant threat of personal disgrace [sic: I assume from context she means danger—ed]. In hockey, there are three or four fights a game—and it’s not a stroll on beach to be on ice with a puck flying around at 100 miles per hour.
Cricket: The ball is smaller than, and heavier than, a baseball, and it (normally) hits the ground before reaching the batsman: 85-90 miles an hour are not uncommon speeds. The fielders routinely catch the ball at similar speeds. Oh, and none of this wimpy “mitt” business. Bare hands. Sometimes just a few feet away from where the ball is hit. . Oh, and Ewen Chatfield.
5. You can’t use your hands in soccer. (Thus eliminating the danger of having to catch a fly ball.) What sets man apart from the lesser beasts, besides a soul, is that we have opposable thumbs.
Cricket: plenty of hands (bowling, catching (see above), holding bats, etc)
6. The number of New York Times articles claiming soccer is “catching on” is exceeded only by the ones pretending women’s basketball is fascinating. I note that we don’t have to be endlessly told how exciting football is.
Cricket: NOBODY is telling you how exciting cricket is, or that it is catching on. [NOTE: in fact we are being constantly told how exciting “football” is: it’s constantly marketed, and, incidentally, talent-development is achieved mainly through huge public subsidies in the form of funding for public high school athletic directors, football fields, uniforms, and coaches; at a cost to the actual education of kids in those high schools (not just the opportunity cost of the funds but, worse, principals who knowingly hire incompetent social studies and science teachers because they will be good coaches).]
7. It’s foreign.
Cricket: its existence in the US predates both American Football and Baseball. The first official international cricket match was an all-North American affair, and took place in New York. Cricket was, in the 1840s and 1850s “by far the biggest sport in the USA”.
8. Soccer is like the metric system, which liberals also adore because it’s European. Naturally, the metric system emerged from the French Revolution, during the brief intervals when they weren’t committing mass murder by guillotine.
Cricket: Actually, I didn’t understand this point, it just seemed like a random stringing together of words, but, whatever cricket is like, it is not like the metric system.
9. Soccer is not “catching on.” Headlines this week proclaimed “Record U.S. ratings for World Cup,” and we had to hear—again—about the “growing popularity of soccer in the United States.”
Cricket: Nobody is telling you that cricket is “catching on”. But it is.
Killing people is wrong.
People ought to do their fair share.
Both of these seem like plausible but not exceptionless moral principles. Sometime it is ok to kill people. For example, if you need to kill someone who is attacking you to protect yourself from death or serious injury, then you are permitted to do so. But if you can achieve the goal of protecting yourself without killing your attacker, then you should. The things you do to protect yourself should be necessary and should be proportional to the actual threat. In ordinary life, it is only people like Tony Martin or George Zimmerman (or their apologists) who think that a threat or the mere perception of one gives you licence to simply blow someone away.
Likewise people should do their share to contribute towards the common infrastructure from which we all benefit. Public services, maintaining a legal system, filling in holes in the road, stuff like that. Sometimes there are excuses and justifications for not contributing. Some people have no money, some people are even too young, or old, or sick to do so. But most people should do their bit, though there may be disagreement on exactly what that bit is.
These two things—killing and paying taxes—don’t seem to have much to do with one another. But I think there are some interesting similarities. In both cases there are plausible moral principles but alongside them there are detailed public and legal codes that purport to implement those principles. And in each case there are people or bodies who think (and claim) they have discharged their moral obligations when they have complied with the letter of the codes – that the codes encapsulate all the things that they are morally required to do. What is more, in each case, many of the people who take this attitude to the rules expend a lot of effort trying to affect the content of the rules and attempting to find interpretations of the rules (“loopholes” and similar) that work to their advantage.
A rather similar thing happens for tax. The tax laws define an expected level of contribution, but wealthy people and corporations lobby government for all kinds of exemptions and changes and then employ lawyers and accountants to minimize their own contribution. And when people object to Apple, Google and Amazon using the roads and infrastructure by domiciling themselves in Luxembourg or Ireland to avoid paying for them, they point to their compliance with the letter of the law.
There’s a further parallel too. In both cases, a fiduciary relationship with someone else is deployed by way for moral justification for the policy. In the tax case, companies have a duty to their shareholders that supposedly means the are under an obligation to minimize their contribution. In the case of war, governments pursue the interests of their citizens (supposedly) subject to the very weak constraints that they themselves have helped weaken. And in each case, the lawyers, accountants, philosophers are on hand to lobby, interpret or write op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal.
For both death and taxes, a moral principle that ought to guide a person’s (or a collective’s) actions has been transmuted into a matter of bureaucratic rule compliance and public relations management. Impertinent questions about whether a state is entitled to kill some people or about whether Google is paying its fair share can then be batted away with a gesture towards “the rules”. So it goes.
THE 8 NOBLE TRUTHS OF THE 8-TRACK MIND
After some farcical manoeuvres, the Australian Senate has passed the Abbott governments legislation repealing the carbon price/tax/trading scheme (it’s a bit complicated). I hope and believe that this outcome will be reversed in due course, but those who brought it about will stand condemned by history.
It’s not merely that this is a bad policy, which will impose large and increasing costs (depending on how long it takes us to get back on track) on Australia and the world into the future. Even more damning is the fact that this action is entirely based on conscious lies, embraced or condoned by everyone who has actively supported it.
First, and most obvious, no one (least of all Tony Abbott) believes that the government’s “Direct Action” policy is a superior alternative to the carbon price, one that will deliver emissions reductions more rapidly and at lower costs. It is, as everyone knows, a cynical ploy put forward simply to allow the government to say that it has a policy.
In reality, Abbott and the rest want to do nothing, and the motives for this desire are entirely base. For a minority of the do-nothing group, it is simply a matter of financial self-interest associated with the fossil fuel industry. For the majority, however, it is the pursuit of a tribal and ideological vendetta. Their position is driven by Culture War animosity towards greens, scientists, do-gooders and so on, or by ideological commitment to a conservative/libertarian position that would be undermined by the recognition of a global problem that can only be fixed by changes to existing structures of property rights.
Most of these people would describe themselves as climate “sceptics”. There is no such thing. That is, there is no one, anywhere in the world, who has honestly examined the evidence, without wishful thinking based on ideological or cultural preconceptions, and concluded that mainstream science is wrong. Most “sceptics”, including the majority of supporters of the conservative parties, are simply credulous believers in what their opinion leaders are telling them. Those opinion leaders are engaged, not in an attempt to determine the truth, but in a cultural vendetta against their enemies, or in an ideologically-driven attempt to justify a predetermined do-nothing position1.
This is a sad day, but one that will come back to haunt those who have brought it about.
Atrocities, uncensored, here. No need to listen beyond the first 50 seconds.
Win for Affirmative Action
July 15, 2014
Communication Yearbook 40: Deadline February 15, 2015
A Publication of the International Communication Association
Editor: Elisia L. Cohen
CFP: Chapters on Crisis Communication, Karen Taylor
Karen Taylor, email@example.com
CFP: Chapters on Crisis Communication
Springer will be publishing a book titled "New Trends and Best Practices
Roughly half of the chapters will be drawn from the natural sciences,
My recent caricature researchs got me in the mood for more of Daumier’s Paris. I listened to an audiobook version of Honoré de Balzac’s most famous novel. Good, but I’m not exactly rushing out to read the rest of the series. I understand that “la comédie humaine” is not a promise of lots of laughs, but I was expecting more laughs. I had been expecting a prose Daumier. Instead Balzac is a mix of cynical realism and gothic or sentimental melodrama. (I am sure I am not the first to notice this!)
My ‘meh’ reaction is my own fault, probably. I am corrupted by the extremity of genre fiction in our time. My palate is jaded. Call it the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies problem. Since everything today has zombies in it – or vampires – it’s hard not to expect something on that order when you are reading what is obviously supposed to be an exciting piece of popular entertainment. It’s easy to see how Goriot should be converted into a proper modern work. Vautrin needs to be upgraded into a proper super-villain. So we have our poor medical student, Rastignac, living in a cheap boarding house with dear Goriot and … The Death Deceiver! Vautrin (trompe le mort!) can monologue with the best of villains, and he’s a central node of a vast criminal conspiracy. But his scheme is so petty. (Arrange for Rastignac to marry an heiress, then take a cut? Please! It is unworthy of his monologues.) Vautrin is not trying to construct a Cosmic Cube, find the Infinity Gauntlet, release a Shoggoth, become a vampire, destroy Paris, or anything. So obviously we need to update that. Here is the Faustian bargain he offers young Rastignac. With but two Infinity Gems – the Soul Gem and the Mind Gem – you can ascend the filthy-slippery social ladder of Paris with ease! Meanwhile, Vautrin will take just the Power gem and set himself up as a slave-owner in the American South.
Anyone want to undertake rewriting Balzac’s 90-volume series as Le comédie superhumaine?
I do have one semi-serious questions about the book – about social conventions in Paris. I’m not surprised that all the decadent male aristocrats have opera singer lovers. The wife knows her husband visits his mistress every Thursday, or whatever. Fine. But there seems to be a social norm that the likes of Goriot’s daughters may have young lovers as well, whose existence their husbands politely overlook. I take it the idea is supposed to be that these are only pretty admirers, not sex partners. When Delphine’s husband offers to free her to take Rastignac as a lover, if she will not interfere with his scheme, he is offering her the chance to have sex with him. That is presented as an unusual concession on his part. So it’s not like the males and females are equally free to engage in extramarital sex. Even so, the whole arrangement seems surprisingly egalitarian. Would there really have been socially prominent adult males in Paris in the 1820’s – especially socially prominent titled aristocratic males – who allowed their wives to take young lovers, even on the tacit understanding that there would be no sex? Wouldn’t that have been an intolerable threat to patrimony? I am obviously just an innocent Oregon boy at heart, who does not understand the subtle ways of Paris.
A story that has gotten weirdly little play in the US (I can’t speak for the UK press or the press in other countries) is the pushback by the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms against the democracy movement in Hong Kong. On July 1, over 100,000 people marched in protest against Chinese plans to curtail democracy in Hong Kong. But the Big Four had not only made it clear that they didn’t like the protests – they had threatened that business would pull out of Hong Kong if the protests continued.The big four global accounting companies have taken out press advertisements in Hong Kong stating they are “opposed” to the territory’s democracy movement, warning that their multinational clients may quit the city if activists carry out threats to disrupt business with street protests. In an unusual joint statement published in three Chinese-language newspapers on Friday, the Hong Kong entities of EY, KPMG, Deloitte and PwC said the Occupy Central movement, which is calling for electoral reform in the former British colony, posed a threat to the territory’s rule of law.The group of pro-democracy activists is calling for 10,000 people to block traffic in the central business district as part of a campaign to put pressure on the Hong Kong government, although if and when this will happen is still under discussion. In the advert, the big four firms warned that protests would disrupt the Hong Kong stock exchange, banks and the headquarters of financial and professional services firms causing “inestimable losses in the economy”. It added that clients of the four firms had reflected further concerns about the wider impact of the protests: “We are worried that multinational companies and investors would consider moving their regional headquarters from Hong Kong, or indeed leave the city entirely. This would have a long-term impact on Hong Kong’s status as a global financial centre,” the joint statement said.
This is a quite remarkable initiative. It was published in Chinese rather than English – presumably both to speak more directly to potential protesters, and to make it less likely that it would seep into the English speaking press. According to one of the firms, it was pushed by local branches rather than the accountancy groups’ international management. Even if this is true, the statement is signed in the names of the firms and have not been publicly repudiated.
Of course, this isn’t the first shameful decision made by Western companies looking to build business in China – see Bloomberg’s squashing of a story on corruption among family members of senior Chinese leaders, or, for that matter, Rupert Murdoch’s instruction to Harper-Collins not to publish Chris Patten’s memoirs. But this goes substantially further than quiet acquiescence, to public and active opposition to the pro-democracy movement, and the issuing of threats intended to stifle it. It would be nice to see Ernst-Young, KPMG, Deloitte and Price-Waterhouse Cooper put on the spot by US politicians and journalists about their Hong Kong offices’ unrepudiated public statements opposing pro-democracy protestors.
Been traveling. Bit of jetlag. Woke. I had been having the most exciting dream and was at the most thrilling part when … I woke up. I couldn’t remember anything, except I had exited at a total cliffhanger point in a very elaborate story. Like knowing your favorite tv show has been cancelled before the final season, but not knowing what your favorite show is. I tried to go back to sleep, without hope, or success. Damn.
File this one in: annals of oddly objectless intentionally. Wanting to know how it ended.
Maybe I could start a Kickstarter campaign.
If only Joss Whedon had written and directed my dream, I’d have his fans on my side.
But he didn’t, and other people’s dreams are boring, I know. In other news: Zizek isn’t looking like an especially responsible scholar. I find the explanation that ‘a friend’ sent him a long passage cribbed from a white supremacist book review and told him ‘he could use it freely’, in addition to being insufficient, rather incredible. With ‘friends’ who trick you into plagiarizing white supremacists, who needs enemies?
A large part blogging, for me, has consisted of attempts at zombie-slaying: finding ideas that have been refuted by the facts, but that remain undead. Zombies are hard to kill, but one I thought had been permanently dealt with – the myth that Rachel Carson brought about a worldwide ban on DDT, leading to millions of deaths from malaria. Although quite a few people helped to show that this wasn’t true, the lion’s share of the credit, at least in the blogosphere, goes to Tim Lambert (who stopped blogging a while back, though his site still runs a montly open thread). Tim and I laid out the facts in a 2008 piece in the English magazine Prospect which made the following points
Whether due to our efforts or not, the DDT ban myth seems mostly to have died. Milloy, whose links to tobacco have thoroughly discredited him, seems to be out of the pundit business altogether. He still has an adjunct perch at the Competitive Enterprise Institute but his web page there shows only two opinion pieces since 2008. AFM is also quiescent – its website doesn’t show any research activity since 2011 and its staff all appear to have paying jobs in free-market thinktanks, suggesting a zombie organization.
But the zombie plague always recurs and just now I’ve seen (via Ed Darrell) another instance, oddly enough in an environmental-consumer magazine, Greener Ideal. The author, one Mischa Popoff is described as ” former organic farmer and USDA-contract organic inspector” and repeats the standard DDT myth before a segue into a defence of GMOs. But, as Ed Darrell points out, Popoff is being a bit cute here. DuckDuckGo reveals that he is in fact a Policy Advisor for The Heartland Institute and a Research Associate for The Frontier Centre for Public Policy (the latter being apparently a Canadian version of Heartland, as is the IPA in Australia. The site is down now, so I can’t check).
As long as Heartland lives, zombie ideas will never truly die.
Books I’ve read in the last while that I’d recommend:
In particular, Vast. It’s the final novel in her Nanotech Succession series, which I read in reverse order when Vast first came out, and which is not a bad way imo to read them. Deception Well, the middle book in the series has some lovely ideas, but doesn’t quite hang together, while The Bohr Maker is good but quite different. Vast is a masterpiece of a certain kind of widescale science fiction – a chilly universe, conflict among vast inimical forces, with humans forced to adapt in ways that are sometimes grotesque to survive. A kind of Darwinist Universalism – ‘evolution’ is the connecting thread. Alistair Reynolds cites Vast somewhere or another as a basic influence on his Revelation Space books, which is a good metric – if you like those ones, you’ll probably like this one. The books aren’t available in print, but rights have reverted to the author, so she has made them available in Kindle and other formats. She also has some new novels – two fantasy novels which I didn’t enjoy as much, and a near future military SF book, The Red: First Light, which I did enjoy quite a bit.
Again self published, and again excellent. The most fun I’ve had for three dollars since I don’t know when. It’s very clearly located in a line of descent leading from Heinlein’s juveniles and Starship Troopers through John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. It’s also its own thing. While the politics are neither one-dimensional nor belligerently in your face, they are considered and explicit (e.g. societies based on student-debt slavery). If you like thick juicy steak as well as, or instead of, molecular gastronomy, this is as good as it gets. It came out in 2013, and deserved all kinds of awards that it didn’t get.
At first glance, this may look like a complete departure from the previous two – Davidson is a Columbia literary theorist, and her book has detailed (and fascinating) sentence by sentence readings of extracts from Proust, Sebald, Perec and James. Yet it also has very astute things to say about Neil Gaiman’s work and the narrative problems George RR Martin faces in A Game of Thrones, and does so without any sense of self-consciousness or slumming. Davidson (like Francis Spufford and Randall Jarrell whom she cites, and Jo Walton, whom she doesn’t) is a voracious reader of broad interests and sensibility. Her blog’s great too.
I’ve been hoping he’d write a book like this ever since I read ‘The Osteomancer’s Son,’ the short story that it riffs upon. A warped California, with wizards who gain power by consuming the bones not only of magical creatures but of their rivals, and complex family relations. The book itself is enormous fun – a kind of heist novel – and two sequels promised which sound likely to add layers of political intrigue to the slyly Freudian drama of the original.
So that’s what’s been keeping me entertained. What about all you?
UK CT readers, please read this Open Rights Group myth-buster on the surveillance legislation the three main parties have stitched up behind closed doors, and plan to vote through as an emergency tomorrow. Is your MP planning to vote for it? If they are, ask them if they will support a (to be tabled this afternoon) amendment that will bring the sunset clause down to 6 months – surely enough time to fix the ‘emergency’.
(More analysis from Paul Bernal here.)
(Email your MP here.)
What is DRIP?
DRIP will replace the Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009. The legal basis of these regulations has been uncertain since the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) after the CJEU found the EU Data Retention Directive 2006/24/EC to be invalid.
Additionally clauses 3-5 extend UK surveillance law – RIPA - to US and foreign companies. These measures are controversial, not related and there is no evidence that there is any reason for any rush.
Below are five arguments that the Government is using to justify its passing – and the real reason why it shouldn’t.
“This is an emergency”
Background: After the CJEU ruling, Open Rights Group and other organisations contacted the Home Office to ask them if they would be asking internet service providers to stop retaining data. In May, the Home Office responded by saying that ISPs should continue to retain data. Last month, over 1,500 ORG supporters wrote to their ISPs asking them to stop keeping their data. They responded by saying that they were acting under the instructions of the Home Office.
“This is not an extension of powers, it’s restoring the status quo”
It extends the territorial scope of RIPA - this means that the government can issue interception warrants for communciations data to companies outside of the UK.
“It’s the only way we can catch criminals”
The CJEU ruling was clear that blanket data retention interfered with our right to privacy and our right to a private family life. Other European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Romania and Sweden, have rejected it. These countries continue to tackle serious crime without undermining their citizens’ civil liberties through blanket data retention.
“There is a sunset clause”
“The Bill includes concessions that take into account the CJEU ruling”
A friend shared the following with me, and with his permission, I’m re-sharing it here at Crooked Timber. It concerns the rationality (and indeed the ethics) of applying for academic jobs. Some of the detail is UK-specific, but I’m sure it will also resonate with people who live elsewhere.
Here’s my problem. I’m not very happy in my job. Five employers, within 50 miles of where I live, are currently recruiting in my field.
So what’s the problem? Well, let me tell you about those five employers… But first, a bit of background. The days when the main qualification for an academic job was being considered the right sort of person, and fellowships were awarded by means of a chat after dinner, are long gone. (At least, I assume they are. Maybe I’m just not going to the right dinners.) These days, if you’re going for a post in Medieval European History, you had better make sure your c.v. positively reeks of the history of Europe in the Middle Ages – and even then, if you aren’t already lecturing in Medieval European History you’re liable to be at a serious disadvantage relative to other candidates.
The higher education sector is much bigger, much more professionalised and much more closely managed than it was even twenty years ago. What this means, though – particularly with the added competitive pressure created by the shakiness of the current job market – is that job-hunting in HE is a weirdly straightforward process, with minimal search problems. If you’re a Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, you know you’ll have a chance of an interview if the job title advertised includes the words “Lecturer”, “Forensic” and “Psychology”. And if not, probably not.
For myself, I came into academia fairly late in life, with roots already put down. I’d welcome a change of job, for a variety of reasons – my current post is part-time, apart from anything else. But I’m not looking to move house any time soon – and I’m not crazy about taking on a massive commute, either. (I currently get to work on the bus, on the days when I’m not working from home. As unsatisfactory jobs go, this one definitely has its advantages.)
Those five jobs being advertised are all full-time, which is good, but they all come with issues. One of them would be perfect, if only it weren’t a short fixed-term contract to cover a teaching buyout – not worth leaving a permanent job for, however unsatisfactory that job might be. One’s at an institution I don’t rate; two more are at places I do rate, but which have other issues – major financial problems in one case, staff retention problems in the other. (When what appears to be the same job is advertised in January, April and July…) The fifth passes all of those tests, but it’s at the very limit of that 50-mile radius and would probably take an hour and a half to get to (and from), which just looks excessive. All this seems sensible enough, until I step back a bit and realise that I’m looking at five jobs – count ‘em – and seriously considering not applying for any of them. On that basis it seems as if there aren’t that many jobs I ever will apply for – and I don’t get many dinner invitations, either.
So here’s the question – or rather, two questions. Even if I’ve got no interest in actually taking these jobs (and I’ve got no interest at all in at least two of them), should I apply anyway, for the sake of interview practice – and, for that matter, making sure that my c.v. is good enough to get an interview? In practical terms I’ve got four choices:
Secondly, suppose I stick with option 1. (which is currently looking very tempting, I’ve got to say). Might I actually have arrived at – or backed myself into – a reasonably sensible job search strategy: work on making myself ‘recruitable’ in the job I’m in (getting grant money, networking etc), and wait for the right opportunity to come along? Or am I just being beguiled into career stasis, the bus to work my Calypso?
I’d be interested to hear of anyone else’s experiences, whether good or bad, whether of changing jobs or of hanging on for the right opportunity. It’d also be interesting to hear from the other side of the desk – can interviewers identify, and weed out, candidates who are only there for interview practice? (Come to that, is this something people actually do – apply for jobs with no intention, or only a vague intention, of actually taking them?) And does anyone have a fellowship awarded by means of a chat after dinner, or know someone who does?