Daily Archives: 29 Apr 2012

From Now On You Can Call Me The Anti-ultracrepidarian

ul·tra·crep·i·dar·i·an [uhl-truh-krep-i-dair-ee-uhn]
adjective 1. noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise: The play provides a classic, simplistic portrayal of an ultracrepidarian mother-in-law.

1800–20; ultra- + Latin crepidam ‘sole of a shoe, sandal’ (< Greek krepis ‘shoe’); in allusion to the words of Pliny the Elder ne supra crepidam sutor judicare ‘let the cobbler not judge above the sandal’; cf. the English proverb “let the cobbler stick to his last”.

With thanks to Alastair Roberts for telling me about this delightful word which perfectly summarizes the concept of dilettantism.


via Leigh Anne Watts on FB

And God always sees who we really our even if our ‘costume’ persuades others otherwise.

Ours is the Age of Dilettantism: the Death of Facts

When historians look back at the beginning of the 20th century, when all of us now living have long been dead, they’ll, I think, describe it as the ‘Age of Dilettantism’.  And they’ll do it because our age relies on half facts and internet assembled philosophies and the Dreck of that dreadful monstrosity and bastardization of knowledge called Wikipedia.  Or, as NPR puts it more gently:

According to columnist Rex Huppke, there was a recent death that you might have missed. It wasn’t an actor, musician or famous politician, but facts.  In a piece for the Chicago Tribune, Huppke says facts – things we know to be true – are now dead.  Huppke says the final blow came on Wednesday, April 18, when Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida declared that about 80 members of the Democratic Party in Congress are members of the Communist Party.  “That was the death-blow for facts,” Huppke tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

Politicians no longer care about facts.  Professors seldom now rely on facts (driven most often by ideology instead).  Students no longer care about facts- they’re happy to crop and paste from Wikipedia and call it research.  And the ‘average Joe’ already knows (or thinks he does) what the facts are.  His mind is made up and no mere fact will get in the way of that.

That is our age, the age of dilettantism.

“[Facts are] survived by rumor and innuendo, two brothers, and then a sister, emphatic assertion,” he says. “They’re all grieving right now, but we wish the best for them.”

Now That’s The Truth! On What Education is Really About

via Tim Bulkeley

Come on ABC, Surely You Can Spell

ABC news just tweeted a bit ago-

Is Joel working for ABC now?

Apple’s Not Exactly a Good Corporate Citizen

Apple, the world’s most profitable technology company, doesn’t design iPhones here. It doesn’t run AppleCare customer service from this city. And it doesn’t manufacture MacBooks or iPads anywhere nearby.


Yet, with a handful of employees in a small office here in Reno, Apple has done something central to its corporate strategy: it has avoided millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other states. Apple’s headquarters are in Cupertino, Calif. By putting an office in Reno, just 200 miles away, to collect and invest the company’s profits, Apple sidesteps state income taxes on some of those gains.

Apple’s strategy: charge high prices for products made outside the United States where wages are poor and taxes are low and use any means necessary to avoid meeting its obligations as a member of American society.

Setting up an office in Reno is just one of many legal methods Apple uses to reduce its worldwide tax bill by billions of dollars each year. As it has in Nevada, Apple has created subsidiaries in low-tax places like Ireland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands — some little more than a letterbox or an anonymous office — that help cut the taxes it pays around the world.

Apple may be the sort of company that follows the law and uses its many loopholes to its advantage, but legality doesn’t equal morality and Apple simply has no interest in sharing its part of the culture’s burdens.  And that makes it evil.

Dorothy, Thanks for Your Support

Dot King writes

Jim Davila, a highly respected professor at the leading Scottish university, has blogged about a rather stupid claim of “slander” made against Mark Goodacre, Jim West and Robert Cargill by  Nicole Austin, Associate Producer on The Resurrection Tomb Mystery documentary (The Jesus Discovery in Canada):

“You are repeating the same slander which has dominated the Cargill/West/Goodacre blogs and has kept the majority of true scholars away from this discussion.”

“Prof Davila has links back to stories about the “Jesus Discovery” and also repeats the point made by someone else:

“she is using it inaccurately: “slander” refers to spoken defamation whereas “libel” refers to written”

I’ve been a teeny little busy working on trying to get a few thousand stolen antiquities back to their countries, and have not had time to blog about this, although I have received and sometimes answered many hundreds of messages about it.

So Ms Austin if you’re going to take legal action for “slander” against “the Cargill/West/Goodacre blogs” then please add “the Lobel King blog” to your list. I may quibble over their details, but I agree whole-heartedly with their general conclusion – and the sort of “academic” claims made by the scholars the TV show producers hired should be able to be debated by their peers.

She says a bit more, which you can read for yourself.  And then she concludes

I was unable to fully discuss Jacobovici claims about the 2009 tomb discoveries, but I feel that I would like to go on the record about my views of the majority of his interpretations of archaeological evidence. This is my official, on the record, view:

Indeed.  My sentiments exactly.

Pentebabbleists Beware

via Michael Acidri on FB

The Royal Judahite Storage Jar: A Computer-Generated Typology and Its Archaeological and Historical Implications

That’s the title of a new essay just published in Tel Aviv-

In this paper, the authors (Sergi, Karasik, Gadot, and Lipschits) present an objective, repeatable and independent computer-generated typology of the Iron Age II Oval Storage Jar, also known as the lmlk or Royal Judahite Storage Jar. The paper demonstrates that this jar was in use from the late 9th to the early 6th century BCE and that it was distributed beyond the confines of the Judahite administrative system. The OSJ first appeared as a local phenomenon that was limited to the Shephelah, with no particular political or ethnic affiliation. During the early to mid-8th century BCE, the production of some of the jars became standardized, which is evidence of the consolidation of the Kingdom of Judah and its territorial expansion into the lowlands region. By the late 8th century BCE, at least one or more of the workshops producing these jars became integrated into the royal Judahite administrative system that stamped jar handles, and this established the workshop’s main function until the destruction of Judah in the early 6th century BCE.

With thanks to Prof. Lipschits for the heads-up.

A Mozart Mass for Your Sunday Morning

I Didn’t Know Rush Limbaugh Had a Brother…

But this guy must be.

As reported by Towleroad, a Cleveland radio personality–Dominic Dieter of WMMS 100.7’s show Rover’s Morning Glory–told the father of a possibly lesbian girl to have his daughter raped by a man until she’s straight.

The comment came after he received an e-mail from a father who had found his teenage daughter kissing another girl. Dieter decided to dispense his advice: Have one of your friends “—–” her. That’s right. According to Dieter, the father should get one of his grown adult friends to “—–” his teenage daughter because she kissed a girl.

First, the Dieter creature is a vile and totally depraved reprobate.  And second, that sounds exactly like something Rush Limbaugh would say.  America’s airwaves are occupied by the lowest sorts of miscreants.  I’m not a talk radio fan and every month there are more reasons just to listen to NPR in the morning and some CD or other from my collection the rest of the day.