O Brexiteers!

I happen to be in London this week -- England, not Ontario -- which actually made last night's Brexit vote results harder to follow than being five hours behind in Montreal would have done. Unlike some of my telegenic, modern-leaning and public-spirited colleagues in North America (Brian Cowan at McGill, for example), I have not been asked by … Continue reading O Brexiteers!

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Academic publishing and graduate students: Thought for the day

My grandfather was born in 1909: not old enough for the First World War and too old for the Second, he served in the US Navy between the two. He had, I think, about three or four years of elementary school before leaving to work; though I remember him as prone to quoting Scripture and Shakespeare and singing lines of … Continue reading Academic publishing and graduate students: Thought for the day

Self-promotion/free advice alert: new book on Malthus

Buy this book! Well, buy it if you have US$100/£65/C$115 that's not destined for more pressing uses, like rent or food. Otherwise, look for it in a generously endowed academic library near you. It's full of new and interesting thoughts on Malthus, Malthusianism, population, geography, and more. And some of those thoughts are mine! This … Continue reading Self-promotion/free advice alert: new book on Malthus

The Ambivalent Alchemist’s Guide to History: Or, Why Gabriel Plattes Matters

"But if you look at the history, modern chemistry only starts coming in to replace alchemy around the same time capitalism really gets going. Strange, eh? What do you make of that?" Webb nodded agreeably. "Maybe capitalism decided it didn't need the old magic anymore." An emphasis whose contempt was not meant to escape Merle's … Continue reading The Ambivalent Alchemist’s Guide to History: Or, Why Gabriel Plattes Matters