Friday, June 08, 2007

Notes and Links

* The recently unveiled logo for the 2012 London Olympics, which I criticized here, is so bad that a petition opened on to protest it collected more than 48000 signatures in two days. In related news, it turns out that an animated commercial promoting the 2012 London Olympics causes epileptic seizures. (ht) And the recently unveiled logo for the 2012 London Olympics is so bad that officials have had to assure people explicitly that the logo was not the part of the commercial that caused them! You just couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

* I keep intending to do it, but keep forgetting when it actually comes to posting: Congratulations to David Corfield, who was recently hired by the Philosophy Department at the University of Kent at Canterbury. John Baez discusses it. David formerly blogged at The Philosophy of Real Mathematics, and now blogs at The n-Category Cafe and at Why Do People Get Ill? I haven't had a chance to read either of his books yet, due to the fact that they're always checked out when I look them up at the library; but his papers are always interesting, and he occasionally stops by Siris to chat about tradition-constituted and -constituting inquiry.

* Those interested in issues connected with Miaphysitism should read the spirited defense of it (PDF) by Pope Shenouda, Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria. The Coptic Orthodox, of course, rejected Chalcedon because they thought it sounded too Nestorian.

* You may have heard of the recent death in Iraq of Chaldean Catholic priest, Ragheed Ganni, and his companions. There will likely be a push to canonize him and his companions.

* Julio at "Hispania Sancta" has a passionate defense of Western Rite Orthodoxy against its Orthodox critics in three posts: Part I, Part II, Part III. The standard sort of sympathetic criticism is that of Kallistos Ware. Of course, there are less sympathetic critics, including those who by some strange twist of logic regard Western Rite Orthodox as Uniates.

* Brandon Wason at "Novum Testamentum" has generated some interesting discussion with a poll on the Synoptic Problem. So far Q-hypotheses hold a not-unexpected steady lead, followed with a respectable second by its obvious rival, the Farrer hypothesis (Markan priority without Q). Interestingly, the Augustinian hypothesis is doing very well in third place, which I wouldn't have expected. Stephen Carlson's Synoptic Problem FAQ gives a good general overview. The classic text for the Farrer hypothesis is Farrer's On Dispensing with Q; you can read more about the hypothesis at Mark Goodacre's The Case Against Q webpage. The Griesbach hypothesis, or rather the modern form that has engendered interest, is defended at A Website for the Two Gospel Hypothesis.

My own amateur view is that all of them jump the gun. What we really have are a topology of evidences consisting in the triple tradition, the double tradition, the major and minor agreements, and some evidences external to the gospels themselves. The state of this field of evidence is such that some things are suggested but nothing is shown. Given that topology, nothing is ruled out except what ignores the evidence altogether, and the next step is not evidential but pragmatic: i.e., which approach is most likely to encourage new and worthwhile discovery without encouraging needless and worthless speculation? The best solution is simply the one you can do better work with. I think a lot of the backlash against the Two-Source Hypothesis is the feeling that Q has engendered far more speculation than discovery, more epicycles than knowledge, and the hope that the Farrer theory, which saves Markan priority while eliminating Q, can serve as a more fruitful guide for research. This does allow some sort of headway for resolving the problem; but much more than this and we end up doing to the past what Hal Lindsay does with the future.

* David Reis's Flip Flop? John Chrysostom's Polytropic Paul (PDF) is interesting reading.

* The Little Professor has links relating to Victorian stained glass.


* John Farrell has also been reading Alasdair MacIntyre's Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry. Incidentally, I've recently been listening to the podcasts of his novel, Doctor Janeway's Plague.

* There are some rather good YouTube entertainers out there. This one is excellent, often hilariously so. I particularly recommend his performances of "Ted", "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", and "Mrs. Worthington". His declamations of Kipling's "If" and Bosie's "Two Loves" are also quite decent.

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