TwentyTwenty Cricket

I haven’t really been paying attention to this, either (and I’ve never been to a match), but when I first heard about this, I thought it sounded like a good thing, and the first England vs Australia match of the Summer is being piped through the radio behind me and sounds quite fun (especially since three four Australians have just been dismissed in the last three four minutes or so, and any form of cricket in which you can dismiss three four Australians in three four minutes would seem to have something important going for it. So if more knowledgeable people could tell me whether 20/20 is any good or not, or whether it’s just the usual one-day crappiness and that I’m letting optimism trump good judgment (again), that’d be useful.

UPDATE [9pm] Hmm. These Australians don’t seem to be very good at this, do they?

UPDATE [16.6.2005]: And there’s more.


I wasn’t really paying attention over the last few days, but here’s a piece from Saturday’s Guardian by historian Tristram Hunt which appears to be mostly about TC CBE ex-MP. It contains some criticism of the great man’s opinions, though, so do give it a wide berth if you’re one of his more sensitive admirers.

(Jamie has more.)


The Times says this in one of its leader columns today:

Grey hair and gravitas win votes; even the bald do better than the cherubic. In last year’s US elections, the candidate perceived as more competent won in 71 per cent of the senate races. And perception often amounts to no more than a subliminal blink at a poster or television image. Does this mean that, without lavish application of a reverse Grecian 2000 formula, David Cameron will never wear the Tory leader’s mantle? Is this why Tim Collins and Stephen Twigg, whose youthful round faces show little careworn sign of etiolated angst, lost their seats?

The answer to this last question, incidentally, is “No, in both cases.”

Unnatural Practices

It’s strangely satisfying to learn that while I was sitting in the Bodleian Library this afternoon reading James Tyrrell’s 1693 Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature (very dull) and Samuel Parker’s 1681 Demonstration of the Divine Authority of the Law of Nature and of the Christian Religion (much more interesting), the usual suspects were discussing natural law theory over at Harry’s (David T isn’t a fan).

Well, I was reading in the English, Protestant, slightly-voluntarist, late-seventeenth-century variety of natural law theory, whereas the discussion over there, when it isn’t about gay marriage, is about the transformation of more straightforwardly Thomist theory at the hands of people like Finnis, Glendon, and B-16. But that’s close enough for the World of Blogs.

If people want to carry on organising their blog discussions around what I’m reading, tomorrow would be a good day for an argument about the changing character of Dutch republicanism in the middle of the seventeenth century, as I work through the second half of Blom’s book (see below). Good luck!


I’m sitting in the Bodleian Lower Reading Room reading Hans W. Blom’s Morality and Causality in Politics: The Rise of Naturalism in Dutch Seventeenth-Century Political Thought when I see that Sarah has dug a hole for me and passed me the spade. Where better to think about books than in the LRR of the B? OK then, very quickly:

1) Total number of books I’ve owned: Thousands, I’m afraid. I don’t spend much money on anything else, and it’d take me too long to make a sensible estimate, especially if it involves books I used to own but don’t any more, for whatever reason.

2) The last book I bought: Probably a critical edition of Paradise Lost, which I’m enjoying (though haven’t got especially far yet).

3) The last book I read: Making Sense of Suicide Missions, ed. Diego Gambetta. Good book.

4) Five books that mean a lot to me (no particular order): Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue; Njal’s Saga; Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose; Arnold Lobell, Owl at Home; Franco Moretti, Atlas of the European Novel, 1800-1900.

5) People to Tag: No-one in particular. Sorry if you should have liked to have been tagged by me.