One of England’s finest political philosophers passed away today.

The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.


Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.


But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.


This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socio-economic unfairness.

Terry Pratchett, Men at Arms

Obit @ The Guardian

2009 Failing to do things with words Southwest Philosophy Review

2009: Failing to do things with words: Southwest Philosophy Review

volume = {25},
number = {1},
author = {Nicole Wyatt},
abstract = {It has become standard for feminist philosophers of language to analyze Catherine MacKinnon’s claim in terms of speech act theory. Backed by the Austinian observation that speech can do things and the legal claim that pornography is speech, the claim is that the speech acts performed by means of pornography silence women. This turns upon the notion of illocutionary silencing, or disablement. In this paper I observe that the focus by feminist philosophers of language on the failure to achieve uptake for illocutionary acts serves to group together different kinds of illocutionary silencing which function in very different ways.},
title = {{Failing to Do Things with Words}},
journal = {Southwest Philosophy Review},
year = {2009},
pages = {135-142},


This is Heloise. She is seven and a half months old. She likes long walks in her stroller, tasting the world, and sitting in Daddy’s arms. Her favourite foods are bananas, dates, and hummus.

Also, she learnt to crawl last week. Crawling at seven months is early in the normal range, but not ridiculously early, and we certainly knew it was coming. She had been pushing herself backwards and falling on her face for a few weeks. Gates for the stairs had been purchased, childproofing begun.

Today Heloise and I were sitting in the living room. She looked up at the coffee table, saw my glass of water there, and started to reach for it. As I got up to get her sippy cup she reached for the edge of the table, pulled herself to her knees, and then to standing. I rescued my water glass, but she didn’t mind, as she was happily chewing on the table edge. She stood there for a good three minutes before turning to look at the nearby chair. A hand went out, feet moved, balance was lost, and onto her ass she went. But it’s coming, it’s coming.

There is a very good chance we will have a child who walks but doesn’t yet respond appropriately to ‘No!’ ‘Stop!’ or ‘Dear God don’t eat that Heloise!’

We are definitely in trouble.

(There may eventually be philosophy done here again.)