Blakes 7 – The Web (Review)

The Web is an odd little episode. We haven’t quite settled down into the funk of middle Season One yet, but major characters are already being sidelined. It has a decidedly creepy atmosphere that is seriously undercut by the fact that the special effects need to be at least passable to make it work, and…

Blakes 7 – Time Squad (Review)

Time Squad is a masterpiece of establishing characterization, overlooked as one of the gems of the Blakes 7 canon. It is the episode where the show finally establishes its (not-so-)stable regular lineup of 7 – if you count "that machine" – and moves from the three setup episodes (The Way Back, Space Fall and Cygnus…

STTNG – Mind’s Eye (Review)

Once upon a time, Star Trek tried to do an homage to Rashomon, and the results were not great, but they were better than the writers are generally given credit for. It wasn’t a very good Rashomon, but then Rashomon isn’t a very good Star Trek either, and so leaving aside the question of whether…

Welfare State Triptych

Back when Will Wilkinson still found it convenient for people to think of him as a libertarian, Todd Seavey, perhaps sensing that the Dark Side was strong in that one, noted that his "shtick" was "arguing that libertarians ought to accept elements of the welfare state". Wilkinson surprised a lot of people when he eventually…

The Minimum Wage Distraction

Via a link in a comment on one of Noah’s Facebook posts, I came across this very stupid article on the Minimum Wage by Kevin Drum. Not that it’s being stupid distinguishes it from most articles one reads about the minimum wage. As political issues go, minimum wage laws are among the most pointless to…

For a Bigger Tent with many Booths

A post that’s been making the rounds in Generative Linguistics circles recently is Gillian Ramchand’s academic manifesto, explaining both why she identifies with the generative tradition in linguistics and what she thinks is wrong with the current state of debate over it. I agree with most of it. These are the things I would have…

STTNG – The Host (Review)

Hey, here’s a new one: the Enterprise is transporting an ambassador to stop a conflict between warring factions of a planet! OK, you got me. I was being sarcastic just then. That actually happens on Star Trek all the time. Here’s something that doesn’t, though: Beverly Crusher, of all people, is sleeping with the ambassador!…

STTNG – Half a Life (Review)

Half a Life is an episode in search of a story. There’s a reasonably interesting idea at its core, but the "story" it wants to tell is little more than just having two guest stars show up and debate the issue. The opening log entry is (thankfully) the only one we’ll ever get from Deanna…

STTNG – The Drumhead (Review)

A lot of the reviews of The Drumhead like to say that it’s "remarkably prescient." It’s not, though. It knows it’s not. And it flat-out told you in the final scene that it’s not. The whole point of it is that it’s not. The message, rather, was that the events of this story are a…

Reindexing Assumptions

Generative Grammar has a kind of bad reputation among other Linguists – for a lot of reasons, really, some deserved, but most not. But I think if you boil down most of the criticisms, they amount to people just not feeling it in their gut. GG explanations for things rely on a lot of abstract…