Skip to content

Monthly Archives: March 2007

1-4-07 Links

medical community comdemns Elsevier in Lancet letters

In 3 pages of letters in today’s Lancet the medical community slammed Elsevier for its involvement in the arms and torture industry. Letters from the Royal College of Physicians, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Doctors for Human Rights, People’s Health Movement, Medsin, Doctors for Iraq said that there is a basic contradiction betwen Reed Elsevier’s commercial interest in death and torture and the values of the Lancet, and medical publishing in general.

The Guardian: Doctors attack Lancet owner’s arms fair links

Across three pages of today’s edition the medical journal publishes letters from top doctors, led by the Royal College of Physicians, who say that Reed Elsevier’s commercial interest in the arms trade undermines the journal’s efforts to improve health worldwide.

The editors of the journal also call on their proprietor to drop its work with the defence industry, claiming that the association is damaging The Lancet’s reputation. The Lancet’s international advisory board is now considering an “organised campaign” against its own publisher.

via ScienceDirect, Lancet table of contents

From the reply by the Lancet editors:

On the question of arms exhibitions, we have found that a growing number of our Elsevier colleagues, who have long standing relationships with scientifi c societies and authors, are questioning Reed Elsevier’s decision to continue in this business. At a time of fi erce debate over author-pays open access journals and open archiving, Reed Elsevier, many of them say, needs to be making strong alliances, not creating new enemies.

Update: PDF of letters and editors response here

British Medical Journal Calls for Action Against Reed Elsevier

In an editorial from the 17 march, ‘Scientific communities must work together to prevent the sale of arms’:

The scientific and health communities with which Reed Elsevier is linked in a symbiotic relationship have a clear opportunity to exert their influence. As a group, these communities have the power to influence corporate strategy. They must sign petitions such as the one identified here, the societies for which Reed Elsevier publishes journals must look for alternative publishers, and editors of journals must express their disgust at the company’s arms trade activities through collectives such as the World Association of Medical Editors (http://www.wame.org/). Furthermore, academic and industry funded researchers should now agree not to submit their high profile randomised control trials to Reed Elsevier journals until links with the arms trade are ended. They should make these decisions public, thus ending their tacit support for the company’s links with the arms trade. Direct loss of revenue in this way would quickly identify to Reed Elsevier that the scientific world will no longer tolerate its warmongering and health damaging business activities.

in spite of the tennis

Lucky’s speech from Waiting for Godot:

LUCKY: Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labors left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labors of men that as a result of the labors unfinished of Testew and Cunnard it is established as hereinafter but not so fast for reasons unknown that as a result of the public works of Puncher and Wattmann it is established beyond all doubt that in view of the labors of Fartov and Belcher left unfinished for reasons unknown of Testew and Cunard left unfinished it is established what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation wastes and pines wastes and pines and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicillin and succedanea in a word I resume flying gliding golf over nine and eighteen holes tennis of all sorts in a word for reasons unknown in Feckham Peckham Fulham Clapham namely concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown but time will tell fades away I resume Fulham Clapham in a word the dead loss per head since the death of Bishop Berkeley being to the tune of one inch four ounce per head approximately by and large more or less to the nearest decimal good measure round figures stark naked in the stockinged feet in Connemara in a word for reasons unknown no matter what matter the facts are there and considering what is more much more grave that in the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman it appears what is more much more grave that in the light the light the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman that in the plains in the mountains by the seas by the rivers running water running fire the air is the same and then the earth namely the air and then the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas in the year of their Lord six hundred and something the air the earth the sea the earth abode of stones in the great deeps the great cold on sea on land and in the air I resume for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull fading fading fading and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labors abandoned left unfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas the stones Cunard (mêlée, final vociferations)
. . . tennis . . . the stones . . . so calm . . . Cunard . . . unfinished . . .

POZZO: His hat!

Vladimir seizes Lucky’s hat. Silence of Lucky. He falls. Silence. Panting of the victors.

James suggests removing all the side-notes and distractions, leaving the raw heart of the monologue exposed

Given the existence as uttered forth in the public works of Puncher and Wattmann of a personal God quaquaquaqua with white beard quaquaquaqua outside time without extension who from the heights of divine apathia divine athambia divine aphasia loves us dearly with some exceptions for reasons unknown but time will tell and suffers like the divine Miranda with those who for reasons unknown but time will tell are plunged in torment plunged in fire whose fire flames if that continues and who can doubt it will fire the firmament that is to say blast hell to heaven so blue still and calm so calm with a calm which even though intermittent is better than nothing but not so fast and considering what is more that as a result of the labors left unfinished crowned by the Acacacacademy of Anthropopopometry of Essy-in-Possy of Testew and Cunard it is established beyond all doubt all other doubt than that which clings to the labors of men that as a result of the labors unfinished of Testew and Cunnard it is established as hereinafter but not so fast for reasons unknown that as a result of the public works of Puncher and Wattmann it is established beyond all doubt that in view of the labors of Fartov and Belcher left unfinished for reasons unknown of Testew and Cunard left unfinished it is established what many deny that man in Possy of Testew and Cunard that man in Essy that man in short that man in brief in spite of the strides of alimentation and defecation wastes and pines wastes and pines and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the strides of physical culture the practice of sports such as tennis football running cycling swimming flying floating riding gliding conating camogie skating tennis of all kinds dying flying sports of all sorts autumn summer winter winter tennis of all kinds hockey of all sorts penicillin and succedanea in a word I resume flying gliding golf over nine and eighteen holes tennis of all sorts in a word for reasons unknown in Feckham Peckham Fulham Clapham namely concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown but time will tell fades away I resume Fulham Clapham in a word the dead loss per head since the death of Bishop Berkeley being to the tune of one inch four ounce per head approximately by and large more or less to the nearest decimal good measure round figures stark naked in the stockinged feet in Connemara in a word for reasons unknown no matter what matter the facts are there and considering what is more much more grave that in the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman it appears what is more much more grave that in the light the light the light of the labors lost of Steinweg and Peterman that in the plains in the mountains by the seas by the rivers running water running fire the air is the same and then the earth namely the air and then the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas in the year of their Lord six hundred and something the air the earth the sea the earth abode of stones in the great deeps the great cold on sea on land and in the air I resume for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis the facts are there but time will tell I resume alas alas on on in short in fine on on abode of stones who can doubt it I resume but not so fast I resume the skull fading fading fading and concurrently simultaneously what is more for reasons unknown in spite of the tennis on on the beard the flames the tears the stones so blue so calm alas alas on on the skull the skull the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the labors abandoned left unfinished graver still abode of stones in a word I resume alas alas abandoned unfinished the skull the skull in Connemara in spite of the tennis the skull alas the stones Cunard (mêlée, final vociferations)
. . . tennis . . . the stones . . . so calm . . . Cunard . . . unfinished . . .

14-3-07 links

Skid Row Wine

I could have done a lot worst than sit
In Skid Row drinkin wine

To know that nothing really matters after all
To know there’s no real difference
Between the rich and the poor
To know that eternity is neither drunk
nor sober, to know it young
and to be a poet

Coulda gone into business and ranted
And believed that God was concerned

Instead I squatted in lonesome alleys
And nobody saw me, just my bottle
And what they saw of it was empty

And I did it in cornfields & graveyards

To know that the dead don’t make noise
To know that the cornstalks talk (among
One another with raspy old arms)

Sitting in alleys diggin the neons
And watching cathedral custodians
Wring out their rags neath the church steps

Sitting and drinking wine
And in railyards being divine

To be a millionaire & yet prefer
Curlin up with a poorboy of tokay
In a warehouse door, facing long sunsets
On railroad fields of grass

To know that the sleepers in the river
Are dreaming vain dreams, to squat
In the night and know it well

To be dark solitary eye-nerve watcher
Of the world’s whirling diamond

Jack Kerouac

Concerning The Way In Which Princes Should Keep Faith

Every one understands how praiseworthy it is in a Prince to keep faith, and to live uprightly and not craftily. Nevertheless, we see from what has taken place in our own days that Princes who have set little store by their word, but have known how to overreach men by their cunning, have accomplished great things, and in the end got the better of those who trusted to honest dealing.

Be it known, then, that there are two ways of contending, one in accordance with the laws, the other by force; the first of which is proper to men, the second to beasts. But since the first method is often ineffectual, it becomes necessary to resort to the second. A Prince should, therefore, understand how to use well both the man and the beast. And this lesson has been covertly taught by the ancient writers, who relate how Achilles and many others of these old Princes were given over to be brought up and trained by Chiron the Centaur; since the only meaning of their having for instructor one who was half man and half beast is, that it is necessary for a Prince to know how to use both natures, and that the one without the other has no stability.

Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter XVIII

Quote #190

To unfairly pick on a casual remark from the Guardian comment pages


These weren’t just people who were the right age to be South Park fans, but people who were liberal about social matters and in favour of things like Fair Trade and whatnot, and who approached the excesses of both the left and the right with a healthy degree of cynicism

Also known as:


If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything

Open letter published

Our open letter (full text, including list of signatories) has been published in the Times Higher Education Supplement. You can see exactly what it looked like here.

In other news, the online petition – which is still open – is getting closer to 1000 signatories. Noam Chomsky (petition signatory 870) recently joined the international list of those against Reed Elsevier’s involvement in the arms and torture industry – academics, medics, publishers and students from five continents. If you know someone who works at the Antarctic Survey please ask them to sign so we can make it six!