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Jane Austen vs. Karl Popper; Lee advances

For yesterday’s contest I’ll have to go with this comment by Nuthin:

This series of posts is so tedious that I’m considering removing this blog from my RSS feed altogether.

Stewart Lee is a master of hecklers. In a lot of his work he pretty much invites people to heckle, he antagonizes his audience, etc. So, just in case someone like this commenter shows up to the seminar, it would be good to have Lee on hand to shoot him town, or maybe to acknowledge the truth of the heckle, or maybe to discuss it in his next show. Either way it’s a win.

Today we have the ultimate book-club author of ur-chick-lit, up against the dominant figure in modern philosophy of science.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a scientist in possession of a good discovery must be in want of a philosophy.

However little known the feelings or views of such a scientist may be on his first entering a laboratory, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding researchers, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their theories.

P.S. As always, here’s the background, and here are the rules.


  1. Andy says:

    I would love to hear Popper’s thoughts on string theory. I think this is the strongest case we have where something looks a lot like “science” but is not (yet) falsifiable. What are we to make of this? Are string theorists wasting their time and talent?

  2. Jonathan (another one) says:

    Jane Austen has 66 writing credits including one award(!).
    The closest Karl Popper has come to anything is Clayton Watson’s portrayal of Michael Karl ‘the Kid’ Popper in the 2003 animated movie The Animatrix Jane Austen has already been made ridiculously wealthy from royalties, so she probably won’t show. Popper needs the honorarium.

  3. Shea Levy says:

    Frankly, I don’t think Popper has ever proven himself to have anything of worth to say, and inviting him to speak could at most disprove the idea. I’m for Austen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Austin. She had some direct experience with the things she wrote about unlike Popper.

  5. Noah Motion says:

    I removed the blog from my RSS feed right around when these posts started. I happened to check in today to see if maybe I wanted to re-subscribe. Alas, I do not.

  6. Dalton says:

    “A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” – Austen in Northanger Abbey

    Sounds to me like somebody would NOT be presenting data.

  7. zbicyclist says:

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been done.
    The Logic of Scientific Discovery and Zombies has not … yet.

  8. Henkt Tuten says:

    There’s a lot that is not often written about Popper
    What whoever thinks about Popper is only opinion

    have a look at

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