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I have what??
Well, the virus scanner is still scanning. It is kind of fascinating though - it puts up all the files it has scanned, so I can see that I have help files in Sanskrit. Ok, not literally, but I have vast amounts of my hard disk given over to various duplicated files in languages I don't speak.
But, in the mental linking which happens, "I have that" leads to "I have what??" which reminds me of the following joke:
Moses is atop Mount Sinai, and he's checking with God: "So let me see if have this right. The arabs get all the oil and we get to cut the ends off our what??"
If I feel the need to actually ensure continuity in these posts, I could say something like, "and that was part of an expedition through the desert where the leader died, and Voss was also..." but I don't, so I won't.
Anyway, Voss is a story about a German professor of the same name, who takes up a post at Sydney University. He quickly secures vast amounts of funding to investigate "Overland routes through continental Australia for the transportation of livestock." Even back then you could get funding for any project which would weaken the power of the maritime union of the day.
So Voss quickly assembles a group and they begin their research. They soon find that most of their research funds have been spent, and one of their RAs, Dugald, takes up another position. This left them with just one RA to do the work. Things aren't helped by the Voss having messianic delusions, but a senior academic with messianic delusions is hardly noteworthy, is it?
Eventually, members of the group decide that they have had enough, and terminate their candidature. Also, one of the senior post-docs, Judd, decides to start his own group. A couple of the students transfer their candidature over to Judd's group, but even this isn't enough, and they have their candidature terminated.
In the end, Voss runs out of funding and students and loses his position. Judd takes up a somewhat less than lucrative postion back in Sydney, and all the students have their positions terminated. And they lived happily ever after.
I don't know why it always seems to work out like this. Every book I read seems to end up with a major character being killed. Is this my choice in books? Is this the state of the literature? Or is it just the way the world works?
The exception to this, of course, is when you'd kind of like the person to die. I had a James Bond movie inflicted on me once, where Bond escapes from a huge explosion right at the start, and I couldn't help but think that if the explosion had killed Bond, which would have been far more believable, I would have saved an hour or two of my life.
Virus scanner is still running. I guess that it is time for a post. Maybe one on Free Will. I wonder what position I'll take.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.