Tuesday, 27 October 2009


1. Someone is supposed once to have said to Newton that it was understandable that people used to think that the sun revolved round the earth, because that's what it looks like. To which Newton is said to have replied, What did they suppose it would look like if the earth revolved around the sun? One of the excellent things about my Ph.D. supervisor, who taught me palaeography as an undergraduate, is that he has a similar attitude. If something looks like it's from a particular place and time, he still asks the question of how it would look different if it were from somewhere else. I think that Anglo-Saxon art history has suffered from not having people who ask those sort of questions. Most late Anglo-Saxon gospel-books are dated to circa 1020 because one particular gospel-book can be dated to around that time; but people might have made gospel-books in the 1030s to 1060s too.

2. Windows 7 is annoying me. On the one hand installing it was pretty easy. Because I was upgrading from Vista Home to 7 Pro it couldn't do an install on top of what I already had, but it did leave intact all my files and folders that weren't part of the Windows system -- so I had to restore the My Pictures folder from a backup, but not all my other important folders. But I dislike intensely the taskbar, and it's taking ages to sort it out.

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