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montreal night

Strange place, Montreal. Many people persist in speaking French, even when there is absolutely no need to do so. They have even put it on their public signs. The repetition of banalities in two languages merely drives home the greater power and economy of the English language. Still, the buildings seem solid enough, and the natives are friendly. A pleasant surprise is the currency, because each bank note has a reassuring portrait of the Queen, looking almost as radiant as when I saw her traipse through the National Army Museum a few months ago. In contrast, glancing at my standby dollar notes, I see that while Franklin looks passably regal, Lincoln has the severe look of a lawyer one would not want to have acting for the other side. It is not too late for the more northerly of the American colonies to explain to their more rebellious southern neighbours the clear advantages of monarchy?

Now to some gossip. Like any other conference, there are factions, debates and matters of high principle. Many a hard-working, honest and courageous scholar has been impeded by small-minded, ignorant and frankly disgraceful reviewers. Editors should put a stop to all this. Also, if two honest reviewers recommend accepting a paper, then the foolish remarks of the resentful and unreasonable third reviewer should not impede the publication of ground-breaking new work, even if it runs contrary to the settled presumptions of lesser minds. Editors should put a stop to all this.

This will be a day of exploration of Montreal, and a chance to meet other researchers. Speaking of which, had a good breakfast with Rich Haier, the Editor of Intelligence who wants to encourage more people to publish in that Journal. Yes, you must get past the reviewers. Now off to meet others.

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  1. dearieme says:

    “had a good breakfast”: so I should hope. Superior maple syrup, I dare say. But did they offer kedgeree, smoked haddie, kippers, bloody puddy, and the other delicacies I hope for when I’m on holiday. Oops, did I say “holiday”? I meant ‘conference’ obs.

    On referees of papers: the ones who used to drive me mad were the ones who were too thick to understand. I never minded those who understood and criticised – very helpful they were, often enough. And even if unhelpful they had earned the right to their opinion. But God save us from the thickos.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  2. Truth says:



  3. Cortes says:

    Is “bloody puddy ” black pudding?

    No potato scones in your breakfast? For shame.

    • Replies: @dearieme
  4. dearieme says:

    (i) Yes
    (ii) I get those from time to time at home; I don’t think I’ve ever seen them on an English breakfast menu. But I can live in hope. I also live in hope of seeing soda bread.

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