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Animal Passions

Posted 2 November 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings, my friends You may from time to time have had occasion to turn to that curious omnium-gatherum of the modern age that goes by the name of Wikipedia – an endeavour, as I understand it, that is the collaborative work of many hands, in which the considered contribution of the greatest acknowledged professional authority in the field may be confounded in an instant at the whim of an uninformed youth on a ranch in rural Idaho; and in which,... Read more

News from abroad

Posted 23 September 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings my friends, You may recall that in a previous intelligence , I had occasion to inform you that the piece of technological wizardry to which, in all humility, I must record that my own name has been given – I speak here of Transcribe Bentham – had been honoured with a somewhat prestigious international award. Earlier this month, a minion was dispatched to the beautiful city of Linz, situated on the banks of the Danube in the north of... Read more

Felicific mensuration: every thing is practice

Posted 3 August 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Dear Friends, I noted in a previous missive the rhetorical paroxysms which were induced in a leader writer of The Times by the intelligence that the government of this country was intending to make an assessment of national happiness, and to use that assessment as the basis for the evaluation of government policy. We now learn from Ms. Jil Matheson, the head of the Office of National Statistics – a sober appellation for the set of public functionaries who execute... Read more

Hacked off

Posted 13 July 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings, my friends - In 1834, two years after losing my capacity for auto-locomotion, my disciple in matters of law reform Lord Brougham (Lord Chancellor in the Whig administration that secured the passage of the Reform Bill of 1832) was the subject of severe criticism in The Times, having for many years had praise heaped upon him by that periodical. My most devoted disciple, Mr James Mill, wrote on 27 August 1834 to Lord Brougham the following words of support:... Read more

Embarrassing Bodies

Posted 15 June 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings, my friends I have written before in this place upon the question of the retention and display of the remains of the long-dead in public institutions: it is a matter in which I naturally take a more than fortuitous interest, and I expressed then some astonishment at the excess of sensibility which has emerged in your world upon this topic in recent decades. I am now prompted to return to the theme by the publication (some months since, I... Read more

Dead chuffed

Posted 27 May 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings, my friends, Upon a previous occasion, I have discussed an innovation by which manuscripts composed by my hand are being made available through the power of the world wide web. The populace at large are thus able to transcribe my thoughts with the twin purpose of assisting my minions in collating and publishing a new edition of my Collected Works , and of ensuring the preservation of said manuscripts in digital format . This technological marvel, otherwise known as... Read more

Elements of Robotic Jurisprudence

Posted 4 May 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings my friends, In a previous missive I vouchsafed the intelligence that I was deriving considerable pleasure from reading the fictional works of Isaac Asimov, and I have formed the intention of communicating to you the fruits of my reflections upon this cornucopia of diverting creative genius! As you might have anticipated, I was much taken with the Foundation series, and with Hari Seldon’s science of psychohistory, which combines psychological axioms – sadly not characterized as axioms of mental pathology... Read more

Head to head

Posted 8 April 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings, my friends I have alluded briefly on a previous occasion to the somewhat unfortunate posthumous history of my head. During my lifetime it was ever my intention that, following my death and the public dissection of my corruptible parts, my auto-icon should be created utilising the incorruptible parts of my body, viz. my skeleton, in the manner of an armature; but that it should be surmounted by my actual head, with skin, flesh and hair skillfully preserved through the... Read more

Computer says XXXX

Posted 11 March 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings my friends, I must apologise for my tardiness in composing this, my latest intelligence; even an auto-icon finds leisure time an all too rare commodity. I have become aware of technological innovations underway in the Antipodes, where the federal government – currently the Australian Labor Party , led by redoubtable and flame-haired Prime Minister Julia Gillard – is implementing a ‘National Broadband Network’ . The intention of this project, at an estimated expense of around 35.7 billion ‘Australian dollars’... Read more

Space oddities

Posted 16 February 2011 by Jeremy Bentham

Greetings my friends, I am sorry that the interval since my last missive has been slightly more protracted than is usual. In expiation of the delay, I offer the continuing challenge of discovering, on the one hand, and of comprehending the implications of, on the other – two quite different kettles of fish, you will agree – the gigantic steps forward which you scientists have made since I departed this life. The interest of the spying-glass – or curiosity in... Read more