23/08/2014
23 Aug 2014

Britain's jihad

23 Aug 2014

Britain's jihad

Columnists

Columns
Isabel HardmanIsabel Hardman
David Cameron’s fog of war

It was clear that things were going wrong for David Cameron when he had to say that his position on Iraq was ‘very, very simple’. To use that phrase was to admit that things had become very, very muddled. They remain so now. The Prime Minister started the week with a robust line on the bloodshed in Iraq. He declared the start of a ‘generational struggle’ against Islamic extremism that would last for ‘the rest of my political lifetime’.

David Cameron’s fog of war
Julie Burchill
Romance isn’t a religion. Stop looking for The One and join The Queue

[audioplayer src="http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_21_August_2014_v4.mp3" title="Julie Burchill and Louise Mensch discuss whether 'The One' exists" startat=1773] Listen [/audioplayer]Pity the modern starlet. Be she steaming-hot pop-tart or reality-show show-off, her range of emotional experiences will, thanks mostly to the gentlemen of the press, be strictly limited. She will have ‘lonely hells’ (often but not always linked to ‘drug hells’), ‘sex romps’ (sometimes ‘three-in-a-bed’) and watch her life ‘spiralling out of control’.

Romance isn’t a religion. Stop looking for The One and join The Queue
Hugo Rifkind
Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut — and if America comes for him we should take his side

Poor Julian Assange. Call me a contrarian but I’m genuinely starting to feel sorry for the guy. He’s just made such a mess of his life, hasn’t he? And with such promise. Only a few short years ago he was the world’s most prominent anti-everything activist, with hair like an indie guitarist, feted and worshipped wherever you might find hot Scandinavian revolutionaries, smug old men who work for ‘theguardian’ and Jemima Khan.

Julian Assange is a narcissist and a nut — and if America comes for him we should take his side
Matthew Parris
The surer we are that machines can think, the less sure we’ll be about people

Having written (for a Times diary) a few sentences about consciousness in robots, I settled back to study readers’ responses in the online commentary section. They added little. I was claiming there had been no progress since Descartes and Berkeley in the classic philosophical debate about how we know ‘Other Minds’ exist; and that there never would be. A correspondent on the letters page referred me to Wittgenstein’s treatment of the subject and so I studied his remarks.

The surer we are that machines can think, the less sure we’ll be about people
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