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The great bus mystery - Comments

Akaei's Avatar Comment 1 by Akaei

While Jeeves and the Family Tree is enjoyable, The Great Bus Mystery completely outclasses it. You are obviously enjoying yourself in the endeavor and hope you will further rejoice in knowing it is warmly received.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 14:37:00 UTC | #425656

gruebait's Avatar Comment 2 by gruebait

As a lifelong fan of Wodehouse, that was a treat.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 16:09:00 UTC | #425668

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 3 by robotaholic

Wow, Richard, you're a great writer.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 16:35:00 UTC | #425670

Notstrident's Avatar Comment 4 by Notstrident

Indeed yes, a treat!

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 17:04:00 UTC | #425676

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 5 by SaintStephen

This was better than reading the story myself, by at least two orders of magnitude! I'll have to start collecting more of these stirring oratories from the Master, because although I had read The Great Bus Mystery numerous times, Richard's careful pronunciation and delicious voice inflections essentially reincarnated the story for me. Marvelous. Especially Jarvis. The Jarvis of my inner voice was more upbeat and less distinguishable from Woofter, which is quite a different bird than Richard's world-weary, yet patient and always accommodating intellectual.

I hereby humbly submit a personal request for a much-needed audible presentation of The Extended Phenotype, complete with Rewind and Pause buttons.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 18:41:00 UTC | #425692

InYourFaceNewYorker's Avatar Comment 6 by InYourFaceNewYorker

@robotaholic, you just noticed that? :)

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 19:35:00 UTC | #425702

Gregg Townsend's Avatar Comment 7 by Gregg Townsend

5. Comment #444287 by SaintStephen

The Jarvis of my inner voice was more upbeat and less distinguishable from Woofter, which is quite a different bird than Richard's world-weary, yet patient and always accommodating intellectual.
Exactly.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 20:02:00 UTC | #425708

Drosera's Avatar Comment 8 by Drosera

"Did you hear that, Jeeves?"

"Hear what, sir?"

"This Dawkins chap impersonating us?"

"You mean professor Richard Dawkins, sir?"

"Yes, Jeeves."

"I thought it was rather amusing, sir."

"Rather amusing? I come across as a complete fool. Do you think that's amusing? You hurt my feelings, Jeeves."

"Sorry, sir. As professor Dawkins likes to point out, there's a difference between being a fool and being ignorant."

"What are you insinuating, Jeeves?"

"Nothing, sir."

"Hmm. And this evaluation —"

"Evolution, sir."

" — this evolution thing, is there anything to it? It would have killed Aunt Gertrude to hear that there are apes in her family tree."

"It's the only explanation that makes any sense, sir."

"But where does that leave our Lord and Saviour, Jeeves?"

"Nowhere, sir."

"Fortunately, Aunt Gertrude has been dead for five years, since that would have killed the dear soul too."

"Indeed, sir. That is fortunate."

"Well, at least this Darwin chap was British."

"As British as Wedgwood china, sir."

"You can't get more British than that."

"Quite, sir. But I dare say, sir, that the veracity of the Theory of Evolution does not rest upon the nationality or the character of Mr. Charles Darwin."

"I suppose not, Jeeves, I suppose not. Well, since you seem to be such a fountain of knowledge about this arcane subject, maybe next time when professor Dawkins is indisposed to give a lecture they can ask you to stand in for him."

"I shouldn't think so, sir."

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 20:21:00 UTC | #425713

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 9 by Sally Luxmoore

Great stuff!
Richard - you're going to have to keep on at this. After all, PG Wodehouse wrote stacks of stories. You can't stop at only two... Regular instalments are the order of the day, I think.
Oh, and Happy Christmas. x

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 21:03:00 UTC | #425717

Corylus's Avatar Comment 10 by Corylus

Brilliant, Drosera!

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 21:10:00 UTC | #425720

root2squared's Avatar Comment 11 by root2squared

8. Comment #444308 by Drosera on December 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Marked as hilarious.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 21:18:00 UTC | #425721

superatheist's Avatar Comment 12 by superatheist

Only a real poet can write as beautiful as that, it is unbelievable how Professor Richard Dawkins combines Science and Art in one staggering personality. I listened to it three times, and I kept thinking only novelists like Charles Dickens can write things like that.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 21:19:00 UTC | #425722

Sally Luxmoore's Avatar Comment 13 by Sally Luxmoore

I listened to it three times
Is that all? I can beat that! It goes very well with several games of Spider solitaire....

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 22:02:00 UTC | #425728

sara g's Avatar Comment 14 by sara g

I kept wanting it to be read by Hugh Laurie. But Richard is a WAY better Jeeves (ahem, I mean Jarvis) than Stephen Fry was.

Wed, 23 Dec 2009 23:08:00 UTC | #425739

Twatsworth's Avatar Comment 15 by Twatsworth

"There's no bally God, what, so put a sock in it, and come have a gargle with the lads."

Did anyone else find that absolutely hilarious?

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 01:44:00 UTC | #425748

morgan.frank@bigpond.com's Avatar Comment 16 by morgan.frank@bigpond.com

Loved it!

Anyone got a link to 'Jeeves and the Family Tree'?

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:33:00 UTC | #425760

morgan.frank@bigpond.com's Avatar Comment 17 by morgan.frank@bigpond.com

Found it. Oh well, 'seek and ye shall find'.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 02:52:00 UTC | #425764

Peter Grant's Avatar Comment 18 by Peter Grant

Thanks Prof, that was hilarious! :)

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 08:51:00 UTC | #425801

huyzer's Avatar Comment 19 by huyzer

Haha! That was awesome! Great work Mr. Dawkins. More please. :) And I'm still looking forward to the children's books you expressed a desire to write.

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 09:11:00 UTC | #425803

raymondmorrison's Avatar Comment 20 by raymondmorrison

Priceless

Thu, 24 Dec 2009 12:17:00 UTC | #425837

Kiwi's Avatar Comment 21 by Kiwi

Does anyone have audio of RD saying the word "Jeeves" and "Wooster" ? If so someone can make an edit of this with the REAL names inserted.

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 05:16:00 UTC | #426016

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 22 by Richard Dawkins

Does anyone have audio of RD saying the word "Jeeves" and "Wooster" ? If so someone can make an edit of this with the REAL names inserted.
This is completely impractical I'm afraid. It just wouldn't sound right, dropping the names in. I suppose I could look into the possibility of recording the whole thing again, changing 'Jarvis' to 'Jeeves', 'Upcock' to 'Upjohn', 'Dregs' to 'Drones', etc. I don't think the copyright issue would arise for an unpublished sound recording. But it would only be worth doing if there was significant demand. I wonder how many people agree with Kiki in finding it hard to listen to with the un-Wodehousian names. If there are lots who do, maybe I could re-record it with the real names, and we could sell it in aid of RDFRS. I must say I'd be a little surprised if there are many people who dislike the 'Jarvis', 'Upcock' etc names all that much. Maybe the way to make it worthwhile would be for me to record 'Jeeves and the Family Tree' as well, and make them a package together?

Richard

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 10:20:00 UTC | #426025

lordpasternack's Avatar Comment 23 by lordpasternack

As someone already pointed out on the other thread - sometimes airing something on a public internet site counts as publishing (why shouldn't it, coming to think of it?), and selling the material would likely put further strain on one's use of the 'fair use' exception, even if it was ostensibly 'not-for-profit'.

There is no definite line in the sand when it comes to using or imitating someone else's copyrighted work under the fair use exception, and I hope no lawyer has ever led you to believe this, and you haven't taken to assuming such. There are just some broad sorts of guidelines and plenty of room for tussling to absurd lengths by anyone with any particular agenda. And any advice you get from a lawyer is a second-guess based on their personal tastes and intuition, and personal exposure and take on the whisperings that have been moving around legal circles...

Edit: Oh, and a very merry Christmas/Mythmas/Saturnalia/Yule/Solstice/Festivus/Walletfuck to you!

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 14:52:00 UTC | #426047

SaintStephen's Avatar Comment 24 by SaintStephen

22. Comment #444629 by Richard Dawkins on December 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

I wonder how many people agree with Kiki in finding it hard to listen to with the un-Wodehousian names.
Ummm... pardon me, but "Hard to listen to?" A story read by Richard Dawkins?

That's just absurd. Please don't waste your valuable time on such nonsense, Richard.

Merry Xmas, by the way!

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 17:08:00 UTC | #426064

LogicalSimplicity's Avatar Comment 25 by LogicalSimplicity

Richard Dawkins, I'm sorry if this post comes across as rude. Since however you're a chap who likes to call a spade a spade, I shan't pull any punches.

So, if science really does move you to tears and all the rest of it, as you say it does, why aren't you spending your retirement learning something about physics (the most fundamental science, and a field in which you are by your own admission a layman)? Why do you instead spend so much of your time playing around with atheism and now Wodehouse?

This apparent double standard, I suspect, helps us get a handle on the deep and quite glaring inadequacy of your own brand of militant atheism. You think passion for science can replace religion, yet it seems that all of science beyond your own specialist subject plays a secondary or tertiary role in your life. What about people who have no scientific specialty, who aren't millionaires, and who aren't educated enough to enjoy Wodehouse? If you are half-hearted when it comes to studying science beyond biology, surely we can't expect these people to be anything more than quarter-hearted when it comes to all science. Do you really believe it is appropriate to kick away their crutch by undermining religion?

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 22:54:00 UTC | #426085

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 26 by mordacious1

25. Comment #444690 by LogicalSimplicity

I'm sorry if this post comes across as rude.


Not rude, just moronic.

why aren't you spending your retirement learning something about physics (the most fundamental science, and a field in which you are by your own admission a layman)?


I consider myself a layman in physics, but I read physics every day. I'm sure that Richard is more than a layman (a subjective term at best) and knows quite a bit about the subject. This is quite a stupid comment. "Let's all retire, then get our Ph.d.'s in physics".

Why do you instead spend so much of your time playing around with atheism...


Who's playing?


The rest of your post is just trolling nonsense.

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 00:00:00 UTC | #426090

AtheistJon's Avatar Comment 27 by AtheistJon

This apparent double standard, I suspect, helps us get a handle on the deep and quite glaring inadequacy of your own brand of militant atheism.

Please define "militant atheism", which of the following definitions would fit your meaning here the closest? Would it mean:
-any atheist at all who bothers to defend their opinions
-atheists who form militias
-atheists who go out and bomb/terrorize people?
-atheists who are soldiers

And please tell us which category you consider Richard Dawkins to fall into of the above.

Do you really believe it is appropriate to kick away their crutch by undermining religion?

If you believe that religion is a crutch, please explain what you mean specifically by using the expression. i.e.:
-Not true.
-Thoughts for the mentally impaired.
-An excuse note for those who support lies?
-All of the above?

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 00:28:00 UTC | #426091

Mark Jones's Avatar Comment 28 by Mark Jones

Comment #444690 by LogicalSimplicity


Do you really believe it is appropriate to kick away their crutch by undermining religion?

Most theists I speak to object to this view of their belief; how do *you* justify this view of their belief?

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 00:32:00 UTC | #426092

LogicalSimplicity's Avatar Comment 29 by LogicalSimplicity

I consider myself a layman in physics, but I read physics every day. I'm sure that Richard is more than a layman (a subjective term at best) and knows quite a bit about the subject. This is quite a stupid comment. "Let's all retire, then get our Ph.d.'s in physics".
It's not moronic; you're the one who's moronic for (a) lying about reading physics every day (if you did, you wouldn't consider yourself a "layman"), and (b) utterly failing to grasp my point.

I'm not saying we should all retire and get PhDs in physics. Quite the opposite: I'm arguing that we should not expect laypeople to focus their lives around science.

Physics is the grand-daddy science. If Richard genuinely believes that science is such a good substitute for religion, why isn't he spending his time trying to understand relativity and quantum mechanics? (He admits to not understanding them.) If he is really so passionate about science, I don't understand how he could be content to being in the dark about these vastly important subjects. Most likely he is little different from everyone else: science beyond his own specialized profession plays a peripheral role in his life.

If the biggest and most powerful science is of tertiary consequence to the life of a famous scientist like Richard Dawkins, surely we should expect that ALL science will tend to be of even LESSER significance in the lives of ordinary citizens?

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 00:49:00 UTC | #426096

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 30 by mordacious1

LS

Actually, my daughter is taking physics in high school, and we do homework almost every night. Plus, I have an interest in QM and read a few pages 3-4 times a week. I'm still not an expert and don't plan on becoming one.

I'm arguing that we should not expect laypeople to focus their lives around science.


Their lives are focused around science, it involves everything they do. Is it asking too much that they have a rudimentary understanding of it?

Sat, 26 Dec 2009 00:58:00 UTC | #426097