Intro

This is the blog and homepage of Mark R. Kelly, the founder of Locus Online in 1997 (for which I won a Hugo Award in 2002 — see the icon at right) and of an index to science fiction awards in 2000 that became sfadb.com in 2012. I’m retired from my day job of 30 years, from 1982 to 2012, as an aerospace software engineer, supporting the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Posts here are mostly about my reading, of science fiction and of books about science, history, philosophy, and religion; and comments to articles in newspapers that I link to. Movie reviews and pics from travels are posted on Facebook.

More on my About page, including a photo of the Hugo Winners the year I was among them, and links to an index of my columns and other writings, and to my earliest homepage with links to some of my work.

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Facebook Memes 19Sep21

From this past week, about philosophy, billionaires and Fox News, the flawed Ten Commandments, what expertise is about, fear the Covid plan will work, conspiracy theories defined, and a protestor’s spelling.

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Ls&Cs: More About Thinking, or Not

Once again, the general theme is how some people think things through, and how others prefer “stories” or being told what to think. Heroes and villains; conservative media vs. coastal elites; when an enemy is not a speaker of a foreign language; why vaccine mandates, why American life-spans have fallen behind Europe’s, how the big lies started after 9/11.

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Personal History: My Lost Week

I’ve written twice here about my most recent hospital stay, beginning in late April and moving through heart and kidney transplants in May and returning home in mid-June. First was this fairly lengthy one, 2021: My Heart & Kidney Transplants, and later this one, ICU Delusions, about the many weird dreams I had while under the influence of sedation and the other various drugs they gave me.

My partner Y has now written his account of the first week of this period, the one I don’t remember well.

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Ls&Cs: Training, Education, Belief

Two items today. The first is a post by Jerry Coyne about an article from Inside Higher Ed about the difference between training and education. Here’s his post: Training versus education.

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Ls&Cs and Thoughts: Thinking and Science

Following up from yesterday, some more thoughts and links about the notion of thinking, and how that’s what science is all about, while so many people seem to have no understanding of what thinking, let alone science, actually is.

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Thoughts for the Day: About Thinking and Evidence

I am still formulating a thesis (or, provisional conclusion) that many, perhaps most, people don’t “think” in the way rationalists and scientists think that everyone does. Some people have never encountered the idea that the evidence of the real world means something, that conclusions can be drawn from that evidence, that such conclusions are repeatable. In contrast, many people live in a world where whatever they prefer to be real, is real. “Pretty to think so.” Or whatever those around them think is real, is accepted to be real and true, without further consideration.

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Ls&Cs: Elections and Mandates, Rights and Responsibilities

Status today 14 Sep 2021: Today is election day for a bid to recall California governor Gavin Newsome. Meanwhile, President Biden is trying to implement vaccine mandates, to howls of Republican objections.

(As usual I’m behind posting links and comments, and still have a backlog. I’m thinking about trying to post shorter posts every day. Hmm…)

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Facebook Memes 8Sep21

I will start compiling memes I see on Facebook, mostly without comment. These of course are anecdotes; they’re the equivalent of “people are saying” comments from a certain former president, though unlike him, I have Facebook share counts to indicate that some people, at least (usually thousands), are in fact sharing these thoughts.
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Ls&Cs: Vaccine Regrets and Horse Paste

Have a backlog of links, of course, with new ones now that Christians in Texas are coming closer to matching the achievement of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But for now, a trend of the past couple weeks: right-wing vaccine deniers who are dying of covid, sometimes with regrets, sometimes with denial to the bitter end.

I suspect no stories like these are appearing on Fox News or its imitators.

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L&C: About Hospital Workers Who Are Opposed to the Covid Vaccines

This headline was striking recently.

NYT: A Hospital Finds an Unlikely Group Opposing Vaccination: Its Workers, subtitled, “When a Staten Island hospital implemented a vaccine or testing mandate, some of its staff staged angry protests.”

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