Monthly Archives: August 2015

Rereading Isaac Asimov, part 1

In the past three weeks I’ve read or reread (mostly reread, after decades) some 50 short stories by Isaac Asimov — not yet all of his most notable stories, by criteria of awards or number of reprints or critical discussions, … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Hand-Picked Truths and Moral Progress

First, taking the high road, an op-ed by NYT science writer George Johnson, in yesterday’s NYT Science section: The Widening World of Hand-Picked Truths. (The title in print was “The Gradual Extinction of Accepted Truths”.) This speaks to the increasing … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: David Barton; Jeffrey Tayler

Salon calls out phony baloney historian David Barton: Meet the Tea Party’s evangelical quack: David Barton is Glenn Beck’s favorite “historian” The larger issue here, of course, is about *narrative*: about how people need to adjust and retell history in … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Dated and Offensive SF; Puppygate summaries

Will get back to posting about rereading Isaac Asimov shortly, but an initial comment I have is how embarrassing Asimov’s prose of the early 1940s was. I suppose it was the style of the era, and Asimov did grow out … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Reason; Morality; Wesleyan; Timeline; The Onion; Jeffrey Tayler

Today, a collection of posts I’ve not read in detail, or do not have time to comment upon in detail, but wish to save for future reference. Science on Religon: Connor Wood: Reason™ is not going to save the world … Continue reading

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The Methodical, Cheerful, Bluntness of Isaac Asimov

I switched gears a couple weeks ago, after reading several recent (2014 and 2015) novels, to spend some time revisiting one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed science fiction authors, Isaac Asimov. It’s hard to tell, at this point about … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Derek Muller and the Beauty of Nihilism

Via, a lovely video by YouTube vlogger Derek Muller, who runs a channel called Veritasium — “a channel of science and engineering videos featuring experiments, expert interviews, cool demos, and discussions with the public about everything science”. “The first principle … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Autism and the Perception of Reality

Two recent items about autism. First, at Alternet, Florida Principal Tries to Quietly Ban Book to Appease Christians, Sets off Sh*tstorm Instead, in which said principal responded to a “handful of Christian parents” who objected to the acclaimed 2003 novel … Continue reading

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PvC Bibliographies

I’ve begun expanding the Resources and Bibliography sub-page to my Provisional Conclusions, this past week, and have discovered how compiling such a bibliography helps to focus my thoughts about what books, out of my sizable library, are most relevant to … Continue reading

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Bay Heat

It was a hot and hazy weekend, very unusual for the Bay Area. When I stepped outside at 7am Saturday morning to pick up the newspapers from the driveway, there was a distinct smell of smoke in the air, as … Continue reading

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