Links and Comments: Radiohead; Originalism; Principia; Trump brain rot; Homeschooling; Art v Religion

Catching up on links saved over the past week or so.

Vox: Radiohead and sadness: a data analysis. Fascinating.

Vox: Judicial originalism as myth

It’s always struck me that Judicial originalism — the idea that nothing can be inferred from the Constitution than anything the founders who wrote it might have thought or imagined — is rather like Biblical literalism. It defies the idea that since then, whichever then, circumstances changed, and we’ve learned. Key passage:

What the words of the document meant to the people living at the time is just one of many different factors judges use to decide constitutional cases. So-called original meaning almost never drives the results in litigated cases but instead is used by judges to justify results they reached on other grounds.

An example of the point I made in this blog post, Science v Religion: New v Old.

Slate: Is Newton’s Principia Still Relevant?

Principia was no doubt a key work in the history of science, but there’s no reason to read it now, except as an exercise in the study of that.

It’s not that I care so much about dissing Trump — I wish he would go away — as that his presence is bringing to light all the mental biases, the cognitive dissonances, that psychologists and self-aware people have been recognizing for years.

Salon: Beware the Trump brain rot: The cognitive effects of this administration’s actions could be disastrous.

The article’s five points:

  1. An epidemic of lies
  2. An assault on logic
  3. The blustering bully
  4. The society of the spectacle
  5. The endless barrage

Each point’s discussion with many links to supporting evidence.

More evidence that home-schooling is about shielding children from the modern world. Washington Post: These activists want greater home-school monitoring. Parent groups say no way.

For decades, such concerns have led some parents to turn their homes into redoubts of Christian values, home-schooling their children not only to instill those values but to shield them from what they see as a godless, overly secular world.

Religion Dispatches: Can Art Save Us From Fundamentalism?

The beauty and awe that religion likes to claim for itself might as well be available through art [which, channeling EO Wilson, signifies a deep relationship with the natural world humans evolved within].

Enough for today. I have more for tomorrow, and drafts of longer discussions I may or may not ever post.

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