Monthly Archives: January 2023

A Fundamental Theological Question, via Jerry Coyne

Only time for a quick post today, again, ironically about a fundamental theological issue. What is the essential difference between science and religion, between a way of thinking and a way of not thinking but merely conforming to community traditions, … Continue reading

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Optimism about Science and Tech, Alternative Math, and Political Topics

Another optimistic take on part of current affairs (not politics). Plus: alternative math, and political items.

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Crosby, Stills, and Nash: Daylight Again

So David Crosby died today. I only acquired a couple three of this group’s albums over the years, and from them, this is my favorite song. Update 23 Jan 23: This post here and on Fb may strike some as … Continue reading

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Atmospheric Rivers and A Coding Conundrum

As has been widely reported on the news, even nationally, California has experienced a nearly unprecedented series of storms moving in from the Pacific in what are called “atmospheric rivers,” some ten storms since late December, with only partial day … Continue reading

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Alcohol and Civilization, and other recent items

How civilization might have been driven by the desire for alcohol; about the NYT interviewing Republicans; the perspective on conspiratorial thinking from an American living in Britain; paranoia and the GOP; DeSantis’ war on “wokeness”; Paul Waldman on 6 things … Continue reading

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Optimism About America, and other recent items

David Brooks on how America is on the right track; Ezra Klein on the fractured Republican Party; and items about gas stoves, red states and their blue cities, the partisan divide in COVID deaths, and how politics doesn’t do nuance.

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The Erratic March of Scientific Progress

Vox, Kelsey Piper, 11 Jan 2023: Why is science slowing down?, subtitled “Science is the engine of society, and the decline of truly disruptive research is a warning sign for all of us.” Is this really a new problem? Or … Continue reading

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Cosmic Websites; Recent Headlines

Let’s begin with an item from December, on a website called Topia: A World of Good, promoted on Facebook today by David Brin since it reproduces a list Brin compiled on his own blog some time ago. 21 COSMIC WEBSITES … Continue reading

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Yuval Noah Harari, UNSTOPPABLE US

Here’s a book I read near the end of last year that, like the Dawkins book recently reviewed, is a book directed at young people. Like the Dawkins, it’s heavily illustrated; unlike that, Harari’s book is essentially a rewrite of … Continue reading

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Narrative as Denialism

Today’s reading is yet another example of how narratives — stories that simplify the world and make it more understandable, even if they’re completely fictional — dominate so many people’s beliefs, especially in politics, that they amount to a denial … Continue reading

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