Category Archives: Culture

Quotes on American Anti-Intellectualism

Isaac Asimov, 1980: There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false … Continue reading

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Link and Comments: science visions; the retrograde government; multiverse; faith; Wars v Trek; California as the future; Haidt on tribalism and the national rift

For today here are several links I’ve ‘saved’ on Facebook in recent weeks, with comments. First, Plate Tectonics Movement During the Last 540 Million Years, a cool video animation, from a Facebook group called Geology Wonders, that shows the continents … Continue reading

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Thought Leaders

A couple days ago I was dipping into Peter Singer’s latest book, Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter, and saw him mention something about his being a “thought leader” according to some German outfit … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Academia, Creationists, Christians and Trump, Plait on the GOP, Evil, Victims

From Slate, more on the theme of Why Are There So Few Conservatives in Academia? There are three big reasons that conservatives are hard to find in university faculties: intellectual consistency, anti-science trends by conservatives, and social pressure. On the … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Friedman on historical change, why evangelicals like Trump, Paulos on math and biography, Gawande on science, the case against reality

Today in NYT, Thomas L. Friedman: Another Age of Discovery. Friedman lets Ian Goldin, co-author of a book about the lessons we can draw from the period of 1450 to 1550, i.e. a period of extraordinary change. Then: Gutenberg undermined … Continue reading

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The Orlando Shooter and the Evil of Religious Fundamentalism

To put this as concisely as possibly, my take on the Orlando mass-shooting is that it is rooted ultimately in the animus to sexual minorities — a portion of humanity that for whatever reason has *always existed* [see footnote] — … Continue reading

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Carl Sagan, THE VARIETIES OF SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE (2006): History is a battle of inadequate myths

Here’s a book I had forgotten I had, relatively speaking; I obviously bought it back in 2006 or so, but I didn’t read it right away and so it sat on my shelves among many other books (by Sagan and … Continue reading

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Reading In and Around the Bible: Genesis, part 1

I finished up the New Testament a couple weeks ago, and have notes and comments on those latter epistles, and Revelation. I then circled back to the beginning, to read Genesis itself, rather than merely comments about it, and since … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: The Literary Canon and the Bible; Americans Compared to the Rest of the World; Rush

Slate, last week: The Canon Is Sexist, Racist, Colonialist, and Totally Gross. Yes, You Have to Read It Anyway, by Katy Waldman. Specifically discussing the curriculum at Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut. This addresses the efforts for some decades now … Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Luck; Facebook and social bubbles; being openly secular

One author with a new book currently making the circuit of talk shows and newspaper op-ed pages is Robert H. Frank, whose book is Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, and who turned up on KQED’s … Continue reading

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