ToC

Saturday, December 31, 2016 George Michael links to YouTube videos, with lyric quotes, of two favorite songs
Thursday, December 29, 2016 Rereading Robert Silverberg, 1 an introduction; comments and summaries of specific stories to follow
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 Our New Post-Fact World are conservatives living in a post-factual world any different than believing in religious myths?
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 The Election quoting comments from David Remnick and Paul Krugman
Friday, October 21, 2016 2016 European Tour, Days 11-15: Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Rome
Thursday, October 13, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 10: Monte-Carlo
Thursday, October 13, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 9: Marseille
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 8: Barcelona
Tuesday, October 11, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 7: Palma de Mallorca, and Further Sundry Observations
Sunday, October 9, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 6: Alicante; Sundry Observations
Friday, October 7, 2016 2016 European Tour, Days 4-5: On the Boat; Cádiz; Málaga
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 2016 European Tour, Day 3: Lisbon: The Tour, the Tower, the Castle, and Dinner
Tuesday, October 4, 2016 2016 European Tour Days 1-2: Lisbon
Monday, September 26, 2016 Links and Comments: Cognitive Biases, Trump, and Reality a cognitive bias codex; how this relates to Trump; and again, why people who think the world is worse off are wrong
Friday, September 9, 2016 Obduction, 2 and its abrupt conclusion
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Obduction, 1 about the video game
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Philip Roth, INDIGNATION about both the film and the book
Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Links and Comments: World maps; religions as movies; movie physics; flat-earthers; Trump and his followers; webs v walls; wrong about the future; negativity bias from WaPo, Adam-Troy Castro, The New Yorker, Friedman, Jim Holt on Chuck Klosterman’s book, and Adam Lee–this last more about why people feel badly even though the world is better than ever before
Saturday, August 6, 2016 522+135+6 more about The Witness, and its ‘challenge’
Friday, August 5, 2016 You Will Love This One about the Crowded House song
Wednesday, July 27, 2016 The Witness about the video game, which has been preoccupying me for some weeks
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Links and Comments: Academia, Creationists, Christians and Trump, Plait on the GOP, Evil, Victims why there are not more conservatives in academia; why Christians in particular hate evolution; crackpot Phil Robertson; why Christians support Trump; Plait on GOP denial of science; the subject of evil; why conservatives blame victims, cf Haidt
Thursday, June 30, 2016 15 Ways of Buying a Book, Part 1 personal history that illustrates the pace of change; 2nd part forthcoming, as of jan2017
Friday, June 24, 2016 Thomas Paine, THE AGE OF REASON (1796) review/summary of the book
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 Links and Comments: Friedman on historical change, why evangelicals like Trump, Paulos on math and biography, Gawande on science, the case against reality why people feel worse off even though this is the best time in history to be alive; Tarico; Paulos; Gawande’s great summary of how science works; religion’s worst ideas; how humans don’t perceive reality because evolution
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Three More NT Epistles; Revelation
Monday, June 20, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Hebrews, James
Friday, June 17, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Colossians, Ephesians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy
Thursday, June 16, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Romans
Wednesday, June 15, 2016 The Orlando Shooter and the Evil of Religious Fundamentalism animus toward minitorities inherent in religious tribalism
Sunday, June 12, 2016 Family & Personal History, 2016/1 entry on project to scan old photos and record family history
Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Never Be the Same Again the Darren Hayes song
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Carl Sagan, THE VARIETIES OF SCIENTIFIC EXPERIENCE (2006): History is a battle of inadequate myths review of the book
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Growing Up with Books personal essay on the books I grew up with in my household
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Genesis, part 2
Saturday, June 4, 2016 Two Interviews about Current Books, about Reproductive Technologies and Social Cohesion Greely on the end of sex; Junger on tribes
Friday, June 3, 2016 Sean Carroll, THE BIG PICTURE review of the CalTech physicist’s foundational book
Thursday, June 2, 2016 Personal History: The Radio at Sunset recalling a radio broadcast song of the Lord’s Prayer
Thursday, June 2, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Genesis, part 1
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 Links and Comments: The Literary Canon and the Bible; Americans Compared to the Rest of the World; Rush flaws of the literary canon; the ways in which America is not the greatest; ignoring Rush Limbaugh
Sunday, May 29, 2016 Equus, part 1 a key passage from that play/film; there are others which I’ll follow up on
Thursday, May 26, 2016 Links and Comments: Luck; Facebook and social bubbles; being openly secular Robert H. Frank on how success is largely about luck; Bruni on Facebook; coming out as secular
Thursday, May 26, 2016 Links and Comments: Innovation, Optimism, Conspiracy Theories, and Liberals life in the 19th century; why optimism is uncool despite times being better than ever; George Johnson; why educated people are liberal
Thursday, May 19, 2016 Dan Barker on Meaning without Divine Dictates, and the Slave Mentality review of his book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 James A. Lindsay on the Obsolescence of Theism review of book EVERYBODY IS WRONG ABOUT GOD, about which I was not terribly impressed
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Ehrman, JESUS BEFORE THE GOSPELS: Memories, Stories, and the Gospels review of the book
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Links and Comments: Two from Today’s NYT Trump’s contradictions; and Kristof on ‘liberal intolerance’, about which I am skeptical
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Epistles of Paul, 2
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Epistles of Paul, 1
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Religious Liberty and Christian Theology how religious liberty is about privileging Christianity
Sunday, May 8, 2016 Sean Carroll Interview the scientific worldview, and how not every effect has a cause
Saturday, April 30, 2016 Links and Comments: Truth and Slavery in retrospect, about early signs of the ‘post-fact’ era deployed by conservatives; comments about Cruz and David Barton
Thursday, April 21, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Acts
Monday, April 18, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible: Divorce and Homosexuality passages from Louis Crompton’s book on homosexuality throughout history
Saturday, April 9, 2016 Links and Comments: Irrational Voters; Republicans and Gays; Religious Liberty v Progress Robert Sapolsky, Frank Bruni, Timothy Egan, Jesse Bering
Friday, April 8, 2016 Reading In and Around the Bible, 5: John
Friday, April 8, 2016 Founding Father Thomas Paine and the Bible an essay about his views in Free Inquiry
Friday, April 8, 2016 Trump, Abortion, Conservatives, and Guns how Trump’s suggestion that women be punished for abortion upset everyone–why?; as with guns, conservative irrationality
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 Paul Kalanithi, WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR review of a shortish, moving, book
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 Oliver Sacks, GRATITUDE review of another short book
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 Carlo Rovelli, SEVEN BRIEF LESSONS ON PHYSICS review of the short book
Friday, April 1, 2016 Links and Comments: the mystery of monogamy; why people cannot live with doubt Barash on monogamy; Linker on doubt
Friday, April 1, 2016 Reading Around the Bible, 4: Luke
Thursday, March 31, 2016 Links and Comments: Historical Jesus; God’s Plan; Sagan on religion v science the non-historical Jesus; reading New Testament in order; religious archetypes; another ten commandments; etc.
Thursday, March 24, 2016 Links and Comments: Terrorists and Threats Fiore and Kristof; why people are afraid of the wrong things
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Reading Around the Bible, 3: Mark
Monday, March 21, 2016 Allen Steele, ARKWRIGHT review of the novel
Monday, March 21, 2016 Reading Around the Bible, 2: Matthew
Saturday, March 19, 2016 Links and Comments: Trump; Democrats v Republicans; American exceptionalism; government regulations Trump and how people who are racist, misogynist, hyper-religious, and anti-science, are virtually all Republicans; Rubio’s complaint about Obama; Kristof on regulations
Sunday, March 13, 2016 Links and Comments: Trump; Magic; Scalia and science; Cruz; God of the gap Trump is a racist reaction to Obama; the supposed disappearance of magic in the world; Scalia’s hatred of science; etc
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 Reading Around the Bible, 1 first in a series
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Rereading HOW TO READ A BOOK a foundation title
Saturday, February 27, 2016 Thoughts on Jo Walton’s WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK SO GREAT
Thursday, February 25, 2016 Gilovich, 2, part 2
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 Gilovich, 2, part 1 and his new book, THE WISEST ONE IN THE ROOM
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 Gilovich, 1 review of HOW WE KNOW WHAT ISN’T SO
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Review: Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight the film about a stage magician, a debunker of psychics, who suspects he might be wrong
Saturday, February 13, 2016 NYRoB on PKD’s The Man in the High Castle a relatively unsnobbish review in the New York Review of Books, about sf
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 Links and Comments: Susan Jacoby; Erasure; Boars and the Sixth Extinction; Jerry Brown and Jean-Pierre Dupuy American pandering to religion; how news can be erased from history; more on extinction; enlightened doomsaying
Friday, February 5, 2016 Links and Comments: Living in the Real World the cluelessness of some college students; flat-earthers; Republicans appeal to the radical right by denying science
Thursday, February 4, 2016 Item’s from Sunday’s New York Times: Pace of Change; Criticism; Religion in Politics; Creative Children has the pace of change slowed? AO Scott on criticism; etc
Thursday, January 28, 2016 On Trying to Read 100 Books a Year keeping lists, etc.
Monday, January 25, 2016 Syllabuses and Sfadb.com rankings an online resource, and a sketch of plans for sfadb rankings
Saturday, January 23, 2016 My memories of David G. Hartwell who had just died
Saturday, January 23, 2016 EO Wilson, Consilience, 3 (I never did finish writing up notes and blogging about this book)
Saturday, January 23, 2016 Links and Comments: Narrative; the Limits of Rationality more on narrative; self-help groups to be less wrong
Monday, January 18, 2016 Film Review: JOY
Saturday, January 16, 2016 EO Wilson, Consilience, 2
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 EO Wilson, Consilience, 1
Links and Comments: Fear, Terrorism, Fear, and Religion the Krauss essay again; Rubio’s allegiance to religion above all else
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 Review: The Outsider Test for Faith the book by John W. Loftus
Sunday, January 10, 2016 Film review: THE REVENANT
Friday, January 8, 2016 Links and Comments: Conspiracy Theories, Cognitive Biases; Changing Minds; All Stories comments from book reviews; what has made you change your mind?; two essays about narratives v reality
Thursday, January 7, 2016 Film Review: Room
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 Link and Comment: Terrorism and Republican Fear-Mongering an essay by Lawrence Krauss
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 Link and Comment: The Year in Religion, and Adults comment of Jeffrey Tayler’s that echoes mine
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 Review of David Silverman his book FIGHTING GOD
Sunday, January 3, 2016 Film review: BRIDGE OF SPIES
Saturday, January 2, 2016 Film review: THE BIG SHORT
Thursday, December 31, 2015 Science Fiction As a Prism in the Dawn subtitle for my book? (allusion to sagan)
Thursday, December 31, 2015 Review of “The Danish Girl” the film
Thursday, December 31, 2015 The Yearning for the Golden Past the persistent conservative narrative is the struggle to return to a golden past — how it has always been so
Thursday, December 31, 2015 Review of “Carol” the film
Monday, December 28, 2015 The Narrative of Narratives how the idea of ‘narrative’ is becoming a cultural meme
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Refining My Thesis about sf v fantasy v horror
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Sean Carroll’s Reading List that he’s using for his forthcoming book
Tuesday, December 22, 2015 Alan Lightman on Cosmology and Human Meaning from a Harper’s essay
Monday, December 21, 2015 Links and Comments: Science and Math and Religion survival traits; magical thinking; fear of god
Monday, December 21, 2015 Links and Comments: Politics and Religion essays by Jeffrey Tayler; conservatives and false narratives; apologists for Islam
Sunday, December 20, 2015 On Seeing The Nutcracker ballet
Sunday, December 20, 2015 Elizabeth Kolbert on Climate Change and Florida from an essay in The New Yorker
Friday, December 18, 2015 Chris Mooney’s THE REPUBLICAN BRAIN review of the book
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 Links and Comments from Sunday’s New York Times politicians who lie; Bible v Quran; Douthat on Islam
Monday, December 14, 2015 Spotlight review of the film
Friday, December 11, 2015 Harper’s on Environmentalism, etc. about “rethinking extinction”
Friday, December 11, 2015 John Crowley on Narrative from an essay in Harper’s
Thursday, December 10, 2015 Links and Comments from last Sunday’s New York Times how people are easily conned, and other psychological matters
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 Jonathan Haidt’s THE RIGHTEOUS MIND: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, 3
Tuesday, December 8, 2015 More notes and comments about Haidt’s THE RIGHTEOUS MIND
Friday, December 4, 2015 Jonathan Haidt’s THE RIGHTEOUS MIND: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, 1
Monday, November 30, 2015 Sunday’s New York Times: Links and Comments about the inevitability of climate change; reviews of books by Lisa Randall and Matt Ridley
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Links and Comments: Sacred truths, Catholic priorities, and Santorum advice, vs. Individualism and the arc of moral history
Friday, November 20, 2015 Links and Comments: Haidt, Krugman, Cruz and Swanson, Evolution v Creationism and Iowa Home-Schoolers
Thursday, November 19, 2015 Links and Comments: Bruni on Cruz; Flip-flopping presidents are most effective; political persuasion; Republicans’ economic narrative; Lisa Randall, a new Trek
Saturday, November 14, 2015 Review of Alastair Reynolds’ SLOW BULLETS
Friday, November 13, 2015 The World’s Young: a review of Robert Charles Wilson’s THE AFFINITIES
Thursday, November 12, 2015 Reading Haidt, arcs of history, false balance, how liberal views are closer to the truth, and science fiction comments about first part of Haidt’s book; op-ed about universities need more conservatives, and letter in response, how sf is a heuristic for stepping around mental biases
Tuesday, November 10, 2015 Links and Comments: Raising kids with or without faith; Benford hosts evolution debate; Lake Wobegon effect Slate article on how some nonbelieving parents nevertheless feel need to raise kids with faith; quote from NYRSF about Benford hosting debate between Rose and Johnson; Ira Flatow and guest about Lake Wobegon effect (seld-enhancement bias)
Monday, November 9, 2015 Rereading Early Heinlein, part 3: If This Goes On summary of story and what this says about american temptation to succumb to theocracy, e.g. Cruz and Santorum; quotes from his description of story never written about Nehemiah Scudder
Sunday, November 8, 2015 Tayler, Bruni, et al [long title] Tayler on Carson’s religion and confusing faith with rationality; Bruni on repeat of civil rights law in Houston; essay by Lee McINtyre on denialism and how beliefs should be based on evidence; how Einstein’s relativity was resisted on political grounds
Saturday, November 7, 2015 Ben Carson and the range of human psychology; Michael Shermer and the perception of the real world New Republic piece about how Ben Carson is example of how smart people can believe crazy things, as Shermer explored in 1997 book; Mooney and Haidt books and the range of human psychology, and presumed reasons for why the entire range exists…because the mind evolved to facilite survival, not perceive reality; does this matter? new item by Shermer on exactly this point.
Friday, November 6, 2015 Rereading Early Heinlein, part 2 the stories in The Green Hills of Earth
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 Narrative vs Reality republican politics truly dangerous; Rubio? No, he speaks well but perpetuates discredited claims about Hillary (i.e. he’s lying)
Tuesday, November 3, 2015 The 2015 Republican Clown Circus other advanced countries rolling their eyes? Trump, Carson, and the three attending a kill-the-gays rally in Iowa; Carson welcomes the apocalypse, and building an ark; why there isn’t really a liberal media conspiracy
Sunday, November 1, 2015 The Bay Area and the California Dream living in the bay area, radio interview about how california is changing
Sunday, November 1, 2015 Infrastructre: New Pages adding Links and Comments and SF Examples
Sunday, November 1, 2015 Links and Comments Zuckerman on how religion corresponds inversely to societal well-being, around the world and among the states; more murders in Bangladesh of those critical of religion
Friday, October 30, 2015 Links and Comments: This Week’s American Politics; …Heinlein the crazy remarks of Ben Carson; Mencken quote; GOP’s problem with the truth; Tyson on how voters themselves are the problem; Barton’s junk history (and narrative and self-enhancement); Tayler on how GOP wants a theocracy
Monday, October 26, 2015 Rereading Early Heinlein, part 1 some background, and then Orphans of the Sky and generation starship stories
Sunday, October 25, 2015 Links and Comments from Today’s NYT as traditional religion fades in Norway, belief in ghosts rises; Bruni on the catholic church and what family really means; how resistance to GMOs is as bad in europe as in US, with aside about bananas; about the NPR voice
Sunday, October 25, 2015 Philip Glass: Naqoyqatsi: Religion best track from that film score
Thursday, October 22, 2015 Sfadb progress adding more citations and anthology reprints
Thursday, October 22, 2015 Contemplating a Lost in Space Rewatch how most early favorite TV shows I’ve only seen in reruns, and thus incompletely; how LIS got awful but had some genuinely wondrous moments early on
Thursday, October 22, 2015 Sundry Links and Comments PW on book about transforming human perception; Coyne on a world where beliefs are proportional to evidence; how tweaking the brain affects belief in god and prejudice toward immigrants; how ‘politically incorrect’ is used to excuse any kind of bad behavior
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 Rereading Isaac Asimov, part 4 longish comments about Nightfall, The Dead Past, The Last Question, The Ugly Little Boy
Monday, October 19, 2015 My Father’s Books: and Cambridge, Illinois about a book called Tomorrow’s House, published in 1946; how my father’s sister declined his offer to design their house
Monday, October 19, 2015 Links and Comments from Sunday’s NYT Indian writers protest government silence on violence; George Johnson on the gambler’s fallacy; Q&A w/Matt Ridley, including best books and worst (the Bible); Mlodinow reviews two books on sense and predictions
Friday, October 16, 2015 Jonny Quest rewatch summary, history, points, favorite episodes
Thursday, October 15, 2015 Lost in Space, Season 4 a list of episode descriptions I found in my files from years ago…
Thursday, October 8, 2015 Sean Carroll on everything his forthcoming book, and links to his one equation and a video of his best arguments
Monday, October 5, 2015 The Martian, the movie short review from Fb
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Lying with Phony Graphs about an absurd chart the anti-abortion people think means something (is the right intellectually incompetent?)
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Lawrence M. Krauss on Ben Carson Nykr essay, in which Krauss spells out Carson’s misconceptions, with comment from Coyne on how science is not faith
Tuesday, September 29, 2015 The Atlantic on triggers warnings; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on the war on reason how trigger warnings are a kind of conservative resistance to ideas that would challenge orthodoxy; Abdul-Jabbar on conservative resistance and the biological culprits
Monday, September 28, 2015 Politics: Religion vs. Rationality Tayler on how journalists defer to religious pieties
Monday, September 28, 2015 Evolution and the Teenaged Brian Kolbert review of 2 bks about why teenagers take risks and how this makes sense evolutionarily
Monday, September 28, 2015 Oliver Sacks on SF paragraph discussing Forster’s “The Machine Stops”
Monday, September 28, 2015 David Brooks: American Exceptionalism vs Conservatism how America’s founders were exception in building something for the future; today’s conservatives yearn for a lost past that never existed, and fears the future; evidence that immigrants are a good thing
Monday, September 28, 2015 Salman Rushdie, two quotes one about faith and reason; one about examining the stories inside which we live, including nation, family, religion…
Monday, September 28, 2015 Ben Carson follow-up why people don’t “believe” in science–because social bonds are more important than acknowledging reality, for survival; Carson and Huckabee share the values of their followers
Thursday, September 24, 2015 About Ben Carson Phil Plait and Jerry Coyne point out the evidence of evolution and dismantle creationist canards; how someone can be so smart and so dumb
Monday, September 21, 2015 Rereading Isaac Asimov, part 3 about “Reason”, the creationist robot; how it illustrates that what one believes isn’t always relevant; story is a parody of self-centered human creationists (like Ben Carson)
Saturday, September 19, 2015 We Are in a Post-Reality [Science-Fictional!] World the first republican debate and untrue assertions about the economy, Fiorina’s business record; why is this happening? Internet enables reality bubbles? How 9/11 assaulted americans’ presumed exceptionalism, perhaps
Friday, September 18, 2015 Rereading Wollheim’s The Universe Makers long review/summary including the 8-point cosmogony
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 Robinson’s SF of the 20th Century summary and review
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 links and comments links on scale of the universe; io9 link to sf books taught in colleges
Sunday, September 13, 2015 links and comments whether there will ever be a theory of everything; whether western values are losing their sway; Tayler on Ted Cruz whose theocracy would threaten the rule of law, and fundamentalist fantasy history
Saturday, September 12, 2015 links and comments the religious right and Kim Davis; Vox on how The Village is a masterpiece; essay on how fear motivates anti-vaxxers; links
Friday, September 11, 2015 Rereading Isaac Asimov, part 2 summary of reading, bullet points, list of best stories
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 links and comments Krauss essay on how scientists s/b militant atheists; Huckabee’s demagoguery and Kim Davis; how Santorum lies about climate change
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 links and comments Tayler on how O’Reilly’s misperceptions of ‘nihilism’ and atheism; NYT on the alarm over scientific studies that aren’t replicated
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 Puppygate and the Progressive Nature of Science Fiction quoting Gary K. Wolfe’s account in Chicago Tribune
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 links and comments example of how religious groups reject education; animated map of how major religions have spread across the world; Tyson explains the universe
Friday, August 28, 2015 Rereading Isaac Asimov, part 1 the pulpy prose, quotes from I, Robot
Wednesday, August 26, 2015 links and comments hand-picked truths: NYT George Johnson on religious traditionalists and those who understand science; Adam Lee on how religion is slow to act when it comes to moral progress
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 links and comments Salon calls out David Barton, the ‘Tea Party’s evangelical quack’; (narrative!); Tayler on how religious con artists are using religion for evil
Tuesday, August 25, 2015 links and comments B&N links to 8 dated sf novels, and the paradox of SF as being about the future, while overtaken by history; New Statesman piece about reading the ‘100 best’ sf/f novels and finding them shockingly offensive; links to several summaries about Hugo results and the puppygate kerfuffle; Asimov’s “Reason”; Gaiman/Ishiguro conversation about Chinese acceptance of SF
Friday, August 21, 2015 links and comments mostly uncommented links: Connor Wood on how reason won’t save the world; Tarioco on why atheists are as moral as anyone else; a PDF teacher’s guide for the Wesleyan Anthology of SF; io9 link to a timeline of future SF; Onion on God’s plan to wean humans off religion; Jeffrey Tayler on how faith is a character flaw (great quotes as always)
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 The Methodical, Cheerful, Bluntness of Isaac Asimov about his book The Roving Mind, with essays about the religious radicals, and why SF authors don’t ‘believe’ is flying saucers, et al; example of his thinking in essay about idea of telepathy
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 links and comments: Derek Muller and the Beauty of Nihilism lovely video about the author visiting Chernobyl, and his insights about permanence and decay, and how ‘nihilism’, the idea of ultimate meaninglessnes, is liberating and emboldening
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 links and comments autism and the perception of reality; Florida tries to ban Mark Haddon’s book, because the autistic character matter-of-factly rejects god; Time Mag essay on autism; Silberman’s book NeuroTribes; Atlantic essay on trigger warnings
Monday, August 17, 2015 PvC Bibliographies about adding a bibliography page beneath Provisional Conclusions; and about resorting my shelves of sf/f nonfiction
Monday, August 17, 2015 Bay Heat warm weekend; smoke from fires 100 miles north; attending surprise birthday party for friends
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 Ken MacLeod on science fiction MacLeod essay about ‘science fiction: taking science personally’; how SF is a way about thinking about the world; great quotes
Monday, August 10, 2015 James Morrow: The Madonna and the Starship review, with a couple quotes
Monday, August 10, 2015 links and comments Dennis Overbye on the Fermi Paradox, with a take by Nick Bostrom; comment about Brian Attebery book ‘Stories about Stories’; Slate review of book by Wilczek about nature’s deep design; a Bangladesh blogger hacked to death; how Huckabee makes up science to support his worldview
Sunday, August 9, 2015 The Lottery and Jim and Mary G comments, quotes, about these two stories, and what relates them
Friday, August 7, 2015 Stephen King, Revival review with quotes
Monday, August 3, 2015 links and comments Adam Lee on how progressives can’t maintain fealty to the Bible, and the ‘Manhattan Option’, Christians withdrawing into insular communities; an essay about about the film 2001 was wildly over-optimisic; Sean Carroll on why the universe is so big; cool NdG Tyson video that explains the universe in 8 minutes
Thursday, July 30, 2015 Andy Weir, The Martian brief comments about the book
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem summary, review, qualms
Monday, July 27, 2015 Follow-up thought about KSR’s Aurora how I don’t *necessarily* agree; human history shows a pattern of overcoming things once thought impossible
Thursday, July 23, 2015 Kim Stanley Robinson, Aurora Fb post, review, how KSR might be my favorite SF author; comments and a quote
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 links and comments NYT’s charts about changing attitudes about civil rights; how a professor resigned from Bryan College rather than sign its statement of faith
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 The Irish Need Not Apply NYT Timothy Egan challenges Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants, with quotes from the 1850s that demonized Irish immigrant, on similar grounds
Monday, July 13, 2015 links and comments Weinberg essay with his famous quote; Slate on Trek v Wars; Vox on how the world is getting better; Skeptic.com on how God is such a terrible writer, and if the Bible really were the word of God, it should have been so much better
Monday, July 13, 2015 Steven Weinberg, To Explain the World summary, with one quote
Wednesday, July 8, 2015 links and comments NPR interview on how human psychology is affecting criminal justice, especially the unreliability of eye-witness testimony; LAT op-ed about how evangelicals were once as opposed to divorce as they now are about same-sex marriage; Bruni about RF Kennedy and his anti-vax stance, Jim Carrey, Phil Plait in response; Anthony Doerr on favorite science books; Tayler on the Supreme Court, the End Times, the changing definition of marriage; NYT graphs on changing acceptance of social issues
Sunday, July 5, 2015 A Just Ended (perhaps) Arc of History about the confederate flags coming down, in southern states; the film Selma
Thursday, July 2, 2015 Lewis Thomas, Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony summary with many profound quotes
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 links and comments Adam Lee’s statement of principles, and Lee on why the religious right is against government social programs; quote about narrative; Jeffrey Tayler on Scalia, who rejects science and the law for religion (FDS: faith-derangement syndrome); also Tayler on the laughable bad Christian movies that prey on the gullible; Atlantic on why religious conflict won’t end
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction summary with quotes
Friday, June 26, 2015 Lewis Thomas, The Lives of a Cell brief notes, quoting first two para’s [did not reread the entire book]
Friday, June 26, 2015 The Arc of History: The Expansion of Marriage the Supreme Court decision, and how it supports my PvC, with a Matt Baume video about the range of historical ideas of marriage
Friday, June 26, 2015 Rereading Carl Sagan’s The Cosmic Connection summary with many great quotes
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 links and comments NYT George Johnson on ‘lucky numbers’ (universal parameters); how the paleo diet isn’t relevant to modern humanity; anti-intellectualism and how people interpret events in the context of personal narratives, and how religious scolds see every tornado as due to something they personally disapprove of; Pinker interview about how capitalism is killing war, and how to understand the media
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 James Morrow: We’re not tourists on this planet, we’re citizens quotes from Morrow Locus interview, about the enlightenment, his new novel, Gould and Bryan
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 Alan Lightman, The Accidental Universe summary and quotes
Monday, June 22, 2015 The Human Impact on Earth; About Book Culling Slate link to photos of human impact on earth, and video link at end (astronauts, the overview effect), why I must have culled that book
Monday, June 22, 2015 The Sixth Extinction and the Pope’s Encyclical several links about this issue; the pope statement avoids the issue of population; Krauss quote
Thursday, June 18, 2015 Bible System Updates quotes from New Yorker humor about version updates to the Bible
Thursday, June 18, 2015 Narrativium and Lies-to-Children Pratchett/Stewart/Cohen’s brilliant Science of Discworld, with recurrent themes about narrative and how big questions are simplified for children; many quotes
Thursday, June 11, 2015 links and comments Coyne Q&A w/NatGeo; links about Louisiana teaching creationism, Santorum and J’Witnesses about avoiding education; how Max Planck managed to change his mind; human progress pro and con; theology of atheism; Egan on the arrogance of Jeb; telescopes in Hawaii; Pinker on how capitalism is killing war; Game of Thrones and climate change; outsider test for the right faith
Monday, June 8, 2015 links and comments NYT essay be Frank and Gleiser about crisis in physics, whether modern ‘theories’ are proper; Sapolsky on the evolution of embracing strangers (his son graduates high school); a North Korean who defected and who then realized his homosexuality, and a parallel story about realizing the idea of transgender — ideas which totalitarian, and religious, societies suppress; Kolbert on the idea of colonizing Mars
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 Upon returning from a wedding essay about rethinking pvc’s based on returning from wedding in Tennessee
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 links about comments about religious parents shielding their children from reality: behind the scenes reports about the Duggars TV show; Atlantic article about habits that will become unthinkable, including home-schooling; Slate article about a creationist kid determined not to learn about evolution
Monday, May 25, 2015 How science works, concerning the retracting gay marriage study, and the ironies general issue of studies that can’t be replicated, and how the study about changing peoples’ minds about gay marriage was revealed to be a fraud — this is how science works; Huckabee *defends* the Duggars, i.e. some people *never* change their minds; but populations do, as Ireland approves same-sex marriage
Sunday, May 24, 2015 Bodega Bay and The Birds the drive, the film, links to sites about movie locations
Friday, May 22, 2015 links and comments about the Duggars, one son charged with molestation, and the irony of the fundamentalist family accusing gays of being child molesters, with Mark Joseph Stern on how they’re a cult; Coyne’s recommended books; Dennett on the end of religion; commentary about Dawkins, and my disagreement; Tayler on politicians’ professions of faith, especially Obama’s national day of prayer
Thursday, May 21, 2015 Instant Insanity about that puzzle; personal history
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 links and comments Slate on how presidents *should* change their minds (flip-flop); Coyne’s new book and summary at New Scientist, with quote; article about how all fiction follows six basic storylines (narrative!); trigger warnings and Coyne on how literature *should* be triggering
Monday, May 18, 2015 links and comments links to news about the decline of religion in the US; Mlodinow on how common narratives about famous scientific discoveries are over-simplifications (narrative); NPR on how TV show finales affect the stock market (narrative!)
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 Bad Astronomy, 1 comments about Plait’s book, in particular how our perceptions often conflict with reality
Monday, May 11, 2015 links and comments contrast the imaginary war on religion with the very real war on abortion; LAT on the end of Mad Men, how obsession about shows goes back to Star Trek, what this says about the need for narrative; review of book about Supreme Court and gay marriage; links about X Minus One, a christian comedian, latest Jeffrey Tayler
Thursday, May 7, 2015 Natalie Angier, The Canon summary, comments about her odd style
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 links and comments Vox, channeling Krugman, on why balancing the budget has intuitive appeal but isn’t actually advisable; link to piece about why atheists are an existential threat to believers
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 links and comments Dennett interview about why religions are cracking; Atlantic piece about how autism correlates with nonbelief in god, while high social skills correlate with narcissism and gullibility to charlatans (mind!); worst predictions of all time; Tayler essay on Ted Cruz and responding to dumb critique from Matt Barber
Monday, May 4, 2015 links and comments how the american economy does worse under Republicans, because of their ideology; NPR report about study of how to change peoples’ minds about gay marriage and abortions [a study later debunked for fraud]
Friday, May 1, 2015 a month’s worth of linkes and comments everything is available on the internet, but there are no renaissance people anymore; job-stealing immigrants are a myth; Luhrmann on faith vs facts, different kinds of mental creatures?; Coyne on two readers who say evolution helped them give up religion; Dennett on why the future of religion is bleak; …
ditto 5 ways the world could end; resource links about history and homosexuality; how religious right and big business are dumbing down America (the history of american anti-intellectualism; Cruz, Rubio; Asimov quote); Tayler essay also quotes Asimov, about reading the Bible; Gerrold quote on the problem with claiming morals are from a holy book; Marcotte on 10 myths about atheists, including the moral code thing again; …
ditto article about how christianity invented children [arc of history]; letter to Dan Savage about medieval attitudes about sex [ditto]; Nykr on how religious zealots *kill* atheist bloggers and satirical journalists; Hutson on the science of superstition; more uncommented links; Bruni on how christians prioritize ancient texts over everything mankind has learned since they were written; Santorum quote
Monday, April 27, 2015 interesting items from Sunday’s new york times Bruni imagines what Jindal and Bush would say if asked whether they would attend a gay wedding; Wm Eskridge anticipates argument before Supreme Court on same-sex marriage, compared to previous civil rights battles resisted by the church; how revealing a story or film is suspenseful destroys the suspense (narrative); Dowd and Garland on Ex Machina
Friday, April 24, 2015 Naïve Physics article about why anti-vaxxers *know* they’re right; what this says about how people form beliefs, or ‘naïve theories’
Thursday, April 23, 2015 links and comments two links about the vastness of space; Sean Carroll on how the laws underlying the physics of everyday life are completely understood; Steven Weinberg’s best science books; Slate on why creationists pray we never discover alien life [we wouldn’t be *special*!]
Thursday, April 23, 2015 links and comments Tayler on Bill O’Reilly and the rank stupidity of their religion, with long quotes; how nonbelievers are longer keeping silent with their ridicule of preposterous beliefs; the war is between rationalists and the faithful “cleaving to fatuous fables…”; and a second Tayler essay on Rubio, Cruz, and others as God-fearing clowns, including Hillary; would like to ask them if they endorse all those horrible passages in Leviticus
Monday, April 20, 2015 Settle in, Catching up, Puppygate unpacking etc; how the worst puppy is racist, homophobic, and christian
Thursday, April 9, 2015 links and comments wrong-headed Republican analogies to anti-gay discrimination (Ted Cruz!); what’s happening in science fiction with the puppy slates for the Hugo awards, and how the core members are extreme religious zealots; comment from Rock and Ledge; they should find another line of work if they can’t serve everyone
Friday, April 3, 2015 links and comments about various ‘religious freedom’ laws, obviously intended to discriminate against gays and lesbians; how christians can’t get along with others; Nathaniel Frank essay on how christians are concerned only about this one issue, not the ability to stone adulterers
Friday, March 20, 2015 unpacking books
Thursday, March 19, 2015 ellenberg, part 3
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 links and comments Common Core techniques and why conservatives rotely reject them
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 link and comments Slate on rejection of modernity, ISIS, Toffler
Friday, March 13, 2015 links and comments Plait on Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot; Steve Shives video on five stupid things about the 10 commandments; NYT on how conservative politicians abroad are more accepting of evolution, and how evangelicals simply don’t understand it; Achenbach on believing science and tribalism; Plait’s answers for creationists; Bryant Fischer
Thursday, March 12, 2015 links and comments Fox news makes stuff up because there isn’t enough real news to sustain 24 hours; link to TED talk by Haidt on moral roots; Lawrence Wright on how scientology is similar to mormonism; Krugman on how Republican warnings of inflation have never happened; Bruni spells how how US support of Israel is driven by Christian prophecy
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 links and comments Powers of 10 video link; how Florida is banning the term ‘climate change’ (Orwell!); how insurance industry knows better (follow the money); how right-wing predictions of doom for obamacare have not come true
Monday, March 9, 2015 links and comments Vox link to maps about space; Brandeis quote; Salon on motives behind climate denial; another narrative challenged in how AA doesn’t actually work very often; 4 steps to becoming conservative; Salon excerpt from bk about finding God in reality; two PW reviews; Dan Savage on the right-wing myth that progress is always too risky, and debunks it
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 links and comments links at Vox about the viral dress (how you can’t believe what you see); essay on why some christians will never accept same-sex marriage (a creepy, mystical narrative); salon essay about the right’s fear of education, and santorum, examples of controlling the narrative
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 more about sf/f/h
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 musings about sf, f, and horror
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 link and comment language creationists: are there any? Prob not because that issue doesn’t affect human vanity the way evolution does
Monday, March 2, 2015 link and comment The Fed: NYT essay on how the 2008 financial crisis shook writer to the core, like the loss of certainty without god
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 links and comments Slate and Quora identify humanism as the philosophical position of Star Trek; Cleese on why it’s so easy to make fun of organised churches
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 links and comments Oliver Sacks on facing death; 1830 example of a pious American against trains; Tayler on the need to offend religion
Friday, February 20, 2015 film: Boyhood what might have been
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 links and comments Bukowski quote; Wells quote; why GOP rejects evolution; skeptic vs denier; another state banning history that challenges american exceptionalism
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 song: Beck, Turn Away
Friday, February 13, 2015 links and comments Adam Gopnik on Obama and critics, how there is no moral high ground, because we’re all still climbing
Thursday, February 12, 2015 links and comments robert wright on brian wms (fallible memory is perhaps a feature, not a bug); Marcotte on criticism of that obama speech, and how the religious *lie* by invoking religious itself as justification; new study that shows kids of gay parents are just fine; how republican denial of evolution is a way of saying “i am one of you…”
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 ellenberg, part 2
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 links and comments anti-vaxxers motivated by fear?; link to an ‘anti-braker’, who asks the comments be kept respectful (ha ha)
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 provisional conclusions restoring the original page, slightly edited
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 links and comments Brian Williams and how memory is fallible, with links to Slate and NYT; Saletan on reactions to Obama’s speech on religious violence — how republic critics are inadvertantly aiding the islamic right
Monday, February 9, 2015 links and comments how the internet lets everyone see the right-wingers ranting against the gays, et al; Bruni takes on Santorum and Huckabee and others; RWW on film Light Win; Salon’s Tayler on not defering to religion; Morford on EO Wilson; Achenbach at NaGeo on why reasonable people doubt science
Sunday, February 8, 2015 Jordan Ellenberg, How Not to Be Wrong review: first part of summary and discussion
Saturday, February 7, 2015 links and comments NPR on what’s firmly known about the size and age of the universe; Plait on claim you can fit all the planets between earth and moon, with video
Thursday, February 5, 2015 links and comments david brooks reaction to zuckerman’s book is dimwitted, and dennet responds with a letter, quoted; how anti-vaxxer beliefs imply some huge conspiracy, and only a few non-scientists know the truth; Michelle Malkin demonizes a 6th grader; Tarico on why christian heaven would actually be hell
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 links and quotes letter by david p. barash about leon wieseltier essay against science; op ed about how kids turn out fine, whatever parenting philosophy is used; how right-wing attacks on history are another example of the importance of narrative (david barton!)
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 links and comments about vaccine denial quotes and links from Frank Bruni, Shankar Vedantam, Phil Plait, others; how all this is about narrative over evidence
Monday, February 2, 2015 new blog title and header pic
Monday, February 2, 2015 links and comments Shermer on KQED and interviewed by Harris; Krauss in New Yorker refuting WSJ editorial; jehovah’s witness guy rants against higher education [of course]; salon excerpt of book on how no ‘soul’ exists independent of the brain
Sunday, January 25, 2015 10 Provisional Conclusion about Life, the Universe, and Everything, subject, of course, to revision based on evidence initial set
Saturday, January 24, 2015 A Secular Ten Non-Commandments from the bayer/figdor book, plus reader ideas, adam lee’s set
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 narrative as reality; reality as narrative krugman on how evidence doesn’t matter to many; they just get angry; my comment on how narrative matters more
Monday, January 19, 2015 links and quotes: Shermer, McEwan from the moral arc; mcewan essay on fb and homepage
Monday, January 19, 2015 links and comments Bruni on Jeb and religious liberty; cases of bakeries refusing to make cakes; Zuckerman how godless kids turn out fine; Tarico notes that if the bible were law, most people you know would qualify for death; phil plait on ted cruz overseeing NASA; Pinker on a line from shakespeare [quote this]; io9 two links about logical fallacies and arguments for god
Saturday, January 17, 2015 packing books with thoughts about why people keep so many books, even knowing they’ll never read all of them (answer: because you never know which ones you’ll want to read next month, or next year)
Friday, January 16, 2015 passages by benford from his story ‘lady with fox’, and letter to nyrsf about how science is liberating
Friday, January 16, 2015 song: Hero from Boyhood
Thursday, January 15, 2015 sean carroll on afterlife, life, death, happiness, our place in the universe video, summary and quotes, including point about 2nd law of thermo
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 links and comments space suite video (link this); asapscience on how nice guys finish first; Fidalgo on myths–narrative matters most; article about europeans asking american why is the US crazy?
Sunday, January 11, 2015 bradbury’s house torn down, I understand why because no one wants old homes, they want new ones
Friday, January 9, 2015 religious evolution and obsolescence how conservative policy does in fact evolve; Jeb Bush plays the religious liberty card to oppose gay civil rights; do politicians actually not understand the constitution? Salon’s Tayler on needing to laugh at religion; comments on what religion has accomplished, but how they are basically tribal; how christians are intent on defining themselves as people who cannot get along with people unlike themselves
Thursday, January 8, 2015 Elves lines from ‘Boyhood’
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 links and comments, mostly about evils of religion classic Hitchens essay on mocking religion; a web comic about how to ‘suck’ at your religion; excerpt from ‘how god works’ about why people pray when it obviously doesn’t work; adam lee on peace and atheism; coyne on how babies are assumed to be the religion of their parents; newsweek article on how the bible is misunderstood… (many basic, but excellent, points)
more: Tarico on how stories of Jesus became more magical over time; salon article on how few smart people are religious; why do I care about all these subjects? Good as You on Erick Erickson, and how he won’t bother covering certain people any more, they’re irrelevant
Monday, January 5, 2015 links and comments pinker & mack on how world is not falling apart (though people think it is); Nyr on 12 lessons for 2015; 7 cultural concepts US doesn’t have; thermodynamic theory of life’s origin (and PZ on why creationists won’t care; they don’t underestand basic anything); Kraus replies to WSJ editorial about science proving god;
more: Dennett on free will; Mehta, Christina on death; Osteen quote about not letting facts get in the way of fiction; jeffrey tayler on reza aslan
Monday, January 5, 2015 The Imitation Game film review (another Fb post)
Monday, January 5, 2015 Chef film review (another Fb post)
Monday, January 5, 2015 Birdman film review (Fb post about the film)
Saturday, January 4, 2014 It’s a Wonderful Life how long it takes him to realize he’s in a different place–an idea unfamiliar when the film was made; different now?
Sunday, January 4, 2015 song: John Legend, Save the night
Monday, December 22, 2014 Zuckerman, Living the Secular Life summary, plus own comments about how morality obviously does not derive from religion
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 hawking’s theory of everything about The Grand Design
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 hitchens’ 10 commandments
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 prothero on why liberals win america’s culture wars summary of video talk
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 links and comments how to talk to antigay relatives about same-sex marriage; why evangelicals are against obamacare and civil rights (because they expect the world to end); dawkins on how evolution s/not be a guide to social policy; video spoofing darwin and ‘jibbers crabst’; quote by orzel about doing science every day; xkcd on bizarre physics
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 the science of interstellar notes about the book by Kip Thorne
Friday, December 5, 2014 links and comments… NYT on fallibility of memory; how Hollywood characterizes math geniuses; Paul Fidalgo on Rick Santorum’s paranoia; Daylight Atheism on how the right-wing welcome Russia’s brutal anti-gay laws (!); Salon reviews a book about hate mail from Christians to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation; Adam Lee on Joel Osteen; Right Wing Watch about David Barton, yet again; Salon on Jefferson’s Bible; Salon on the Bible’s origins; Salon on the right-wing brain, with Chris Mooney; a Christian pastor in Arizona who wants to execute all the gays; a video about a creationist woman who ridicules exhibits in the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 EO Wilson, Meaning of Human Existence, part 5 last post about this book, chapters 13 through 15, with many fine quotes
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 EO Wilson, Meaning of Human Existence, part 4 chapters 11 and 12, with quotes about commonalities of human nature and the human preference for views
Monday, December 1, 2014 Interstellar review of film; allusions to 2001; problems; summary
Monday, December 1, 2014 EO Wilson, Meaning of Human Existence, part 3 chapters 7 through 10, with quote about why Ets could never invade Earth — or humans settle on an alien planet
Sunday, November 23, 2014 Inherit the Wind rewatching the movie; key passage; fun facts and asides
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 resuming sfadb development progress and ultimate goals [perhaps too much detail]
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 scientific fidelity vs narrative; anti-gay bigotry and socialism; the ecology of faith; Valerie Tarico on religion; Hans Zimmer and conceptual breakthough Slate on not nitpicking the science in Interstellar–and how to me this is evidence of the value of narrative over reality; Towleroad on an Arizona anti-gay politcian, and how the science does *not* show what she claims; Jerry Coyne on what makes societies religious, and how the worse off a society is, the more religious it is; two article by Valerie Tarico, about how religion does more bad than good, and how religion is ‘going down’; finally, a Hans Zimmer track from The Da Vince Code, a great artistic depiction of conceptual breakthrough
Monday, November 17, 2014 EO Wilson, Meaning of Human Existence, part 2 chapters 4 through 6
Thursday, November 13, 2014 EO Wilson, Meaning of Human Existence, part 1 summary of early chapters, with many great quotes
Thursday, November 13, 2014 Hans Zimmer and Interstellar, again Slate’s J. Bryan Lowder on the brilliant of Zimmer’s score
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 And the moon rose over an open field Simon & Garfunkel songs: America, Scarborough Fair; Bridge over Troubled Water
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 Interstellar… Music gary westfahl’s reviews; thoughts about criticisms of Hans Zimmer’s music; without having yet seen this film
Monday, November 10, 2014 sibelius 1 and mahler 6
Thursday, November 6, 2014 fundamentalist beliefs, the real world, and science fiction video about a fundamentalist pastor visiting sweden and denmark, mind-boggled about how people there don’t share his beliefs; how he doesn’t get out much, intellectually; how most people live out their lives; about how SF and EO Wilson strive to address the wider universe
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 the meaning of human existence fb post plugging EO Wilson’s new book
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 conservatives, liberals, disgust, social progress why innate tendencies, two steps forward one step back; Frank Bruni on Repulicans resistance of science; how the divide is a function of ‘disgust’ ; with speculation about visceral reactions against homosexuality…
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 education and faith; reza aslan and religious apologists Psych Today about how education corrodes religious faith — of course!; Jeffrey Tayler at Salon responds to Reza Aslan, about how “Major religions all contain macabre fables, explicit injunctions for vile behavior no civilized person should accept”
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 apophenia, religious apologists, no true scotsman Slate on apophenia, the tendency to see patterns in random events.. As an element of creativity; how Obama and others dismiss ISIS as not being ‘true Islam’; how *ideas* should always be open to criticism
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 weekend in oakland looking at houses, party at Emily & Jeff’s, hike along Skyline
Thursday, October 30, 2014 sfadb bug fixed, with a hyphen details of the bug fixed; example of how these issues can always be solved
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 arthur c. clarke: two religious explorations discussion of The Nine Billion Names of God, and The Star, with hidden spoilers; how these stories illustrate the implications of traditional religious faiths
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 heroic individuals and magical thinking dennis overbye on film ‘the theory of everything’ and how it over-simplifies hawking’s life; NYT essay on magical thinking affecting us all
Monday, October 27, 2014 journey to the beginning of time discussion of 1960s movie I saw then–about kids going back in time on a rowboat in central park
Friday, October 24, 2014 right wing paranoia; conservative propoganda; coming out smart like coming out gay how the religious right’s dire predictions have not come true (of course); how conservatives opt for propagand over reality; cute video about how coming out smart would be like coming out gay
Thursday, October 23, 2014 skiffy flix: assignment outer space discussion of older films, and of this one
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 the most beautiful unknown music recalling preisner, and then linking video of kilar’s music for the portrait of a lady
Thursday, October 16, 2014 song: savage garden, you can still be free including comments on earlier vs later albums; quotes from other savage garden songs
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 why christian films are so bad; lgbt issues; the superiotiy of atheist values and ethics christian movies are bad because…; how atheist/freethinkers note gay issues; PZ Myers on how atheist values are superior
Saturday, September 20, 2014 education, inculcation, smart kids, evolution and religion, value voter summit Frank Bruni on banned books week, and what education is about — my comment: the smart kids figure it out; david p. barash on the talk he gives his biology students about evolution v beliefs; value voters summit, about Erick Erickson thinking people who believe in evolution are “dumb and jealous”
Thursday, September 18, 2014 links and comments… Slate on ‘apophenia’ (Jesus in a tortilla, etc); ISIS and No True Scotsman, comment by Jerry Coyne; why 10 commandments are not inspiration for US laws; Ed Brayton ridicules David Barton; Sean Carroll on science v religious beliefs (nice quote about the non-necessity of god)
Thursday, September 18, 2014 EO Wilson on human existence Andrew Sullivan quoting his book, especially about how individual selection favors sin, group selection favors virtue…
Sunday, August 17, 2014 latest bug sfadb bug; how you can always figure out programming errors; overloading css tags
Friday, August 15, 2014 links and comments: do you believe in blue? pinker on evolutionary significance of music; dennett on free will; PW review of bk about ‘flying dinosaurs’; article about why evolution is not about ‘belief’ but about ‘understanding’
ditto right-wing backlash against nd tyson, and andrew leonard on the war against the nerds; greta christina on evidence against intelligent design;
ditto Coyne on the outsider’s test for everything; The Atlantic on the christian *need* to feel persecuted; Salon on conservative perception of hostility, and the Chris Mooney bk; Donald Prothero on science denial; Salon about man who rethinks faith when he adopts a child; about parenting godless children;
ditto Dan Savage on definitions of marriage; that quote about right-wing boycotts; Mark Joseph Stern on surrogacy and the Christian right; David Barton; Fox News’ fear of atheists
Thursday, July 24, 2014 links and comments… reviews of Dinesh’s movie lashing out at howard zinn; PZ Myers on john c. wright and his ideas about how people should live their lives and how sex is *only* for reproductive
Thursday, July 24, 2014 links and comments… ken ham thinks aliens would be consigned to hell (aside about sf that addresses religion); timothy egan on how conflicts around the world are faith-driven; valerie tarico on evil things christians do; adam frank on how religious apologists are always about *their* religion; nathaniel frank on mark regnerus
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 sfadb; Mahler 5 about the introspective passage in mahler 5; video of bernstein performance
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 song: the boxer
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 odds and ends… NYT on conservative rejection of science; Jerry Coyne; how christians feel persecuted by gays (!); how Dinesh Di’Souza thinks the whole world is against him
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 sam harris on morality and the christian god quotes from a sam harris audio about how christian morality is actually despicable; how it builds on a tradition of human sacrifice.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 another apologetic reaction to essay about atheism on slate — how such apologetics invariably defend *their own* religion, ignoring all others; and how they claim sophisticated theologians don’t cling to fundamentalist myths — despite the vast population who do
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 literary sf authors thought: aside from outsiders, do more literary writers genreally write short fiction?
Monday, July 7, 2014 parents and children about study showing kids raised by same-sex parents healthier and happier…; mark joseph stern on how such kids are hurt by their parents so much as by the animus of conservatives (nice quote); my observations about there being *two* parents; kids and sex; my thoughts about the irony of gays in straight marriages that therefore propogate gay genes! and how gays are having children anyway; so there.
Sunday, July 6, 2014 we’ll ride on the rain… we’ll worship the wind about song “if you go away”, several versions…
Sunday, July 6, 2014 grayling on ehrenreich grayling on ehrenreich bk Living with a Wild God, about her mystical experience.
Sunday, July 6, 2014 prothero on the unpersuadables review of bk by Will Storr, with quotes
Thursday, July 3, 2014 rereading wolfe’s fifth head of cerberus summary, quotes, conclusions
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 two books to look forward to wilson meaning of human existence; pinker sense of style
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 nature’s god LAT review of bk by Matthew Stewart on nature’s god and how america wsa not founded as a christian nation
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 lies and false witness salon on david barton; christian persecution and another christian movie; alternet on religious freedom meaning forcing faith on others
Friday, June 27, 2014 primitive values, mature ethics, failure of religious texts a-unicornist: nothing in the bible that couldn’t have been written by ordinary people; examples of what might have been
Friday, June 27, 2014 another ten commandments – actually, two valerie tarico on how the bible as two sets; golden rule; her set, in biblical language
Monday, June 23, 2014 ann druyan on cosmos partially repeating earlier post! Oops!
Monday, June 23, 2014 sf and the perception of a greater truth quote from edgar pangborn; discovering the world is not what your church said it was
Friday, June 20, 2014 links, quotes, comments amanda marcotte on the right’s abandonment of science and rationality; NOM’s failed rally in DC; David Horsey cartoon on Obama; two io9 posts on pseduo-science (toxins) and misused scientific ideas
Thursday, June 19, 2014 mahler 6
Thursday, June 19, 2014 ann druyan on cosmos o’hehir interviews her; science and spirituality, how science is more spiritually satisfying; her rereading of the garden of eden
Monday, June 16, 2014 links and quotes.. charles blow on religious poll; krugman on climate change denial; slate on politics and DNA; Coyne on a Grayling essays; Alternate on the right’s embrace of ignorance; Lev Grossman on being a father; Salon on bk by Steve Jones; Christian love; Benford on values and morality; Wired on heaven movies
Monday, June 16, 2014 notes on adam lee summary and comments.
Saturday, June 14, 2014 notes on peter boghossian summary and comments; also link to brin on political bestiary
Friday, June 13, 2014 notes on greta christina long quote about why she’s angry; list of questions she anticipates; list of top ten reasons I don’t believe in god
Thursday, June 12, 2014 notes on grayling’s case against religion and for humanism summary w/notes, quote first para again; more great quotes
Monday, June 9, 2014 unafraid of the dark; highlights from last ep of cosmos nice quote re exceptionalism; pale blue dot video; summary of principles
Monday, June 9, 2014 salon on cosmos, Neil deGrasse Tyson, science, denialism 5 important lessons; piketty and chris mooney; conservative resistance to any kind of scientific conclusions; conservative attemps to discredit science; mention of gleiser book
Monday, June 9, 2014 mathematics and economics more on ellenberg; quotes
Saturday, June 7, 2014 Clarke, childhood’s end, part 3 quotes and passages; summary about what the best sf does…
Friday, June 6, 2014 Clarke, childhood’s end, part 2 themes
Friday, June 6, 2014 mathematics and reality interview, excerpts, ellenberg’s new book how not to be wrong
Friday, June 6, 2014 no one can be an expert on everything andrew sullivan on how we know anything; how certain fundamentalist beliefs are actively dangerous
Saturday, May 31, 2014 Clarke, childhood’s end, part 1 history and summary
Saturday, May 31, 2014 sean carroll: the meaning the life video and long quote
Friday, May 30, 2014 believers, the bible, the internet, humanity’s future a-unicornist on why theists won’t admit their wrong when evidence is presented to dispute their beliefs; instead they change the subject
Friday, May 30, 2014 kalam, infinities, and intellectual honesty adam lee on arguments for existence of god; how wm lane craig uses ideas of infinities refute them; math; and doesn’t craig understand the points his critics make? Hypocrisy
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 assorted links and quotes mcelwee on cosmos and how religious right denies enlightenment values; bar ehrman on atheists in the bible belt (you can’t persuade fundamentalists); pz myers on how any document can prove anything; mark joseph stern on fox news (low-rent in literally every way); NYT on neuroscience (calculations of brain cells and connections)
Sunday, May 25, 2014 cosmos and the future of humanity cosmos ep 11; climate change and how our economic systems are all short term
Sunday, May 25, 2014 noah and science brin explores idea of noah vs genetic diversity on earth
Sunday, May 25, 2014 it’s in the DNA NYT on Bryan college issue, quote implying they believe in DNA too, Coyne pointing out irony
Friday, May 23, 2014 a handy list of bible verses that christians tend to ignore six items
Friday, May 23, 2014 the perception of patterns in nature george johnson in NYT; evidence of designer? Wm paley
Friday, May 23, 2014 what would make someone change their mind more about how people don’t change their minds; maybe possible by changing people’s attitudes about themselves
Friday, May 23, 2014 my sect is right and yours is wrong – obviously reaction to comment about church showed kids examples of weird beliefs of *other* religions…
Friday, May 23, 2014 thoughts about family pics changed mind about value of taking photos of family, rather than landscapes
Monday, May 19, 2014 philip kitcher: soft atheism? how he rejects religious doctrines but finds religious traditions valuable; comment–but most people cling to literal religious doctrines
Monday, May 19, 2014 mining family history slides
Saturday, May 17, 2014 climate change, denialism, and history’s judgment: with a prediction and prediction, based on mental biases: nothing will happen until it’s too late
Saturday, May 17, 2014 song: natalie merchant one of two links disabled
Saturday, May 17, 2014 personal history, part 3 photos of felixstowe;
Friday, May 16, 2014 personal history, part 2 moving to apple valley;
Friday, May 16, 2014 thoughts about the legal profession jury duty; party lines; christian prayers; string of federal judge decision re same-sex marriage
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 personal history, part 1 birth, england
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 ACE and false witness someone’s essay quoting ACE’s philosophy of education, items so lame you have to wonder if they are dumb, or lying
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 varieties of homophobic experience someone’s study of types of homophobia in the caribbean; quotes about Type G and Type R
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 rainbows and the afterlife my metaphor about life and rainbow; no afterlives. ; and how the bible is a mere collection of letters — rough estimate of number of molecules in brain vs words in bible
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 trek vs wars long Gerrold quote about the differences, which I endorse
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 passage from clarke, 1 lion of comarre, anticipating the ipod
Sunday, May 11, 2014 what the bible says about homosexuality matthew vines link
Monday, May 5, 2014 song: blessed are and how ‘blessed’ is heavily used in certain social contexts (as a way of bragging about being special?)
Sunday, May 4, 2014 hike to parker mesa overlook (my link to photo has been suppressed)
Sunday, May 4, 2014 song: john grant, where dreams go to die plus ted talk by someone about subjunctivity
Sunday, May 4, 2014 goonan quotes about teaching sf; about brain/mind/consciousness; how we are our whole bodies, not just our brain
Friday, April 4, 2014 another revised ten commandments a sarcastic example in a facebook photo — yet the ideas do reflect underlying motivations, esp #8; click the link to see photo
Saturday, May 3, 2014 amateur astronomy and cultural mythology more on dipper full of stars; on dawkins’ the magic of reality
Thursday, May 1, 2014 cosmos and my amateur astronomy cosmos and constellations; reading a dipper full of stars, etc.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 the range of human perception chris mooney on another study showing conservatives’ world is scary and threatening; link to asapscience graphic on limitations of human perception
Monday, April 28, 2014 american christianity and conservatism andrew sullivan on sarah palin’s approval of torture (thus anti-christian); krugman on why conservatives really behind cliven bundy; adam lee on 10 things he’s learned from atlas shrugged
Sunday, April 27, 2014 Dignity of our Lives: “I burst into tears” rob watson on what a couple tv commercials with gay families meant to him
Thursday, April 24, 2014 cosmos so far better at describing evidence, political pushback, upsetting creationists
Thursday, April 24, 2014 song: mercy street
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 christian boycotts joe my god: when christians do it vs when gay folks do it
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 kalam cosmological argument simple rebuttals linked; the premise is assumed; how appealing to god begs the question; appealing to 2nd law of thermo.; if anyone had really proven these issues, we wouldn’t still be debating them
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 the reality of sexuality andrew sullivan on further animals studies that challenge ‘natural law’ idea of simple heterosexuality
Sunday, April 20, 2014 bunnies, eggs, spring two links about the inconsistencies between the gospels
Sunday, April 20, 2014 There is only one where this one was more on Civil Wars opera
Thursday, April 17, 2014 And only another unknown horseman; there are some things I just will not eat about LA Phil performance of Civil Wars
Sunday, April 13, 2014 interesting links tv show on your inner fish; science v religion and wm jennings bryan; how science is not about authority; no bible msg about same sex marriage
Saturday, April 12, 2014 mind/brain and mathematical intelligence concerning a book about a brain injury made a guy a mathematical marvel; implications; mind and brain are one; perhaps truly advanced intelligence would find higher math obvious
Friday, April 11, 2014 song: mr little jeans, good mistake link now invalid
Friday, April 11, 2014 diversity in sf, two examples walter on an essay by macfarlane attacked by correia, who says sf authors must pander to conservative bigotry to be commercial; ballard review of clarke
Thursday, April 10, 2014 song: dj koze, homewick the “hee hee” song
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 the need to feel special re a documentary supporting geocentrism; the need to feel special, ideas that appeal to human vanity
Monday, April 7, 2014 Bring her back to me Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids”; link to video no longer works
Monday, April 7, 2014 The water’s clear and innocent song: Radiohead’s Codex, and about Convict Lake
Saturday, April 5, 2014 song: lykke li, no rest for the wicked
Thursday, April 3, 2014 creation myths about the many other creation myths cosmos is also not covering
Thursday, April 3, 2014 creationists and flat-earthers someone pointing out biblical lines implying flat earth
Thursday, April 3, 2014 a telescope is a time machine cosmos on speed of light and looking back in time; how people watch populat SF with no idea of anything means; examples, including LIS, Trek, SW, various issues
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 gopnik on legitimate forms of knowledge and increasing prosperity calmly stating the things that we know; observing how as incomes go up, steeples come down
Wednesday, April 2, 2014 deGrasse Tyson on new ideas vs old, and battles against ignorance tyson on how older ideas are almost never better than newer ones; how sagan thought certain battles had been one, that now are not
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 noah and the advance of civilization about the film noah; lewis dartnell on the interdependence of civilization [cf his book]
Saturday, March 29, 2014 the greatest generation in contrast to things ‘better in the old days’, a column about how maybe this generation may be the best.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 georges delerue listening to CDs; video link to the day of the dolphin
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 eternal verities, not slate piece about how evangelical attitudes about abortion have changed since the 60s (so much for eternal truths)
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 cosmos and creationism someone pointing out that nd tyson actually does pay a lot of attention to creationist ideas, e.g. the eyeball
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 religion and science, natural or not connor wood on the robert mccauley bk Why Religion is Natural and Science is Not
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 sam harris’ upcoming waking up about what might replace organized religion
Sunday, March 23, 2014 lucius shepard, RIP; readerly notice how many sf writers get taken for granted
Friday, March 21, 2014 the cozy cosmos vs growing up adam lee on cosmos; my comments about why shouldn’t the universe be flat and domed, and then the analogy about a child discovering the world
Thursday, March 20, 2014 sophisticated theology, proofs of god, humanism, religious persecution, morality coyne on new bk by david bentley hart; his own list of bks to read about atheism (before you criticize it); humorous list of 7 things that prove god read; stephen fry videos; what religious persecution really is; coyne on a survey about religion and morality
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 same-sex marriage, context, and the pursuit of happiness about online debates among several; my own history about the idea of marriage; how sf by le guin and delany explored unconventional relationships; an essay called ‘the arc of history’ and how moral positions evolve as ‘new information and possibilities become available; and that anonymous commentator to dan savage
Monday, March 17, 2014 st joshi work habits; the only common-sense position 9-5 schedule; and how because academics take atheism to be a given, it’s up to amateurs to make the public case
Monday, March 17, 2014 changing my mind I used to think you could change people’s minds based on evidence; salon review of book called ‘the unpersuadables’
Monday, March 17, 2014 evolutionary politics an analysis of how conservatives and liberals reflect different strategies for transmitting dna…
Monday, March 17, 2014 big bang evidence phil plait commenting on why anyone should care
Monday, March 17, 2014 god and morality US is outlier in beliving morality derives from God; as are southern states; whereas prosperity has inverse realtionship
Monday, March 17, 2014 truth-claims? sam harris’ characterization of Christianity
Friday, March 14, 2014 political parties, religion, individualism great quotes from connor wood about how religion succeeds through minimizing cognitive overload, how individualism doesn’t exist outside wealthy democracies…
Thursday, March 13, 2014 a fellow heir of carl sagan how someone lost their faith for lack of evidence, and science, in contrast to his fundamentalist childhood home
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 steven pinker: work habits working seven days a week sometimes until 3am, until the book is done; also link to MIT video of Pinker
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 fox, certainty, arrogance, evidence, and cosmos follow up to guy who’s father lost to fox news; how certainty is dangerous; the idea that science is arrogant for drawing conclusions that challenge faith. Quote from sam harris
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 hidebound, unreflecting, blind andrew sullivan on christians who feel persecuted for not approving of same-sex marriage — because they focus on a few lines in a book that talks about so much else.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Religion vs Cosmos andrew leonard on criticism of cosmos
Monday, March 10, 2014 cosmos is great so far, but it’s missing something needs more bg about *why* scientists believe all these things
Sunday, March 9, 2014 billy budd seeing the opera in LA, with YouTube link to an earlier performance
Sunday, March 9, 2014 agnotology, science denialism, and joan slonczewski tobacco industry => antivaxxers; quote from joan s about how deniers are being manipulated
Saturday, March 8, 2014 from bible stories to science fiction Morford on the christian movie son of god; philip pullman as example of sf/f on religious themes/ cf sfe
Saturday, March 8, 2014 being wrong over and over again quote from o’hehir about film about higgs boson
Friday, March 7, 2014 song: turn away link no longer works
Friday, March 7, 2014 more links just a comment that I’ve added links to the sidebar
Thursday, March 6, 2014 hollywood, god, stories, and cosmos coyne, krauss on why hollywood doesn’t make movies about atheists; need for narrative; being ‘atheist’ is sorta negative, try to emphasize the positive, as sagan did
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 new links consolidating links
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 regenerus, same-sex marriage, and false witness how do their reconcile their actions with their commandment? Are they dimwits, or hypocrites?
Tuesday, March 4, 2014 coyne on bryan’s myth, vs reality Coyne on how Bryan College is forcing faculty to swear to historical existence of adam and eve
Monday, March 3, 2014 cosmos and beyond looking forward to the new series; Smithsonian on carl sagan’s universe, my own; link to book about atheists and how reality is more awesome than religion
Monday, March 3, 2014 anti-vaxxers and irrationality you can’t change their minds
Monday, March 3, 2014 education vs indoctrination Bray college making faculty sign pledges to teach 6-day creation
Sunday, March 2, 2014 frozen and its supposed gay agenda and wondering why some critics are so obsessed about the gays
Friday, February 28, 2014 panic and alarm, part two dwindling christian right lashes out at civil rights
Thursday, February 27, 2014 panic and alarm (and why this is about SF) Salon essay about someone whose father “disappeared into the paranoid, outraged worldview of Fox News”, with my essay on how science fiction evolved and what it means (later put on the ‘about science fiction’ page)
Thursday, February 27, 2014 why the world is this way rather than that way Sean Carroll on why the world is not the way you’d expect if theism were true [parallels theme in richard carrier book]
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Uganda, scott lively, arizona, mark regnerus, gay denialism how christianity seems to align with anti-homosexuality; Scott Lively’s vicious african campaign; the discredited Regnerus; Stern on a bizarre denial of gay existence; with a big FOOTNOTE with my thoughts about why people object to homosexuality
Tuesday, February 25, 2014 Josh Barro links by Barro about how there are two americas and one is better; about pat robertson
Sunday, February 23, 2014 A Better World daniel dennett would educate children — but can never work because parents
Friday, February 21, 2014 Debates about science, creationism, accommodationism mcelwee and saletan debate about whether a creationist can be a scientist
Friday, February 21, 2014 wishful thinking vs what we know about how the world works sean carroll on the soul; link to his laws of physics entirely understood
Monday, February 17, 2014 the passing of blind obedience to decaying creeds Adam Lee and a rival blogger who deleted his comments rather than replying
Thursday, February 13, 2014 prothero and vick on that debate again, how the question asked by creationists weren’t serious; they betray a lack of desire to understand the real world
Thursday, February 13, 2014 how god works how god always agrees with you; slave holders thought so
Thursday, February 13, 2014 sam family values saletan on how michael sam’s family will be better than his father’s
Thursday, February 13, 2014 conservative values motivated by fear, of the unknown, of the other, of rational engagement with the real world
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 natural selection; family values Darwin Day and the problem with calling evolution ‘darwinism’
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 science and fundamentalist Connor Wood on how both sides should adjust their stances
Monday, February 10, 2014 for creationists, intellectual inquiry is a sin Stern on a TV doc about darwin; the fear that if there is no god, there are no rules; creationists reject the enlightenment, human ability to reason
Monday, February 10, 2014 creationists and curiosity if creationists really cared about these issues, they could find the evidence easily enough; but curiosity has been associated with excessive pride
Saturday, February 8, 2014 song: down in thehole
Saturday, February 8, 2014 song: ghost of tom joad link no longer works
Saturday, February 8, 2014 mooney on our not-to-scientific minds link to article by mooney at mother jones, including 7 reasons why it’s easier for humans to believe in god than evolution
Friday, February 7, 2014 more questions and answers coyne wonders if creationists truly think science is a big conspiracy; another blogger with exasperated replies to dumb creationist questions
Thursday, February 6, 2014 answers for creationists phil plait doing a buzzfeed thing
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 the narcissism of today’s homophobia re: the song “same thing” and grammy awards; christians can’t wrap their minds around the idea that some people are different; how dare they be happy
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 five reasons why secular humanism is winning evidence and reason leads to naturalism
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 comments about ham/nye debate some people think, others believe; examples of the closed system of creation; how debates don’t change people’s minds; quotes from Castro, Coyne, Stern, Stoker, McElwee, Plait
Sunday, February 2, 2014 bruckner 8
Sunday, February 2, 2014 Nebraska film review
Saturday, January 25, 2014 link dump: sites and resources evil bible, one true god, logical fallacies, etc
Saturday, January 25, 2014 further on up the road springsteen song
Friday, January 24, 2014 fundamentalist curricula about ACE; how a high school student discovered it was lying about evolution
Friday, January 24, 2014 are some folks beyond rational thinking? how some people are beyond rational thinking; how yet it doesn’t matter what people believe
Monday, January 20, 2014 A-Unicornist references to books about atheism; books nd tyson recommends
Monday, January 20, 2014 deciding what is true The Atlantic on Rush Limbaugh; Coyne on how americans would cling to religion even if belief proven untrue; humans not rational
Monday, January 20, 2014 review of Dallas Buyers Club repost from Fb
Thursday, January 16, 2014 I Visit You in Another Dream song: Springsteen, paradise
Thursday, January 16, 2014 Vast universe quote from Max Tegmark, who has a new book
Thursday, January 16, 2014 homosexuality and morality people who think homosexuality is immoral really mean they think it’s icky; reference to Corvino
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 age of ignorance list of nonsense some people believe in; santorum and home schooling
Monday, January 13, 2014 Debate Consternation whether Bill Nye should do that debate
Thursday, January 9, 2014 atheism as luxury? Connor Wood: because ritual and conformance are easy
Thursday, January 9, 2014 Why Religion is oppressive religious morals are based on values of primitive societies; not applicable to modern society
Thursday, January 9, 2014 Why Drugs are expensive sullivan on how “drugs are expensive because the science of drug discovery is hard”; capitalism and what is the alternative?
Thursday, January 9, 2014 Two posts about Christians and gays two gay brothers who grew up in a christian bubble; response from the mother of lance bass
Monday, January 6, 2014 Her review of film
Saturday, January 4, 2014 end of 2013 links and comments signs fundamentalism is going down; science is word of the year; graphic about the known world; remembrance of Ian Barbour with quote about beliefs in evolution, “evidence is overwhelming”
Saturday, January 4, 2014 your brain on religion excerpts at Salon of a book by DF Swaab; question isn’t whether god exists but why people are religious, with 10,000 religions all convinced theirs is the one true faith
Friday, December 27, 2013 two interesting articles adam lee on conservative resistance (how they fear obama); science on religion on anthropomorphism (we are our brains; religion is about the tendency for our brains to see persons in the world around us)
Monday, December 23, 2013 sin against mankind quote from Grayling by W.K. Clifford: how belief from childhood, upon insufficient evidence, is a sin
Monday, December 23, 2013 links and quotes about that duck guy Barro on how there are two americas, and one is better than the other; sullivan on robertson’s ranking of sins; slate on imposing religious worldview on others; how robertson just hates gays; my opinion that the bible is *irrelevant*
Monday, December 23, 2013 yesterday’s favorite song song: Moby, Almost home
Friday, December 20, 2013 new ten commandments adam lee’s ten commandments, sensible and admirable
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Hitchens and the speculative end of religion coyne, tayler criticizing mcelwee, on hitchens’ take on the eradication of religion; my take on AC Clarke’s optimism about how religious superstition would fade
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Awe awesome scenery attributed to god: magical thinking; perceiving patterns in the world; and about why certain observations, and not disgusting ones, induce perception of god
Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Aggressive atheist steps down Martin S. Pribble decides to focus on the positive rather than the negative; comments about how it doesn’t matter what you ‘believe’ in
Sunday, December 8, 2013 Getting along without knowing Patricia Churchland interview about the distress of realizing we are functions of our brains
Saturday, December 7, 2013 song: Wake Me Up it’s credited to Avicii, but he’s the producer, like Moby is the producer of his albums; the singer is Aloe Blacc
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 Families brief link to NYT science section on families, with profiles about, among others, a gay couples in their 50s and 60s who’ve adopted 6 kids -!
Monday, November 25, 2013 Ineffability, God thereof The Dish on the ineffability of god; reader responses
Monday, November 25, 2013 A Celebration of Human Ingenuity The Dish quotes Ian McEwan on art and science
Sunday, November 24, 2013 The Trolley Problem nytbr review of 2 books on trolley problem
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 David McRaney 2, Gravity, Haiyan, GRR Martin second comments on McRaney’s second books, about narrative bias, normalcy bias, and especially the self-enhancement bias; and GRRM story “The Way of Cross and Dragon”
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Why science is not about faith coyne on why science is not about faith
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 why people believe in conspiracies slate article about conspiracy theories and cognitive biases
Monday, November 11, 2013 Another Fermi Paradox idea Sean Carroll on fermi paradox
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 To put matters at their simplest opening of AC Grayling’s God Argument
Monday, October 21, 2013 Man in the Sky quote from The dish, about embracing the void
Monday, October 21, 2013 12 Years a Slave movie review
Friday, October 18, 2013 connor wood on atheists how atheists have lower social attachments; they are largely single white males; are analytical and logical; how atheists and believers are both adaptive
Friday, October 18, 2013 rights are social contracts links to articles about why the right is obsessed with a revisionist history.. David barton; reality checks
Monday, October 14, 2013 Review of David McRaney’s You Are Now Less Dumb, part 1 examples, and how he deliberately avoids discussion of religion or faith; two key essays here, first and last chapters, are about narrative and self-enhancement
Monday, October 14, 2013 Review of David McRaney’s You Are Not So Smart cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies; many familiar: confirmation bias, argument from authority, the straw man fallacy, the ad hominem fallacy.
Monday, October 14, 2013 TNT for 2 Neil Finn/ Pajama Club song; link no longer works
Sunday, October 6, 2013 Links and comments Andrew Sullivan on tea party voters; texas evangelicals want to teach garden of eden in science classes; 2014 forecasts; fake Christian quotes; adam lee on shutdown blues; john scalzi on how ACA matters to writers; slate describes shutdown as if happening in another country; epic propaganda; how california is american exceptionalism
Sunday, October 6, 2013 Gravity FB post review of the film
Monday, September 30, 2013 Gone with inherit the wind item about protest that a religious college would stage the play
Saturday, September 28, 2013 is the younger generation turning away from organized religion? how the internet affects shifts; how evangelicals are doubling down
Saturday, September 28, 2013 Thoughts of a Thursday afternoon: after the apocalypse foundational essay about what would happen after an apocalypse: humanity would rebuild, with similar but not identical religions, languages, etc, but the same science, eventually
Saturday, September 28, 2013 motivated reasoning and religion how motivated reasoning works; no one believes all the tenants of their faith; how to build your own religion
Monday, September 23, 2013 Odds and ends Shermer on his own struggle; Hutson on magical thinking; sullivan on sunk cost; io9 on magical puzzles
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Review of Cory Doctorow’s Homeland with quotes about politics and how the system work
Monday, September 16, 2013 Law v. science Jesse Bering on age of consent laws, how they illustrate law v science
Monday, September 16, 2013 matthew shepard and confirmation bias is the matthew shepard story an example of conf bias? Like the narrative of the iraq war?
Sunday, September 15, 2013 Sunday links and comments Chris Mooney on republican brain; Gunn interview on how sf can save the world; Salon on rantings of pat robertson; Slate on improving life expectancy; Atlantic on survival value of fiction
Sunday, September 15, 2013 Resource: the dummy’s guide to the one true god link to someone’s chart showing how varying are different beliefs about god
Thursday, September 12, 2013 The one book I’d have every college student read Howard Kahane’s Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric
Sunday, September 8, 2013 Sunday links and commentary pz myers on atheist v. sf cons; Essay by a fundamentalist on how he lost his religion; Coyne on how science is not a belief system; Slate on life expectancy; Salon on how politics and math are incompatible; Pareene on republicans and twitter
Saturday, September 7, 2013 David Barton, just this once crazy things the discredited historian says
Friday, September 6, 2013 song: Alive (Empire of the Sun)
Friday, September 6, 2013 song: Mr Little Jeans
Thursday, September 5, 2013 religion and community Connor Wood on how religion is tribalism, and increases happiness within groups even as it promotes violence against other groups; other believers vs atheists
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Progressives and regressives robert reich on why progressives live in coastal cities and ports, conservatives in rural areas; my cmt about why more university profs are liberal
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 Conservatives and liberals, and why we need both Connor Wood about how conservatives are at the core of culture, liberals at the edges; the former are happier
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 Frederik Pohl on his death, my recollection of his sea change in the mid-70s
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 does anyone ever change their minds about anything? how even your best arguments never work; self-enhancement and self-affirmation; confirmation bias
Sunday, September 1, 2013 Endeavour visit to museum to see the space shuttle, with photos
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 Respectful Insolence on the anti-vaxxers; the healthcare crisis how anti-vaxxers think–are scientists engaged in some vast conspiracy? And why complaints about big pharma seem misplaced
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 Coyne reponds to Frank; Religion becoming obsolete?; Dawkins’ response Coyne responds to Adam Frank about science illiteracy, how the problem is religion; HuffPo on religion becoming obsolete; Dawkins on how few Muslims have won nobel prizes
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 An Irish Poem a Yeats poem about human vanity and how other animals would presume god is in their image; and how some internet commentor thinks it’s about pantheism
Saturday, August 24, 2013 more ireland pics Dublin, Trinity College; drive to cliffs of moher
Saturday, August 24, 2013 Dublin notes and pics about our Dublin trip back in April; pics of cliffs of moher
Friday, August 23, 2013 stuff christian culture likes interesting items from a website of that name: bible verses, africa, kirk cameron, homeschooling, etc etc
Thursday, August 22, 2013 Adam Frank, PZ Myers, Hendrik Hertzberg NYT op ed on science denial; PZ Myers on how Muslim fundamentalists are just as assertive as christians are about the bible; item by HH in Nykr about contradictory ideas of god; mention of how I might write a bk
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 How to be a successful prophet: applying the jack smith rule named after a long-time LA Times columnist; just predict the opposite of whatever a psychic or fundamentalist doomsayer predicts, and you’ll always be right
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 Donald Prothero on science illiteracy, the Dunning-Kruger effect about his book ‘reality check’ and how the ignorant and unskilled are more sure of themselves than actual experts
Monday, August 19, 2013 Steven Pinkter, Carl Zimmer, Anti-Intellect, History Chart, Weigel on Card Pinker essay on scientism in new republic; Zimmer in NatGeo on evolution denialists; item on belief by ‘Anti-Intellect’; cool history chart linked from Slate; David Weigel on OS Card’s political paranoia
Saturday, August 10, 2013 Review of Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls with hidden spoiler discussion
Friday, August 9, 2013 Stories, Narratives, Facts Salon quote from McRaney’s forthcoming book
Thursday, August 8, 2013 Review of McDevitt & Resnick’s The Cassandra Project with hidden spoiler discussion
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 Notes on Daniel Dennett, 1 with list of a dozen general tools, including e.g ‘intuition pump’, of which I think SF is one
Monday, July 22, 2013 Twitter so far comments about using it so far
Monday, July 22, 2013 Today’s Pet Peeve people who pronounced the T is often
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 song: Moby, a Case for shame
Sunday, July 14, 2013 Cory Doctorow on Father’s Day, and scientific method you can’t trust your memory or your senses…
Friday, July 12, 2013 More Views this blog is sequel to what was the Locus Online editorial blog