Intro

This is the blog and homepage of Mark R. Kelly, the founder of Locus Online in 1997 (for which I won a Hugo Award in 2002 — see the icon at right) and of an index to science fiction awards in 2000 that became sfadb.com in 2012. I’m retired from my day job of 30 years, from 1982 to 2012, as an aerospace software engineer, supporting the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station.

Posts here are mostly about my reading, of science fiction and of books about science, history, philosophy, and religion; and comments to articles in newspapers that I link to. Movie reviews and pics from travels are posted on Facebook.

More on my About page, including a photo of the Hugo Winners the year I was among them, and links to an index of my columns and other writings, and to my earliest homepage with links to some of my work.

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Ls&Cs: Steven Weinberg

The physicist Steven Weinberg died last week. He wasn’t as famous as Stephen Hawking, but he was arguably nearly as significant, succeeding several decades ago in unifying two of the four fundamental forces into one theoretical framework (the weak nuclear force and the electromagnetic), for which he won a Nobel Prize.
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L&C: The Cosmic Ruler

Here’s a nice graphic summary of one of the great advances of science (in particular, astronomy) in the past century.
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Ls&Qs: Denying Reality, Rewriting History

It gets worse and worse.
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2021: My Heart & Kidney Transplants

(Initial draft; I’ll be touching it up over the next few days.)

Last November I wrote a longish post here about the heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery I had in late October, 2020. Here’s a similar (but shorter!) post about my heart and kidney transplants in May, 2021.

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Ls&Cs: Changing Minds; Religions and Cults; Abortion; Wishful Thinking

Catching up on some links from a few weeks ago.

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Ls&Cs: Other Ways of Knowing…What?

There have been debates for decades among scientists on the one hand and those with no interest in, or who are even hostile to, science, on the other. The latter insist that “other ways of knowing” are as valid as the conclusions formed by science, and of course cite intuition and artistic expression and of course religious revelations and insights as these other ways.
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L&C: The New Yorker on Cults and Narratives

As if I had cued it with yesterday’s post about Why People Believe, particularly the final item by David Brooks, as well as the last of my four new provisional conclusions, the new issue of The New Yorker has a long review of a book by Sarah Berman called Don’t Call It a Cult. Continue reading

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Blue Marvel Relaxation

The hospital rooms where I stayed for several weeks in May and June, had TVs, of course, mounted on the walls with remotes operated from the beds. Continue reading

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Links and Comments: Why People Believe

Links from recent weeks, on political themes. The point, as always, isn’t to rag on Republicans or conservatives, it’s to collect case studies on epistemology: how and why people believe what they do. More and more, Republicans and conservatives have jumped the shark, and it’s obvious to everyone but themselves (see Thomas Clay Jr. post next).

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L&C: Bamboozled, hoodwinked, led astray

From a long Facebook post by one Thomas Clay Jr. (a journalist and author of at least one book): here.

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