Monthly Archives: July 2010

G.O.D. Is Great

I am reading Andy Ross’s new book with pleasure & instruction.  It’s better put together than Mindworlds & has less the feel of a core dump.  (That expression dates me as an old mainframe-head … but then, so’s Andy.)  The … Continue reading

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Beliefs as descriptions, and beliefs as identities

Stephen Prothero has a piece up, Hinduism’s caste problem, out in the open. Prothero points out that religionists often use logical constructs to play word games which reinforce their in-group. Caste is not a problem with Hinduism per se, but … Continue reading

Posted in culture | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The conservative tendency

A blog which some readers may find of interest, Conservative tendency. The most recent post is a bit of a pedantic muddle: I had a friend who was raised in China in the 1970s (the daughter of a general, in … Continue reading

Posted in culture, politics | 10 Comments

Atheists may lack essence

Just listened o Paul Bloom, author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, on a podcast (mp3). He notes that the chain of possession of items impacts how much pleasure we gain out … Continue reading

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Glenn Beck’s faith

I thought I had mistakenly tuned in to one of Southern California’s Christian radio stations last week when I heard a talk show host first issue the usual right-wing boilerplate about Obama allying with the U.S.’s enemies, and then follow-up … Continue reading

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Riot power, contd.

As word spread throughout Oakland around 2:30 p.m. that a verdict had been reached in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial, the downtown streets suddenly flooded with workers rushing out of their workplaces to go home. The normally placid lanes were … Continue reading

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I Can’t Help Thinking . . .

Just catching up here… To the best of my knowledge — which isn’t saying much: I’m not well-read in philosophy — I am in a minority of one on the subject of free will. The discussion is always: do we … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy | 19 Comments

Riot power

I was in San Francisco last week researching an article; the most striking feature of my trip was the extent to which the San Francisco Police Department is consumed, to the point of an almost paralyzing obsession, with the possible … Continue reading

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Horoscopes. Why?

Via Andrew Sullivan, here’s an interesting piece on why people fall for horoscopes. The need to find patterns (and thus ‘meaning’) is nothing new, but I was intrigued by this: The tendency to believe vague statements designed to appeal to … Continue reading

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Obituary of the Year

One of my life’s minor pleasures is a daily trip to the obituary pages. And there’s usually no better place to turn to for this than the Daily Telegraph. This ripping yarn proves just why. It tells the tale of … Continue reading

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