Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Big Beautiful Bubbles

Very soothing. And impressive.

Found here.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The courage of our convitions

Glenn Greenwald gets it right:
The reality is -- and this has long been clear -- that Americans have little respect for, and even less interest in, people who stand for nothing and seem afraid of their own belief system. Clarity of principle and courage of conviction are almost always more politically appealing than muddled incoherence, calibrated careerism, or muted cowardice. The GOP's recognition of this fact was the primary cause of George Bush's otherwise inexplicable political success (the key line from his 2004 RNC Convention acceptance speech: "Even when we don't agree, at least you know what I believe and where I stand"). And many of the Democrats' failures have been due not to excessively strong advocacy of liberal views, but to the opposite: confusion about what they believe, if anything.

Now, how does this apply to the Framing/Accommodation wars? Well, the Gnu Atheists insist on forcefully and clearly arguing for their position. You know what they stand for and why.

The Fraccommodationists, on the other hand, think pro-science types should keep their atheism to themselves. We shouldn't challenge other people's ideas. We should avoid doing anything that might upset them.

Judge rules Californians are irrational

OK, the title's a bit too strong, but Judge Walker did rule that there's no rational state interest served by outlawing same-sex marriages.

For the majority of California voters (who voted for Prop. 8), this seems to leave four possibilities:
  1. They were misinformed about the consequences of gay marriage.
  2. They were trying to impose their personal religious/moral convictions on others (in the absence of a legitimate secular justification).
  3. They were irrational.
  4. They were bigots.
(Of course, for any individual, more than one answer may apply.)

Excerpts from the ruling after the fold:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Robert Lanza

I don't know Robert Lanza, and I've only seen a very small bit of Robert Lanza's writing. What I have read reminded somewhat of Barbara Streisand

Perhaps someday I'll find out more about Robert Lanza and delete this post. Perhaps not.

An Anti-Catholic?

As someone who was raised Catholic, I was a bit surprised by my results for this Spiritual Belief System Selector Quiz:  The top results are pretty good, but Catholicism is at the very bottom of the list?  Below Islam, Scientology, and Christian Scientists??

I suppose part of the problem is that they don't have many questions on acceptance of science (e.g., evolution), tolerance for dogma produced by science fiction writers, and severity of restrictions on women, punishment for "blasphemy," how seriously we should take religious texts, and so on.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Explaining Mooney

By way of the Mad Biologist, I find new insight into the nature of Chris Mooney. Chris is a member of the Church of the Savvy.

Here's Jay Rosen on savvy worship:
[F]or this belief system to operate effectively, it has to continually position the journalist and his or her observations not as right where others are wrong, or virtuous where others are corrupt, or visionary where others are short-sghted, but as practical, hardheaded, unsentimental, and shrewd where others are didactic, ideological, and dreamy. (link)

Chris is a journalist who isn't interested in having persuasive arguments. Instead he wants us to be impressed with his detached, pragmatic insight into how the world really works.

That is, he wants us to know that he's savvy, and he wants us to join his Church.