Beta Culture: A Place to Stand, and People to Stand With

Picture these two groups of people and see if you can guess the rule that groups each together into common classes.A: Amish. Hutterites. Hasidic Jews. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Atheists.B: Catholics. Scientologists. Southern Baptists. Mormons. Ku Klux Klan.It’s this: Members of the first group are generally inward-directed. They focus their interests within their own group, and mostly don’t expect others to give way to their beliefs or practices. Of others, they expect only to be allowed t … [Read more...]

Top 10 Important Points About Pushing Islamic Buttons

I'm including the horrifically bad movie trailer for "Innocence of Muslims" at the bottom of this post.There are deeper issues in the Middle East, and even deeper issues in this latest flap over the "anti-Muslim" video. But some obvious things spring to mind:1) Freedom of speech is damned important. No, you don't get to shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but if you shout "Fire!" on the Internet, and people have to actually make an effort to find and watch the video of you shouting, that's … [Read more...]

Blue Collar Atheist: Non Sequitur

This is a little nothing, just a bit of me that bubbled up in my head this morning. Maybe it’s a birthday wish for myself.There’s this bird.Well, I should tell you about where and when I saw it, first, so you’ll know why it matters to me.I lived, as some of you know, in the mountains in central California, the High Sierra. I was on the east slope, not far from where California and Nevada butt together, and about midway up the range, not far south of Yosemite National Park. … [Read more...]

60th Birthday Whale Watching Tour a Success!

I done seen whales!But you don't get to see them unless you click below the fold. The pictures are so awesome, so breathtaking, that I fear you will be awed and breath-taked to the point that you'll pass out and fall onto a smaller, less massive bystander — possibly a child or a dog.Meanwhile, content yourself with this picture of an extremely rare bird known as a "sea gull." (Click to embiggen.) … [Read more...]

I’m Away for a Day or So

I'm turning 60 on Thursday.I've been planning to go on a whale-watching tour near Boston, but a surprising number of obstacles have fallen in my way. I still MIGHT get to do it, but I have to wake up at 5 a.m., rent a car and drive for about 4.5 hours to get there. After the whale tour (several hours, I imagine), I'll most likely be driving for another 4.5 hours to get home and sleep in my own bed.Argh. Pretty arduous 60th birthday. But still ... whales!When I get back, I have a lot more … [Read more...]

And can anyone tell me …

Why has my old post Calvin &  Hobbes Epilog — Extra Bacon!, from July 22, gotten so many hits today?My stats page has it about equally popular with my two recent Beta Culture posts. Where are all these people coming from? How are they finding this more-than-a-month-old post?An epilog to Calvin and Hobbes is definitely worth looking at, but hey ... I'm tryna change dah woild heah! Show some respect. … [Read more...]


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