Dawkins and Dennett in Boston

I got to see noted scientist, atheist and author Richard Dawkins and philosopher/author Daniel Dennett in Boston this past Thursday, June 11. I first saw Dawkins at the Reason Rally in Washington DC, so this was my second eyes-on viewing of him, but it was my first time seeing Dennett in person. I traveled down with three members of the Capital Region Atheists & Agnostics -- Lizz Lloyd, Jim Piren and Ken Spencer. (A big thank-you to them for the company and the wheels.)The format of the … [Read more...]

Post-Teen Guilty, Middle-Aged Goddy

I have friends in Texas who did some pretty questionable stuff in their wild teen years -- we're talking lying, stealing, animal cruelty, just plain meanness to each other, and yes, a certain amount of socially-unapproved sex -- who have become extremely religious as they've gotten older. I often suspect there's a direct mechanism that makes this happen. Here's how I imagine it working:Inevitably when you're younger and you have a childish sense of right and wrong, a childish sense of other … [Read more...]

A Little Ditty About Recent Events

I became an atheist, and joined in with others, because I wanted to belong to a Community of Reason. This current (and lengthy past!) shit I see going on with the flaming, mob targeting, jargon-slinging, code-wording, character assassination, labeling and pigeonholing -- I hate being even on the edges of it, because the people doing it are as stupid and evil in their own way as the righty-religious community I escaped from. Waaaaay too many of the people I once thought were members of my … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: Being Grownups on Planet Earth

For most of the years I knew him, I unconsciously thought of my Cowboy Dad as “the grownup” in my life. Since he died, I’ve realized there were several side-effects of thinking that. One is that I cheated him out of all the years of ME being a grownup, so that we could be ... well, friendly equals, fellow MEN together. The other is that I cheated myself out of all those years of me being a grownup. All the endeavors and relationships in my life were approached in some degree of a child … [Read more...]

Zoning Out on Liberal vs. Conservative Issues

I woke up this morning with this diagram in my head.I tinkered it up in Illustrator later. Probably could have chosen brighter colors or a better layout, but I got tired of messing with it. You may have to click-and-embiggen it to see all the details.Especially note that the center vertical bar is labeled to indicate a gradation from Greater Factual Information (More Informed) at the top to Lesser Factual Information (More Ignorant) at the bottom, whereas the center section is labeled … [Read more...]

Thoughts on “Privilege”

I've been hearing a lot about "privilege" lately, and I confess I continue to be disturbed by the subject, and how it is most often applied.I recognize that I have ADVANTAGES over some other people. For instance, I have the advantage that I'm healthy enough to donate blood, strong enough to carry a neighbor's groceries, perseverant enough to hold a job, bright enough to learn fresh skills or read a book in a day, creative enough to come up with novel ideas and think about things in new … [Read more...]


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