Beta Culture: Blowing in the Wind … Ordinary People.

dust bowl

I’m thinking all at once about government and royalty, churches and corporations, unions and cultures. And us.Some of what I try to do in attempting to understand the world around me is to take a distant look at what’s going on, rather than a close-up look, searching for broad patterns and underlying motivations. I sometimes even joke that I’m an alien just visiting here to study Earth humans, expecting that eventually my real people will show up and take me back home.I’ll tell you someth … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Story Behind the Stories

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Every culture has stories. I don't mean the entertaining fictions of story books or novels or other popular entertainment. I mean this other kind, something out in plain sight, but also sort of hidden.Stories about how things fit together. Stories about relationships, about the duties children owe to parents, and parents to children. Stories about how man and woman relate, and the ways to create family. Stories about the regard each person owes to neighbors. Stories about how to do everyday … [Read more...]

The Other Side of ‘Poor Robin Williams’

Robin Williams

Some part of this is probably gonna make you uncomfortable, but I'm gonna just toss it out here anyway:Robin Williams died today, of an apparent suicide. It’s strange how much it affects me. Years back when I was on vacation and Stephen Jay Gould died, I called home crying. That guy MATTERED to me. He was one of my people, a smart man and a scientist. The world was a colder, dumber, less interesting place when he died.And now Robin Williams is gone.On Facebook, a lot of people are p … [Read more...]

The Book of Good Living: Standing in Line

Too harsh? Anything you'd add? The General Rule It all comes down to fairness. It’s fair that the guy who got there first deserves to be waited on first. If there are people behind you in line, NOTICE THEM, and remember you’re taking their time too. Do the deed and move along.If you were in traffic and the light turned green, other drivers would expect you to move off immediately, not sit there texting or talking or dithering. And so would you. They’ve got 30 minutes for lunch, they’re late … [Read more...]

Reimagining the Conceptual Foundation of Atheism

The_Thinker

Inevitably, in any discussion with those critical of atheism, you'll hear "You can't prove there's no God, therefore atheism is not logically supportable."Here's the counter: There's this thought experiment we've been conducting for the past three centuries or so, the thought experiment of "What if everything works by completely natural laws and forces, with no capricious supernatural superbeings involved?"It doesn't matter whether or not the supernatural superbeings exist! We just … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Book of Good Living … Again

good stuff

If you're a long-time reader here, you may remember a couple of Beta-Culture-related posts from 2012 about The Book of Good Living. If not, it's like this:You know all that wisdom the Bible supposedly contains? The Talmud? The Koran? What if you could get wisdom about life without all the goddy freight mixed in? Without all the "GOD SAYS DO THIS, DO THAT, OR BURN IN HELL FOREVER!" Might not be a bad thing, huh?The general model for where you get all the good advice is your parents, aunts … [Read more...]


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