An Epiphany on Road Rage … Online

road rage

I had to do a silly damned "defensive driving course" at work. It was this SIX HOUR LONG online thingie, where you have to read a short screen of text, and then wait out a timer before you can click to the next short screen of text, and read that.Argh. If you were ever a student and had a writing assignment that included a necessary word or page count, and you used up your facts or thoughts halfway through that assigned length and had to pad things out with extra words, you can imagine what … [Read more...]

Feeling the Pain of the Rich and Famous

PSH

Apparently actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died. He ROCKED "Capote," but hell, I liked him as far back as "Boogie Nights."There seems to be some doubt about his death:Yep, dead: Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead with needle in armNope, alive: Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Hoax... but his Wikipedia page lists him as deceased, so I'm going with that.Considering it a "teachable moment," I said something unflattering about Whitney Houston back when she died of an overdose: "Whitney, … [Read more...]

Beta Culture: The Footprint of the Past

War Dead

One of my many interests is the residual social / societal effects of historical events and social movements.For instance, the fact that we still say “God bless you” when people sneeze, 14 centuries after the supposed origin of the practice ... One explanation holds that the custom originally began as an actual blessing. Gregory I became Pope in AD 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of cha … [Read more...]

Population Pessimism and Diminished Personal Freedom

No Limits 1

Face it, if your Superbowl party includes a sofa that comfortably seats four people, and you have game snacks for four people, but two more people show up ... Everybody has less room. Less popcorn. Less beer.Those two extra people COST something to the others.Further, if you lived on an island with sharply limited resources, in a situation where growing population had finally bumped up against those limits, you’d be forced by the situation to demand less for yourself, to work more c … [Read more...]

Things I’d Like to Take Home on the Eve of Christmas

Claus

The impulse, I suspect, is in all of us.Put a 5-year-old on a beach with his mother, and he will spend some large part of his time picking up shells, one by one, over and over, running them back to her, proclaiming in awe and delight, “Mommy, look at THIS one!”You find a great new eating place, you go back and TELL everybody. You discover a beautiful little waterfall on a hike, you take pictures and go back and SHOW people. You hear some juicy, or sad, or amazing, bit of news, your first … [Read more...]

Clarification of an Argument for Atheism

Bull copy

What follows is an excerpt from my book (Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist: Simple Thoughts About Reason, Gods & Faith), specifically a section from Chapter 20: Uneven Ground, about a double standard in arguments about atheism. The double standard is that one side gets exacting scrutiny, while the other side too often gets a pass.I made reference to the argument — "As I explained in my book ..." —  in my most recent post, Beta Culture: Proposing A New Definition of Atheism, but so briefly I … [Read more...]


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