Earth Day 2013: Thoughts Like Falling Leaves

earth_day_2012

[This is a repost of a piece I did several years ago, slightly edited for 2013. This essay is also part of the conceptual force driving my thoughts on the need for Beta Culture.]Leaf OneCon games and sleight-of-hand magic work because, one, we humans only have so much attention to spare at any one moment, and two, they direct that attention deliberately in one direction. If you look at where the finger points, you miss … well, everything else.Like the movie teen backing through a d … [Read more...]

Adventures in Cholecystectomy Land – Part 1

Probably more than you wanted to know, but ...I promised myself I would blog about this, and so I am:I went to the hospital on Friday for my pre-admission session, in preparation for gallbladder surgery – by an actual robot! – next Friday. Before surgery, they want to make sure you’re up to it, so they do blood tests, EKG, etc.I aced the tests. One of the nurses even told me she really liked having people like me, because so many of her patients were, you know, smokers and such, and had mul … [Read more...]

Asking a Bit of Support for a Fellow Warrior

Another unfortunate hit to our beloved Greta Christina: I have some more news of the crappy variety. It’s not as alarming as it’s going to sound: it’s probably going to be fine in the long run, and even in the medium run. So even though your first reaction may be alarm, try to not go there if you can avoid it. But I want to fill you in. And I’m going to ask you for some help.The bad news is that I was just diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I got the initial biopsy results Saturday, and met wit … [Read more...]

Samuel L. Jackson Weighs In

Hilarious! And Not Safe For Work.Cue some obligatory right wing outrage at the "language" in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... … [Read more...]

Iran: The Ass End of Progress

Say you're a country full of people and you have a lot of vital business to conduct to keep everybody fed and housed and healthy and safe. What do you do?Well, you reach first for this immense tool you have, the most flexible and creative problem-solving device on the planet — the intelligent, educated human brain.Unless you're Iran, in which case you forbid HALF your population — half of those problem-solving brains — from getting a full education:Iranian women banned from 77 university co … [Read more...]

First Person Revolutionary — Part 3

[ Read Part 1 and Part 2 ]The fatal flaw of atheism? Actually, it's a challenge atheism shares with religion. The difference between the two is that religion has found a solution.So let's talk about religion:The weedy form of religion, superstition, arises automatically in each mind all on its own, simply by virtue of our need to create private theories – often wildly personified due to our ability to detect “person-ness” in everything from smiley faces to wind in the trees – about how the … [Read more...]


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