Sorry, Way Too Busy to Blog

I just started a new class today, and I was studying hard for almost half of it. I know you'll understand the sometimes exhausting demands of higher education.Official school picture below the fold (click to embiggen): … [Read more...]

Cats Better Than Dogs? Nonsense. Although …

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Beta Culture: Preliminary Musings

How about some random thoughts on what I have in mind for Beta Culture? Understand that I don’t in any sense think the thing will “belong” to me, or that I should have the sole power to shape it. But in this early stage in which I’m fleshing out what *I* mean by the basic concept, I want to lay out some of what I imagine it SHOULD include.Commenter “rickschauer” recently asked:  "What’s next, a Beta Culture Congress, something like the Continental Congress?"Yes, exactly! To begin hammering ou … [Read more...]

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...]