Atheist Testimonials In The Detroit Free Press

Mojoey, the founder and curator of the Atheist Blogroll to which we owe great gratitude, points us to a great series running in The Detroit Free Press in which atheists give their testimonials. Here’s the one Mojoey highlighted yesterday: I was at work when someone brought up that I am an atheist.A nearby coworker nearly had a heart-attack. “You are?” she asked. “But … you’re such a … good person!” // <![CDATA[ document.write(“”);document.getElementById(“img1″).src=”http://beacon.scorecardresearch.com/scripts/beacon.dll?C1=8&C2=2102&C3=280&C4=513006&C5=3652&C6=&C7=” + escape(window.location.href) + “&C8=” + escape(document.title) +… Read more

Fascism + Racism

Analyzing the despicable e-mail from Boston police officer Justin Barrett that contained these true colors: Your defense of Gates while he is on the phone while being confronted [INDEED] with a police officer is assuming he has rights when considered a suspect. He is a suspect and always will be a suspect. His first priority of concern should be to get off the phone and comply with police, for if I was the officer he verbally assaulted like a banana-eating… Read more

Physical Education Through Adventure Education

This is a neat video about new approaches to PE classes, including ones that incorporate ropes course games, climbing towers, and teamwork challenges.  Having facilitated kids in these sorts of adventure learning exercises numerous times back in my camp counselor days, I am a huge believer in their educational value. Some other really interesting ideas in here too.  Really worth watching for anyone interested in pedagogy. Your Thoughts? Read more

Differences In Power Correlated With Differences In Moral Judgment?

Interesting study: Those who were pre-programmed to think in terms of having power “had a stronger preference for the rule-based more considerations, compared to participants in the low-power condition, who had a stronger preference for the outcome-based moral considerations.” The researchers did find one exception to this pattern. In a final test, which was constructed so that rule-based thinking would not work to the advantage of the powerful, participants in the high-power category were less inclined than their low-power counterparts… Read more

The Music Of Speech: Autotune Punditry And Charles Spearin’s Happiness Project

Fitting for punditry itself, this video is both awful and hypnotic at the same time.  The one fascinating artistic “merit” here is the way they highlight the musicality of human speech to its musicality (even though they do it in an ear-splitting way): Some day, I want to give a proper review to Charles Spearin’s amazing Happiness Project which takes instances of everyday people’s natural musicality of speech and builds songs out of them.  A short version of the coming… Read more

Defending Hate Crime Laws

publius gives the reasons I am personally in favor of hate crimes as a category of crime and see them as consistent with my rabbid commitment to free speech: Cohen says that hate crimes aren’t really different from any other crime — so there’s no need for extra penalties.  That’s not true.  Hate crimes are specifically intended not merely to injure the individual, but to politically threaten the larger group and to deny them their civil rights. Hate crimes, in… Read more

“The Real Occam’s Razor”

Michael Dickens connects two quotes which belong together.  First there’s Occam’s Razor: Never increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything And then Einstein’s superbly adds the missing qualification: Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler. In both of these statements of the importance of parsimony are the reasons why Intelligent Design does not qualify as a good example of a the sort of “simple” explanation philosophy and science look for. Read more

Plato: Myth and Logic

New on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, an interesting article on Plato’s attempt to merge muthos and logos.  Here’s the description: What the ancient Greeks—at least in the archaic phase of their civilisation—called muthos was quite different from what we and the media nowadays call “myth”. For them a muthos was a true story, a story that unveils the true origin of the world and human beings. For us a myth is something to be “debunked”: a widespread, popular belief… Read more

Neko Case At The Newport Folk Festival

Courtesy of NPR (and found via Faith In Honest Doubt) comes the lovely and spectacular indie country siren singer/songwriter/newpornographer, Neko Case.  One of my very favorite singers, if you love her enjoy this concert and if you don’t know her get on with the falling in love: Neko Case Newport Folk Festival Read more

Jailtime For Singing The Koran

Religious authoritarianism strikes again: Mohsen Namjoo, a singer-songwriter who has been described as the “Iranian Bob Dylan”, has been sentenced to five years in prison for recording music that “dishonours” passages from the Qur’an. The sentencing was in absentia, as Namjoo lives in Vienna. The musician was convicted for “his unconventional singing” of the Muslim holy book, according to the Etemad Melli newspaper. Namjoo “insulted sanctities” and “ridiculed [and] dishonoured” the Qur’an, scholar Abbas Salimi Namin told the paper. The… Read more

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