Weekend Coffee: August 6

Vermont's ambassadors, apparently
Vermont’s ambassadors, apparently

I’m on vacation this week in Vermont, taking in some green mountains and cultural liberalism, so there’ll be reposts on Monday and Wednesday. In the meantime, here are some links for your reading pleasure:

• Upholding the integrity of the secular community requires that we not turn a blind eye when credible allegations of unethical behavior are made against one of our own. To that end, please see these two posts by Kevin Davis of Patheos’ Secular Voices blog, concerning the recent behavior of another Patheos blogger, Gleb Tsipursky:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularvoices/2017/07/21/is-the-pro-truth-pledge-creator-ignoring-his-own-advice-you-decide/
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularvoices/2017/08/02/even-after-apology-pro-truth-pledge-still-shrouded-in-deceit/

Briefly, the allegations against Tsipursky include using paid and/or sockpuppet accounts to promote his own work without disclosure, claiming people and organizations have endorsed or partnered with him without their agreement, soliciting donations without a clear explanation of their purpose, and using his Patreon account to charge subscribers for other people’s content. Tsipursky shows up in the comments on both posts to defend himself; you can judge for yourself how credible his responses are.

• I came across this great YouTube channel by Isaac Arthur exploring topics from science and futurism: how to build a Dyson sphere, why we don’t see evidence of alien intelligence, whether transhumanism is practical, what civilization might look like in the far distant future, and many more. Even hardcore sci-fi fans will find something here to stretch their brains.

• I’ve written about the constitutional problem presented by Jewish sects trying to set up an eruv on public property. Now the same issue has cropped up in New Jersey, and it’s just the tip of a church-state iceberg, especially when it comes to bloc-voting Orthodox Jews starving public schools of resources.

• Since I’ve lamented the media only covering the atheists who say offensive and bigoted things rather than those who quietly work for good causes, here’s some balance of the kind I’d like to see more of: the Foundation Beyond Belief reporting on what its Beyond Belief Network teams accomplished in June, including blood drives, park and beach cleanups, serving meals at shelters, charity giveaways for the homeless, and more.

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