American “separation of powers” means we don’t know who to blame when things go wrong

A couple weeks ago, Matt Yglesias had a post arguing, correctly, I think, that the current economic conditions in the US aren’t Bush’s fault. Yeah, Bush was president when things went south, but a better government could have done a lot more to fix things by now. [Read more...]

Mind uploading: a link to a bunch of more links to preprints of journal articles

Compiled by Ben Goertzel here, HT to Kaj Sotala on LessWrong. Posting this partly as a note to myself so I don’t lose the link, but may be of interest to other people here. [Read more...]

Now how do I get health insurance from June-December 2013?

Wee! Obamacare has been upheld. I just noticed that under Obamacare, health insurance is now much less of a worry for me, except from early June 2013 to the end of December 2013. You see, Obamacare lets me be on my parents’ health insurance until I’m 26, and the heavy subsidies part of it kicks [Read More...]

Which is worse: Scientology or the Catholic Church?

It’s a serious question. I’m considering including a comparison of this sort in chapter 4 of the book, but it’s a hard comparison to make. But here’s an attempt: [Read more...]

Sources documenting what the Catholic Church has (and has not) defrocked priests for?

Paul W. (OM) makes an excellent point in the previous thread: I may be mistaken, but it’s my impression that the Catholic Church doesn’t “equate” ordaining women with child abuse, in practice—it still considers ordaining women far worse. [Read more...]

Angry Atheists? chapter 8: Science and Religion II: Evolution

This chapter is not finished, but should be in better shape than 2 or 3. With chapters like this, I will definitely re-post when they’re in better shape, so you can take a peek now or wait, whatever you feel like. [Read more...]

Why is anybody still Catholic? (not a rhetorical question)

Greta Christina once wrote a great blog post called “Why Are You Still Catholic?” But it mostly asked the question rhetorically. Leah Libresco’s conversion got me thinking about what the actual reasons are. I went and took the time to re-read the relevant parts of William Lobdell’s book Losing My Religion, which suggests a number of answers. [Read more...]


This is an excerpt from chapter 7 of the book. Stories of regrown limbs, though, don’t play a major role in Keener’s book. Here’s a more typical example of the stories in the book: [Read more...]

Thunderf00t’s “MISOGYNIST!!!” post

I’ve got a book to write, so I’m going be brief: I’m sympathetic to the complaint that charges of racism, misogyny, etc. are over-used. But “a long ‘conference handbook’ is not a good idea” does not equal “con harassment policies should be no longer than ‘we reserve the right to kick you out for being [Read More...]