Wednesday Links – Critical Thinking And Vegetarianism, Psychic Fails, SOPA And More

There’s a few “Christmas trees made out of books” pictures online, but this was the only one that I found that took it REALLY seriously in order to make it pretty and tidy. There’s even a video about how they made it at the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Thanks to Michael McRae for this find: Vegan Baloney on PYTHAGOREAN CRANK:

 Of course, I could just be yet another crank who thinks he’s thinking critically but really conforming it around a cherished bias. But how can one go wrong with advocating critical thinking? This, I think, is my new platform. I feel compelled to leverage my years of vegan advocacy experience to adopt this cause in the same manner. It’s a cause that is so fundamental that every other justice issue could benefit. It’s not just a solution, it’s a toolkit to empower the thinker to discover and invent their own solutions. As far as I know there hasn’t been a leaflet made up and passed out on the matter. That is my challenge.
…Critical thinking, science, skepticism and animal rights are all subject for which people often associate with unattainable ideas for the common person. This, I don’t believe is, true. It’s just a matter of putting it within reach. While ideally this stuff would be taught in schools we have to bridge that gap and advocate this cause on all fronts just like any cause. It’s a fixable problem with an iterative solution but we need activists to do so. The skeptics are starting to catch on from what I saw at TAM 9 and each of us has a niche to fill. Outreach is going to have to be a bigger part of our repertoire if we’re serious about making things better.

How to round off 2011 (yes, it’s been done before, but you may have forgotten…): Psychic Fails: 2011 Failed and Forgotten Predictions.

On MamaMia – The Lifetime Struggle To Accept My Body by Clementine Ford:

But the currency of women’s bodies has nothing to do with attractiveness. It’s useless trying to reassure women that there’s nothing wrong with them because ‘men like women with meat on their bones’. My happiness isn’t and cannot be linked to another person’s urges. My internalized hatred has nothing to do with a man’s desire to have sex with me, but it is so deep and so pervasive that I can’t see any way of setting it free. Worse, it has existed with me for so long that it doesn’t even screech with rage anymore. I’ve come to view it with a kind of banal acceptance; like a persistent chin whisker, or a creaking knee. It is there, and I tolerate it.

This was something I noticed via Reddit – as the SOPA legislation will effect them, along with online providers like That Guy With The Glasses. From The RegisterAnti-piracy laws will smash internet, US constitution – legal eagles:

Legal experts are warning that the proposed PROTECT IP and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) legislation, currently working their way through Congress, will damage the world’s DNS system, cripple attempts to get better online security and violate free speech rights in the US constitution.

In an essay published in the Stanford Law Review professors Mark Lemley, David Levine and David Post warned that the overarching reach of the legislation would cause people to seek alternatives to the existing DNS system, manufacture massive technical problems in the implementation of DNSSEC and trample over rights of free expression by allowing the total suppression of published opinion based on allegations without proof, or even a hearing.

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