Happy Birthday to Me! I’m off to Geek Summer Camp!

Bayesian Conspirator

(Not that one, but I do strongly recommend CTY to any readers with children).I'm in California today and for the rest of the week for a rationality minicamp run by the people behind Less Wrong and the Singularity Institute.  This is the kind of summer camp where, before you go, they send you and two close friends a detailed survey, so they have a baseline to assess the impact of the camp on you in a year when they do the follow up.  Squee!As a result, posting will be a little less f … [Read more...]

Comments Tab is Up (just after the nick of time)


Thanks for your feedback on my draft of the comment policy. I've added it to the top navigation bar, but, it turns out I've added it one day too late.  One of the writers at Friendly Atheist took umbrage at commenter Gilbert saying this in reply to the post where I asked readers to chip in to help the SSA deal with DDoS attacks. Any chance of collecting the money on our side? ’cause I really don’t feel like giving the Puppy Kicking League my contact info and ending up on their permanent friend f … [Read more...]

7 Quick Takes (7/20/12)

steampunk batwoman

--- 1 --- I'm off at seeing The Dark Rises tonight.  (I've prewritten these and am going straight to bed when I get home, so don't expect thoughts [ETA: let's just say Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon Levitt are both really pretty and leave it at that]).  For this midnight premier I didn't do a costume, alas.  The gritty, realistic approach that Nolan takes with these trilogies means that dressing up for this film ends up being a lot more about accuracy and technique than I have time for (or, fra … [Read more...]

Brave Enough to Kill

The Pentagon is considering awarding Distinguished Warfare Medals to drone pilots and Glen Greenwald is furious.  He sees it as an attempt "to depict drone warfare as some sort of courageous and noble act." Greenwald and I are in accord in condemning the use of drones for assassination, but I don't know that I agree with his critique here.  Greenwald says flying a drone cannot meet any of our traditional criteria for valor because: Whatever one thinks of the justifiability of drone attacks, i … [Read more...]

All of This (bad behavior) Has Happened Before…

When a Christian church got tagged with atheist-themed graffiti last year, I chipped in for repairs, along with a lot of other atheists.  (I ended up with post-length mixed feelings but still think it was the right decision).  And now it turns out I've converted just in time for another "Sorry about our team's bad behavior" fundraiser.Adam Lee of Daylight Atheism reports that the Secular Student Alliance is getting a lot of DDoS attacks, and they've had to pay to up their servers just to de … [Read more...]

Yes, my comments policy is inspired by MegaUpload

Given the influx of new readers and some questions , I'd like to add a Comments Policy tab to the top of the blog.  Here's my first draft, so let me know if anything needs clarification, if you know how to make a warning sound less hectoring, or if you have other suggestions.I only delete comments that are obviously spam.(Fun fact: the easiest way real comments get mistaken for spam is when they pay me an unspecific compliment).I may make an exception in the future if a commenter … [Read more...]

What Can You Do in the War?

this republic of suffering

Given the way our discussion of pacifism has meandered over to a debate about martyrdom, what you want to "accomplish" with your death (and whether that's a coherent question), I'd like to recommend something for your summer reading list: Drew Gilpin Faust's This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.  It's a fabulous book.  It doesn't presuppose that you're a Civil War buff, so casual readers have no barrier to entry, and it delves into a strange, tightly-circumscribed  topic, … [Read more...]