Welcome Camels with Hammers to Patheos!

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Patheos has added Camels with Hammers, written by philosophy professor Daniel Finke to the Atheist channel.  Here's a snippet of his intro post: I am like Nietzsche’s camel. While I am many miles away from morally perfect, I have been a generally conscientious person since I was a child and was devoutly, zealously, evangelically, self-sacrificially, and mildly puritanically religious until I was 21. And I am open to certain interpretations of my personality that see it as still fundamentally re … [Read more...]

How Big a Hit are You Willing to Take?

As you may recall, concussions in football is one of my hobbyhorses.  So of course I was interested when I saw that Kevin Cook had a NYT op-ed on the subject.  If you follow the topic, you've probably seen most of the data, but he had some interesting information about how the NFL screens players: The N.F.L. now uses simple written or computerized cognitive tests to assess concussions. Before each season, players are shown a page featuring 20 words and asked to write down as many as they remem … [Read more...]

Is Sufficiently Compressed Thinking Indistinguishable from Magical Thinking?

Andrew Brown is in The Guardian claiming any sufficiently interesting theory of the world is indistinguishable from religion.  There's a lot to debate there, but do you mind if I put the broader issue aside for a second to come to the defense of science!  Brown writes: And atheism can be just as theologically incorrect: today's paper told me that: "our bodies are built and controlled by far fewer genes than scientists had expected". The metaphors of "building" and "controlling" have here taken a … [Read more...]

Patheos Went a-Headhuntin’

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And they tempted Chris Hallquist (who blogs as the Uncredible Hallq) to forsake Freethought Blogs and join the Patheos Atheist channel).  Chris has been an English teacher in South Korea and he's soon to start work as a researcher for the Singularity Institute.I'll confess, I've seen more of what he's written at Less Wrong than chez lui, but I am intrigued by his attempt to beta test his new book.  He's putting chapters online as he writes and inviting comment and critiques, so the eventual t … [Read more...]

I Never Promised You an Ecstasy Garden

Since we've been discussing some Mormon perspectives on conversion and personal revelation, I've got the perfect excuse to link to Daniel Siliman's essay on Catholic conversion stories.  It's very much a RTWT, but I'll post an excerpt to whet your appetite. (Ok, it's a long excerpt. I got carried away.) My sense is, too, that while there're certainly historic examples of Catholic conversion narratives, that this widespread popularity -- that conversion narratives as a common Catholic practice … [Read more...]

Can you all help keep me honest?

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There are less than two months til Halloween, and I'm pretty behind on costuming.  Last year I was a cyberpunk courier, and this year I'm planning to be a dryad.  Last year's costume was finished in a couple of hellish late nights, and I'd really like to avoid that fate this year.  Except I made a map using Freemind of everything I need to do and think about, and the results were sobering.So, would you all mind if I did a costuming progress post every Monday so you can shame me if I'm fa … [Read more...]

Zombies are like garlic, you can never have enough of either

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I've subscribed to an epistolary novel, which may be of interest to readers of this blog.  It is titled Ora et Labora et Zombies.  Ora et labora (pray and work) is a motto of the Benedictine monks; et Zombies is where the plot kicks in.The story is set in the present day.  There has been some kind of cataclysm, and our protagonist has retreated with his son to a Benedictine monastery.  His wife was out of town as the crisis broke, so he is writing letters to her, in hopes that she will make i … [Read more...]


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