7 Quick Takes (9/28/12)

--- 1 --- If you read no other Quick Take today, read this one and do me a tremendous favor. My housemate Alex (co-creator of those philosophy t-shirts) has been nominated for "Best Viral Song/Video about DC" by Express Night Out.  Can you all pop over and vote for his "The Ballad of Pepco" under the DC Life tab?Here's the background: Pepco is the utility company for the DC area, and it's terrible.  We had a lot of blackouts this summer, some of which went on for days with few progress u … [Read more...]

Erga Mortuos, Nihil Nisi Caritas

Chris Hallquist is asking whether there's any reason to read the works of the dead charitably.  When it comes to the living, he can see the following advantages:Charity helps avoid flame wars It’s good to be careful not to unjustifiably damage someone’s reputation From a Machiavellian point of view, it’s nice to close off responses of the form, “what I meant was…”But he doesn't think any of them carry over when the author is dead.I've got a couple objections, so let me list t … [Read more...]

Happy Petrov Day! Celebrate by not annihilating everyone!

Taken from the description of Petrov Day on LessWrong: The story begins on September 1st, 1983, when Soviet jet interceptors shot down a Korean Air Lines civilian airliner after the aircraft crossed into Soviet airspace and then, for reasons still unknown, failed to respond to radio hails. 269 passengers and crew died, including US Congressman Lawrence McDonald. Ronald Reagan called it "barbarism", "inhuman brutality", "a crime against humanity that must never be forgotten". Note that this was … [Read more...]

LARP Your Way to Truth

"It's an unorthodox epistemology, but it just might work!"

Over in the Atheist channel, Bob Seidensticker of Cross Examined is experimenting with prayer.  He's signed up for an experiment run by Justin Brierley of the Unbelievable radio show (which you may remember from the time Hemant and I tangled on air).  The program is asking for atheists to try praying for at least two to three minutes a day for God to reveal Himself to them (if he exists).  After 40 days, the atheists are going to share their experiences and, if applicable, conversions.Bob's a … [Read more...]

Catholic Radio Show Seeking Atheist Callers Tonight

Just saw this announcement on Facebook, and I thought some of you might want a heads-up. Tell all your atheists friends they have 2 hours of Catholic Answers Live just for them tonight. Here is a message from host Patrick Coffin:Are you an atheist? How solid is your atheism? Wanna go on live radio to defend your atheist beliefs? Today on Catholic Answers Live, I'm interviewing Catholic apologist Trent Horn in Hour One, and physicist Robert Spitzer, SJ, president of the Magis Institute for … [Read more...]

What are your utils denominated in?

harry potter catholicism

 In the comment threads for the "Hey! I didn't say Science Says!" post, there were a couple attempts to come up with metrics to check the impact of changes to marriage law.  Some of them are definitely quantifiable (suicide rate, reported domestic abuse) but don't do a good job capturing the impact of a given marriage schema on the whole population.  Those kinds of outcomes are only tracking couples who hit a certain threshhold of dysfunction.  It's like measuring the effectiveness of a … [Read more...]

Though it be but Little, it is Fierce


I'm still giving you Monday morning costuming updates, so I feel accountable to keep making progress.  This week I sewed together the muslin mockup for the corset.  Because fit is really important for this kind of bodice, you make a scratch copy of your pattern in muslin, so you don't waste your good fabric on a first draft.Good seamstresses make later drafts in fabric that more closely resembles what you're actually using, and insert boning and grommets, so it wears like the final garment.   … [Read more...]