January 28th, 2008


[religion] A bit more, promoted from the comment thread

Both daveraines and ellameena are challenging me on definitions, both of my own thinking and my perception of Christian thinking. Promoted from comments, here's a bit more from me:
The universe, however, runs itself, and fundamentally I am nothing more than a highly organized island of negative entropy, to misquote Ilya Prigogine. I am responsible for myself.

I applaud that God exists for you, for daveraines, or anyone else. He provides His followers with comfort, structure, and a myriad other blessings. I fully support this, and your right to believe in and act on those blessings.

My management chain has an empirical existence, which I can respond to either by cooperating or by exiting the organization. God does not. As I said to daveraines over on his thread, I have no burden of disproof with respect to the existence of God, any more than I have a burden of disproof with respect to the existence of Marduk or the existence of leprechauns who live in cereal boxes.

My personal quarrel with faith is precisely that: personal. I'm not trying to convince you or anyone else that your faith isn't valid for you.

My public quarrel with faith is that it far too often leads its followers to confuse empirical and mythic truth. Often deliberately, it seems to me.

This is why I see, for example, a direct relationship between Islamic terrorism and Intelligent Design — both are based on deliberately counterfactual thinking and an inability (or unwillingness) to distinguish between the empirical and the mythic. Believers in a mythic truth take an action to correct what they see as errors in the empirical world. Wahabbist Muslims and ID advocates are committing the same error, differentiated only by degree.
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[links] Link salad for a Monday

charlesatan reviews Mainspring Powell's | Amazon | Audible ] and Rocket Science Powell's | Amazon ]

Scott Adams on how to get elected president — His bit about atheists is hysterical.

A linguist discusses the FCC's assertion that the buttocks are a sexual organ — Sesquipedalian snark of the highest order. Probably even work safe.

Josh Marshall points out this bizarre item in the Washington Post — "That is the problem Bush faces as he prepares to deliver his seventh and probably final State of the Union address tonight." And probably final? Do they know something we don't know?

[travel] Leaving, on a jet plane

Off to Omaha. Expect intermittent blogging this week with lightly scattered wit and erudition.

This trip runs a day longer than normal, so I will not be back in the opulent halls of Nuevo Rancho Lake until Saturday afternoon.

[writing] Progriss riport

Got "Bringing the Future Home" more or less sorted out. It's off to the requesting market the next time I'm in front of email and not in a rush.

I decided since I still have steampunk on the brain today it would be a good time to write the steampunk short I'd been asked for when I hared off after "The Baby Killers" instead. This one's called "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident". Collapse )

[writing] "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident"

Ok, that's a wrap on "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident". 5,100 words, same-day effort. I kind of like it.

Hard to write steampunk these days without descending into self-parody. "The Baby Killers" tries to do it by going so far over the top you can't see the other side. "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident" is a different approach, more story telling driven without abandoning the distinctive tropes.

We'll see.