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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-02-04 05:23
Subject: [links] Link salad goes nuts
Security: Public
Tags:culture, funny, links, personal, photos, politics, process, religion, science, sex, steampunk, tech, writing
Babel Clash continues to discuss steampunk — Including the question of whether Atlas Shrugged is steampunk.

Lies You Believe — Advice for aspiring writers, or not. Though my favorite bit is probably the intro...

The Sky’s Dual GradationsArt writing guru James Gurney on painting skies. I was struck by this: It’s easy to make a sky look like paint. It’s hard to make it look like a radiant veil interposed over infinity. With only slight paraphrasing, this is an excellent comment on the craft of writing as well.

Mickey Mantle's outstanding experience at Yankee Stadium — Not especially worksafe, hilarious. (Via danjite.)

Abandoned aviation museum in Russia — Some haunting photos.

Spaceport of the future, as seen from 1957 — From Vintagraph.

More on the Kepler exoplanetary findings from Centauri Dreams

Yesterday's post on religion and childbearing generated an interesting and moving comment thread

The Julie project — Wrenching photojournalism on life and parenting. (Via willyumtx.)

The tiny island of Sark is a window back to the Middle Ages – and that’s good for science — Cool little squib from io9.com. And click through the BBC link concerning Sark's governance.

Brewster Rockit on political framing — Straight from FOX News to your ears.

More States on Anti-Sharia Law Bandwagon — From a South Dakota bill: No such court may apply international law, the law of any foreign nation, or any foreign religious or moral code with the force of law in the adjudication of any case under its jurisdiction. What is a "foreign religious code"? How is this conceivably Constitutional under the First Amendment? For that matter, why is this conceivably a good idea? I can only presume the intention is to force a return to Native American spiritual practices, since the last time I checked none of the Abrahamic religions originated within the United States. To be specific, the Ten Commandments were written in a desert in the Middle East, making them a decidedly foreign religious and moral code. And let's not even discuss the Beatitudes. Conservative intellectual clarity at its finest.

America and India love their antiscience — I really don't understand what conservatives think they're doing in privileging the teaching of Creationism. Someone with such an education won't be a competent critical thinker, and will ultimately suffer in the job market. Not good for their children, or anybody else's who is stuck with their narrow counterfactual agenda. If that privileging is extended to the entire society, for instance by defining rationalism as a form of workplace discrimination, then our society as a whole will be crippled in terms of economic competitiveness compared to societies that are reality-based. Since conservatives by and large also identify as "America first" types, you'd think they would not prefer America become a second-rate nation. Yet that is precisely the eventual outcome of this kind of policymaking.

?otD: How many links in your salad is too many links in your salad?



2/4/2011
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (Took the day off from fiction.)
Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Hours slept: 6.25 hours (interrupted)
Weight: 252.0
Currently reading: One of Our Thursdays Is Missing by Jasper Fforde

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Reynardo the Red
User: reynardo
Date: 2011-02-04 13:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Oh god the Julie project. My heart. Those children. But most of all, Julie.

'scuse me while I go and hug my husband and my kids.
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ulfhirtha
User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2011-02-04 14:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
? More than 20 perhaps. Over 10 it's a link-salad bar. :-)

re: Anti-Shari. It smacks of a story I'd read in the early 1800s of people trying to repeal English Common Law in a fit of ill-informed Revolutionary zeal. Which now that I think on it, might be considered a "foreign legal code" by South Dakota too. Oops!

re: Antiscience. As Carl Sagan put it in a section heading "What are conservatives conserving?" Your comment that it is precisely such policies that will lead America down the path of decline that conservatives seem desperately trying to avoid is, I think, spot on. Rather like the Confederacy trying to preserve the Peculiar Institution - let alone it may have lived on for decades but secession and later war was virtually guaranteed to NOT leave it alone. The comeuppance for departing from the Reality-Based world is a harsh one.
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biomekanic
User: biomekanic
Date: 2011-02-04 14:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
re-antiscience: It's my opinion that the people behind the conservatives, the Koch's for example, want America to be a 2nd rate nation.

That will concentrate more wealth and power into their hands, and that's what's important.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2011-02-07 01:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I was thinking pretty much the same thing--Jay seems to be assuming that the people pushing for such things want future generations to have critical thinking skills.
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User: twinkelbelpeach
Date: 2011-02-04 14:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow. The Julie Project is some powerful journalism.
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Jim Hetley
User: jhetley
Date: 2011-02-04 14:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Depends on the size and content of the links. One bratwurst or chorizo will usually satisfy.
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emmainfiniti
User: emmainfiniti
Date: 2011-02-04 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
A: In this particular salad, the Julie Project is so compelling that I can't look at any of the other links right now.
I will have to come back later for the others.
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S-47/19-J
User: shsilver
Date: 2011-02-04 15:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
any foreign religious or moral code

I presume that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints would be considered a domestic religious code as well as the Indian ones...and Scientology.

?otD: How many links in your salad is too many links in your salad?

Link belong on the plate next to your pancakes or eggs, not in your salad.
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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2011-02-04 15:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lyles constant
Re: Antiscience. Well, of course they believe they are thinking correctly and that the evolutionists are wrong. It's not as if they consciously decide "Yes, I want to think incompetently and counterfactually, and I want my children to think incompetently and counterfactually."
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-04 19:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It's not as if they consciously decide "Yes, I want to think incompetently and counterfactually, and I want my children to think incompetently and counterfactually."

Except that's in effect what people are almost literally doing when they privilege faith-based thinking over evidence-based thinking. It makes my head hurt trying to wrap my brain around the kind of worldview where that seems like a reasonable choice.
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russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2011-02-04 19:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:zen
"In effect" is quite different from "consciously" though. People (including you and me) unconsciously rationalize or ignore all kinds of negative behaviors. For them, there's obviously some perceived benefit from their behavior - the same as (for example) there's a perceived benefit for many people to drinking bottled water every day even though in effect it's a decision to pointlessly cause a lot of ecological damage.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-04 19:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"Pah. That damned astronomer says moonlight is reflected sunlight. But it says right here in the Bible that the moon is a lesser light. My faith is such a comfort to me in the face of such temptation."
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russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2011-02-05 10:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:zen
And in the scheme of things, people using vast quantities of plastic bottled water (or eating meat, or driving automobiles often, etc etc) does more direct damage than people believing that the moon is a light! (BTW I doubt most fundamentalists seriously cling to the belief that the moon is a light when presented with the relevant astronomical information, compared to the number who cling to creationism when presented with the relevant biological information.)

To be clear, of course I agree with you that illogical thinking leads to illogical policy which does real damage. I'm just pointing out that it's inaccurate (and "unfair" in a sense) to portray the phenomenon as if people consciously intentionally decide "Yes, I want to think illogically and thereby cause problems for myself, my children, and society". That portrayal may work as an emotionally satisfying parody, but it's not the reality. In reality they believe they are the right-thinking ones who know the truth and that the non-believers are wrong.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-02-05 13:55 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I understand that. My real quarrel is with people whose worldview is neither evidence based nor subject to modification. The religious certainly have no monopoly on that, but they do enjoy considerable cultural privileging for behaviors that would fall somewhere on the scale between idiotic and psychotic in the wider world.
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