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An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-03-23 05:20
Subject: [links] Link salad feels vernal
Security: Public
Tags:conventions, culture, healthcre, japan, links, personal, politics, portland, publishing, religion, science, steampunk
I will be at PDX GEAR Con — A new steampunk con for Portland, this coming July.

Google Books Settlement rejected — Maybe a step in the right direction. Scrivener's Error comments.

Where No Map Has Gone Before: A History of Science Fiction — I believe I linked to this graphic before, but in this case, Strange Maps has provided a nifty exegesis.

Cosmonaut Crashed Into Earth 'Crying In Rage' — An NPR blog post on a strange topic, indeed.

What Is Consciousness? — This is a fairly nifty little piece from Information Is Beautiful.

Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says — Speaking as an atheist, I have trouble believing in this.

What Are the Economic Consequences of the Japanese Disaster?

[UK] Government faces calls to overhaul visa rules for foreign performers — And I thought the US immigration was nuts. (Snurched from Scrivener's Error.)

Wisconsin's Radical Break — A bit of labor history for you. Interesting to see documentation about how much conservatives have changed in their demonization of both government and labor.

Meeting the challenges of explaining health reform — This bit is classic: The Kaiser Family Foundation had a great “data note” recently establishing just how little the American people know about reform. (The lack of knowledge apparently did not correlate with the intensity of political feeling). That would be the Palinite/Tea Party end of the conservative movement in a nutshell.

How Democrats, Republicans compare — Comparison shopping and blind tests. Heh. (Thanks to [info]danjite.)

?otD: Springing into action today? Or are you falling back antipodealistically?

Writing time yesterday: 1.5 hours (2,600 words on Sunspin)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.75 hours (solid)
Weight: 253.0
Currently reading: A Bard's Eye View, ed. Michael A. Ventrella; Honeyed Words by J.A. Pitts

Post A Comment | 4 Comments | | Link

User: autopope
Date: 2011-03-23 13:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
On religion becoming extinct, Speaking as an atheist, I have trouble believing in this..

No, you're speaking as an American. To British eyes, the USA is superstition central, full of every variety of nuts and flakes, with new age woo layered on top as a security blanket for those who have defected from the main churches.

Nothing kills religious faith like having a national church and compulsory Religious Education in schools. Trust me on this.

Over here, around 60% self-identify as christian. But when quizzed, only 30% of the population have set foot in a place of religion (church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or similar) in the previous year. "Church of England" used to be the label applied by default to anyone in the UK who didn't have a different religious affiliation, but it's very misleading -- in terms of actual communicants the C of E is barely ahead of the Roman Catholic church, at around 10% of the population. I reckon around 20-25% of Brits are serious believers, another 25-40% have some vague sense of spirituality (that "there's something out there"), and the remaining 35-65% are atheists (although many will not admit it when questioned directly: they'll say "C of E" even though they were last in a church for a cousin's wedding six years ago).

Edited at 2011-03-23 01:58 pm (UTC)
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User: msconduct
Date: 2011-03-23 22:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You don't need a national church and compulsory RI to kill religion. We don't have those in New Zealand, and we're far more godless than the UK (we are one of the countries in the studies cited). Our view of the US religion-wise is the same as the British one, but I also think of the UK as being much more religious than NZ. (Church schools? Huh? And why do newspapers keep quoting the Archbishop of Canterbury's opinion on everything? Who cares?)

On the other hand, I don't think it's possible, as the article suggests it is, to extrapolate our low levels of religious belief to extinction. Subgroups, such as our Polynesian population, are keen churchgoers and are likely to remain so.
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User: autopope
Date: 2011-03-24 22:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Church schools? Huh? And why do newspapers keep quoting the Archbishop of Canterbury's opinion on everything? Who cares?

The noise from the UK doesn't correspond to actual belief: it's more a case of panic by the religious. The press make a big show of caring, but fearmongering is a major marketing point in British newspapers.

The church schools are either run by the Catholic Church (for parents who don't like sex ed) or by evangelicals (who are picking up the remaining true believers from the C of E). Plus some remaining C of E schools that are propped up by having historically attracted better teachers and gotten better academic results, which sets up a dynamic whereby even atheist parents go to church and pretend to be believers just for long enough to get the sprogs into a good school.

The C of E used to be a vital part of the state infrastructure until about 1945, and was still seen as such until the 1980s. These days it's a hollowed-out shell.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2011-03-24 03:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As another atheist I don't believe we'll ever be lucky enough to see religion become extinct.

Sad to say, but I think humans are pre-wired to believe goofy shit about Sky Beings.
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