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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-05-04 06:54
Subject: [links] Link salad gets ready to fly home to the West Coast, briefly
Security: Public
Tags:cool, culture, iraq, links, personal, politics, process, religion, reviews, science, sex, stories, tech, videos, weird
Subterranean Press quoting Gardner Dozois saying nice things about my novelette "A Long Walk Home"

Daring to be Imperfect by Robert V. S. Redick — This turned up in the Twitters yesterday, though I don't now recall who posted the link. Some great thoughts about craft, inspiration and perfection in genre fiction.

Feynman on Light — Via art guru James Gurney.

Nuclear Everything!Dark Roasted Blend with a review of the future that (thankfully) never was. My favorite bit of nuclear madness ever still has to be Project Orion. A launch vehicle propelled by external nuclear explosions. What could possibly go wrong!?

Hearts Beat as One in a Daring Ritual — (Thanks to my Dad.)

Why do Americans still dislike atheists? — My answer: because people who can't trust themselves without an external moral authority can't imagine trusting someone who doesn't require such.

Sexist Activists Are Sexist — The link between anti-abortion activism and rank sexism.

The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories — As recently noted to [info]ericjamesstone in an email, leftie conspiracy theories and delusions (Truthism, antivaxxers) don't get embedded in the mainstream media or the backbone of leftie politics. Rightie conspiracy theories and delusions (Birtherism, evolution denial), on the other hand, have become dominant themes in both the media and politics.

FBI Lies to Federal Court — Just in case you were feeling all warm and safe about the national security state.

Top Ten Myths about Bin Laden's Death

Pax bin Ladenis no more"The command-and-control paranoia that we see in this administration is antithetical to everything that we understand about freedom in our country," Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) declared on the Senate floor. Yo, Jimbo. You remember a little thing called 'the Bush administration'? Unitary executive? No? I didn't think so. Most Republicans have already happily forgotten that one. Look! George Soros!

?otD: Ever gotten the enhanced pat down? Would you like to?

Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (revisions to Kalimpura)
Body movement: 40 minute urban walk (the Vegas Strip)
Hours slept: 7.25 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: Nifft the Lean by Michael Shea

Post A Comment | 13 Comments | | Flag | Link

mlerules: Saucy Dom
User: mlerules
Date: 2011-05-04 14:16 (UTC)
Subject: Qx o' Day
Keyword:Saucy Dom
No & No, but I'll GIVE it...
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User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2011-05-04 14:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Depending on the atheist, I have known some who go out of their way to poke everyone else in the eye. Nobody likes an ill-mannered ***hole. The article's author also mixes up ""atheist" with "secular" at one point, which is not quite the same thing.
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User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2011-05-04 15:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
conspiracy theories and delusions (Truthism, antivaxxers) don't get embedded in the mainstream media or the backbone of leftie politics

Um, no... I can't agree with that statement. Anti-vax at the very least has embedded itself politically (multiple "medical freedom" bills, RFK Jr.) and in the public media (Oprah, Dr Oz, all too many news outlets seeking "balanced" coverage) quite handily in the US.

-- Steve does hoot derisively at Sen. DeMint's objections, and would rather see those sorts of gymnastics at the Olympics than in political discourse.
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Nicosian: don not taunt the octopus
User: nicosian
Date: 2011-05-04 15:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:don not taunt the octopus
Yes, I've had an enhanced patdown.

Would rather walk than ever have one again.
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User: daveraines
Date: 2011-05-04 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: Why do Americans still dislike atheists?
Jay writes: "My answer: because people who can't trust themselves without an external moral authority can't imagine trusting someone who doesn't require such."

Dave: I'm not sure there is anyone who "doesn't require" an "external moral authority." We grow moral through a complex mix of cultural teaching, individual mentors, family upbringing--all of which are external factors. In a self-actualized individual, those factors are internalized, perhaps reworked, sometimes rejected. This is true for believers as well as atheists. For the believer, part of that mix is the grace of God.

I wonder if some "Americans" assume that (a) you can pretty well tell where a believer is coming from morally--you take the Bible seriously, you read the teachings of the church--but (b) you can't tell what the influences ARE on the generic class "atheist," making them a wild card morally. I doubt either assumption is true.

I'm also not sure the word "dislike" is self-evident. I can like someone just fine and still not vote for them or marry them.
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Bruce E. Durocher II
User: bedii
Date: 2011-05-04 16:23 (UTC)
Subject: propelled by external nuclear explosions. What could possibly go wrong!?
With Ted Taylor doing the bomb design? Not much. With anyone else--well, I'd prefer to be in another hemisphere...
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User: threeoutside
Date: 2011-05-04 17:12 (UTC)
Subject: Re: the atheist article
"So when the likes of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O’Reilly and Newt Gingrich engage in the politics of division and destruction by maligning atheists, they do so in disregard of reality."

No, really?
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User: mcjulie
Date: 2011-05-04 17:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think people are made uncomfortable by a positive declaration of atheism (as opposed to the more passive atheism or agnosticism practiced by most nonbelievers) because of the phenomenon of belief-in-belief, which is what I think most people's religious affiliation actually comes down to. The true belief is in the virtuous nature of the belief, not in the text of the belief. But the text of the belief is usually what people cite. It's misdirection.

If you follow another god, you're in opposition to the text of the belief, and most people can handle that, because the text is somewhat arbitrary. But by stating your atheism you are calling the true belief into question -- the belief in the virtuous nature of the belief.

In other words, it's pretty much exactly the same reason that people get annoyed when you tell little kids there's no Santa Claus.
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Kari Sperring
User: la_marquise_de_
Date: 2011-05-04 18:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I don't quite know whether to thank you or curse you for the Reddick link, Jay. It turns out to be the exact thing I needed to read today. Which is good, apart from the bit where I have to bite the bullet about the procrastination I've been engaging in, which is scary. But needful. Or something.
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2011-05-05 02:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, I'm not an atheist, but I like atheists just fine; in fact, probably the majority of my friends are some kind of atheist.

Then again, my reasons for being a theist have nothing to do with any inability to "trust [myself] without an external moral authority."

If I have a complaint, it's not about atheists in general; it's about people who impute crude beliefs to those who think differently from them, as you do here. I know perfectly well that atheism encompasses a vast and nuanced variety of outlooks and temperaments. I wish you'd extend to non-atheists a comparable level of imaginative sympathy.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-05-05 02:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Usually when I'm being offensive, it's on purpose. I apologize.

For whatever it's worth, my intent wasn't to take a dig at theists in general, it was to take a dig at those theists who presume, more or less in so many words, that atheists cannot be moral because they do not have God in their lives. Which was at least in part the context of the linked article.

I can take a pretty hardline view of the relationship between theism and public policy, but I aspire to a very supportive view of theism in private life. What you refer to as "imaginative sympathy". Far be it from me to deny the spiritual impulse.
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Patrick Nielsen Hayden
User: pnh
Date: 2011-05-05 02:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fair enough. For the record, I think the idea that "atheists cannot be moral" is deranged. And I'm entirely with you where public policy is concerned.
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User: zxhrue
Date: 2011-05-05 06:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

?otD: Ever gotten the enhanced pat down? Would you like to?

not yet, but I anticipate having to endure one soon. I'm not looking forward to it. my air travel will be severely curtailed for the foreseeable future due to this policy alone.
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my journal
January 2014
2012 appearances