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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-12-15 04:55
Subject: [links] Link salad thinks some they do and some they don't
Security: Public
Tags:books, cool, gender, guns, healthcare, history, iraq, links, nature, personal, politics, process, religion, reviews, science, sex, stories, tech
A French review of Extraordinary Engines — Including my story, "The Lollygang Save the World on Accident".

Getting out of the way — Roger Ebert on prodigies and the creative process.

5 Timeless Books of Insight on Fear and the Creative Process — The only time I experience fear in my creative process is immediately before diving into a large scale project.

Mysterious 16th-Century Sext Discovered in Copy of Chaucer — Heh. (Via [info]danjite.)

Led by the child who simply knew — Raising a transgendered child.

Having to think about the unthinkableMost people don't like to plan for dying, but in our state of denial, we leave ourselves vulnerable to conditions we would never want. Arrangements for the end of life are essential.

NASA is planning to use a giant crossbow and harpoon to capture samples from an asteroid. — Oh, the opportunities...

How the 10,000-Year Clock Measures Time>The Earth's rotation is notoriously unpredictable. So how can a clock keep time for 10,000 years?

Higgs boson: the particle of faithThere are parallels between the search for the ‘God particle’ and the search for God Himself, writes Alister McGrath.

Overnight Makeover for a Kosher First Kitchen — Making the White House kitchen kosher. (Thanks to Dad.)

A common atheist delusion — This is one of my mental failings as an atheist as well. I find religious dogma so preposterous and obviously suspect that I have a lot of trouble believing that other people really believe it. My default assumption is always that they are going through the motions for some other reason. Which is an error-of-thinking on my part, to be sure.

Texas school may build protective wall after 2 students shot while trying out for basketball — See, your your Constitutionally guaranteed right to defense of essential liberties with firearms requires that rather than limit firearms use near schools, or any other sensible measure, we build walls around those schools. Because otherwise students might get shot by people out exercising their constitutional rights, and after all it's kids' fault for getting in the way of the bullets. This is yet another reason why I can never be a conservative. I just can't think myself that twisted and inhumane, to believe that gun rights trump the safety of schoolchildren.

Empathy, Cont. — Ta-Nehisi Coates on culture as a toolbox. I will also note, in parallel to his observation about weight and class, that there are no overweight kids in [info]the_child's eight grade class, and vanishingly few in her entire school — which is a Waldorf school populated largely by the children of relatively (or heavily) monied white liberal-progressives. I am one of the few overweight parents, as well.

Non Sequitur nails contemporary politics — Read the blackboard in the background.

Physics EnvyCreating financial models involving human behavior is like forcing 'the ugly stepsister's foot into Cinderella's pretty glass slipper.'

Panetta formally shuts down US war in Iraq — And we'll just leave the money on the dresser on out way out, right?

?otd: Some you just can't tell, right?

Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 9.5 (solid, plus plus napping)
Weight: 209.6
Currently (re)reading: Retief! by Keith Laumer

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User: mastadge
Date: 2011-12-15 13:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is one of my mental failings as an atheist as well. I find religious dogma so preposterous and obviously suspect that I have a lot of trouble believing that other people really believe it. My default assumption is always that they are going through the motions for some other reason. Which is an error-of-thinking on my part, to be sure.

That was a big one for me. As far as I can recall, I've never believed there was a god, so I naturally assumed that no one else did either -- that everyone at my shul was there for the community/social aspects or whatever, and all the prayer was just tradition. Sometime before I became bar mitzvah I realized that many of the people in that community really did believe in God. Even so, however, I still find it hard to internalize, to really make myself remember, when speaking to a true believer, that the person actually does honestly believe.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2011-12-15 14:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The flip side is that many believers honestly can't understand people who don't believe. Could be a factor of brain wiring. I know that things go better for me when I accept belief instead of fighting it, much less angst and drama in an already overly angsty part of my life if I'm not fighting myself about "do I believe and if so, what?"

The other piece is that many believers have a mental map of what the essentials required for belief are and what they aren't. For some believers, that mental map is heavily social and dependent upon what others think and process and feel, including criticizing those whose beliefs and actions don't match what they think and process and feel. For others, the mental map is highly individual and not dependent upon the externals. Someone who switches easily from belief to non-belief is probably closer to the external end of the spectrum than someone who's profoundly devout for the sake of devotion. Internalized belief is harder to shake and, often, is rarely dependent upon external shows of piety to maintain it.

There are people out there for whom belief is all external and social and mandatory for all around them. They're closer to the image that you and many non-believers hold of believers. But, truth be told, they don't like the internally pious, either.
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Kenneth Mark Hoover
User: kmarkhoover
Date: 2011-12-15 16:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Dunno how anyone else feels about this. I am really getting tired of the God references to the Higgs boson. God particle. Search for God. Blah blah blah.

Do we have to do this every time...claw hook some bullshit religious reference in order to validate what should be pure science?

Which itself should be awesome on its own?

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russ: lyles constant
User: goulo
Date: 2011-12-15 20:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:lyles constant
Totally agreed. It seems like nonsensical pop-journalism hype to call such physics a "search for god" or "god particle" etc.

And it only seems to happen with particle physics as far as I usually notice. E.g. when the Four Color Theorem was proven by mathematicians, nobody talked about it in terms of god. When a computer scientist says they may have proved P=NP, nobody talks about it in terms of god. If an astronomer discovers a new planet, it's not the "god planet". But somehow quantum physics has acquired this patina of mysticism-babble.
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User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-12-15 16:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The end of life planning article is a good one. I get very annoyed by people who say that they would never "be on a ventilator" or wouldn't want "extraordinary measures" at the end of life. The problem with that is that most of the time you don't know whether your trip to the ICU is going to be THE END, or if it's a temporary stay and you're going to get better and go home. Are people really going to throw away a chance to get better and go home? I spent two months sitting in the pulmonary ICU and I saw LOTS of people get better and go home. It's definitely more useful to think in terms of balancing choices. Would you want to try artificial ventilation and a heart machine if there was a chance you would recover? How small a chance. And since family is going to be making those decisions anyway, it's much easier for them that way than saying "don't put me on a ventilator ever," because what you're really asking is for people to kill you based on an arbitrary statement you made at a time when you had no real idea what the actual situation would be.

Now, having said all of that, I have to add that the reality of critical care and life on "machines" is much worse than people imagine and not at all like TV where people simply wake up and the tubes come out, and most people also don't understand that when they say "do everything to keep me alive."
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russ: zen
User: goulo
Date: 2011-12-15 20:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Wow, following a link from the atheism blog entry led to another great one well worth reading:
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