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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-01-31 05:14
Subject: [links] Link salad lingers over its cereal
Security: Public
Tags:books, climate, culture, ebooks, links, nature, personal, politics, publishing, religion, science, sex
Paying Tribute: The Stars My Destination — Ty Franck on Daniel Abraham's blog.

The self-epublishing bubble — (Snurched from @lilithsaintcrow.)

Pythons linked to Florida Everglades mammal decline

Little Ice Age was caused by volcanism

Russia blames radiation for space probe failure

Toward a New ‘Prime Directive’

While temperatures rise, denialists reach lowerThe WSJ OpEd makes a lot of hay from having 16 scientists sign it, but of those only 4 are actually climate scientists. And that bragging right is crushed to dust when you find out that the WSJ turned down an article about the reality of global warming that was signed by 255 actual climate scientists. Ah, ideology: trumping facts in the conservative mind since 4004 BC.

The Condom's CousinsHealth care coverage is one horse that the Church has chosen to ride in order to protect its belief in the sanctity of its beliefs. Sex, rather than God, is its focus. If God's perceived commandments on how one deals with one's fellow man come into conflict with the Church's opinion on sex, its opinion on sex wins out every time, irrespective of the effect it may have on fellow man.

The Austerity DebacleHaven’t we learned a lot about economic management over the last 80 years? Yes, we have — but in Britain and elsewhere, the policy elite decided to throw that hard-won knowledge out the window, and rely on ideologically convenient wishful thinking instead. "Ideologically convenient wishful thinking" pretty much describes most of the conservative mindset these days, at least on the budget, jobs, climate change, foreign policy, etc.

Brewer Has History Of Getting Facts WrongIn the past, when Brewer has been confronted about inaccurate statements, her first move has been to maintain she was right no matter how clear the matter was. Republican to the bone.

Wash. Post's Parker Wildly Distorts Charitable Giving Of Obama, Romney — Because when you're taking the GOP party line, facts don't matter, the message does. Even flat out lies like this pass unchallenged in Your Liberal Media.

Trillions in tax cutsThe Republican presidential candidates claim to abhor debt, yet propose tax cuts that would add trillions more. Supply side economics hasn't worked yet, but why stop believing in it now? Who said New Math was dead?

Election angst hits Hill Republicans — What amazes me is that for most of my adult life, the GOP has had fantastic party discipline. Since about 2006, that seems to have really weakened. Not that I'm complaining about anything that undercuts the toxic conservative agenda, but I find it surprising.

Kansas Speaker O’Neal asks House GOP to pray for Obama’s death — Stay classy, GOP. It's what you do best.

The Grover Norquist "Impeach Obama" Fantasy[T]he Republicans wanted [Clinton] removed from the first day he took office, and that they were not waiting for a crime so much as they were waiting for the moment when they had the votes to do it. (That this is a monumental act of contempt for the people who elected him their president should not concern us here, because it apparently never concerned the Republicans.)

Why Gingrich is a Liability to Down-Ticket Congressional Races — And the GOP establishment continues to dog pile on poor, misunderstood Newt.

?otd: Got milk?

Writing time yesterday: 2.5 hours (Sunspin revisions)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 8.0 (solid)
Weight: 228.6
Currently reading: The Man in the Moone, and Other Lunar Fantasies ed. Faith Pizor

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Steve: Anton Ego (Ratatouille)
User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2012-01-31 14:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Anton Ego (Ratatouille)
Regarding the "Impeach Obama" article; is it wrong to be pondering writing The Monster At the End of this Campaign: Starring Irascible, Cranky Old Grover?

-- Steve is saved from this temptation because he can't draw worth a damn.
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scarlettina: Furious
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-01-31 16:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The article on the Prime Directive is fascinating. I found myself distracted about halfway through by the implications of the tests for intelligence, mainly because some creatures we treat as animals actually pass this test (elephants have demonstrated a moral code and self-awareness both in and out of clinical environments) and yet we do not treat them with the precepts being discussed in this article. (By the time I got to the sentence where the author says, "...the ethical concepts embedded here may be profoundly anthropocentric...", I actually laughed about the amount of time it had taken him to get to that idea--the author's assumption of privilege is automatic.) The conservationist in me got so riled it was hard for me to finish reading the article (though I have and suspect I'll end up blogging about it).

One of the assumptions being made in this piece--but not addressed by it--is that once a new Prime Directive or code of metalaw is in place, all members of a species will abide by it. This assumes an equal level of affluence, education, and privilege across an entire world, which is a beautiful idea but practically impossible. Current events demonstrate its impossibility; witness the Kenyan Wildlife Services' efforts to stem poaching. They'll be busy as long as there are people who are poor and are willing to supply bush meat and ivory to rich people.

Furthermore, how do we treat an alien race until we determine it's worthy of the treatment being encoded in these ideas? Do we kill them and eat them for lunch until we suddenly discover a moral code and self-awareness? We do it here and now. Plenty of people eat cetaceans.

We've got a longer way to go on this concept than the author--or most of those who argue about it--are willing to concede. Theory is nice; practice is nigh on to impossible.

Edited at 2012-01-31 04:18 pm (UTC)
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