Because I owe it to Bruce

10 12 2008

Bruce hit me with the “Six Things” meme a few weeks ago, and I’ve been remiss in not posting it sooner. The rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random arbitrary things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

It’s not the most enthralling meme I’ve encountered, but Bruce has always responded to my meme-forwards promptly, despite his disdain for them. So I guess I should return the favour. Here goes:

1. I’ve been marking exams all morning, and now I have  slight pain in the left side of my neck.

2. I have recently taken to wearing berets, which are surprisingly fashionable where I currently live, though I can’t see myself lasting ten seconds wearing one in Northbridge on a Saturday night.

3. I actually don’t object in principle to the consmption of whale meat, and have tried it myself.

4. I really should be studying right now.

5. 

6. Words often fail me.

 

I, in turn . . . reserve the right not to forward this meme. And not just because Bruce stole my potential victims.

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It’s World Philosophy Day

20 11 2008

And at ABC News Online there is call for more philosophy and critical thinking in Australian schools. I share this view, though I find much to disagree with in Kellie Tranter’s article—especially her uncrtical citing of the think-tank Future Directions’ yearning for “a recognisable spiritual set of values and hierarchy.” But I have long felt that explicit instruction in critical thinking is at least as important as functional English.

Anyway, in the spirit of World Philosophy Day . . . .

By the way, if you haven’t done so already, do (as Ninglun would say) train your podcast feeds on The Philosopher’s Zone and Philosophy Bites.

And I might take the opportunity to bleg: if anyone is aware of decent philosophy/critical thinking in ESL resources, please let me know.





Over at OzAtheist, yet another apologist is telling me how in the absence of God-belief I have no basis for morality

13 11 2008

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, two men soaked in God-belief sprayed acid on two schoolgirls.

[UPDATE

And in Somalia, 50 men soaked in God-belief buried a 13-year-old girl up to her neck and threw rocks at her head until she was dead. This occurred in a stadium in front of about 1000 god-soaked spectators. Her crime? She had been gang-raped by three men while traveling on foot to see her grandmother, and attempted to report the incident to the local authorities . . . the local authorities being the Islamist al-Shabab militia. They promptly accused her of adultery, and she was sentenced to death in a Sharia court.]

Link to the OzAtheist post, if you’re interested.





The Bill Muehlenberg Trophy: Muehlenberg (and his monkeys) on Obama

11 11 2008

Never let it be said that fundies are given to shrieking hysterics . . .

At a time of great financial crisis a nation turns to charismatic, eloquent unkown who preaches a better future for them as a country. USA 2008….Germany 1933….
Stephen White

[. . .]

Thanks Stephen

I know my critics think I am far too cynical and over the top already, but I can’t help but thinking that you are clearly on to something here with your interesting observation.

Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

HT: Memeplex Read the rest of this entry »





Google Images meme

29 10 2008

I like this one. Here are the instructions:

A) Answer the questions below. Do a Google Image search with your answer, take a picture from the first page of results and do it with minimal words of explanation.

 

B) Tag other people to do the same once you’ve finished answering every question.

Bruce has opted not to use any words of explanation at all, and the results are, I think, more interesting. So I’m doing likewise. Read the rest of this entry »





And Neil thought he had problems . . .

19 09 2008

Just have a look at the grief Martin Wagner is experiencing at the hands of a loving Christian. In a nutshell: Wagner, co-host of The Atheist Experience TV show and author of the Atheist Experience blog, critiqued a creationist’s article on the evils of atheism. Well, the creationist didn’t like that, and retaliated by vandalising Wagner’s Wikipedia entry, claiming that Wagner was a drug addict and a paedophile. Wagner called him on it on the Atheist Experience blog, and the creationist didn’t like that, either, so—like a hybrid of David Mabus and John A. Davison—he trawled atheist and Christian discussion boards alike across the Internet, and started a half-dozen blogs, wailing persecution at the hands of Wagner and a Wikipedia administrator (the creationist’s vandalism led to his banning from Wikipedia). Wagner, now armed with sufficient evidence to mount an online defamation suit, obtained the services of an attorney. The creationist went quiet for three months, then issued Wagner with a “Cease and desist” letter. Wagner has decided that enough is enough, and is now pressing ahead with legal action. He observes:

If you write anything online, there’s a good chance it will be read by someone you don’t know, who isn’t already your friend and predisposed to be kind to you no matter how much you insist on doing the writing equivalent of face-planting on the pavement. That’s the crazy thing about the intarweebs: there are people on it. People who have opinions who don’t always march in lockstep with your own. And if they disagree with you, they’ll say so. Sometimes they’ll be polite (which I am), sometimes they’ll be snarky and sarcastic (which I am). But there’s no protective law that says that opinion articles published on blogs and websites get to be shielded from criticism or even pure derision. I understand, every time I post to AE, that what I’m writing is as likely to be critiqued or flamed as it is to be praised. And I don’t mind that fact. If your ego is too fragile to take criticisms of your writing and ideas, you shouldn’t be writing in as public (some might say anarchic) a venue as the frackin’ internet!

Absolutely right. But that’s the thing about these high RWAs, especially when they are permitted access to a keyboard and an internet connection. They don’t like it when people disagree with them. They take disagreement with their ideas as a personal attack, and they deem it justifiable to respond in kind. And given the havoc and mischief they can wreak upon their victims—outing in Jeremy’s case, stalking in Bruce’s case, hacking in Neil’s case, and now legal threats in Wagner’s case—they arguably should be considered a threat to democracy, if not society.





Attn: Atheists. You believe what my dictionary says you believe.

16 09 2008

Somebody school this individual . . . please!