24 January 2009

Saturday Sausage Platter

It's been a relatively quiet couple of days, aside from bloviation over various award nominations (mostly from cretins who refuse to accept context as significant) and working on a couple of behind-the-scenes filings to help out a colleague. But that does not mean there is no amusement to be had...

  • Especially if one has a really, really sick sense of humor. Consider this "book review" of two insufficiently orthodox anticreationist books, and Professor Myers' continued riff. The real problem is that they're all missing the point: Science and religion are not universal answers; in fact, no method of reasoning is a universal answer, not even formal mathematics (consider non-Euclidean geometry and imaginary numbers as just starting points). I come down on science's side most of the time — particularly in this debate, if only on Occam's Razor grounds (a system involving internal evolution from an arbitrary starting point is a lot less complex than a system imagining a "creation" that necessarily denies both time and thermodynamics) — but not every judgment is, or can be, scientific, if only because many judgments must be made on the basis of insufficient/unknowable information.

    Now juxtapose that with Judge Gettleman's quite proper trashing of a "minute of silence" law (passed by wingnuts from Northwest Redneckistan).

  • The Grauniad has been running a series on 1000 novels "everyone must read before they die", with quite a few interesting selections... and, of course, quite a few omissions. I'll freely admit to some sense of literary snobbery. OK, I'll freely admit to quite a bit of literary snobbery. And, thus, I find the list about one-third satisfactory. Admittedly, that's about 300 novels more than W has read, but still...
  • BrookesAnd then there's the sadly amusing. Including the all-too-accurate depiction of Your Republican Party's Post-Election Activities below. As Orwell said, "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." Which, of course, links right back into the first item above.
    Non Sequitur, 24 Jan 2009
    <SARCASM> I, however, am not a member of either the Inner or the Outer Party, so what would I know about how that works? </SARCASM>