Link blog: biology, statistics, funnny, turing

He Said/She Said

Grim-meathook-future SF author Peter Watts's wedding vows: "And you and I are going to kick biological determinism in the balls." Aw, sweet.
(tags: wedding marriage biology monogamy)

Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity

"One might think that, once we know something is computable, how efficiently it can be computed is a practical question with little further philosophical importance. In this essay, I offer a detailed case that one would be wrong. In particular, I argue that computational complexity theory—the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems—leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate, computationalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest. I end by discussing aspects of complexity theory itself that could benefit from philosophical analysis."
(tags: philosophy programming complexity compsci turing)

Does the future have a church? | The Briefing

What evangelicals think of the general decline in church attendance in the UK. Their churches are holding their own numerically but not growing, so becoming a smaller percentage of a growing population. However, they're doing better than other Protestant denominations, which will die out as their older members die off. Getting them while they're young is essential for propagating religion, and they worry about the lack of youf in the church. Social trends like cohabiting couples and single parent families are worrying because evangelical churches don't really know how to cope with those people so won't evangelise them effectively. Via the artist formerly known as nlj21.
(tags: church religion statistics christianity uk)

Kayonga Kagame Shows Us The World. Episode: Darkest Austria : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

A hilarious spoof on ethnological documentaries: an African TV team comes to the Austrian province to document the strange behavior of the natives… including the Feast of the Chicken. *
(tags: funnny anthropology ethnology)

3 Comments on "Link blog: biology, statistics, funnny, turing"

  1. The piece on the future of Christianity in the UK is interesting, though it doesn’t answer the main question I have, which is, what do these changes mean for the rest of us (the 90% of non- and nominal Christians)? Christianity has a certain amount of political influence in the UK, through the Established Church, the Lords Spiritual, and so on. At the moment this influence seems mostly harmless, i.e. not too far away from the broadly liberal/mildly conservative consensus of the rest of the country. But what happens if the demographic trends continue as described, resulting in a smaller, but much more socially conservative Church of England? if so, there’s going to be trouble.


    1. But what happens if the demographic trends continue as described, resulting in a smaller, but much more socially conservative Church of England?

      Disestablishment, I’d expect. The Guardian editorial on the Jeffrey John imbroglio puts it well: “The Church of England now expects both the benefits of establishment and the cultural freedom of private religion. At the very least, a national church should not become disconnected from the best values of the country it serves.”


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