2011

The latest code release onto LiveJournal has introduced a problem where people are randomly getting logged into the wrong journals. This exposes friends locked and filtered entries belonging to those journals to those random people. There’s no indication that this used to read the locked entries of a specific, targeted user, but there’s no analysis of the problem available, so we don’t know that it can’t be, either. Edit: It looks like this was a problem with caching. If that’s true, it’s unlikely that it could have been used to read posts from a specific user. More here from cahwyguy.

More information is available here.

This has been going on since at least yesterday morning, yet LJ still hasn’t responded officially to reports of the problem or warned users that their private data is at risk. Edit: LJ has posted about the problem, however, they don’t seem to have some details right. For instance, they’re claiming it was only a problem for a few minutes, when people were noticing it all day on Thursday.

This is the second time that LJ has dealt with a major security incident with staggering incompetence. It illustrates that they apparently don’t have a test server, i.e. they’re a bunch of coyboys. My vague plans to move this blog just got a lot less vague.

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig | Richard Dawkins | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Dawkins now says he won’t debate with Craig because Craig defends the genocide of the Canaanites in the Old Testament. Craig’s views, like those of other evangelicals who share them, are pretty odious, but I don’t quite see why that means Dawkins should not debate with Craig: “no platform” principles are there so people can’t put forward their odious views, but a debate on the existence of God isn’t likely to revolve around what God did to the Canaanites. I think I’d just prefer to say “Craig is a better public speaker, I’d lose” and offer to debate in written form.
(tags: richard-dawkins william-lane-craig debate religion philosophy)

Top Christian William Lane Craig is on his UK tour, and recently had a debate with the atheist philosopher Stephen Law. Premier Christian Radio seems to be organising the tour, and they’ve posted the audio of the debate.

I listened to the debate. A short summary is below, with a longer one underneath the cut.

The debate topic was “Does God exist?”. Craig ran some of his standard arguments

  • The Kalam Cosmological argument, a First Cause argument which avoids the usual “who made God?” riposte by only claiming that “everything that begins to exist has a cause”.
  • The moral argument.
  • An argument based on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.

Law relied heavily on the evidential argument from evil, and his own variant of that, the one from his paper The Evil God Challenge, which Luke Muehlhauser has previously summarised here. Law has summarised his main argument in the debate on his own blog.

If you want to see my notes on the whole thing, read on, otherwise, skip to the end for my thoughts on how both of them did, and how atheists might do better.

Listening to the Hair Dryer: Why Nice Religion is Still Problematic, Analogy #37,476 | Greta Christina’s Blog

“Let’s say Person 1 thinks their hair dryer is talking to them, and is telling them to shoot every redhead who gets on the 9:04 train.

And let’s say that Person 2 thinks their hair dryer is talking to them, and is telling them to volunteer twice a week at a homeless shelter.

Is it better to volunteer at a homeless shelter than it is to shoot every redhead who gets on the 9:04 train? Of course it is.

But you still have a basic problem — which is that you think your hair dryer is talking to you.”
(tags: religion greta-christina accomodationism)

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal on Induction

Wanna play doctor of philosophy?
(tags: philosophy funny cartoon)

The True Cost of Commuting | Mr. Money Mustache

Why it doesn’t make sense to have a big house miles from where you work. I’m cycling in these days (unless it rains, then I’ll probably drive).
(tags: car transportation bike commuting money planning)

BBC News – Viewpoint: Is the alcohol message all wrong?

Kate Fox, author of “Watching the English”: “when people think they are drinking alcohol, they behave according to their cultural beliefs about the behavioural effects of alcohol.”
(tags: alcohol sociology society uk britain kate-fox)

Richard Dawkins attacks Muslim schools for stuffing children’s minds with ‘alien rubbish’ – Telegraph

“He said that while he opposed faith schools as a whole, it was the Muslim ones that worried him the most.” That seems reasonable: the C of E schools are mostly harmless, as far as I can tell: they accept evolution and don’t examine the consequences for Christian doctrine too carefully.
(tags: evolution religon islam richard-dawkins dawkins education schools)

Religious People Are Nerds – YouTube

Following on from my post about how religion is a fandom, here are some more interesting parallels.
(tags: religion nerds fandom hobby funny)

Strictly Come Dancing! | Woruld under wolcnum

“Some exciting factoids from my trip to be in the Strictly studio audience (in no particular order!)”
(tags: television tv dancing)

julies blog: My Star Trek Quiet Book

I wasn’t familiar with the term “quiet book” before, but this is excellent.
(tags: startrek craft book)

Ockham chooses a razor

Tee hee.
(tags: ockham occam razor philosophy cartoon funny)

Eliezer Yudkowsky offers odds of 99 to 1 against faster than light information propagation

“I’ll take bets at 99-to-1 odds against any information propagating faster than c… I will not accept more than $20,000 total of such bets.” Yudkowsky taking that xkcd cartoon literally.
(tags: physics eliezer-yudkowsky light ftl neutrino cern)

War of words breaks out among Jehovah’s Witnesses – Home News, UK – The Independent

For some reason, a bunch of newspapers in the UK have recently noticed that the Jehovas Witnesses are a cult. Nice to see so many people in the comments relating their stories of getting out.
(tags: religion cult jehovas-witness)

Richard Feynman on doubt, uncertainty and religion (subtitled) – YouTube

Feynman! Thou shouldst be living at this hour.
(tags: feynman doubt religion science physics)

Stephen Law: GOING NUCLEAR

A chapter from Law’s “Believing Bullshit” about the tactic he calls “going nuclear”: when the argument is going against you, blow everyone away by saying that “all arguments rest on faith” or “everything is relative” or some other such nonsense. Law anatomises the various forms of this tactic.
(tags: philosophy rationality argument stephen-law presuppositionalism)

Meeting Jesus at Oxford | Commentary | Fortean Times

CICCUs cousins DICCU and OICCU made the Fortean Times. Gripping stuff, with some ideas about why evangelical religion is so appealing to people at the famous universities.
(tags: ciccu religion university oxford cambridge)

An Interview with @AlmightyGod | Friendly Atheist

God has a Twitter feed (@almightygod). Hemant interviews Him.
(tags: religion funny god twitter)

gource – software version control visualization – Google Project Hosting

Cool tool which produces a video of your code’s history.
(tags: video programming history software tools)

David Graeber: On the Invention of Money – Notes on Sex, Adventure, Monomaniacal Sociopathy and the True Function of Economics « naked capitalism

Interesting demolition of the idea that barter economies always precede the invention of money.
(tags: economics anthropology money history sex barter)

The Dark Side of the Placebo Effect: When Intense Belief Kills – Atlantic Mobile

Sleep paralysis and the Nocebo effect as a potential killer.
(tags: science psychology sleep paralysis)

Text Message | Sunday Magazine

"FRIENDS THEY NEVER MEET: ACQUAINTANCES MADE BY THE TELEGRAPH KEY. CONFIDENCES EXCHANGED BETWEEN MEN WHO HAVE NEVER SEEN EACH OTHER — THEIR PECULIAR CONVERSATION ABBREVIATIONS." Cool steampunk stuff. Via andrewducker.
(tags: telegraph communication sms message)

Writing Vim Plugins / Steve Losh

What it says on the tin.
(tags: programming vim plugin development editor)

Coming Home to Vim / Steve Losh

Someone's page about going back to Vim, listing some config options I didn't know about.
(tags: programming tools vim editor tutorial)

Lost Garden: Rules of Productivity Presentation

"How do we get more work done? It is a question that every manager and every passionate worker faces. Yet, for the most part, teams operate on gut instinct and habit. The results are less than optimal. Over the years I've been collecting small pieces of research on various factors that actually seem to improve productivity. I've assembled eight of these experiments into a PowerPoint presentation. Feel free to use the graphs and data within to spread these practical ideas throughout your own teams." Via andrewducker.
(tags: psychology programming software development overtime scrum productivity)

CPBD 089: John Shook – Dewey, Quine, and Some Varieties of Naturalism

John Shook talks to Luke Muehlhauser about philosophical naturalism (with a transcript, for those of you who hate podcasts). Interesting to find about the various naturalistic philosophies, and to see the responses to the supernaturalist "you naturalists think everything is just atoms" argument.
(tags: philosophy naturalism science physics materialism)