Link blog: politics, election, whig, britain

Whig Party | Britain’s original progressive political party is back
Crikey. It’s like a Neal Stephenson novel: “The Whigs are returning to British politics. We are going into the 2015 General Election to provide a fresh choice to the British people, and to show that everyone can get involved in politics. Our campaign will be positive and optimistic, both online and in the streets. The Whigs are back. Come and join the party.”
(tags: whig politics election history uk general-election)
David Hume and the sensible knave | Ask a Philosopher
Is there a response to Hume’s “sensible knave”, who does evil only when he can be reasonably sure of not getting found out?
(tags: david-hume hume morality knave philosophy glaucon)
Why I Don’t Read The News Anymore | Thing of Things
I don’t, either, for roughly the same reasons.
(tags: news ozymandias psychology availability politics)
A fixed-term hung Parliament? | British Government and the Constitution
Prof Adam Tomkins explains the Fixed Term Parliaments Act. Points out that, while a defeat which is not a motion of no confidence does not allow an early election, nothing compels a Prime Minister to stay in office: Labour could hold the threat of Milliband’s resignation (and the Tories being invited to form a government) over the SNP in order to pass a budget, for example.
(tags: constitution government politics election confidence)
The British press has lost it – POLITICO
Even the broadsheets don’t bother to hide the fact that they’re rooting for the Tories because their oligarch owners told them to (except the Graun, of course). No one in my liberal bubble actually reads print newspapers, they just share links to the Graun’s “Comment is Dumb” section on Facebook. Still, I might not be typical, so it’s all a bit worrying.
(tags: press newspapers journalism politics britain election)

Link blog: pakistan, islamism, streaming, music

Global Swing Broadcast | Music * Videos * Photography
Swinging internet radio station. Nice.
(tags: music streaming swing radio)
Brown Pundits: Unreal Islam
“As someone in love with the cultural traditions of Islam and as a diligent student of its history, I agree that the acts of the jihadis do not represent the vast majority of Muslims today or in history. Humans are a violent species and Muslims have contributed their share, but it is completely asinine to think that Muslims have been, historically, any more violent than other groups. However, it is equally absurd to deny that the ideology underlying jihadism draws upon mainstream Islamic beliefs and is, therefore, undeniably a form of “real Islam” – albeit of a very extreme form. It is more accurate to say that this extremism is “not the only Islam”, and, by historical standards, it is a version very different from what the vast majority of Muslims have practiced.”
(tags: islam religion islamism history pakistan)

Link blog: war, world-war-II, solstice, turing

The button that isn’t | Restricted Data
There’s no actual big red button to launch all the missiles. Interesting article on nuclear command and control.
(tags: nuclear icbm button war missiles)
Secular Solstice: Doing good for goodness’ sake – The Washington Post
The WaPo reports on secular solstice celebration. Sounds cool.
(tags: atheism religion solstice)
“Yer a Developer, Harry” – Programming Is Magic
How being a programmer is a bit like being a wizard. Via andrewducker.
(tags: magic programming spells software wizards)
A Poor Imitation of Alan Turing by Christian Caryl | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
The Imitation Game is pretty bad as history. Via HD on Facebook.
(tags: biography film review turing history war world-war-II)

Link blog: unix, tilde, community, history

I had a couple drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds (This really touched me)
Nostalgia overload as a bloke sets up a Linux box and gives his friends (and then randoms from the Internet) accounts, like what we did with our college Internet connections in the mid 90s.Remember Pine?
(tags: unix tilde community history)

Link blog: bletchley, mohammed, twitter, philosophy

Why I’m speaking up for Islam against the loudmouths who have hijacked it | Maajid Nawaz | Comment is free | The Guardian
“I tweeted a cartoon of Jesus and Mo. My aim was to carve out a space where Muslims can be heard without fearing the blasphemy charge.”
(tags: mohammed islam jesus cartoon twitter maajid-nawaz liberal-democrats)
The Philosophers’ Mail
It’s the Daily Mail as if written by philosophers: “We look at the stories of the mass media, then put our own philosophical gloss on them, in the direction of truth, wisdom and complexity.” I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to keep it up, but currently it’s pretty good.
(tags: mail philosophy stoicism paparazzi daily-mail)
Disharmony at Bletchley Park | Gareth Halfacree
All is not well at Bletchley, it appears, with tensions between the two museums on the site and between the guides (who are excellent) and the management of Bletchley Park Trust. What a shame, it’s a great place to visit.
(tags: bletchley charity uk computing history museum)

Link blog: bletchley, mohammed, twitter, philosophy

Why I’m speaking up for Islam against the loudmouths who have hijacked it | Maajid Nawaz | Comment is free | The Guardian
“I tweeted a cartoon of Jesus and Mo. My aim was to carve out a space where Muslims can be heard without fearing the blasphemy charge.”
(tags: mohammed islam jesus cartoon twitter maajid-nawaz liberal-democrats)
The Philosophers’ Mail
It’s the Daily Mail as if written by philosophers: “We look at the stories of the mass media, then put our own philosophical gloss on them, in the direction of truth, wisdom and complexity.” I’m not sure how long they’ll be able to keep it up, but currently it’s pretty good.
(tags: mail philosophy stoicism paparazzi daily-mail)
Disharmony at Bletchley Park | Gareth Halfacree
All is not well at Bletchley, it appears, with tensions between the two museums on the site and between the guides (who are excellent) and the management of Bletchley Park Trust. What a shame, it’s a great place to visit.
(tags: bletchley charity uk computing history museum)

Link blog: blue, burial, death, light

How Corpses Helped Shape the London Underground
Gruesome but interesting.
(tags: underground history death burial corpses tube)
Why we need to sleep in total darkness
Blue light at night is bad. Any light is probably a bit bad. Time to get some blackout curtains (although I think they make it harder to wake up).
(tags: health light sleep blue melatonin)
Reading Genesis 1 “Literally” | Scribalishess
Susan Pigott, a professor specialising in the Old Testament, gives her literal reading of Genesis 1, and shows how it both borrows from and reacts against other cosmologies which were around at the time. Via Unreasonable Faith.
(tags: genesis creation old-testament hebrew cosmology)

Link blog: google, nsa, paranormal, jesus

UFOs, Ghosts and a Rising God
Chris Hallquist’s debunking of the stories of the resurrection of Jesus is now online. It’s a good read. It’s mostly a response to popular apologetics on the subject (Habermas, Craig, McDowell and so on) and an argument that the evidence is worse than that for more modern paranormal events which we justly reject (the ghosts and UFOs of the title).
(tags: history william-lane-craig christianity jesus resurrection apologetics scepticism ufo paranormal chris-hallquist)
Do try not to get your penis stuck in a toaster. A message from the fire brigade | Dave Brown | Comment is free | theguardian.com
"Our #FiftyShadesofRed campaign is designed to remind people we should be attending fires, not tambourines on heads or yet another handcuff incident."
(tags: fire-brigade bdsm sex funny)
Edward Snowden’s not the story. The fate of the internet is | Technology | The Observer
"The fact is that Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are all integral components of the US cyber-surveillance system. Nothing, but nothing, that is stored in their "cloud" services can be guaranteed to be safe from surveillance or from illicit downloading by employees of the consultancies employed by the NSA. That means that if you’re thinking of outsourcing your troublesome IT operations to, say, Google or Microsoft, then think again."
(tags: nsa google xkeyscore cloud edward-snowden security internet china)

Link blog: islam, sam-harris, muslim, tom-holland

FactCheck: Case dismissed on employment law reform | The FactCheck Blog
“The Beecroft study as it appears in the Telegraph contains little in the way of factual evidence as it stands, so it’s difficult to support the venture capitalist’s assertions that a change in the law on unfair dismissal is needed.” Via andrewducker.
(tags: dismissal factcheck law employment beecroft conservatives)
Heresy Corner: Tom Holland: In the shadow of a sword?
Don’t examine Islam too closely: “Channel 4 said today that it had cancelled a special screening planned for this Thursday of Islam: the Untold Story, its documentary of last month written and presented by Tom Holland and based on his latest book In The Shadow of the Sword.”
(tags: history tom-holland channel4 muslim islam)
Speaking Out Because I Must
“I am shocked but not surprised by the film. I am horrified and really, really pissed off at my Muslim brothers.”
(tags: muslim islam)
On the Freedom to Offend an Imaginary God : Sam Harris
“Here is where the line must be drawn and defended without apology: We are free to burn the Qur’an or any other book, and to criticize Muhammad or any other human being. Let no one forget it.” “The freedom to think out loud on certain topics, without fear of being hounded into hiding or killed, has already been lost. And the only forces on earth that can recover it are strong, secular governments that will face down charges of blasphemy with scorn. “
(tags: sam-harris islam mohammed koran politics free speech religion)
Sam Harris on the Innocence of Muslims affair | Talking Philosophy
Russel Blackford examines Harris’s essay. He gets a couple of commenters telling him that he’s a cultural imperialist or doesn’t understand the sacred or something, so I waded in.
(tags: religion blasphemy islam russell-blackford sam-harris)