Proof of Batman’s existence

Fun with the Ontological Argument. The comments are good, too… Via andrewducker.
(tags: funny philosophy ontological anselm religion)

The curious case of the You’re Not Helping blog « The Buddha Is Not Serious

How not to do it: Atheist starts anonymous blog to tell some other outspoken atheists (PZ, Ophelia Benson, and so on) to cool it, or something. Eventually, someone notices that many commenters on the site are the same person. That person makes a flounce post about being "silenced" and makes their blog private. D'oh!
(tags: blogging drama atheism internet)

Leicester strikes a blow for secularism | Theo Hobson | Comment is free |

Theo Hobson on events in Leicester, where the new Lord Mayor has appointed a secular chaplain and removed prayers before monthly council meetings. Hobson notes that the C of E is, perhaps wisely, not making much of a fuss about this: "establishment at all levels is more or less indefensible; the more discussed it is, the more obvious this is. The church can only hope that interest dies down."
(tags: anglicanism religion leicester secularism)

2008 Google I/O Session Videos and Slides: Building Scalable Web Applications with Google App Engine

Writing a blog in Google App Engine: tempting…
(tags: google tutorial video appengine gae scalability python)

Visualizing Bayes’ theorem |

Join the Bayesian Conspiracy.
(tags: bayes statistics mathematics bayesian tutorial probability bayes-theorem)

YouTube – John Passmore on Hume: Section 1

A video discussing Hume's ideas on causality, the self and experience.
(tags: philosophy hume enlightenment empiricism video john-passmore david-hume)

python-on-a-chip – Project Hosting on Google Code

"This project's goals are to develop the PyMite virtual machine, device drivers, high-level libraries and other tools to run a significant subset of the Python language on microcontrollers without an OS." Nice.
(tags: python embedded programming hardware microcontrollers avr)

Attacked from Within

"This article attempts to fundamentally rethink what constitutes community and society on the web, and what possibilities exist for their maintenance and reconstruction in the face of scale and malicious users." I've mentioned this one before, but I've seen a couple of things about creating good comments recently, so I thought I'd wheel it out again. Warning: contains links to Encyclopedia Dramatica, which is very much not safe for work.
(tags: community identity social internet moderation reputation kuro5hin)

GMC | Determinations

The General Medical Council ruling on Dr Andrew Wakefield, where you can read why he was actually struck off (via Ben Goldacre).
(tags: medicine mmr uk wakefield andrew-wakefield vaccine vaccination gmc)

Searching for Jesus in the Gospels : The New Yorker

Adam Gopnik writes about the historical Jesus and the Jesus of faith, bringing in people like Bart Ehrman and Philip Pullman. Interesting stuff.
(tags: religion christianity history jesus christ paul bart-ehrman ehrman adam-gopnik philip-pullman)

Failing The Insider Test: The Problem of Hell

One of the reasons I'm not a Christian any more is that I realised the God I was being asked to worship was evil. Jeffrey Amos explains what I mean with great clarity, and also addresses the "ah ha, but how do you know what's evil without God, eh?" argument.
(tags: hell god evil christianity religion morality)

The Swinger « Music Machinery

Turn anything into a jive (well, anything in 4/4 anyway): "The Swinger is a bit of python code that takes any song and makes it swing. It does this be taking each beat and time-stretching the first half of each beat while time-shrinking the second half. It has quite a magical effect."
(tags: music python audio programming software swing jive)

As promised, the link blog stuff is now working. It’s pulling links and descriptions from my Delicious bookmarks and posting them to LJ in batches of 10 or more, or when there’s stuff to be posted and nothing’s been posted for 4 days. Let me know if it becomes annoying.

Here comes the science

It turns out there’s a PHP script called Delicious Glue to do this, but that would involve using PHP, so no (gateway drug: next thing you know, you’ll be using Perl). It looks like that script also doesn’t cope with the brave new world of Unicode terribly well, doesn’t tag the LJ post using the tags from Delicious, and doesn’t support the elaborate posting scheme described in the previous paragraph. Also, it wasn’t invented here.

So I did it in Python. Mark Pilgrim’s excellent Universal Feed Parser module does much of the heavy lifting. Posting to LJ using XML RPC turns out to be surprisingly easy using the built-in xmlrpclib. Most of the faff comes in getting it to persist state between runs of the script, which I’m doing using pickle. Here’s the code: you’d need to be a programmer to adapt it for your own use, but if you are, it shouldn’t be hard. I’ll probably run it daily using cron.