science

The Core of ‘Mind and Cosmos’
Thomas Nagel wrote a short outline of his book "Mind and Cosmos" for the New York Times. He attributes a lot of the criticism he’s been getting to people worried that he’s giving comfort to theism. If so, that reflects badly on the critics, because arguments are not soldiers, etc. etc. Via Massimo Pigliucci.
(tags: nagel philosophy consciousness thomas-nagel science)

John Stump, composer of Faerie’s Aire and Death Waltz « Lost in the Cloud
An article about the composer of that spoof piece (with directions like "release the penguins" and "add bicycle").
(tags: music composer funny)
Web of Beliefs 2012: Complete Edition – Greatplay.net
Peter Hurford’s summary of his beliefs, which links to a lot of his interesting essays. I should do myself one of these, I reckon.
(tags: religion belief philosophy epistemology science)

Traffic Waves – YouTube
If you drive at the average speed of the traffic and leave a gap in front of you, you can alleviate traffic jams, apparently.
(tags: traffic waves cars driving)
Salsa Dance Etiquette for Leads: How to Avoid Being Blacklisted When Social Dancing | danceclasschallenge
Also applies to a bunch of other partner dances.
(tags: dancing leading etiquette salsa dance)
Salsa Dance Etiquette for Follows: How to Avoid Being Blacklisted When Social Dancing | danceclasschallenge
Much of this is applicable to other partner dances.
(tags: dancing following etiquette salsa)
Why you shouldn’t believe the Resurrection happened » The Polemical MedicThe Polemical Medic
A nice summary of some good and bad arguments about the Resurrection.
(tags: religion miracles christianity resurrection philosophy)
Top 10 Reasons our Kids Leave Church « Marc5Solas
An American Christian on why they’re losing their youth. Obviously, they’re not going to say "because it’s all lies", but I don’t think an atheist has to support the idea that all de-converts thought very hard about it and left on rational grounds.
(tags: religion christianity de-conversion atheism)
Kevin and Jo videos
Jo and Kevin recap a course they did a couple of years ago, which has some of the same material they taught in Cambridge recently, but in a Charleston context.
(tags: dancing charleston lindy)
Power of Suggestion – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education
"The amazing influence of unconscious cues is among the most fascinating discoveries of our time­—that is, if it’s true." Attempts to replicate some of the classic experiments in psychological priming have failed. Interesting article about the role of reputations in science (as well as about priming).
(tags: priming psychology science)
hot as fuck: bands | dogpossum.org
Top tips for bands playing for dancers (and dancers dancing to bands).
(tags: music dancing lindy jazz lindyhop)
Carsie Blanton’s Baby Can Dance – OFFICIAL VIDEO – YouTube
Nice song, cool lindy in the video (almost all lead and followed apparently, there’s no choreography apart from one tiny bit) illustrating that it’s not all about the aerials.
(tags: music lindy lindyhop dance)
European Swing Dance Championships presents: Lindy Hop Bloopers – YouTube
Alternatively hilarious and terrifying. My favourite is the one where they kick the spotter, I think.
(tags: dancing lindy funny aerials lindyhop)

Interview: Russell Blackford on Atheism, Philosophy and Morality – Rational Hub Blogs
Longish (written) interview with the philosopher Russell Blackford. I enjoyed the bits about the supposed incompatibility between science and religion, and the stuff about moral error theory.
(tags: scientism science scie error-theory religion morality ethics philosophy russell-blackford)

30 open questions in physics and astronomy « Locklin on science
(tags: questions astronomy physics science)
Going Soul-o: one young atheist’s week at Christian camp (Day One)
Gay atheist Alex Gabriel went to Soul Survivor, a charismatic Christian festival, and blogged about it (the link is to part one of the series). I went in about 1998, shit was so crazy (to my conservative evangelical eyes) but bits of it were inspirational, and indeed, Alex does find some good things to say about it, but mostly worries about people converting for the wrong reasons (i.e. no reasons at all).
(tags: festival conversion alex gabriel charismatic christianity soul-survivor soul survivor)
Philosophy Bro
Excellent summaries of philosophical works in bro-speak, plus readers’ questions answered. Fist-bump!
(tags: aristotle descartes religion morality kant david hume bro funny philosophy)

What Thomas Kuhn Really Thought about Scientific “Truth” | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network
“To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Structure, I’m posting an edited version of my write-up of Kuhn in The End of Science (Addison Wesley, 1996), which draws heavily on my meeting with him. I hope that this profile—which is longer and more critical of Kuhn than “Reluctant Revolutionary,” my May 1991 profile for Scientific American—provides insights into the complicated views of this complicated man.”
(tags: epistemology paradigm science Kuhn philosophy)
On God As The Source Of Being But Not Of Evil | Camels With Hammers
“Very often we atheists are dismissed as ignorant of serious theology and theistic metaphysics or as picking on theologically unsophisticated versions of Christianity because it’s simply an easier target than trying to refute the more profound religious philosophers. In what follows, I will cut to the core of what traditional Roman Catholicism since Thomas Aquinas genuinely thinks is going on philosophically, and not merely metaphorically, when they talk about God’s goodness.”
(tags: theodicy metaethics evil good catholicism catholic philosophy thomist aquinas)

How to resolve poor battery life & battery issues on Android | Ken’s Tech Tips
There’s an app for that.
(tags: battery android)
Cognitive Biases – A Visual Study Guide
Presentation on cognitive biases.
(tags: cognitive brain bias psychology)
Banned from the buses
mattghg is the source of my bus farrago links, so here’s a link to his post, where he argues that ex-gay therapy might work and that there are free speech concerns with Boris banning the ads.
(tags: mattghg ex-gay adverts advertising bus religion homosexuality)
Spitzer Retracts his 2001 Paper – Kind Of… | An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
Peter Ould again, this time on the retraction of the main paper people quote as evidence that homosexuals can change orientation.
(tags: science ex-gay psychology homosexuality peter-ould)
Ex-Gay Adverts on London Buses | An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy
Peter Ould, who identifies as “post-gay”, has some interesting comments on the bus advertisement farrago.
(tags: ex-gay adverts bus christianity peter-ould religion homosexuality)
On Spitzer’s “Change” « Limning the Psyche
“People are asking me about Robert Spitzer’s reported desire to retract his study of 200 people who claimed to have experience change of their sexual orientation. “
(tags: homosexuality psychology)
If Atheists Talked Like Christians… (A Contest)
Reversing some popular Christian sayings. Kind of fun.
(tags: parody funny atheism christianity religion)

The case of the disappearing teaspoons: longitudinal cohort study of the displacement of teaspoons in an Australian research institute | BMJ
“Objectives To determine the overall rate of loss of workplace teaspoons and whether attrition and displacement are correlated with the relative value of the teaspoons or type of tearoom.”
(tags: humour science journal research teaspoons funny bmj)

What Nonbelievers Believe | Psychology Today
“Common sense, not complex philosophy, often drives religious skepticism.”
(tags: belief psychology atheism science humanism religion)
Without a pack of lies to back them up, Christian claims of persecution fall flat on their face
“So these two women, again with the help of the evangelical activists who are seeking special privilege for Christians, have gone to the European Court of Human Rights claiming that the equality law is wrong and should be changed. The Government has argued that the court’s decisions were right and that the law has been correctly applied in both cases. The National Secular Society has made the same argument in an intervention in the case, the only intervener to do so.

This could hardly be more different from arguing that the Christian cross must never be seen in the workplace again, as the newspaper headlines imply.”
(tags: politics uk religion christianity)