- How an Abstinence Pledge in the ’90s Shamed a Generation of Evangelicals – The New York Times
- The Christian “purity” movement promoted a strict view of abstinence before marriage. But two decades later, some followers are grappling with unforeseen aftershocks.
(tags: evangelicalism sex purity)
- We only hire the trendiest
- More efficient hiring and better tools are cheaper than competing for candidates from the top universities.
(tags: tech programming hiring recruiters google)
- Critically Examining the doctrine of gender identity – YouTube
- A presentation by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper for Coventry Skeptics. The Q&A; (linked from the description) is interesting too.
A concept of gender identity which is entirely exhausted by “I am what I say I am” doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of a professional philosopher like Reilly-Cooper, and I hadn’t realised that people were saying things like “my penis is a female sex organ, because I am female” (as opposed to saying “it’s a woman’s, because I am a woman”).
I do wonder how much harm is being done by people believing wacky things in this case, though: is it common for males to cynically claiming to be women in order to harass women?
(tags: gender sex feminism identity identity-politics biology philosophy)
- Libertarian Social Justice Warrior: A Surprisingly Coherent Position | Thing of Things
- “As far as I am aware, “libertarian social justice warrior” is a niche very rarely filled. This is annoying to me, because a really good case can be made for the social justice libertarian.”
(tags: social-justice libertarianism sjw basic-income economics welfare)
- Infographic: Taking Easter Seriously – Jericho Brisance
- “Many Christians read the Easter stories year upon year, as I did for several decades, yet we never compare them in detail. As a consequence, we often do not realize that they are not telling the same story. There are indeed contradictions in the texts, but it is very important to move beyond “mere contradiction” – the issues with our gospels are far more extensive than that. Comparison against the historical record and assessing the gospels for trends of legend development are probably far more crucial. As with many non-believers, I left Christianity specifically because of the Bible, and because I considered and examined its content very seriously indeed.”
(tags: bible easter crucifixion contradictions history Christianity Religion)
- Not quite the original comic. Makes a good point though. Via andrewducker.
(tags: comic sealioning)
- Peter Boghossian vs Tim McGrew – YouTube
- Here’s an “Unbelievable” show in which Boghossian (“A Manual For Creating Atheists”) talks to Tim McGrew, who’s reasonably well known for his arguments in favour of belief in miracles. I’ve linked to a set of comments from “MrShamuto” where he undertakes more or less the process Boghossian describes in the books, of Socratic dialogue with “AdeToz”, a Christian. It is long and occasionally interrupted by other people who are bonkers, but it’s interesting to see Boghossian’s stuff in action.
(tags: street-epistemology epistemology peter-boghossian tim-mcgrew philosophy evidence unbelievable premier christian radio socratic)
- W00tstock 5.0 – George RR Martin vs. Paul and Storm – YouTube
- The singers of “Write like the Wind, George RR Martin” get a surprise.
(tags: game-of-thrones grrm george-rr-martin funny video wootstock)
- List of testimonies from people who just know their religion is true
- amymea, writing in the ex-Mormon Reddit, takes to task someone who argues that the “testimony of the spirit” is good evidence that Mormonism is true, by listing a bunch of other people who had strong feelings upon reading their own religious texts.
(tags: mormonism reddit feelings faith religion evidence)
- Advanced Trolley Problems
(tags: philosophy funny comic ethics trolley-problem)
- What I’ve Learned About Female Desire From Reading
- Mallory Ortberg is fun. “100% of women want to have sex with a man who embodies the fox version of Robin Hood from the cartoon Robin Hood, but most do not actually want to have sex with a fox or a man dressed as one.”
(tags: mallory-ortberg funny reading sex desire books)
The Scotts Aaronsen and Alexander both worry that following feminist doctrine makes geeky guys miserable and too scared to even attempt to form a romantic relationship with a woman. Hugh Ristik looks at feminist guilt, along similar lines to Catholic guilt. Laurie Penny responds compassionately to Aaronsen.
I still think of myself as in the Scotts’ tribe because of my awkward formative years, which my brain tends to give undue weight when compared to pieces of evidence like “you haven’t been single for more than, say, 6 months since you were, say, 22” (hint: learn to dance). So, I hope they won’t mind a little criticism.
Firstly, I wonder why arch-empiricists like the Scotts swallowed whole everything they were being told by the feminists. Why don’t the Scotts quickly work out that either they’re not being told what they think they’re being told (e.g. I bet if you asked the people conducting the harassment seminar, they wouldn’t have said Aaronsen was meant to take home the lesson that he did) or the people telling them this stuff are wrong about some things (e.g. if the people conducting the harassment seminar genuinely meant to say that men should never approach women under any circumstances just in case it’s harassment, they can safely be ignored without feeling bad about it)?
We get our beliefs wholesale
Possibly, if you’re starting from zero and desperately looking around for some rules on how to relate to women romantically, you might just latch on to the first subculture that claims to have expertise. It could have been much worse: Aaronsen could have run into the pick-up artists before the problematic patriarchal privilege posse, then he’d be going on about alphas and betas instead of privilege and de-railing, all the while wondering why having sex with people he despises for being stupid enough to fall for his con doesn’t seem to make him happy1. So, lucky escape there.
The Scotts might respond to me that I swallowed evangelical Christianity whole at the same age and that also messed up my relations with women a bit, so I’m in no position to criticise. That seems fair enough. What on Earth was I thinking? Both American Social Justice Internet Feminism (using my previous definition) and evangelicalism have the ability to form a rules-based system2. The temptation to swallow whole an ideology which has got some things right (especially things that everyone else seems to be ignoring) is common to all of us3, but geeks feel even more of a pull towards systems and clear “right answers” (previously, previouslier). Without wanting to say that evangelicalism and ASJIF aren’t problematically deontological, maybe some of the geeks’ troubles with them are down to these geeky tendencies.
Geeks: suppose you are writing (or, more often, updating) some software, as many of you do. The customer (or, more often, the person employed to prevent customers from seeing geeks that might alarm them) comes along and says “we want it to do X”. You’re like “but X will take ten years, will break Y, and the standard clearly says we must do Z not X”. But they’re like “No, X is super important and Customer won’t buy it unless it does X”. What’s the question you should ask now?
“What is the problem you are trying to solve?”
You should ask this because often in these situations you’re being given a solution to an underlying problem (the solution X) and you have to dig a bit to work out what the underlying problem is. The customer is an expert on the problem. You don’t get to say that their problem isn’t real (if you want to keep your job, anyway), but if they’re asking you to do something you’re going to have to live with for a while, you can and should look at that and see whether it makes sense in your context. This will usually involve talking to some people, tricky as that may be. Perhaps you can find a sympathetic geek on the customer’s side of the fence to thrash things out with. That usually works best.
- Postcards From the Edge of Consciousness – Issue 16: Nothingness – Nautilus
- “Sensory deprivation goes from CIA torture manuals to a yoga studio near you.” Via andrewduck.
(tags: psychology meditation floatation deprivation consciousness)
- TAM2014 – Carol Tavris – Who’s Lying Who’s Self-Justifying – YouTube
- “Social psychologist and author Carol Tavris on “Who’s Lying? Who’s Self-Justifying?: Origins of the He Said/She Said Gap in Sexual Communications”. Discusses sexual assault but is mainly about discussions of sexual assault and dissonance.
(tags: sex sexism psychology scepticism cognitive-bias evidence)
- Russell91/pythonpy · GitHub
- Clever idea: quick way of writing per line loops to process files in Python. Via HN.
(tags: python shell programming)
- Barely Legal Pawn, feat. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus – YouTube
- Spot all the Breaking Bad references.
(tags: breaking-bad comedy funny emmy parody pawn)
- Pop Sonnets
- “Young Thomas is a longshoreman by trade” Pop song lyrics turned into Shakespearian sonnets. Via Mefi.
(tags: funny shakespeare sonnets pop music lyrics)
- St James Infirmary – Primus Motor (harmonica, mandolin, doublebass) – YouTube
- Soulful harmonica version of the blues standard.
(tags: blues music st-james-infirmary)
- The Porn Block Fiasco goes mainstream « Complicity
- “The knowledge that attempting to block porn on the internet is bound to backfire has now gone mainstream. (BBC News, Telegraph) Well, there’s a temptation to say “we told you so”, because we did. Repeatedly. So far, sites we know that are subject to overblocking on either TalkTalk and BT include BishUK (a sexual education site for teenagers), LGBTfriend, Edinburgh Women’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre, Sexual Abuse Scotland, Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline and Reducing The Risk (Another domestic abuse help site).”
(tags: porn internet censorship talktalk sex filtering david-cameron)
- 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)
- Why Does Talking About Creepers And Harassment Make People So Angry? | Popehat
- "We write about things that make people angry: sometimes on purpose (u mad bro?), sometimes because the topic interests us. But few topics are as consistent in their ability to draw anger and trolling and bizarre visitors as the issue of sexual harassment and responses to it."
(tags: sex creepers harrassment feminism)
- BBC News – How religions change their mind
- How do doctrinal shifts occur in various world religions?
(tags: religion christianity mormonism islam change doctrine judaism)
- I Went Down to St. James Infirmary
- An entire blog full of different versions of the song. Super.
(tags: music jazz blues)
- The Ethics of Extreme Porn: Is Some Sex Wrong Even Among Consenting Adults? – Conor Friedersdorf – The Atlantic
- Does consent make everything OK? An article summarising responses to another article about a Kink.com shoot. (In the comments, I somehow end up arguing with someone about whether St Paul thought Jesus would be back within his lifetime).
(tags: kink bdsm sex consent porn ethics)
- Against the seriousness of theology : Gene Expression
- "Theology and texts have far less power over shaping a religion’s lived experience than intellectuals would like to credit. This is a difficult issue to approach, because even believers who are vague on peculiarities of the details of theology (i.e., nearly all of them!) nevertheless espouse that theology as true. Very few Christians that I have spoken to actually understand the substance of the elements of the Athanasian Creed, though they accept it on faith. Similarly, very few Sunni Muslims could explain with any level of coherency why al-Ghazali‘s refutation of the Hellenistic tendency within early Islam shaped their own theology (if they are Sunni it by definition does!). Conversely, very few Shia could explain why their own tradition retains within its intellectual toolkit the esoteric Hellenistic philosophy which the Sunni have rejected. That’s because almost no believers actually make recourse to their own religion’s intellectual toolkit."
(tags: religion theology culture)
- #322 & #323 “My friend group has a case of the Creepy Dude. How do we clear that up?” « CaptainAwkward.com
- What to do about That Guy (discusses stuff That Guy does). Via Andrewducker.
(tags: social relationships sex advice assault sexism feminism rape)
- The Worst Argument In The World
- which is: “If we can apply an emotionally charged word to something, we must judge it exactly the same as a typical instance of that emotionally charged word.” Yvain is just on fire lately: read his LJ and LessWrong posts.
(tags: equivocation worst philosophy argument rhetoric yvain)
- House Hacks – Imgur
- Clever household tips (as image macros) Via Alex at Lindy.
(tags: hacks tips cleaning housework house lifehack)