Whacked week out. This should be outer boundary but since tomorrow is a holy day, the celebration of labor by not-labor – yes, it is a Yankee government holy day; the conscript parents of Alibam don’t believe in not-labor, especially for the serfs and slaves – so tomorrow which should be the start of week in is only somewhat that. But today is still sundae so it seems fitting we may comment freely and rationally about irrationality and superstition.
But we can also expect things to be a bit of ‘hawgin’ because I need to trim some tabs away.
I ran across a rather intriguing article [Link] some days ago, entitled “Anthropology and Christianity”, which is apparently some sort of shill for a book on the subject. These are both subjects that interest me, partly because I took an anthropology track as an undergraduate and partly because my parents subjected me to all sorts of upliftment – not in the David Brin sense – as a bairn. The author’s tack, as might be expected, is that the two are diametrically opposed. Happily he does admit to being inaccurate. In fact, his summary is rather uplifting,
“When anthropologists today glory in their discipline’s rejection of faith they often have in mind a very specific form of belief: a highly judgmental, narrowly sectarian version of religious commitment that condemns the indigenous people they study as totally cut off from any positive, authentic spiritual knowledge and experience.”
This comes rather close to my own views, which is surprising since Anthropology in recent years has been on a denial-that-anthropology-is-science shtick. My thing is testability. If something is testable and you don’t/won’t test it then that is denial and mysticism and superstition. There are things that aren’t testable, either because of technology limitations or fundamental unsuitability and the latter at least are valid domains for arational faith.
Too many religionists, not just christianists, flatly demand that their beliefs not be tested. Some of this is insecurity; some is greed; some is something else, fear perhaps. Fundamentally I view all of these as bad reasons.
I also have a couple of cartoons to dismiss. First, [Link]
I was rather taken by this cartoon. It is one I follow mostly because of the brilliance of the artist. This seems to be rather a nicely done criticism of bogs. The misuse of “dumb” is a red flag.
This all follows from what I was blogging recently about bogs being shallow but wide ranging in their knowledge whereas nerds are deep but discrete (and not in the behavior sense.) Attention span is related to this. Bogs tend to have limited attention span-time for knowledge. This is largely why they are wide but shallow. Nerds, on the other hand, have great temporal depths of attention span which goes with their depth of knowledge.
The second cartoon [Link]
is related. It also refers to bogs, in this case particularly, to Amerikan bogs. These are the people who tell their children that they will never use algebra after taking the course in high schule. And despite the adolescent rebellion, they do take this to heart, and dismiss their minds, and the nation is third world when it comes to maths. If it wasn’t for cash registers made in Asia, Amerikan bogs couldn’t do money. Not that they do it very well.
Which gets us to Adam Frank’s article [Link] in the New Yawk Times on science denial in Amerika. One more aspect of our national race for third world state. Or perhaps the “Marching Morons”? Although he doesn’t say it but it appears increasingly likely that that denial is going to get the species extinct.
And in closing, one of my readers has asked me to identify the science podcasts I listen to. Being somewhat lazy, I shall just list the week’s podcasts on a modal basis:
- Mundane day: CBC’s “Best of Ideas”;
- Two day: Guardian science podcast, science segments from NPR, and SCEINCE;
- Woden’s day: CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks:;
- Thor’s day: Linux podcast: either Linux Luddites or UK Ubuntu podcast;
- Freya’s day, Saturn’s day; Sundae: “The Pen Addict”
I have some alternatives for when these are unavailable. I have not included the links to these since they are easily found with a bit of web search.
Go forth and find frozen yogurt, ice cream if you are a mutant.