Friday, December 11, 2009

Out with the Old?

"Old" atheism = quietly sitting in the corner, keeping it to yourself.

"New" atheism = not quietly sitting in the corner, keeping it to yourself.

That's pretty much it.

It's not like Prof. Dawkins has found a cutting edge way to not believe in gods, or Mr. Harris has broken new ground in disbelief, or Mr. Hitchens is in possession of an innovative manner of unbelieving, or Prof. Myers has distilled a previously unknown debunking of the supernatural mindset.

They, and others, are just talking about it, and we have the technology to know that they are talking about it. Often at the moment they talk about it. And their talking about it has made others who also disbelieve less afraid to talk about it.

Though, in geological terms, I am a "new" atheist, having only been one for about 20 years. That's not even half a blink of an eye in the roughly 4.5 billion years the planet has been chugging along without the aid of Odin or Zeus, Yahweh or Baal.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

*sigh* Tiger Woods

Just, something that Mr. Limbaugh said, or read, about Tiger Woods "letting down the black community." This is the sort of thing that no one would ever say about a white guy. Governor Mark Sanford was not criticized for letting down the white community. First of all, because there is no such thing, and secondly, because white people are not expected to represent their race, but all not-white people are.

Has he also let down the Chinese, Native American, Thai, and Dutch communities? After all, he's got those ancestries as well. Has he let down professional golfers or golfers everywhere? The PGA probably could have the biggest bone to pick, out of all parties aside from his wife, who... well, I'll leave the bone metaphor alone.

Maybe Tiger Woods has let down his fans and his sponsors, but he has especially let down his family. He has not let me down. I am neither a golfer, a fan of golfers, Chinese, Native American, Thai, Dutch, African American, nor a corporation with a vested financial interest in his success.

Has Mr. Limbaugh let the fat community down? The fat, white community? The ignoramus community? The white, male community? The male community? The white community? The conservative community? The human community?

I would argue that he lets at least a couple of them down every time he opens his mouth. He certainly does one of them proud.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Aside/Stage Whisper

This has nothing to do with anything aside from the Flashback/Wow-People-Really-DON'T-Change sense of wonderment I am having right now.

Back in the late 1990's, the guy I had been dating for three years cheated on me with a 19-year-old waitress at the bar where he was a bartender. We were living together at the time. It was awesome. Quite the self esteem builder, I can tell you. And what a thing for me to look back on, thinking about my relationship decision-making skills. Not so hot. Luckily, my judgment improved. Eventually. Like, almost six years ago.

In the intervening ten years, ex-boyfriend broke up with waitress (while cheating on her with someone else with a K-name, all three of us had K-names), moved to California, had a kid, moved to Oklahoma with baby and baby mama, then left them in Oklahoma and moved back to Minnesota.

Now, ten years later, he's living in the waitress's old apartment above the bar where he is once again a bartender, and he's dating the waitress again.

It's things like this that make me feel better about my life.
Is that so wrong?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Wish I Had Cable

Not all the time, but every once in a while.

Like when people like Michael Specter are going to be on The Daily Show with John Stewart.

I am in the middle of Mr. Specter's book "Denialism," and I am finding it really interesting, even as it challenges me and my organic food sensibilities. I'll have more to say about the book when I am done, but here are a couple of choice quotes:

"Denialism is not green or religious or anti-intellectual, nor is it confined to utopian dreamers, agrarians, or hippies. It is not right- or left-wing; it is a fear expressed as frequently and with as much fervor by Oxford dons as by bus drivers." (Introduction, page 12)

"Fear is more infectious than any virus, and it has permitted politics, not science, to turn one of the signature achievements of modern medicine into fodder for talk show debates and marches on Washington." (Vaccines and the Great Denial, page 62)

He's on the show tonight. Watch it for me.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Crap like this pisses me off

PZ Myers Biology Talk

It's tomorrow.

I can't go.
I don't have a babysitter.

I can't wait to hear all about it, though.

It's nice to be back online after a long vacation.