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Img had her 2(ish)-year health visitor checkup on Monday, to make sure that her walking/talking/thinking etc is all basically on the right track for her age. I'd tried to explain what we were doing on the way there ("we're going to see some nurses who want to check if you can walk and talk and run around and kick a ball and things like that"), so when the health visitor started explaining to me that they wanted to check if she could walk, talk etc, Img chipped in with "and kick a ball!" which made it look rather as though I'd been coaching her for the test... On the other hand, it did usefully prove to them that she can do the requisite "put two words together" (I was hoping she'd say "Imi put two words together!" but as it was she just chattered away in her normal delightful manner, pointing out everything she could see on the toys and posters ("a cuckoo clock! a tulip and a butterfly! a book about I Want My Potty!") and narrating everything she was doing ("Imi running about! Imi running to her mummy again!") so they quickly got the idea that yes, tick, talking is just fine. (The form we had to fill in actually said "My child talks like other children of the same age" [yes/no] and I wanted to say "No, my child talks much better than most other children of the same age", but I knew that wasn't what they meant because NONE OF THE DAMN QUESTIONS SAY WHAT THEY MEAN so you have to fill it in as if you're a normal person who doesn't realise that words mean things.)
( sleep and feeding and rageCollapse )
Tags: baby, health, parenting, rants, toddler
Now you have ( 2 + variations ) problems!|
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use regular expressions." Now they have two problems.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use binary." Now they have 10 problems.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use threads," and then two they hav erpoblesms.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use multithreading". Nothhw tpe yawrve o oblems.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use mutexes." Now they have
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think: "I know, I'll use caching." Now they have one problems.
Some people see a problem and think "I know, I'll use Java!" Now they have a ProblemFactory.
Some programmers, when confronted with a problem, think "I know, I'll use floating point arithmetic." Now they have 1.999999999997 problems.
Some people, wanting an escape from their full-time job, think "I know, I'll contribute to open source." Now they have two full-time jobs.
Some people when confronted with a desire to use pithy quotes in their presentations think "I know, I'll use something from Star Wars". Now two problems they have.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use UTF8." Now they à??????µ?ç°§ùÔ_¦Ñ?.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use PHP!" Now they have ("1 apple" + "1 orange") problems.
Some people, when faced with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use Perl!" Now they have more than one way to have more than one problem.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use Shareware." Now they have two trials.
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think, "I know, I'll use delegations." Now their problem is a problem of their problem.
Some people when confronted with a problem think "I know, I'll quote jwz". Now everyone has a problem.
Collected from http://nedbatchelder.com/blog/201204/two_problems.html via https://joindiaspora.com/posts/1653418
This entry was originally posted at http://denny.dreamwidth.org/738931.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Current Mood: amused
A shoplifter had a £20,000 crown court trial over claims a stolen joint of beef reminded him of his dead grandmother. John Casey was caught on Asda’s shop camera hiding a £12 roast in a rucksack at the Washington Galleries store last October and arrested for theft.
But the 51-year-old denied he was being dishonest and said he had moved the meat out of sight as it was giving him “flashbacks” about his grandma, who died of a blood clot when he was a child.
Casey, of Lumley Close, Oxclose, Washington, was tried over two days by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court. The estimated cost per day of a trial per day is £10,000 and the case was heard before John Milford QC, one of the north’s top judges.
After just over an hour deliberation Casey, who has never shoplifted in the past but has other convictions, was found guilty. [Sunderland Echo]
Tags: rubbish defence
Over 2 months!|
Doesn't time fly! Quick post this time. Been a quiet fortnight mostly, but we've had visits from Lindsey and Uncle Pete, have been out for lunch with he NCT group and cake with Ed and Lucy, and we had another nice walk up to the Gogs and Wandlebury. Today was Matthew's first jabs - and he was very brave - but has been alternating sleeping and crying this afternoon poor lamb. Hopefully he'll feel better soon. And we did get a nice cuppa and cake in the deli this morning too.
For the future I'm hoping to pop into the beer festival for lunch tomorrow, and am looking forward to Steph, Dave and the kids visiting at the bank holiday weekend. I also have an appointment to have a coil fitted next Friday morning (the 31st) and if anyone would like to come and visit and keep baby company for 20 minutes for me in exchange for lunch in Shelford I'd be very grateful!
Here's a few more pics.
Current Location: United Kingdom, England,Cambridgeshire,South Cambridgeshire District, Great Shelford
Tags: via ljapp
In Which I Emulate Reddit: Ask Me Anything|
Once again, we come to a rushed day where I cannot churn out a full blog entry. And yet I feel like interacting! And so I return to the gift that keeps on giving:
Ask me one question, on any topic. I shall answer truthfully.
(Please. No woodchuck questions. Someone always asks, and it’s never gotten a good response.)
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/304147.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
|Good erg last night. Even if I didn't push as hard as I could have.
I think I was concentrating more on getting the technique right more than the
power. Tried not to get distracted afterwards in the big club meeting, and
probably succeeded. I doubt I was distracting, though.
Set the alarm to get up early for a run this morning, but then didn't go even
after I'd woken up. Stayed in bed, did morning exercises instead and ran 6km
of intervals for the first time in ages. I don't think it went too badly, all
things considered. Given I've got a 5K race seven weeks tomorrow, I think I'm
in good shape not to be embarrassed by my performance on the day if I get back
into running regularly again now. Plus running doesn't seem to bother my abs
any more. So I guess other than the hernias, whatever strain I put on the
rest of that area has finally healed/subsided.
Have a technical seminar this afternoon, then an outing later than usual this
evening. I'm going to be famished when I get home. Early bed required too as
I'm patching servers tomorrow morning.
Interesting Links for 22-05-2013|
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
Tags: banks, children, cloud, consoles, drm, drwho, football, history, independence, internet, iq, jobs, law, links, microsoft, motherhood, movies, palestine, pornography, pregnancy, religion, scotland, uk, viafanf, welfare, women
"I love that he's pictured standing under a sign saying Grand Opening. What a grand opening he is."
This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/277909.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
If I had a spinneret|
If I ever meet the Wizard of Oz, I'll ask him to turn me into a spider. Here's a song about that.
I would hurry to the kitchen
with pedipalps a-twitching,
to see what I could get.
And when there I would eat all
the insides of every beetle,
if I had a spinneret.
And that's only the beginning;
it sets my head a-spinning
to see them in my net.
To the edge I would scarper
where I'd pluck it like a harper
if I had a spinneret.
Oh, I could catch the fly
that ventured near my web,
then another as the hunger starts to ebb.
I'd be an arthropod celeb.
And I'd tell the tale with recaps
from more than seven kneecaps
to everyone I met.
And I'd be the provider
of a web for every spider
if I had a spinneret.
This entry was originally posted at http://marnanel.dreamwidth.org/277391.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: music, poetry, spiders
Two graphic novels about Vincent van Gogh|
Not as the result of any particular forward planning, we got two newish graphic novels about Vincent van Gogh recently: Vincent van Gogh: De Worsteling van een Kunstenaar, by Marc Verhaegen and Jan Kragt (also available in English); and Vincent, by my favourite Dutch comics writer Barbara Stok, which we got in English translation. Both are sponsored by the van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, making the most of their cultural assets. It should also be said that part of van Gogh's legacy is precisely to challenge all visual artists to match his depth and quality of expression, and this may weigh particularly heavily on his fellow Dutch speakers: Verhaegen is perhaps the leading Flemish comics artist of today, and Stok (whose other work I love) is a rising star of the genre in the Netherlands.
The two take surprisingly divergent approaches to their subject. Verhaegen's drawing style is much more realistic than Stok's; the colours and settings are lush and he includes references to a lot of van Gogh's works in individual frames. But in terms of text and storyline, he and Kragt opt for edutainment: van Gogh's biography is recounted to us via a series of infodumps, while a loose linking narrative has a comical art fancier called Dupont (perhaps a Tintin reference, though there is only one of him) chasing a lost van Gogh sketch through Paris. Stok, on the other hand, has a much more cartooney drawing style but sticks much closer to van Gogh's own viewpoint during his crucial time in Provence, including substantial quotes from his correspondence with his brother (which I was surprised to learn was originally in French, at least during the last years of his life). A key difference between the books is how they portray his hallucinations: Verhaegen shows the scenery turning into lurid and detailed scary monsters to threaten him, while Stok shows us the artist's despair as his world appears to disintegrate. Verhaegen and Kragt give us quite a good portrait of how van Gogh came across to other people; Stok gives us a strong sense of how he might have thought of himself.
(One other very trivial difference is that the Belgian Verhaegen devotes several pages to the young van Gogh's time in Belgium, whereas the Dutch Stok barely mentions it.)
These are both good books. Verhaegen's art is more gorgeous, but Stok's sparse style is also pretty evocative; and she gets a strong sense of authenticity by using her subject's own words. Well worth getting both if you are a comics fan with even a mild interest in Van Gogh, or vice versa.
( sample framesCollapse )
Tags: bookblog 2013, comics, language: dutch, writer: barbara stok
Left: Mona Williams (Mrs. Harrison Williams of the Cole Porter song ‘You’re the Top’), later Mona Bismarck, sketched by Rene Bouche.
Right: When I do this it isn’t half so attractive. (My face defaults to 'murderous glare' – I don't mean any of it! Do not be alarmed.)
Current Music: Listen Against
|I have seen this meme various places, and because I am trying to do edits on a chapter and I hate everything I write, I thought it would be nice to remind myself that sometimes I ... well, don't.|
So, I have 47 works archived on the AO3.
Pick a number from 1 (the most recent) to 47 (the first thing I posted there), and I'll tell you three things I currently like about it.
This entry was originally posted at http://liseuse.dreamwidth.org/687145.html. You can comment here or you can comment there using OpenID or your DW account.
Tags: fic talk, meme
State Fair Art Decisions: Update Version|
I'm still getting caught up on all the comments after the craziness of last week, but I wanted to thank everyone who weighed in on my art conundrum! It was a close race, but I think Idle has edged out Earth Turtle. A lot of people had really good thoughts on not having two pieces that are thematically the same, and Idle definitely will be a good contrast against Phoenix Nova.
So now I just have to get off my hiney and put in my application ... *crosses fingers* Thank you, thank you all again! I should outsource more of my decisions! XD
Current Mood: content
Headed for Conquest|
I hear that everything's up to date in Kansas City, so I'll be headed that way tomorrow to see for myself.
ConQuest beckons; KC's annual regional convention, one of the best. Should be a good time. Patrick Rothfuss is GOH, John Picacio will be there, along with Brad Denton, Caroline Spector, and all of my old KC friends and partners in crime. I'll be doing a reading, doing a panel, eating too much barbeque, drinking too much bheer.
And even before the con, we'll have the road trip. I will be hitting the road with my Aussie friends, and driving right through the heart of Tornado Alley, which should be an... ah... adventure. If you're in Oklahoma or Kansas and think you see me passing by, you may be right. The Big Well beckons... along with Dorothy's House, Pancake Boulevard, the Cosmodrome, and the Elevator of Terror (you can't make this stuff up).
Current Location: Santa Fe... for now
Current Mood: busy
Tags: conventions, travels
Digger Omnibus Kickstarter Coming Soon!|
Well, the title more or less says it all, but let me say it again.
We want to do an omnibus edition of Digger. You guys asked (repeatedly!) and we think it’s a great idea!
The downside (and the reason we haven’t done it already) is that hardcover omnibuseseses require a big chunk of cash up front—we’re talking a big print job here, on the order of the Bone omnibus edition, and that does not run cheap. (Plus, of course, while people keep asking, we’re talking a spendy beast here and we want to make sure there’s enough interest to justify doing it!) Plus, if we get a LOT of interest, we can do all kinds of neat extras, like color inserts and cover embossing and extra stories and giant wombat balloons in the Macy’s Day Parade!*
So, in a couple of weeks, we’ll be Kickstartering! And we will have all kinds of neat goodies for sponsors (postcards! pins! pickaxes!) and also all kinds of mildly absurd goodies for sponsors (I believe at one level, I name a tree in the yard after you and put a little plaque with your name on it…) so watch this space for more information! You’ll be the first to know!
(Also, hey, Digger got nominated for the Mythopoeic Award, which is neat, too!)
*One of these things is a bald-faced lie.
Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.
|It seems I have the two world's smallest hernias. One on each side,
in approximately the same place. This is annoying, but not entirely
unexpected at this point. I'll definitely be going back to the GP and asking
for a surgical consult this time. When I can arrange to have the surgery I
don't know, yet. But after the middle of November, I hope. I have things to
do before then and I'm pretty sure even minor surgery is going to put me out
of action for at least a month, if not more. Christmas is almost certainly
the best time for that to be the case. So, that's that, anyway. More, I'm
sure, as time goes by.
I deliberately didn't do much yesterday other than go home, clean the house,
and watch terrible television. And I think that and the semi-early night has
helped. I certainly woke this morning with a bit more energy and was able to
fit in a morning exercises session before getting on the way to the hospital
for the ultrasound scan. Given that includes planks, situps and other things
and the hernias were still tiny, "and I would have missed them on a bad day"
the ultrasound tech said. So, it's not like what I'm doing at the moment
seems to be making them any worse, right now. I'm desperately glad that
running doesn't seem to either. Nor four 2K races at maximum effort. A huge
phew on that score. I will lay off most of the weights sessions for the
forseeable though, I think.
All change at work on the SSL certificates front today. Many of them were due
for replacement and I got pretty much everything done in short order with only
one issue, which isn't even my fault. Other than that it was a day mainly
concerned with making sure everything worked. Lunch with Shaun and Cormac was
a chance to catch up, and complain resignedly about the management and their
lack of belief in those who work under them.
Now though, I'm off to the boat house to do a coached erg with a rather good
coach we've managed to snag for at least one session, and more if we impress
him. It's going to be interesting.
The Kind Of Woman I Don’t Want|
“Cammy is the perfect woman,” says Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. “Cammy has a value system that comes from the fifties. We were on an airplane, and a pilot – a lady pilot – introduced herself to me. When she went back into the cockpit, Cammy said, ‘I’d rather she be serving Cokes and peanuts, and let a man be the pilot.’
“She designed her life around, ‘How can I please a man?’ She went to massage school, cooking school – she bought a book on blowjobs. I wish more girls would do that. If more girls did what Cammy’s doing… my business would go down.”
And good Lord, I am filled to brimming with revulsion.
The thing is, I’m not revulsed by Cammy’s choice. If Cammy is content living subserviently, and that makes her happy, then I say “Go, Cammy.” (Even if I suspect Cammy is perpetuating an elaborate ruse to extract cash from gullible men’s pockets. They say the best salesman never appears to be a salesman. Cammy’s probably getting exactly what she wants, from men who probably deserve it.)
But I’d never want a woman whose whole job was dedicated to pleasing me. That has nothing to do with feminism; it has everything to do with the fact that ultimately, I think humans turn into monsters when they have all of their needs met without cost.
Maybe that’s because I worked in retail – where if you’re smart, the attitude has to be, “The customer is always right.” Because you don’t want the customer to feel dumb; nothing closes a customer’s wallet quicker than, “Gee, your concerns are stupid.” And they’ll tell people how they were insulted, spreading bad tales about you wherever they go.
So when they cram your mouth full of shit, you swallow it and smile.
Working retail, eventually you come to realize that “reasonable” is determined by past history. You think it’s reasonable that a cup of good coffee is $3.95 because you grew up in a Starbucks culture… but talk to a guy who grew up in the 1950s, when coffee was an inflation-adjusted dollar at best. You think it’s reasonable that drivers will give you the finger and honk at you in traffic, because you grew up in Manhattan. You think it’s reasonable that people smoke in restaurants, because you live in Europe.
The important point: that “reasonable” creeps up, depending on what people do.
As humans, we’re bounded by other people’s reactions. And if everyone acts like you’re completely normal and wonderful, you internalize that.. even if you’re completely awful. On some level, we all think, “Well, if we get out of hand, someone will tell me I’m too much trouble.”
Remove those blocks – and sure enough, you start becoming too much trouble.
Wanna know why celebrities implode? Because they’re swaddled in a culture that caters to their every whim because they’re a non-replaceable entity, and when normal people see them it’s usually in a gawking fawningness of “Oh my God, it’s you! I’m so pleased to meet you!” So their waiters go to extra miles that no normal person would get, and when they casually ask for a Diet Coke at precisely 45 degrees with a titanium straw in it, everyone just brings it to them. Nobody notes this is actually really a pain in the ass to do for them, or if they do, they agree that oh, you absolutely need a perfectly-chilled drink.
Eventually, you come to think that this is reality. That the 45-degree Diet Coke with the titanium straw is not just you, but universal and easy to do, it’s happened a thousand times before. And then a waiter forgets and you get the wrong drink – and for the celebrity, it’s like they got brought a cup of transparent coffee with broken glass at the bottom. It’s such a stupidly-done thing that it feels like an insult. How could they not know?
So: embarrassing shitfit in a public place. And to some extent, it’s not the celebrity’s fault – it’s the fault of all these people around them, nodding and agreeing and convincing them that yes, this is the way the world is. Sure, the celebrity went off the fucking rails, but all of their PR agents and fans and entourage quietly removed the rails months ago. In some ways, it’s astounding that they kept on the right path for as long as they did.
And you see that in retail, where people think, “Oh, I’m always right! So I’ll sit in the coffee shop and slop coffee all over this magazine I have no intention of paying for, then leave it sprawled on the counter in a pile of sugar and drool.” They think, “I’m always right, so when I bring back a tattered book with no receipt and want cash for it, the clerk who’s refusing me needs a good, solid yelling.” They think, “I’m always right, so why aren’t these clerks catering to my every whim?”
And yes: you get more money from these nitwits. But you do so by catering to their dysfunction. Which means you get richer off of exploiting people’s psychological weak points. (A point I make, in a somewhat more hammer-handed way, in my story Dead Merchandise.) You actually make them a little insane – and some of them a lot insane – to harvest their cash.
So for me, having someone eager to cater to my every need makes them, in a low-grade way, the enemy of my sanity. I want people who question, who remind me of the work this took, who tell me when I’m inconveniencing them. A woman like Cammy (or at least how Cammy presents herself) would undermine the integrity of the person I’m trying to be, give me an inflated sense of self-esteem I might not deserve, slowly push me towards the land o’crazy expectations.
She’s not the perfect woman, Denis. She’s a perfect servant, perhaps. But perfect servants come with hidden costs, and I for one would be very reticent to pay them.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303879.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
So How Is My May Depression?|
Long-time readers will know: May is the time my Seasonal Affective Disorder usually creeps in. For a few weeks out of the year I’ll become a sniffling pile of self-hatred, sometimes skidding as far as self-harm, weeping and curling into a ball. This misery lasts for about three to six weeks, during which in lesser moments all of my suicide attempts have arrived, and when I emerge it’s a slow crawl.
This is where the sadness usually starts to tickle. And… it hasn’t yet. Which concerns me.
The thing is, if there’s any year when I might not have my usual SAD, this would be it. I’ve had major surgery in January, which my body is still recuperating from in some minor ways. I’ve changed my diet and exercise habits. And I’m on new medications, specifically a heavy dosage of Vitamin D in order to get my cholesterol and body chemistry back to proper levels.
So is it going to arrive? Maybe. I felt very sad on Saturday but then I ate a sandwich and realized my blood sugar was low, and everything went better. I’m feeling a little low now, but is that SAD or just a reluctance to charge ahead with a tedious work day?
No clue. Until then, I’m sort of waiting for the axe to fall – maybe it’ll show up late. (It used to arrive in June.) I’m on alert, trying to be careful about how I react, so I don’t take anything too much to heart.
But once a year, I usually have to endure a time of knives and anguish. That may or may not show up this year. In some ways, waiting for it to hit is nearly as bad as the depression itself, being tensed for a blow that may never arrive. On the other hand, I’m relatively content, and finishing up my novel.
A strange place to be.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
This entry has also been posted at http://theferrett.dreamwidth.org/303809.html. You can comment here, or comment there; makes no never-mind by me.
Bad arguments about agnosticism|
“It’s arrogant to claim to be an atheist, since you can’t know that God (or gods) does not exist. It’s much more intellectually respectable to be an agnostic.”
I’ve come across that sort of claim in a couple of places on the net recently. What could it mean? Time for another post in the series on bad arguments.
Bad argument: Atheists must show beyond all doubt that ChristianGod or MuslimGod doesn’t exist
Perhaps the speaker is some sort of conventional believer, like a Christian or a Muslim or whatever. They think that it’s up to someone calling themselves an “atheist” to demonstrate with that the Christian (or Muslim) God doesn’t exist, and do it so convincingly that there’s no possibility that the atheist could be mistaken. It seems the theist is either saying the atheist has got something wrong, or saying that nobody should call themselves an atheist.
Say that an atheist thinks that the Christian God probably doesn’t exist. The theist might claim that the atheist has reasoned wrongly in ignoring Christianity’s claims on them, because this is only “probably”, not “certainly”. But the theist’s claim relies double standard, since nobody else is held to that standard of certainty before they’re allowed to act on a belief (the conventional theist certainly isn’t). Possibly what’s going on here is that the theist thinks the atheist should be more like them: it looks like there are believers who argue the mere possibility that their belief is true justifies their continued faith. I’ve talked about the “virtue” of faith and discussed whether God might be fond of soft cheese before, so I won’t go into that again here.
(The famous atheists who are often called arrogant don’t claim certainty, of course.)
Perhaps the theist doesn’t think the atheist has been unreasonable (given the atheist thinks it’s unlikely that God exists, it’s fair enough that they don’t go to church or whatever), but thinks that people who haven’t attained certainty shouldn’t be defined as “atheists”. Luckily, the theist doesn’t get to define atheism.
Bad argument: An atheist must deny the existence of anything that anyone has ever called a god
“Well, I’ll say it simple: a god is someone with enough power to say ‘I am a god’ and make other people agree. Mortal wizard, lich, emperor, dragon, giant, leftover bit of chaos… it doesn’t really matter what it is underneath. What matters is that it has the strength to enforce its claims.”
- Rebel Theology, from Tales of MU (Tales of MU is basically “50 Shades of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons”, so be advised that some parts of the book are sexually explicit, although the linked chapter isn’t)
If The Man’s definition of a god is the one we’re using, it’s much more likely that there are gods (pretty certain, in fact, since people have probably convinced other people of their godhood at various points in history).
There are people who identify gods with love or the feeling they get from looking out into the night sky or with the quantum vacuum (trigger warning for physicists: linked post contains quantum woo-woo). In these cases it seems fine for the self-described atheist to say “that isn’t what I meant” or “I don’t dispute that those things might/do exist, but it seems silly to call them gods”.
Some statements which look as if they’re claims about the existence of gods end up saying nothing more than an atheist might say, with some god-talk tacked on purely as decoration. As Simon Blackburn’s lovely (and short) piece on Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion has it:
Philo the sceptic says that we cannot understand or know anything about a transcendent reality that explains or sustains the ongoing order of nature, while the theists like Demea say that we cannot understand or know anything about the transcendent reality, which is God, that explains or sustains the ongoing order of nature. Since the inserted clause does not help us in the least, the difference between them is merely verbal.
Cleanthes, the intelligent design theorist in the book, says that complete mystics are “atheists without knowing it”. Since some sophisticated theologians, like Hume’s Demea, call themselves theists, perhaps Cleanthes is a bit presumptuous. You can see his point, though: it’s odd that someone might be called a theist though they only differ from an atheist in calling some mysterious thingy “God”. Perhaps we should be a bit more resistant to the idea that anyone can “identify as” anything: that way lies Tumblr.
But we perhaps we shouldn’t assume that even people who go to church and say the Creed are assenting to a set of propositions (previously) or that their expectations of what will actually happen differ from those of an atheist (previouslier). If we still call those people theists, why not Demea?
Anyhoo: Philo and Demea are both agnostics (“we cannot … know”) about something, but just because Demea has called it “god”, it’s not clear that Philo couldn’t justly claim to be an atheist (though in the book, he doesn’t, of course).
Good argument: you can’t know what’s out there
Philip Pullman said:
Can I elucidate my own position as far as atheism is concerned? I don’t know whether I’m an atheist or an agnostic. I’m both, depending on where the standpoint is.
The totality of what I know is no more than the tiniest pinprick of light in an enormous encircling darkness of all the things I don’t know – which includes the number of atoms in the Atlantic Ocean, the thoughts going through the mind of my next-door neighbour at this moment and what is happening two miles above the surface of the planet Mars. In this illimitable darkness there may be God and I don’t know, because I don’t know.
But if we look at this pinprick of light and come closer to it, like a camera zooming in, so that it gradually expands until here we are, sitting in this room, surrounded by all the things we do know – such as what the time is and how to drive to London and all the other things that we know, what we’ve read about history and what we can find out about science – nowhere in this knowledge that’s available to me do I see the slightest evidence for God.
So, within this tiny circle of light I’m a convinced atheist; but when I step back I can see that the totality of what I know is very small compared to the totality of what I don’t know. So, that’s my position.
This seems fair enough. But often criticism of atheists is phrased like this:
Bad argument: you can’t know that there isn’t an X out there
where “an X” is some particular thing which would be hard to detect, like an immaterial being who made stuff but then doesn’t intervene, say. The problem with this is that the speaker hasn’t got enough evidence to even suggest X. Sure, we can’t rule out X, but what about Y or Z or a vast number of other possibilities? Why mention X as something special to be agnostic about? Often it’s because X looks like a god from a conventional religion, tweaked to be even less detectable. But that’s no reason to think that X is especially likely to exist. The error here is called privileging the hypothesis.
To anticipate a possible objection: a lot of people saying “I believe in X” may provide evidence to differentiate it from Y and Z. But we need to be careful about what X is here, as the range of things that people refer to as “god(s)” is pretty wide. Some gods (the conventional theist ones) have a whole lot of believers but have good arguments against their existence, so claims that an atheist who accepts those arguments should call themselves agnostic about those gods seem to be you must prove it beyond doubt arguments. “I believe in gods which are invisible gremlins in the quantum foam: you can’t show that those don’t exist” is privileging the hypothesis.
Originally posted at Name and Nature. You can comment there. There are currently comments.
Tags: agnosticism, bad arguments, blog, david hume, hume, philip pullman, philosophy, privileging the hypothesis, rationality, religion
I need to know about your morals!|
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 93
Using an ad-supported website with an adblocker turned on.
| 61 (69.3%)
| 27 (30.7%)
Throwing away excess food
| 27 (30.7%)
| 61 (69.3%)
Buying books,movies, DVDs, games, etc. second-hand
Taking a tax deduction
Downloading illegal digital copies of music you own
| 66 (74.2%)
| 23 (25.8%)
Downloading illegal digital copies of books you own the paper versions of
| 63 (70.0%)
| 27 (30.0%)
Downloading illegal TV that you would have eventually got legally for free, but not for aaaaaages
| 35 (40.2%)
| 52 (59.8%)
Downloading a game/album/movie that you bought, but now the disc is missing/damaged
| 65 (74.7%)
| 22 (25.3%)
Answering poll questions when, frankly, you should be working right now.
| 46 (51.1%)
| 44 (48.9%)
(And as people seem to regularly be confused by this - you can change your answers by clicking on the poll link at the top after you've answered. And FB/Twitter users can answer if they log in.)
Oh, and there will be _no_ prize for the first person to start quibbling about whether downloading books that they don't own the copyright on is illegal in any given jurisdiction.
I'm hoping to go to the beer festival for at least a bit tonight and tomorrow night. And saturday afternoon hopefully with Liv.
I might manage friday evening too but I'll probably be too busy.
You can also comment at http://jack.dreamwidth.org/844140.html using OpenID. comments so far.
Tags: beer festival, invitation
Interesting Links for 21-05-2013|
Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comments there.
Tags: ai, awesome, building, craftwork, cthulhu, design, europe, google, independence, journalism, kickstarter, links, meme, nhs, scotland, startrek, t-shirt, telephones, uk, usa, viafanf
ATP End Of An Era|
So, the All Tomorrow's Parties festivals will no longer be running at holiday camps after 2013. The last 2 are this winter.
We particularly want to go with M to Part 1, which is at Camber Sands on 22-24th November. The line-up looks excellent (Television! Godspeed! Les Savy Fav! Dinosaur Jr! etc) and they currently have
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<p>So, the All Tomorrow's Parties festivals will no longer be running at holiday camps after 2013. The last 2 are this winter.</p><p>We particularly want to go with M to Part 1, which is at Camber Sands on 22-24th November. The line-up looks excellent (Television! Godspeed! Les Savy Fav! Dinosaur Jr! etc) and they currently have <a href="http://"http://www.atpfestival.com/events/deerhunter/news/1304261021.php">4, 5, 6 & 7 berth chalets available.</a></p><p>So, who wants to go to a festival with us and a baby? I think it'll be LEGEN...DARY but obv I'm biased.</p><p><span style="font-size: x-small;"><i>Posted via <a href="http://m.livejournal.com/ipad/link">LiveJournal app for iPad</a>.</i></span></p>
Tags: via ljapp
Daily Wordcount: ...not Giants of the Earth|
Had houseguests over the weekend, plus hosted my monthly anime potluck--both of which were great fun, but also means I've been operating on about 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the last three nights. Brain is officially fried--didn't manage to get anything done on 'Giants', but did manage 500-ish words of a very, very overdue tag on the latest chapter of Anamnesis.
If there's one thing I really enjoy about the Sound and Fury stuff vs. Giants, is the amount of worldbuilding Fractal and I get to do. It's just so much *fun* to imagine all the little details and intricacies of how Cybertronian society used to be, pre-war ...
( And the visuals are pretty fun to play with too ...Collapse )
Current Mood: groggy
Tags: anamnesis, sound and fury, transformers, writing
Agnosticism, but not as we know it|
In recent years, I have discovered that my vestigial sense of (spiritual) faith has atrophied to the point where I can no longer be said to believe in any deity. I have always felt uncomfortable with the terms agnostic and atheist, and have therefore tended, when necessary, to self-describe as humanist. Today I had a conversation in which I kind of straightened out some thoughts I have about religion, and I thought they might be worth sharing.
( Mumblings about religion.Collapse )
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