Atheism doesn’t preclude you from being a self-righteous dick.
Being an atheist in and of itself is not a praiseworthy stance. Without sound underlying morality and humanistic principles, atheism is mere naysaying that finds its sole raison d’êtrein fierce opposition to anything that smacks of religion. Many self-styled “secular humanists” are strong on the “secular” part, but rather less so on the “humanistic” bit. You know, trifles like compassion for fellow human beings, including those who happen to think differently from you.
What problems arise from our children’s lack of freedom to play?
A decline of empathy and a rise in narcissism are exactly what we would expect to see in children who have little opportunity to play socially. Children can’t learn these social skills and values in school, because school is an authoritarian, not a democratic setting. School fosters competition, not co-operation; and children there are not free to quit when others fail to respect their needs and wishes.
The 2013 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been released. This year’s list includes Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel, The Replacements, N.W.A. and, most notably, Nirvana.
But it’s the nomination of Nirvana that seems most historic. To canonize Nirvana is to canonize grunge—the ’90s itself. For those of us old enough remember, it’s insane to think of grunge—the closest thing to an anti-establishment movement we’ve known in our musical lifetimes—as an antique now old enough to box up and put behind glass.
What’s the most interesting fact you know? (I’ve been reading a lot of Quora lately.)
More than 95% of all Wikipedia articles (that are not dead-ends) lead to Philosophy, which forms a loop with the Reality article. Try this yourself. Click on any random article, and keep clicking on the first link you see on each page. You should get to Philosophy pretty soon. The first link on Reality takes you to Being which brings you to Objectivity (philosophy) from where you get back to the Philosophy page.
Pretty much everyone talking about “Creativity” is full of shit.
These realizations took only a millisecond. What our correspondent also understood, sitting there in his basement bathtub, was that the literature of creativity was a genre of surpassing banality. Every book he read seemed to boast the same shopworn anecdotes and the same canonical heroes. If the authors are presenting themselves as experts on innovation, they will tell us about Einstein, Gandhi, Picasso, Dylan, Warhol, the Beatles. If they are celebrating their own innovations, they will compare them to the oft-rejected masterpieces of Impressionism — that ultimate combination of rebellion and placid pastel bullshit that decorates the walls of hotel lobbies from Pittsburgh to Pyongyang.
Those who urge us to “think different,” in other words, almost never do so themselves. Year after year, new installments in this unchanging genre are produced and consumed. Creativity, they all tell us, is too important to be left to the creative. Our prosperity depends on it. And by dint of careful study and the hardest science — by, say, sliding a jazz pianist’s head into an MRI machine — we can crack the code of creativity and unleash its moneymaking power.
Remembering just how fantastic Homestar Runner was.
What made it work was how open and earnest the whole project was. Nothing here was intended to be mean or downbeat. It was all happy and peppy and shot through with color and light. The Chapmans’ bright, shiny surfaces and colorful character design took what can be a weakness of Flash animation—the way everything seems to so easily boil down to a series of connected shapes, like in one of those “I can draw!” books—and made it a strength. The designs were simple, poppy, and instantly recognizable. Even better, the two loved to switch them up by twisting the characters into all manner of different visual styles, or dressing them up in ridiculous costumes for the yearly Halloween episode. Couple those appealing visuals with the well-defined characters and sneakily amusing scripts, and the two had a recipe for Internet success.
(Don’t know about Homestar Runner? You might want to block off some time.)
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Some links:
● 10 things you need to know about Alice Munro
● A beginner’s guide to Alice Munro
● Alice Munro’s short fiction published in the New Yorker
● A July interview with the New York Times where she says she’s retiring
● Other Canadians who have won a Nobel Prize
● Alice Munro books on Amazon
Nobody would dare to publish a book about electricity which literally told one nothing about electricity; no one would dare publish an article on botany which showed that the writer did not know which end of a plant grew in the earth. Yet our modern world is full of books about Success and successful people which literally contain no kind of idea, and scarcely and kind of verbal sense.
The Death Star II was designed as bait for the Rebel Alliance, but it was never supposed to be destroyed. The station and the nearby nature sanctuary moon of Endor were meant to be protected by an impenetrable deflector shield. Primitive bipeds on that paradise world were recruited and exploited by daring rebel commandos and they managed to overwhelm the security forces stationed to protect the power generator. Ironically, the ewoks were actually the primary beneficiaries of the deflector shield, and their innocent aggression indirectly brought about their world’s doom.
Valleywag takes Sarah Lacy to task for saying stupid things about Twitter and feminism.
Sarah Lacy: We seriously think that amid all that, his fiduciary duty to Twitter’s shareholders and employees should have been to stop and think: “Wait, it’s not enough that these are the people I trust who are qualified, willing to do this, and who can help me make this into a public company….they aren’t diverse enough
VW: Yes, we seriously think that.
SL: And why stop at a woman? I don’t see an African American or Latino on Twitter’s board. Why aren’t we outraged by that?
VW: That’s also maybe a problem!
Technology and “EDM” are taking a toll on the art of DJing.
It does a great disservice to the DJ and our craft if you boil what we do down to technology – or even just to mixing. To say a DJ is only as good as what occurs in the minutes he blends the tracks together is basically saying that we are some kind of flesh jukebox. When you pay to hear a DJ you are buying a ticket to knowledge. Automated mixing’s audio-Switzerland of neutrality between two awful tracks is not what makes me spray sick out of my ears, it’s the two hours of lazily chosen disco-snoring that truly pains. It’s not the L-plate and stabiliser wheels for learner DJs, like sync, that are killing us. Getting angry at the sync button is like throat-punching a Teletubbie for not speaking properly. No, it’s much deeper – and sadly more worrying.
Rap Genius has a new tool to break down word usage in rap lyrics over extended periods of time.
“Izzle language” has been around since the 70s, and was first put on record in 1981. We see a slight uptick post-Doggystyle, when Snoop’s influence was at its height. Then Jay-Z uses it on “Izzo” in 2001 and basically single-handedly sparks a three-year renaissance.
Christopher Robin friend requests the residents of the hundred acre wood.
“No disrespecting what’s clearly a very Emportent Meeting,” Eeyore began, “but to me it’s simple: Christopher Robin left to do who-knows-what-and-where, and we stayed here. Both of our lives went on. The way I see it, Christopher Robin was feeling lonely and sad last night—maybe his girlfriend just dumped him, maybe he got rejected from the graduate program he was hoping to get in to. He’d probably been drinking, and he started getting wistful for days-gone-by, so he searched us all on Facebook and so-on-and-so-on and there we have it. Trust me, Christopher Robin is probably relieved I did it. He’s probably sitting in his apartment right now in a pair of ripped sweatpants, eating ice cream out of a tub and re-watching The Wire and thanking his stars he doesn’t have to actually still be friends with his old, mopey pal Eeyore.”
Internet comments might be bad for science. Or at least if they aren’t managed properly. But how do we separate good discussion from vitriol and stupidity?
The point is the Internet by definition is a vast platform allowing for comments to exist – but there’s no reason to assume these should be below your content, nor that “below the line” is the best place to put them or foster a critical environment.
Second Life is still a thing people do.
You might not have heard a peep about it since the halcyon days of 2006, but that doesn’t mean Second Life has gone away. Far from it: this past June it celebrated its 10th birthday, and it is still a strong community. A million active users still log on and inhabit the world every month, and 13,000 newbies drop into the community every day to see what Second Life is about.
Thomas Jefferson remixed the Bible.
Jefferson eliminated everything in the Bible concerning miracles. He ended the Gospel story with the execution and burial of Jesus, omitting the resurrection. The retained passages, Jefferson explained in an 1813 letter to John Adams, contain “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”
The producers of Atlas Shrugged Part 3 have launched a Kickstarter to raise money so the film can actually be made. This is because the first two movies lost piles of their own cash. I didn’t realize “free market irony” was a thing.
My favourite versions of iTunes.
In order to talk properly about 7.0.2, I think we need to take a step back and look at the embarrassment that was 7.0.1. It was an embarrassment to me, my family, and to God. On paper, it sounded good: Video playback/purchasing improvements, iPod games, major GUI changes, gapless playback, sync purchase content from iPod to computer, and cover flow added. Yes, I like cover flow a lot. However, let’s be honest here, were the GUI changes really that major? I would say no. I would say they seemed like pretty minor GUI changes. Pardon me, but when I hear the word “major,” I’m expecting something revolutionary, a bold leap forward, a brand new way of approaching the GUI. If you asked someone what he remembered about iTunes version 7.0.1, they wouldn’t say the brilliant GUI. They would say that this was when iTunes lied directly to our faces and made us feel like fools.
Our failures in teaching math to kids is leading to a two-tier system.
The current curriculum is grounded in “discovery learning,” in which students use their own learning styles to explore math. The emphasis is on problem-solving techniques, real-world applications and greater creativity. The problem is that students don’t have the basics on which to build.