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 Yes, you can tell where I've been web-trawling of late... *sighs*

EDIT: First evah article from a friend of one of the ferretbrain crew. Also pretty decent to boot. It's basically all about Islamophobia in Europe with mercifully scant statistics.

On the Transcendent )
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One of my pet peeves in discussions about the Big Things - God, Ethics, Consciousness etc etc - is a lack of coherence. What I mean is that a person on a particular side will use every argument at her disposal rather than arguments that form a coherent viewpoint. The best example is seen in the online 'culture wars' (yes, the American cultural hegemony strikes again - another rant for another time) whenever religion is being discussed. An evangelical Christian will use proofs and arguments formulated by a variety of non-atheists (regardless of whether they were deists, adherents to a 'philosopher's' god or to completely different theology) and in response, the militant atheist will cut them down with a series of counter arguments (dreamt up by agnostics, atheists of a different philosophical stripe or even - and ironically all too often enough - theists of a completely different theology), that whilst alone may well work effectively, certainly don't form any sort of coherent view and often illustrate a self-contradictory one. This is not really the fault of either combatant - I suppose that's just what you get from several millenia's worth of dialogue. So much to say and in so little time.

It also doesn't help that you get a lot of she-said-he-said in these sort of discussions. An atheist might critisise a theistic argument only to be greeted with the usual chorus of 'not all theists believe that'; ad hominem attacks meant for the fallacies of a particular atheist are used by a theist to apply to a whole group of them, in spite of the fact that individually, each person might hold to a different philosophy.*

The final straw came more recently, with the issue of wrong done by religious institutions, particularly on the charge that the spectacular cruelty exhibited by the religious in, for example, pre-Christian sacrifices, the Inquisition and the Wars of Religion etc etc is one only religion can boast of.

And on she goes... )

Everyone please take note of the Medieval Review and the Classical Review. I am way lower in the rankings than even the most amateur of amateur historians but so far, thanks to these two services, I've learnt more about medieval women doctors, law-keeping (and making) in late Antiquity Russia, Political thought in Ancient Rome and acoustic science/philosophy in Classical Greece than I ever thought possible.

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posted by [personal profile] mmoa_writes at 11:28pm on 21/09/2009 under , , , ,
I hate that goddamned Alpha Course. Why can't these people just STFU? No one likes you, and by this I mean NO ONE.
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posted by [personal profile] mmoa_writes at 03:15pm on 02/09/2009 under , , ,

I have to admit this was the first trip that I felt genuinely sad to be returning to England. It helped that for the first time in living memory, a lack of family feuding meant we got to meet with a lot more of the family - particularly those of our own age - and that I actually got to do the sort of things that count as a 'good time' for me (museums, theatres and the like). Admittedly, considering we were there for a month and a bit, I didn't do nearly enough to make up for missing this Summer's Art festival in Manchester, but it was a start. Now that the main problems have been smoothed over, the next time we go, I'll be seeing a lot more, hopefully. And learning a lot more as well.

Impressions )

One for the lols:
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You meet some truly great people and some unexpected inspirations. This post (and the comment it provoked) made me finally get off my ass and finish writing a piece that I've been working on for ages.

I'm glad I waited so long, actually, because it helps that I've learned some valuable things since I started it and I would never have done so... if not for racefail09.

So here's to you, racefail09... *cue hateful violins*
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The previously titled 'T____?' is now veering towards Toatl/Tirros as a working title.

It is titled after the ancient (and mostly disused) name of the dominant 'Blackland' Empire on the 'Reaching' continent. In the past, the Blackland Empire (then called the T____ empire) controlled the whole of the north. It receded, then increased and vice versa over time, until a supervolcanic explosion brought it to an end. A new tribe eventually came to dominance, giving rise to the Blackland Empire.

Read more... )
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Monday evening saw mother dearest getting into a bit of a tizzy Read more... )

Guess how clueless I can be!A lot? That's right!

Anyway. The third series of Skins has ended as of last week, which I didn't realise until I tried searching for episode 11. Now, I can take that as an indicator of my general cluelessness or as an indicator for my general thoughts about the show.Read more... )

So all in all, doesn't compare to 'Being Human', but was fun all the same. And yes, [ profile] jeebus_uc I am capable of having good taste in TV shows, why?

The Grande Day Out was indeed grand. Had chips and the most amazing cappucino ever at the Haagen Dazs place in Leceister square. Mike was very cool and we even bumped into another Nigerian guy (doing charity stuff for NSPCC) and chatted in the worst Igblish this side of the Atlantic. Took him to the National Gallery (he has never been! A horrific thought, no? He just laughed when I told him this, clearly not understanding how devastating that was for a neek like myself) and around Covent Garden area. He seemed intrigued by steampunk, but I thought it would be stupid to ruin a great friendship so soon. Still, I think he'd be awesome as a 'Steam-Eze' - the Igbo science-pirate with a steampunk twist...

For those of you around Central London, you have to check out the free exhibition on Feliks Topolski, just after the Southbank centre square. 'Tis quite amazing.


*On occasion, I stress. I have noticed I tend to be quite mean to Plato - my Classics teacher was an Epicurean fanboy, alright: there was nothing I could do...!

**OK, lol, I'm just being a meanie-head.


This is why I hate going on the tube, lol: Too many distractions!
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posted by [personal profile] mmoa_writes at 02:18pm on 04/03/2008 under , , , , ,

Saturday I was listening to a radio programme on UCB (DO NOT ASK - I still live with my parents, 'nuff said), and was rather suprised to hear some insidious Creationist propaganda in the form of a radio show about an all American family who, well, I'm not sure what they do except for get themselves in really stupid situations where only prayer can help, and travel around town where they bump into people who ever-so conveniently are 'confused' about evolution (possibly because they haven't got round to reading any bog-standard Biology text book. Or maybe it's because of the textbook: this is the Midwest after all...).

Anyway, as I heard them twisting the law of 2nd Termodynamics upon which their entire argument was based, it occurred to me that the biggest problem in the debate is the use of language and the lacking ability for objectivity.

After all, 'better' is entirely relativistic. In the Natural world, outside the sphere of human observation, nothing is intrinsically better or worse. After all, a camel is as evolved as an emperor penguin, but it's obvious that when we say one is better than the other, we mean in terms of the environment in which it lives. Things becoming 'better' is not the same as things becoming more 'chaotic', and just because we are complex and quite like ourselves this way, does not mean that all more complex and thus chaotic things are 'better'. After all, if there's one thing we know for sure is that there is only one truly 'super-being' who can survive regardless of envrionment, and that is the bacterium.

And they're pretty damn simple (can't ennumerate on the meaning of Wittgenstinnian ethics for jack).

mmoa_writes: (Theda)
... because I can't talk to people without getting nervous, grinny and sweaty. *shrugs* And I always get the feeling that I have to agree with the person I'm talking with, which means that I end up going round in circles and never proving any point at all. The Internet is a wonderful thing.

[Watching Spirited Away, again. Will increase collection of studio Gibli. Just a pity I missed 'Howl's Moving Castle' when it came out in the cinema.]

Read more... )

The new Chanel advert with Nicole Kidman is just embarrassing. And on a more higbrow note, I am confused by Human rights.
location: London!
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
Music:: Spirited Away


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