- Channel 4’s two-part series, “Root of Evil” sees Richard Dawkins talk about his understanding of the dangers of religious thinking I’m watching the show and – as usual – I’m stunned by what I see as the credulity of religious people in defiance of all reason. But I’m also noticing that Dawkins is not a sympathetic character, his rationality manifesting quite aggressively…
- Newsdesigner talks about the work on the Observer redesign that launched on Sunday I missed it, which is the most unfortunate thing. Matt Webb says it’s a pretty solid piece of work. Looking forward to exploring it properly this coming weekend.
- The BBC ask what people should call Menzies Campbell’s supporters… Given that his name is shortened to ‘Ming’, then they’re suggesting Mingnons, Mongos and – the obvious but entertaining – Mingers…
- So I don’t understand how this underwear works or even which way you wear it, but it looks terribly exciting… It’s for snowboarding in, apparently, but it’s difficult to tell whether it’s padded, armoured or has dedicated hatches for personal releases. I can’t even tell if this is the front or the back…
- Alternative Monopoly rules put an entirely different perspective on the game! Monopoly hacks to make the games more interesting. I love the idea of joining together two boards to make a figure of eight…
- Social Facts – the course notes for Clay Shirky’s teaching around social software and group formation I’ve not had time to really interrogate this yet, but I really really need to and want to. God if only I had more time in my day to get my head around things…
- SkyScout – awesome device that identifies celestial objects that you use like a telescope I so want to get one of these, but it’s kind of pointless given that I live in London and can’t even see any stars most of the time. The sky is a perpetual red horror of light polution. I miss the countryside…
- Doc Searls writes a really interesting post about DRM, but it’s one that I need to respond to in detail Someone really needs to explain to the wider web about the rights situations inside most large organisations and how they really have legal obligations at the moment to support things like DRM. It’s not good, but it’s true…
- Why is Menzies pronounced Mingis? Interesting BBC article on the history of the Menzies / Mingis name and why it is pronounced the way it is. Good bit of history and linguistics stuff with a nice sideline in the impact of new technologies (ie. printing press)
- “Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson finds that putting his work online has invited a deluge of less than flattering correspondence” I think the one thing I like most about real world people moving onto the internet is how much they have to deal with the same crap as the rest of us – nutty people leaving abusive comments, flame wars and the like.
- Totally random BBC news article about rebuilding the Newsnight set in Second Life I completely missed this, and I can’t believe i missed it. It’s so gutting. I bet it was awesome. Does anyone have a clip?
10 replies on “Links for 2006-01-11”
I believe that’s the back of the underwear, which is both padded and armoured …but has no hatches 🙂 Further, I think Dainese originally made protection for Moto-X, but the shorts were used for skateboarding, snowboarding, mountainboarding, etc
I thought the same with the Richard Dawkins programme. There were a few occasions where he got so angry (perhaps understandably) that he came across as the nutter over his interviewee.
Re the Newsnight/SecondLife thing – the video’s up on the site. Link underneath the first picture. But you’ve probably noticed that by now.
Whether you agree with him or not, Dawkins is not exactly the nicest piece of work. He often starts out being somewhat rational, but it can all fall apart. I’ve been at an event where he was speaking in person; his talk was pretty good, even though I disagreed with his opinion at points. But when, in the discussion following his talk, he was challenged by an audience member on several points – an audience member who, to be fair, happened to be a priest – Dawkins became what anyone else would probably call fanatical – and eventually, very, very ad hominem. Quite unpleasant to watch.
Dawkins is occasionally irritating, but compared to the terrifying American fundie Christian priest – fixed grin, homicidal eyes – and the American fundie Jew-turned-Muslim – wants to kill atheists – he was a pussycat… and way out of his depth.
Dawkins’ problem is that, through his conceit, he reckons he’s more scientific than he really is. I’ve never heard him consider any sociological or anthropological research seriously — but these are scientific disciplines all the same, and very closely related to his own biology. There are all sorts of scientific reasons why the persistence of religious belief is not at all surprising, and until scientists like Dawkins really accept that human behaviour is as much a topic for scientific research as any other, they’ll keep wheeling out this polemical crap.
And one more things — I don’t know who wrote the blurb on the C4 website, but the following:
“Individuals may even accept Dawkins’ atheistic and scientific deconstruction of the myths they have grown up with but still defend and nurture the matrix of institutions, practices and relationships which make them who they are.”
includes an irritating misuse of the word “deconstruction,” when presumably what the writers meant was “destruction.” A possible definition of deconstruction:
“A philosophical movement and theory of literary criticism that questions traditional assumptions about certainty, identity, and truth; asserts that words can only refer to other words; and attempts to demonstrate how statements about any text subvert their own meanings: ‚ÄúIn deconstruction, the critic claims there is no meaning to be found in the actual text, but only in the various, often mutually irreconcilable, ‚Äòvirtual texts‚Äô constructed by readers in their search for meaning‚Äù (Rebecca Goldstein)”
As far as I am aware, Dawkins has never been interested in deconstruction.
On DRM, you may find yourself agreeing with Shelley. I don’t, but my impression is that the debate’s emotional as much as it is rational – there’s a big, big pain barrier (for many of us) involved in accepting DRM, in any shape or form, and what people are saying on one side of the barrier doesn’t have much purchase on people on the other side.
I thought Dawkins came across as a nice guy, a bit impassioned at times. I don’t know how he kept his temper during some of the interviews with those crazies – “you don’t know how to dress your women” indeed. Although I’m not religious myself, I do think he’s presented a rather extreme version of an argument though – religious people aren’t all psycho loonies. Some are even quite nice. Still, kudos to C4 for showing this.
“I think the one thing I like most about real world people moving onto the internet is how much they have to deal with the same crap as the rest of us”
You really mean that? There’s a bit of nasty schadenfreude in that. I’m sure you don’t mean it they way I understand it.