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The Seventh Annual Weblog Awards are running again… I think it’s fair to say that it has not been a good year for plasticbag.org and that I’ve not written anywhere near as much stuff or at such high quality. So go vote for someone else!
eStarling has a range of wifi enabled photo frames for sale which look really interesting I’ve been waiting for one of these to turn up for ages, so now the question is when to get one and what can be built against it…
My friend Kerry gets sent scripts for a living and received one recently about a guy who has to live with a gay guy for three months to get an inheritance… You really have to read the rest to really get it. My thoughts: increasingly somehow gay stereotyping has been disconnected from apparent anti-gay sentiment. We’ve gained freedom but lost our dignity. And it’s something that I find infuriating.
Phil Gyford posts his top tunes of 2006, complete with MP3s. I’m going to explore that straightaway… He also mentions his most-played artists of the year, which seems to me to be an eminently good idea. Next linklogged thingy, I should think…
My rolling year chart at last.fm reveal that I listened primarily to Beck, Goldfrapp, Nina Simone and Sean Lennon last year, which is maybe a bit embarrassing… Most played tracks, weirdly, were all electronica from Balance 005 or by Minilogue. Most-played albums were Goldfrapp’s Supernature, Joanna Newsom’s Milk-Eyed Mender, Alison Moyet’s (!) Hoodoo, Beck’s Guerolito and The Editor’s Back Room…
Matt Biddulph demonstrates how he can now exert pressure on objects in a virtual space by manipulating objects in real space This is fascinating and lovely. Teledildonics leaps to mind, of course, but then it would. After that, you get into more interesting relationships between ambient connected devices and virtual worlds, and that’s when I get all moist.
Maps of War has a Flash map supposedly illustrating the evolution and territorial expansion of the world’s religions Frankly it’s a pile of balls. Firstly it represents legally atheistic countries as Christian, does not distinguish between radically different sects of the same religion and totally ignores polytheistic religions. Judaism gets a particularly hard representation.
Another review of The God Delusion – this time from the Independent and by Murrough O’Brien, and full of extraordinarily bad argument and logical fallacies… O’Brien cites Darwin’s influence on Hitler as a bad thing. It is, but logic (unlike religion) does not require the use of knowledge to be positive. Similarly, it is not reasonable to argue that longevity of the religious idea constitutes any evidence to its validity…
Okay – only a few more of these to go – another review of The God Delusion, this time by Mary Wakefield of The Daily Telegraph, who again says that it won’t convince anyone… The assumption of these reviews is that an individual is either a Christian or an atheist. I disagree. I think there are a lot of people who call themselves Christians who when faced with the actuality of what they’re supposed to believe look stunned and incredulous. The most obvious people to persuade to abandon Christianity are the ones who have believed it by default and have never given the question sufficient attention.
Jim Holt reviews The God Delusion for the New York Times Another review that argues the book won’t convince anyone and which muddles up Dawkins’ thinking with group selection, before arguing it’s reasonable to ignore the way one would operate in any other situation when confronted with a religious question…
The Google Reader blog talks about the work on the trends stuff that Veen and Doug have been doing… I’ve still not actually had a play with this yet, which is pretty much unforgivable, particularly as I have such trouble with keeping up with my newsreader.
Dan Hill’s leaving the BBC to run off and work on pretty-much-ideally-perfect magazine multimedia concept Monocle… I’m sort of jealous in some ways. Everyone’s running off across to hybridised media or physical devices, and I’m still with my internets in the middle. Good luck old chap.
New York is going to make it so that its 911 and 311 emergency and irritation lines can accept images and video I love this idea, if they can effectively hook it together so that images and phone calls are effectively matched together. The idea of taking a picture of a criminal and sending it with your call, or of the wound of a car crash victim. Very smart…
Awesome video from eboy made using pixel art and featuring Albert Einstein It’s like someone brought magical life to pixels and they snogged some Habbos, hung out with Lego models and ended up cooler than all of em…
YouTube has a wonderful silent film version of Star Wars which only takes a few minutes to watch… Darth Vader and the Stormtroopers seem particularly entertaining. And the Ewoks. Them too.
Steven Pinker writes on ‘The Mystery of Consciousness’ in Time Magazine… The brain has an evaluative quality thatalong with biochemical stimulicauses individuals to operate in coherent ways. It should be beneficial to an individual to model other entities’ behaviour. Maybe consciousness is that skill turned on oneself?
BoingBoing is being talked about on BBC News today because of the effect a blogger boycott can generate… I’m not sure what I think of this stuff. Exactly the same tactics could be and can be used by people with very different, intolerant and mainstream beliefs. I’m not sure I like the idea of a boycott of people who don’t approve of gay people, for example..
One reply on “Links for 2007-01-23”
I haven’t checked this site in way too long, and come back to find I’ve been missing a mountain of good stuff.
I wanted to comment on the God Delusion kerfuffle that’s going on. People are missing the point, including The Big Man, Dawkins himself.
It is futile to argue about beliefs. And it’s even more futile to tell people what to believe. Dawkins is trying to make his well-deserved authority as a scientist — science deals with the *physical* world — turn him into an authority on other people’s inner lives. That’s something nobody except the person involved can know anything about. Dawkins is committing the same fallacy as someone who thinks religion holds the key to curing Aids. Science will eventually cure Aids; religion (in the sense of ethics) can tell us how to distribute the cure. Neither type of knowledge is any use in the other’s territory.
Dawkins is applying rules valid in one type of knowledge to a completely different kind, and that always leads to BS. It’s the same thought process a creationist uses, and Dawkins should know better.
The really sad thing, to me, is that the real point he’s making, which is that people’s beliefs can lead to terrible harm, is entirely right. That’s true. I wish he’d made that message loud and clear, instead of getting sandbagged in a yes-no argument about the validity of someone’s beliefs. It’s not about the belief. It’s about the harm.