February 2006

I’ve just finished reading Dan Dennett’s new book, Breaking the Spell : Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Overall, it’s an excellent book, and I highly recommend it. As for a full review, I couldn’t do better than the one in The Economist. (I’ve also seen some awful reviews and interviews which completely miss the point…

Read More Reasoning about religion

From a comment on Doug’s Rant, a link to an excerpt from “They Thought They Were Free”, Milton Mayer’s history of Germany from 1933 to 1945. Key paragraph: What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that…

Read More "They Thought They Were Free"

If you didn’t catch last night’s Daily Show piece on Cheney’s hunting incident, check it out when it comes up on the streaming video page. Salon’s transcript doesn’t do it justice: Jon, in a post-9-11 world, the American people expect their leaders to be decisive. To not have shot his friend in the face would…

Read More The Daily Show channels Cheney

One nice thing about AppleCare is that you can track the the whole process on the web. My PowerBook with the broken latch was shipped to Texas (why Texas?) on Thursday night, repaired late Friday evening, and shipped back to Chestnut Hill, MA on Saturday. As soon as DHL reported that it had been delivered,…

Read More AppleCare comes through

Glenn Greenwald nails the state of conservatism in the United States today: What it takes to make someone a “conservative” in Bozell’s eyes is the same as what is required in the eyes of all Bush followers — a willingness to support Bush’s actions because they are the actions of George Bush…. That’s because “conservatism”…

Read More The Cult of the Leader

As promised, here are a couple of pictures to show both the snowfall from yesterday and the zoom of my new camera. Both shots used “Scene: snow” mode; I have no idea why a useless “compulsory flash” kicked in on the second one.

Read More Snow and zoom

The National Weather Service is reporting snow totals of 17.5 inches for Boston Logan and 17.0 inches for Needham. The only number they have for Brookline is 13.5 inches, but that was at 3PM, several hours before the storm ended. Since we’re half-way between Boston and Needham, 17 inches is a safe guess. Of course…

Read More 17 inches

So I zoom all over the world, blogging like crazy, and then I get home and go quiet. Why? No special reason; I’ve just found myself running around, dealing with lots of small matters since I returned. As I was packing up on Wednesday morning, I found that the latch on my 15 inch PowerBook…

Read More Catching up

As you may have noticed, I like to take photos of airliners, airports, and stuff like that. Fortunately I haven’t personally encountered the “cheap prose of patriotic convenience” that Patrick Smith writes about in Salon today – but it feels as if it’s only a matter of time. After Smith had twice been harrassed by…

Read More Airport photography

This morning I woke up at 4:30 AM here in the Embassy Suites hotel on Arcadia. (“Arcadia”! Sounds blissful, no?) I think this means I’m ready to head home. So I’m just finishing my packing; in a few minutes I’ll head down to get breakfast, and then I’ll check out and drive down to LAX…

Read More The last leg of the journey