February 2008

Yesterday I went to Town Hall Seattle to hear Dan Ariely talking about his new book, “Predictably Irrational”. He has a blog, here, which includes rather disconcerting reflections on the process of giving a book reading, and a delightfully strange (?strangely delightful) website here. There was a pretty full house at Town Hall, and I…

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Paul Kurtz introduces a new term: “Multi-secularism”: “adapting secular ideas and values to the societies in which they arise.” Will the idea catch on? Watch this meme…

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Back on November 5, 2004, I wrote a little piece entitled “Follow the bouncing ball” about the tumbling US dollar: What will this mean for the US economy? Unless the budget and current account deficits are slashed, the probable consequences are rising interest rates, rising inflation, a depressed housing market, and recession. We’ve seen this…

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The philosopher Colin McGinn ((I always enjoy McGinn’s work, although I frequently disagree with him. However I think his CD-based course of lectures “Eternal Questions, Timeless Approaches” is the best introduction to philosophy that’s available today.)) has a a new book coming out on the subject of psychological manipulation. I’m going to be interested to…

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Reading: All other books are on hold while I read the new Iain M. Banks’ Culture novel, “Matter”. This includes everything on my Kindle, plus a book which I ordered over a month ago and showed up when I got home from the East Coast: “In Search of Swallows and Amazons” by Roger Wardale. Watching:…

Read More Reading, watching

It’s very strange, living in a world in which satire is so regularly overtaken by reality. Reading this crazy story I imagined how Gilbert and Sullivan might have reacted, by abandoning “Mikado” and looking for another line of work altogether…

Read More Arrested for 'flirting'

Via InFlightHQ, Business Traveller reports that Air France and KLM “have decided to fit their new B777’s with 10 seats across each row instead of the 9 seats that have existed in the past.”

Read More Airlines to avoid

The Barefoot Bum does a nice job of nailing the “Argument from Fine Tuning”. In the spirit of Douglas Adam’s Total Perspective Vortex,… The mold in the grout in my bathtub is more “significant” by many orders of magnitude to all of human civilization than is terrestrial life to the ~9.2×1021 light-year3 observable universe: that…

Read More Fine tuning and a sense of proportion