Monthly Archives: March 2010

Problem Solved

At various times I have written (here, for example) about whether, under a naturalistic view, there can be objectively existing moral truths. I have argued that there cannot. There can be “facts of the matter” about what our moral intuitions tell us, and how they came to be what they are, but there is no […]

Service Notice

With work and other demands piling on a little bit just at the moment (it’s Sunday at 10 p.m. and I am still at the office), I must take a brief time-out from blogging. Meanwhile, please feel free to browse our archives (try the View A Random Post button at the right). Thanks as always […]

Cold Turkey

Well, here I am, not writing about politics, or the accelerating decline of civilization, or any of that old stuff. It’s much harder than I thought it would be, because there are all sorts of post-worthy stories bouncing around the media and the blogosphere today, like xxx xxxxxxx‘s adventures up in xxxxxx, the “xxxxx-xxx” story […]

Refraction, And Reflection

Enough politics for now. I’m tired of it all, and I’m going to lay off it for a little while at least, as difficult as that may be (well, maybe just the occasional link now and then). When I started this blog, 5 years and 1,688 posts ago, I almost never wrote about such things, […]

Whither Hence?

Well, as we might expect, the events of Sunday night have provoked quite a Festschrift on the right. Here’s Mark Steyn, at National Review Online, on the decline of great nations. Here’s Dennis Prager, also at NRO, who sees this ideological conflict as nothing less than a bloodless civil war. Here’s George Will, on “America’s […]

Confusion Now Hath Made His Masterpiece

“Come, thick night, And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell, That my keen knife see not the wound it makes, Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark, To cry, ‘Hold, hold!’” The fell deed is done. In today’s Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel gives us a peep beneath the blanket. “Ay, […]

Shades Of Night Descending

Well, it’s looking like this grotesque health-care bill is about to pass: the biggest expansion of the power of the federal government in my lifetime. Here’s Dennis Prager on the dehumanizing, emasculating, infantilizing effect of an ever-expanding State: Related content from Sphere

Losing Their Religion

The philosopher and “New Atheist” Daniel Dennett, working together with clinical psychologist Linda LaScola, has undertaken an interesting project: a series of interviews with pastors who have lost their belief in God. Dennett and LaScola have presented the results in a paper now available online. Here is an introductory excerpt: Related content from Sphere

“Drink While Effervescing”

1) Alka-Seltzer: directions for use. 2) What I generally do at parties.

Counting Sheep

As often happens on Thursday evenings, I’m home late from class, with very little gas left in the tank. So for tonight, here’s an interesting website I ran across the other day: Floating Sheep. They count things, and make maps. Related content from Sphere

I Happen To Have Mr. McLuhan Right Here

Last night, unable to decide what I wanted to listen to, I stuck my hand into the CD cabinet and pulled a record out at random. It turned out to be one I hadn’t listened to in a while, and one that brought back quite a few memories — some very sad, and one that […]

Upon No Reasonable Plan

The statist machinations of the new kings of the hill in Washington inspired me a little while ago to read The Federalist Papers, which previously I had only sampled, more or less at random. They are, if you have never read them, a series of 85 essays, published pseudonymously in 1787-88 by John Jay, James […]

Hope Springs Eternal

We are now waiting at the airport, finally, for a flight home that will likely not be canceled. Back to normal soon, I hope. On the other hand, when it comes to the fate of the West, hope can be hard to come by. In case you missed them, here are an extraordinarily depressing article […]

All Wet

We’ve been off the air for a few days: the lovely Nina and I flew down to central Florida on Wednesday evening to spend a few days with our son, who pitches for his college baseball team and is down here for an early-season tournament. (He goes to school some distance away from our home […]

Bird Brains

I’m back in town briefly, but having got home after midnight from a 13-hour day at work, I have no time for writing. But… Remember our piece a while back about the “Monty Hall problem”? Well, reader J. Kapok has now sent along a dispiriting item about the relative mathematical capabilities of people and pigeons. […]

This and That

Starting tomorrow morning, I will be traveling a fair amount for a week or so, and things may be quieter than usual around here. For tonight: an essay from Mark Alexander on the Second Amendment case now making its way through the Supreme Court. Here. Also, there is a new website, Alternative Right, that has […]

Sausage: Looking Good

The big political question at the moment is whether the Democrats will try to force their health-care bill though Congress using a procedural shortcut called “budget reconciliation”. This parliamentary loophole was put in place in 1974 for the sole purpose of making it easier to legislate the many adjustments that go into harmonizing a budget […]

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Small changes in the relative timing and rates of growth of an animal’s parts — a concept called heterochrony — can make an enormous difference in the adult animal’s morphology. For instance, crabs and lobsters are built of essentially the same parts, but in the development of a crab the carapace broadens quickly, while the […]

Why Frogs Are Croaking

Amphibian populations have been declining sharply for years now, around the world. An item in today’s Science Daily suggests that the cause may be a enormously popular weed-killer, atrazine, which apparently “chemically castrates” most of the males that come into contact with it, and turns the rest into females. You can learn more here. (I […]

Who Knew?

Here’s an interesting item: Iowa State University Distinguished Professor of Psychology Craig Anderson claims to have demonstrated conclusively that playing shoot-’em-up video games “increases aggressive thinking and aggressive affect, and decreases prosocial behavior.” This is, of course, what various concerned sorts have been saying all along, although I had for some reason thought that the […]