Archives July 2010

The call of cult-calling

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, while responding to a constituent’s concern about a Muslim community center being built in Murfreesboro, remarked that while he is all in favor of freedom of religion, “you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult, whatever you ...

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Wanted: digital passports

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden, bemoaning how CNN requires you to sign away your digital soul in order to post a comment on its Web site, remarks:

In the United States, we don’t have many laws protecting our personal information. We need more than we have. The alternative, the one we’ll get by default if ...

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I am not hip enough to come up with a proper headline to this post

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Shaul Magid,1 reviewing a sociological study of ArtScroll, remarks:

Indeed, the new Conservative Etz Hayyim is arguably a response to the Stone Chumash the way the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”(1966) was a response to the Beatles’ “Rubber Soul” (1965).

1 I recall meeting Rabbi Magid at Michael Carasik’s Shabbat table, and now ...

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One out of every four sentient species is a victim of domestic violence

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I have seen various discussions online about colonialism, and of course, these make me think about colonialism in SF—especially the kind where our planet becomes someone else’s colony.

Stereotypically, in these kinds of stories, the aliens are either Bad Guys or Good Guys. If they are Bad Guys, they dominate the planet by sheer brute ...

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Sorry, Bibi

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Nine Days are an appropriate time for Jews to repent, and it is appropriate for me to repent for being too cynical about the Israeli political process. I had assumed that the Israeli government is so independent of the Diaspora1 that complaints from liberal American Jews could not possibly block MK Rotem’s ...

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Cool new renewable-energy idea of the month

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a one-megawatt power plant!

via Hacker News

The workers’ flag is bluest blue

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

According to a recent poll [PDF] with a three-point margin of error:

  • 55% of likely voters think think that the phrase “a socialist” describes President Obama “very well” or “well”.
  • 51% of likely voters disapprove of how President Obama is doing his job. When asked why they disapproved, only 8% of those who disapproved described ...

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Married white man, creative, seeks sadist

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

As I mentioned a while back, I am getting back into SF-writing after a long absence. I have a story written and and almost (I hope) submission-worthy, but I would like to get feedback from some more people before actually sending it out. So I am willing to let you read “The Blessed Ones”, this ...

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IMPORTANT BUSINESS PROPOSAL — BUY THIS BOOK

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Every once in a while my kids get a book about Africa from the library, and invariably, it reinforces the image of the continent as one massive wildlife preserve with the occasional village. You’d never know from these books that, for example, Lagos and Kinshasa are among the largest cities in the world.

Adaobi Tricia ...

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My fellow American religious fanatics

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Living in Israel for eight months, even as a student in an almost-entirely English-speaking environment, made me feel very American.1 One of the features of Israeli political culture that caught my eye was that in Israel, the state serves to allocate privileges and duties among groups, and not just among individuals.

The Israeli educational ...

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