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Lambda: the ultimate religion

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Puritans of the colonial era believed in Calvinist theology, which states that God chose who would be saved from eternal damnation, and if He didn’t choose you, nothing you did could change His mind about your fate. In order to join their churches, you had to convince the church elders that you were ...

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The mutant as [ethnic slur]

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Reading various essays on the racial politics of the new X-men movie—see, for example, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemisin and Matthew Yglesias—reminds me just how sophomoric the whole “let’s use mutants as a metaphor for the oppressed minorities of the real world” conceit is. I mean, if African-Americans could fly or shoot laser beams ...

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Time for a settling of accounts

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

On the way home from work, I saw an advertisement plastered across the back of a bus, announcing that the Christian Day of Judgment will come on May 21st. This led me to wonder:

  1. When someone sells ad space to anyone annoucing an impending apocalypse, should they demand payment in full up front?
  2. If the ...

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Kingdoms of awesomeness

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I have been putting off reviewing N. K. Jemesin’s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms ever since it came out, partly because there is just so much to say about it that I haven’t found the time to write up the review it deserves. But now that it is out in mass-market paperback and nominated for a ...

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The emo threesome

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

After watching Buffy on DVD, years after all of my friends had seen it on the network, and watching Babylon 5 on tape, and watching Big Love on DVD, and watching Firefly on DVD, and… well, every once in a while I hear that some new show is going to be premiered, and I think ...

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World without suits

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

When I finally got around to reading Anathem, my wife told me she was uninterested in reading it after me, because she thought Neil Stephenson did a mediocre job at character development.

“But that doesn’t matter,” I told her. “He’s a geek. His characters are all geeks. His readers are all geeks. He doesn’t ...

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Timeless wankery

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Sometimes, when technology marches on, it tramples popular culture under its jackboots. For example, I often wonder what people who grew up with e-mail and cellular phones make of Diva, a film in which half the cast chases the other half around looking for surreptitious tape recordings.

But sometimes, an artist recognizes a fundamental truth ...

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Oy gevalt! Foiled again!

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I regret to inform you, comrades, that this year’s War on Christmas is over, and Christmas won.

via Hacker News

The young and meaningful earth

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Matthew Yglesias proposes that we “assume that God created the universe—fossils and all—to look exactly like that 4,000 years ago. That’s obviously a religious hypothesis rather than a scientific one, but it’s consistent with the evidence and doesn’t anyone to believe in a scientists’ conspiracy or anything.”

This ...

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Ele-mentally

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

For once in, like, decades, I have actually watched the premiere (or at least, the US network premiere) of a TV show at the same time as the rest of the world, instead of watching it on DVD months or years later. So, a few quick reactions to Sherlock, to share with fellow fans:

  1. One ...

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