Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Link Dump 8/31/12

The RNC is in full swing and I have avoided the television completely.  As expected we have seen some fear-mongering, unsubstantiated claims and just a dash of good ol’ racism.
Not a bad way to spend a few days in the sunshine state.

Ryan’s VP Spin is pretty legit.  I’m looking forward to the DNC fact check.

Fact-Checkers Wrong on Ryan GM Claim Oh, I wanted grab a stick and join in hitting the Paul Ryan piƱata on this one.  But this was not a blatant lie.  Just a gross misrepresentation of the truth.

Tom Morello: 'Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against' Steve talked about this on The Left Hemispheres Podcast Ep 01: Star-Bellied Sneetches

A Troubling Chant on the Convention Floor Be sure to read the editor’s note stating that this was not at all what it looked like.

AA billboards come down Due to a  “large volume of threats.”  Stay classy theists.

'Pregnancy Begins 2 Weeks Before Conception' Now The Law In Arizona   Steve says:In what reality is something considered to exist when it clearly does not.
Oh. Right...”

Say Something Smart – Starts With A Bang An incredibly complex scientific English!

Effects of Einstein’s Elusive Gravity Waves Observed

NASA’s Next Big Rover to Hunt for Water on the Moon This is a project that may yield some profit.

Bill Nye 'The Science Guy' Talks Creationism Critique, Religion, Education Follow-up interview after the internet response to the previous video.

Prominent Catholic priest, Rev. Benedict Groeschel, says first-time sex offenders shouldn’t be jailed Right.  Because they’re just children.  Anyway, suffering builds character.  

Kepler finds a planet in a binary star’s habitable zone The planet itself is probably Jovian, but it may have moons like Tatooine

Monday, August 27, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Left Hemispheres Podcast Ep 01: Star-Bellied Sneetches


Frank Turner "Glory Hallelujah"

Friday Link Dump 8/24/12

Atheist + Toast has butter and jelly and cinnamon sugar
and maybe some cream cheese...

Atheism Plus? Sounds awesome! Well maybe for a minute there.

Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome: Why The GOP Breeds Politicians Like Todd Akin It’s amazing to me how many other republicans are demanding that Akin fall on his sword for the good of the hive party.

Rape More Often Leads to Pregnancies  "Rapists don't pick victims at random," Gallup told Popular Science. "Unbeknownst to them, rapists clearly target victims based on their likelihood of conception. They tend to preferentially target young, post-pubescent females that are in their reproductive prime."

Obama mocks Akin over rape comments We rarely post Fox News links but this title is full of win.

Air Force rules limit size of tattoos, role of gospel Wait.  Say that last thing again?/

The Surprisingly Progressive Republican Party Platform...Of 1956 The tragic irony here is the frequent republican lament of the modern age and a longing for a simpler time (like 1956) when women and minorities knew their place and when only really lazy people relied on government aid.

Romney and the White Horse Prophecy This will be so much worse than a zombie apocalypse.  Zombies eat your brain quickly.

Kids found bound, blindfolded in Walmart lot said their family feared demons

I Am the Alpha and the Omega... I challenge you to prove that he doesn’t exist.

Deluded Individualism ”Thus, we can entertain nostalgia for a time when everyone pulled his own weight, bore his own risk, and was the master of his destiny. That time was a myth. But the notion of self-reliance is also a fallacy.”

Bonobo genius makes stone tools like early humans did

Christopher Hitchens’ Last Words Excerpts from his upcoming book Mortality.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I'm Sorry That I Don't Care About Atheism+

I'm Sorry.  I really am.

I read.  Day and night, I absorb as much information as I can withstand.  I have a job and a family and I actually like both of them most of the time.  If I lived alone in a cave (with wi-fi) I would read around the clock and would further my personal education in matters of science, philosophy, ethics & literature.  I would read that copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray that Steve got me for my birthday in 2004.  I would take a really solid crack at Kant's Metaphysics.  I would read the Bible, the Qur’an, the Tao Te Ching.  I would surely double the Internet intake of essays and blog posts about all things Atheistic.

I would probably read all of the posts buzzing about the revolutionary concept of A+ and how it adds (or takes away) from the existing brand of atheism.  With all of these other things competing for my attention I simply do not have the time or inclination.  I have trouble getting past the first few paragraphs of almost everything I read on the subject.  I have read a few interesting takes on it but it all boils down to who is allowed to sit with the cool kids at the lunch table.

I am fully aware of the controversy that sparked this manufactured movement and I can identify with the frustration of anyone who feels that they are being treated unfairly.  Obviously, I find rape/death threats and misogyny toward any woman abhorrent.  I am further disgusted that it happens in any form inside a community that I am a part of.  None of these things have anything to do with atheism.

There seems to be this belief that atheism existed in some alternate form pre-2001 then suddenly burst into public consciousness when people actually started asking non-believers what they thought about 9/11.  Back then; many atheists were disenchanted from religion for Humanist reasons (slavery, sexism, bigotry etc).  When technology allowed for us to reach each other and the web-log gave everyone a voice and a potential audience, the subsequent burst of ideas was labeled “New Atheism”.  We have spent more than enough time discussing that topic on this blog.  I don’t accept this “wave of atheism” theory.  I think it’s closer to a “wave of atheism awareness”.

Now, eleven years later it seems like people who pride themselves on freethought are upset when their “movement” doesn’t mirror all of their ideas.  Again, I’m not opposed to any of the ideas of the Atheist+ label.  In fact it is damn close to my personal ideology. That’s why I’m so bored with it.

I am an atheist and a secular humanist and a progressive and a feminist.  I’m a rationalist and a naturalist and a skeptic.  I’m a bit of a materialist, a Darwinist and a Neil DeGrasse Tysonist (the last one doesn't exist but it should).

I am all of these things, but I'm also none of them. The problem isn't that I haven't found the correct label for myself the problem is a tendency to try to find a label at all. I will not fall into the vortex of a parallel universe where cats are herd animals. I can't make myself care about a new title that will be just as inadequate at describing my beliefs as all the others.  And I feel little bad about it.  I do.  But I have so many other things to read.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random Quotes of Insufferable Divisive Rhetoric: Richard Carrier

Richard Carrier exposes the divisiveness of some of the Atheism+ proponents. I ask anyone how this is constructive or defensible. This is a typical “You’re either with us or against us” false dichotomy and Carrier should know better.   

“There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all. 

“…I call everyone now to pick sides (not in comments here, but publicly, via Facebook or other social media): are you with us, or with them; are you now a part of the Atheism+ movement, or are you going to stick with Atheism Less?Then at least we’ll know who to work with. And who to avoid.”

update: Now complete with "enemy" rhetoric

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Link Dump 8/17/12

Left Hemispheres: Best of Year 2 We hit our two year mark yesterday. Blows. My. Mind.

How Do We Know Anything? “A word of warning: All models are imperfect, none so far are in absolute, complete and total agreement with the world, though the most reliable are also those that so far match it the closest at present.”

Your Bible Is Making You Stupid “The data clearly shows that reading the Bible is positively correlated with illogical, irrational behavior because the thinky parts of the brain are stupidfied and the bad parts of the draim are made all strongy.”

Dear Son... Another parent disowns their child due to their atheism.

Atheist group unveils DNC billboards bashing ‘space alien’ Mormonism, ‘useless savior’ Christianity I can see the reactions to these now. The Mormon one: “Haha that’s funny. Stupid cult.” The Christian one: “Heeeyyyy. Waaait a second there! That is offensive!”

Atheists Condemn Family Research Council Shooting Cue the right wing outrage machine based on no facts in 3...2...1..

Does Mormonism Encourage LDS People to Lie? Well, considering how it started...

Leader Of Anti-Semitic Party In Hungary Discovers He's Jewish No, this is not an Onion article. Yes everyone has already made the Clayton Bigsby joke.

Mose Giganticus "Last Resort" The latest anti-Religion Radio post. I really love this album.

Baptists have 'opportunity' to reach out to Sikhs "Sikhs often... struggle with Christian explanations of the Trinity." With good reason. It's nonsense.

Why do we allow discrimination based on culture? “Double standards as always – racism is bad and illegal and immoral. Misogyny? Oh, that's just culture.”

Secular group: 27 secret atheists in Congress Come out, come out, wherever you are!

Will we ever… find life elsewhere in the universe? It is inevitable as long as we around to keep looking. There’s the rub.

Religiosity Raises Risk Among Sex Offenders, Clergy More Dangerous Than Other Groups “...religiosity was positively associated with the number of convictions for sex crimes and the number of victims among convicted male sex offenders”

Here's Where Farms Are Sucking The Planet Dry I saw this in my facefuck feed complete with the moronic comment “Yeah shit all over the people that grow us food. Morons.” <pinches bridge of nose> No you simpleton, we just need to do things better. We really aren’t doing anything different than thousands of years ago.

Toddler dies in exorcism gone wrong Adam sent this to the LH inbox with the comment: “Exorcism gone wrong? What does it look like when they go right?  If the goal is no demonic possession then isn't every exorcism a success?”

Religion linked to BMI in obesity study The Australians are seeing the same data. Have you ever been to the American Bible Belt? It’s a big belt!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Left Hemispheres: Best of Year 2

So it is the end of Year 2 and Year 3 begins. I can’t believe we still do this to tell you the truth. I want to thank all the readers and followers that share our stuff and join in the conversation whether that’s on here, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email. This is our little corner of the Internet and thanks for hanging out with us.

Last year we did a best of Year One so we’re doing it again! I’m just going to list some posts that are either our favorites or your favorites determined by hits and shares. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dear Son...

I don't know the authenticity or the provenience of this particular letter, but we all know this happens.

Dear Son,

After you came out as an atheist last week me and your mother agreed that we would simply let you be since it is clearly a phase you’re going through. But we have argued, and now until you accept God again, you are not welcome in my home. I am not having my family’s safety sacrificed because of your arrogance and hubris. You have until the 16th to pick up your things.