Assorted links


That Lessig essay is a jumbled mess. I was never that impressed with him as a thinker to start with, and he's just gotten worse ever since he switched topics from IP to politics.

Another article says the book burning will be carried out by the pastor and a whopping 14 members of the congregation. I'm agnostic, but I have a hard time understanding why this makes news. (There is even an article in U.K.'s Telegraph about this.) At some point making a big deal about things like this seems as backward as the action itself.

I know why it makes the news - to smear by association every other Christian in the southern United States.

Lessig's argument seems to be that people may draw the wrong conclusions from the information. Which is unarguably true...but they may draw the wrong conclusions from the lack of information.

I also wonder if he will transfer these insights to campaign finance reform. For some reason I doubt it.

A more cynical person might think a backlash against transparency is because health care reform/Obama are taking a beating for their lack of transparency


but really, between the boycotts of disney, the prohibition against dancing, the speaking in tongues, the belief in faith healing, and the crappy contemporary christian pop music, souther christians have done quite enough on their own to smear their own reputations.

Being a non-evangelical atheist I would just say that all those activities are perfectly appropriate in a free society so long as they are voluntary.

Really, people get their panties in a bunch over this stuff for very little gain. Indeed, southern Christians are no more odd in their beliefs than anti-GMO activists, people who take aromatheraphy to heart, etc.

If Yuri Lushkov, with his hair-brained schemes and desires to destroy historic buildings and the like were just the crazy uncle he rather looks like he'd be funny, at least in small doses and when he hadn't drank too much. Given that he's an extremely powerful and deeply corrupt politician doing serious damage to his city and country it's quite another situation all together.

@ Mick and Vehical Driver: obviously you are missing some stuff, whether that be intentionally, conveniently, or absent mindedly. obviously you've missed the hundreds of instances of bombing, violence, and other intimidation at abortion clinics throughout the country. obviously you've not read about the rash of church shootings by southern christians at "liberal" churches. obviously you forgot about the 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing. obviously you've forgotten about the decades long campaign of violence, torture, and intimidation by the KKK and other southern christian benevolent fraternal organizations. obviously, you've conveniently forgotten about how southern christians are again broaching the subject of secession, in part so that their trajectory toward a fundamentalist christian theocracy will go unchecked by the federal government. obviously you've conveniently missed out on the news regarding the forced learning of "intelligent design" as a valid theory in comparison with biological evolution. in many, many ways southern evangelical christians are the same as wahabist jihad-minded muslims.

if i'm wrong, maybe this time, you'd like to try to refute my points.

Timothy: I had the puzzle explained to me immediately after being told it so I'm not a fair judge, but no, there are definitely harder puzzles. (Especially since in a sense, all pure math problems are kinds of puzzles, and there are math problems which have gone unsolved for centuries.) If you know the general structure of Knights and Knaves puzzles, this is just a few steps up from that. But that's what George Boolos called it when he presented it to the world, so that's what we call it.

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