Sunday, April 19, 2009
Amazon de-ranks so-called adult books, including National Book Award winner
"American Psycho" is Bret Easton Ellis' story of a sadistic murderer. "Unfriendly Fire" is a well-reviewed empirical analysis of military policy. But it's "Unfriendly Fire" that does not have a sales rank -- which means it would not show up in Amazon's bestseller lists, even if it sold more copies than the "Twilight" series. In some cases, being de-ranked also means being removed from Amazon's search results.
Amazon's policy of removing "adult" content from its rankings seems to be both new and unevenly implemented.
Gay Marriage = Religious Freedom
California bill: limit video games to one hour in day care
Yet another bill has been introduced that would seek to make playing video games a crime, although this one has an interesting twist: if you're running a day care, you can only allow children to play video games for up to one hour. No more. Yes, there are some who want to make this a law.
"For children in full day care, screen time, including, but not limited to, television, video games, and computer usage, shall be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and shall be limited to educational programming or programs that encourage movement," the bill reads. The reasoning? This is in response to the amount of children in California with obesity problems.
Joss Whedon on Humanism
Kingsford Goes to the Beach - video powered by Metacafe
A Reticent Justice Opens Up to a Group of Students
The event, on March 31, was devoted to the Bill of Rights, but Justice Thomas did not embrace the document, and he proposed a couple of alternatives.
‘Today there is much focus on our rights,” Justice Thomas said. “Indeed, I think there is a proliferation of rights.”
“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances,” he said. “Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”
He gave examples: “It seems that many have come to think that each of us is owed prosperity and a certain standard of living. They’re owed air conditioning, cars, telephones, televisions.”
Those are luxuries, Justice Thomas said.
“I have to admit,” he said, “that I’m one of those people that still thinks the dishwasher is a miracle. What a device! And I have to admit that because I think that way, I like to load it. I like to look in and see how that dishes were magically cleaned.”
An Alien God
But instead Darwin discovered a strange alien God - not comfortably "ineffable", but really genuinely different from us. Evolution is not a God, but if it were, it wouldn't be Jehovah. It would be H. P. Lovecraft's Azathoth, the blind idiot God burbling chaotically at the center of everything, surrounded by the thin monotonous piping of flutes.
Which you might have predicted, if you had really looked at Nature.
So much for the claim some religionists make, that they believe in a vague deity with a correspondingly high probability. Anyone who really believed in a vague deity, would have recognized their strange inhuman creator when Darwin said "Aha!"
So much for the claim some religionists make, that they are waiting innocently curious for Science to discover God. Science has already discovered the sort-of-godlike maker of humans - but it wasn't what the religionists wanted to hear. They were waiting for the discovery of their God, the highly specific God they want to be there. They shall wait forever, for the great discovery has already taken place, and the winner is Azathoth.
Well, more power to us humans. I like having a Creator I can outwit. Beats being a pet. I'm glad it was Azathoth and not Odin.