• Climate

    There is a right answer

    From US National Public Radio (NPR): Belief In Climate Change Hinges On Worldview Well, yeah. People who are already disposed to believe in economic growth at all costs, that technology will always solve any problems it causes and… that any concern for the natural environment is a sign of communism…

  • Reviews

    Messin’ With The Recipe

    A friend asked recently in his Facebook status message “Why is it that AC/DC are still credible after all these years and Metallica aren’t?” (Or words to that effect.) My response was that AC/DC have never really messed with the recipe, while Metallica have done nothing but mix it up.…

  • Politics

    Tea Partiers and Republicans – shh, don’t tell them their views are diametrically opposed

    Glenn Greenwald, as usual, is penetrating through the spin to the heart of the matter: http://www.salon.com/news/tea_parties/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/02/21/libertarianism …that GOP limited government rhetoric is simply never matched by that Party’s conduct, especially when they wield power. The very idea that a political party dominated by neocons, warmongers, surveillance fetishists, and privacy-hating social…

  • Politics

    Is there a way back?

    Listening to a very interesting program on Radio National the other day. We’re currently going through a series of scandals in Australian politics because the government rushed into place a policy to insulate millions of houses in a short period. Turned out a lot of the operators were shonky, using…

  • Religion

    Killer God – acquitted?

    Most people I know, Christian or otherwise, struggle to reconcile the notion of a God of love with the God who is reported in the Old Testament as destroying everyone on earth with a flood, destroying the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and sponsoring various genocides by the…

  • Musings - Religion

    Church and the Semiotics of Space

    Here’s an iPhone photo that I sneaked this morning of the interior of the church: The church was built in the 50s, and I think the pews and many of the other furnishings are original. The small thing I noticed was the little decorated (with different shades of wood) wooden…

  • Climate

    Why let the truth get in the way of a good story?1

    So, of course, all my climate-skeptic friends are splashing this article from Britain’s ‘Daily Mail’ newspaper all over their Facebook status messages and every forum they can: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html Except, of course, the story misrepresents what Phil Jones actually said quite outrageously, not once but several times. Alex Knapp has the…

  • General

    Warm Air Hand Driers

    They’re cheaper to operate than paper towels. They avoid messy overflowing bins and the grossness of used paper towels. They don’t chafe your hands. They’re even, arguably, more environmentally friendly than paper towels. There’s really only one problem with them: they don’t dry hands! Compare and contrast this with as…

  • Musings


    As well as being a decent possible band name, this word that I coined on my bike ride this morning seems to me to be a decent descriptor of some aspects of our society. It’s jamming together ‘pathology’ and ‘idolatry’, and I take it to mean something like ‘worship of…

  • Climate

    Utah State, U-U-U-Utah State

    From Utah, this news: Committee in Utah Legislature Passes Climate Change Denying Resolution 10-1 And we thought we had our own problems with Senator Fielding… The stupid just continues to astound me. The profs at Brigham Young University (the big Mormon school in Utah) responded as follows: BYU science professors…

  • General

    You Can Judge a Man By The Quality of His Enemies

    An old friend – and sometime sparring partner – has just announced that he’s leaving a motorbike forum I read. He’s an uncompromising sort of guy, and had had his fair share of verbal stoushes over the years, but he also has amazing research and information skills, broad knowledge and…

  • Technology

    Cloud Culture

    Charles Leadbeater does a great job of outlining some of the potential of, and threats to, cloud computing: http://www.counterpoint-online.org/cloud-culture-promise-and-danger/

  • Religion


    Been enjoying a new blog recently: Doctor Crankenstein1. A few days ago he wrote a longish, detailed and well-researched post on the saga of Father Peter Kennedy and the St Mary’s church in Brisbane: The Beloved Heretic. I commend that post to you. But this post, and in particular its…

  • General

    Disciplined Eclectism and World Views

    Read yesterday’s post first. Now… dare I even suggest that, as well as for research and teaching, disciplined eclecticism might be good medicine for selecting world views? That it might be possible, rather than having to choose to be Christian or atheist, we could cobble together our own mix of…

  • Musings - Teaching

    Disciplined Eclecticism

    Chatting in the car with Suzie the other day, and she asked me ‘what’s the key educational idea you’re all about?’1 The discussion was pretty much about ‘branding’ myself: Mr Piaget has his stage theory, Mr Kohlberg his moral reasoning, Mr Vygostky his ZPD and so on… What will be…

  • General

    Black Metal Chaser

    You might have heard of a ‘unicorn chaser‘. The idea is that, if you see something truly horrible on the web, you might need to go and look at something lovely and soothing – something like a unicorn – to cleanse the mental palate. I tend to have the opposite…

  • General

    Digital Overload

    Salon on how we’re coping with the deluge of information: http://www.salon.com/entertainment/tv/frontline/index.html?story=/ent/tv/iltw/2010/01/30/frontline_digital_nation. This article, incidentally, is written by Heather Havrilesky, who was a writer on one of my very first must-read-every-day web sites, the late lamented Suck.com.