Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What percentage of philosophers believe in God?

Philosophers David Bourget and David Chalmers have conducted a worldwide survey to gauge where members of their field stand on a variety of philosophical topics, including a priori knowledge, moral judgment, free will... and the metaphysical possibility of zombies*.

via io9.com

April 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

'Time Crystals' Could Upend Physicists' Theory of Time | Wired Science | Wired.com

The idea came to Wilczek while he was preparing a class lecture in 2010. “I was thinking about the classification of crystals, and then it just occurred to me that it’s natural to think about space and time together,” he said. “So if you think about crystals in space, it’s very natural also to think about the classification of crystalline behavior in time.”

via www.wired.com

Sometimes I get ideas while preparing lectures but they usually don't involve crystals, time or anything that profound. Often they involve something fried, roasted or pickled. --ts

April 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

BBC News - Last hero of Telemark: The man who helped stop Hitler's A-bomb

Seventy years ago, a small team of Norwegians was sent from Britain to carry out one of the most daring and important undercover operations of World War II - the aim was to prevent Adolf Hitler building an atomic bomb.

via www.bbc.co.uk

April 30, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Daniel Kessler: The Coming ObamaCare Shock - WSJ.com

In recent weeks, there have been increasing expressions of concern from surprising quarters about the implementation of ObamaCare. Montana Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat, called it a "train wreck." A Democratic colleague, West Virginia's Sen. Jay Rockefeller, described the massive Affordable Care Act as "beyond comprehension." Henry Chao, the government's chief technical officer in charge of putting in place the insurance exchanges mandated by the law, was quoted in the Congressional Quarterly as saying "I'm pretty nervous . . . Let's just make sure it's not a third-world experience."

via online.wsj.com

April 29, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Rebellious Republicans say immigration bill will hurt, not help, GOP in future elections - The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Some feisty Republicans are challenging a claim widely held among GOP leaders that the party must support more liberal immigration laws if it’s to be more competitive in presidential elections.

via www.washingtonpost.com

April 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Counterpoint: Free Speech and the Harm Principle | MIT Technology Review

Jason Pontin has written a perceptive analysis of a timeless question:  what changes in law need to be adopted in order to account for technological advances (see “Free Speech in the Era of Its Technological Amplification”)?

via www.technologyreview.com

April 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

This Spirit of Capitulation Ends Now | National Review Online

Republicans have been in a funk ever since Obama’s re-election. I’m the first to agree that there’s a deeper problem, but it’s got more to do with under-thirties and what education and the culture are doing to them than with anything a path to citizenship will fix. The ill-designed and ill-considered bill is being pushed on the country by snake-bit Republican pols who’ve made a fundamentally mistaken judgment about how to solve the problem.

They’re acting out of desperation, and what we’ve gotten from that is a disaster of a bill. Well it’s got to stop. Republicans need to snap out of it, wake up, and kill this bill. Circumstances have changed. Obama lost on the sequester and lost on gun control. The left is tearing itself apart on energy issues and making a fool of itself on terrorism. There’s no need for conservatives to go along with nonsense like this bill. It’s time to stop the surrender. This spirit of capitulation ends here, ends now.

via www.nationalreview.com

If only it were true. Well, here's hoping. It's too bad because I like the immigrants I know. Among other things, they are hard working, harder working than I am. But it seems logical that most of them, maybe as much as 70 percent or so, will vote Democratic. I heard Glenn Reynolds put it well the other day -- the political class doesn't like the electorate it has, so it's trying to import a new one. Well put. Of course, in libertarian heaven, it would be different. Then we could have open borders. But for those of you who haven't noticed, we don't live in libertarian heaven. Marco Rubio -- has anybody noticed this? His role in the Groupo de los Ocho seems to be predicted by a discount rate of about 25 percent. In other words, about the years after 2016, he ain't worried! He's a young man in a hurry. But the rest of us are going to be around, and our kids too. The left seems to think it's Nativism. Not so. I would gladly trade most of the current Democratic party for a bunch of new citizens straight from Hong Kong. All of this is so tiresome. It wouldn't be an issue if what we call our fundamental rights weren't up for grabs every time Congress took a vote.--ts

April 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Mormon Church Pleased with Proposal to Lift Boys Scouts Gay Ban

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church has given its blessing to the Boy Scouts of America on its latest proposal to lift the gay ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.

via magicvalley.com

April 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wanted in Twin Falls County

Name: Dean Earl Smith

Age: 34

Description: 5 feet 8 inches, 160 pounds, blond hair, hazel eyes

Wanted for: Probation violation on original charge of grand theft; no bond

via magicvalley.com

Goatee. --ts

April 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, April 26, 2013

CURL: W outclasses Barack and Bill, without even trying - Washington Times

We reminisced about all the places we’d been, all the crazy days and wild nights, all the history we’d seen — first hand. Just before we said our goodbyes, I asked her if she’d miss covering President Obama.

“Not at all. He’s an inch deep. Bush is a bottomless chasm, a deep, mysterious, emotional, profound man. Obama is all surface — shallow, obvious, robotic, and, frankly, not nearly as smart as he thinks. Bush was the one.”

Her words, so succinct, have stuck with me ever since. By the way, she’s a hardcore Democrat.

via www.washingtontimes.com

April 26, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (2)