An Imperfect God

I don't know whether to be delighted or infuriated. On the one hand, this is a thoughtful piece by a learned man which comes to what I would consider basically sound conclusions. On the other, the implicit monotheism hangs there like a bizarre pinata, waiting for me to take a swing.

I guess polytheists don't exist. Or at least aren't theists.

I wonder if the author recognizes the irony of his argument? The imperfect and sometimes capricious deity of his conclusion is very much in keeping with characterizations of the gods and goddesses in pagan mythological sources. Except there's more than one of them. Polytheists have understood this for quite a while.

Is God perfect? You often hear philosophers describe “theism” as the belief in a perfect being — a being whose attributes are said to include being all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent (among others). And today, something like this view is common among lay people as well.

(link) [New York Times]

23:29 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

Beards of Silicon Valley

I guess I'm either a Unix admin or a founder who left before the IPO ...

In Silicon Valley, the beard is everything — unless you’re a woman or you’re Mark Zuckerberg and you can’t grow one. For everyone else, a beard is essential to Silicon Valley success. But not just any beard. You must carefully grow your facial hair to suit your particular role in the tech ecosystem.

(link) [Wired]

22:57 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

How Political Campaign Spending Brought Down the Roman Republic

Well, whaddya know? Somebody else noticed the parallels...

Ancient politicians were just as skilled as modern ones at identifying and exploiting loopholes in election law. In Rome, the key loophole lay in the fuzzy distinction between ambitus (electoral bribery) and mere benignitas (generosity). Roman elections were often won on the strength of free food, drinks, entertainment, and sometimes hard cash offered directly to voters and financed by private fortunes. In fact, Roman campaign slogans were sometimes inscribed on the bottom of commemorative wine cups—you could drain the cup and find out whom to vote for. Most of the Roman elite relied on the gentleman’s agreement that the line between bribery and generosity would not be strictly patrolled. At worst, rank vote-buying was something your opponents engaged in; you, on the other hand, were simply being a good neighbor.

(link) [Slate]

22:55 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Poor management, not union intransigence, killed Hostess


The firm emerged from bankruptcy with more debt than when it went in — in with $575 million, out with $774 million, all secured by company assets. That's pretty much the opposite of what's supposed to happen in bankruptcy. By the end, there was barely a spare distributor cap in the motor pool that wasn't mortgaged to the private equity firms and hedge funds holding the notes (and also appointing management).

(link) [Los Angles Times]

14:35 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

When the Drought Broke

Storm Front 8-16-12

I have been remiss in posting of late, but we've been very busy. So busy, in fact, that we'd forgotten to download pictures from the summer off the camera. This one was taken on August 16thwhen I noted the storm was moving in ...

12:45 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

That Was Fast: Hollywood Browbeat Republicans Into Retracting Copyright Report

Why am I not surprised?

So, late Friday, we reported on how the Republican Study Committee (the conservative caucus of House Republicans) had put out a surprisingly awesome report about copyright reform. You can read that post to see the details. The report had been fully vetted and reviewed by the RSC before it was released. However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded.

(link) [TechDirt]

08:21 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

Grover Norquist: Mitt Romney painted as ‘poopy head’

You read that right - the words "Grover" and "poopy-head" in the same sentence, and it's not on Sesame Street...

Grover Norquist said on Monday that President Barack Obama won reelection by portraying Mitt Romney as a “poopy-head.”

(link) [Politico]

22:13 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Einherjar 2012

Today is the civic commemoration of the end of the First World War, also known as Veteran's Day. Over the years, heathenry has adopted this as the Feast of the Einherjar, honoring the soldiers and veterans among us. Ravenswood holds our feast this evening.

Meanwhile, up in Minnesota, Volkshof Kindred held their celebration last evening - and our daughter Hilary was in attendance! Her description was of a vibrant group of young families, children everywhere (including our youngest granddaughter) and moving and glowing tribute fit fot the occasion. It warms the cockles of our heathen hearts to see a young and growing kindred carrying on the work we started so many years ago - and even more to think that our progeny will be a part of this process. So Hail Volkshof, Hail Hilary and Hail the Einherjar!

12:24 /Asatru | 0 comments | permanent link

In France, a Mission to Return the Military's Carrier Pigeons to Active Duty

Not only in France, but in China too! Who knew? Note the problems that modern breeding have induced: prettier (whiter) birds with limited range.

The French military boasts a powerful army with nuclear submarines, ballistic missiles and spy satellites. For lawmaker Jean-Pierre Decool, however, the country is neglecting one of its mightiest weapons: its flock of carrier pigeons.

(link) [Wall Street Journal]

11:07 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link

Why the GOP Will Double Down on a Losing Strategy

I find it difficult to celebrate anyone's election - but I do not find it nearly so tough to celebrate most of the Republican Party's defeat. They've been captured by Christian Right, and that fact alone makes this heathen very nervous. In fact, it makes me positively nauseous to hear them mouth slogans about "small government" and "liberty" while trying to crush gay rights and a woman's right to choose. Watching them squirm now because those contradictions cost them big is rather amusing. And I'm afraid the article's right - they probably will double down on the stupid, and end up going the way of the dodo.

After the historic GOP congressional wave in 2010, many Republicans were sure Obama was destined for defeat in 2012. An incumbent who had presided over four years of high unemployment — and whose overwhelming unpopularity was discussed as an immutable fact on Fox News and talk radio — seemed ripe for the picking. His re-election has some party leaders worried that the GOP is out of step with demographic and ideological trends, preaching to a shrinking choir. They do not want to be what Congressman turned TV host Joe Scarborough has despairingly called “the stupid party,” with retro in-the-bubble ideas about rape, contraception and “self-deportation” that alienate a modern multicultural electorate.

(link) [Time]

09:14 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Loss & gain, or the fate of the book

A bibliophile's lament...

But the consolation that my library will dissolve into its constituent parts in the great world of second-hand books is not as great as it was even a few years ago. Second-hand booksellers are closing their shops and transferring their businesses online because 90 percent of their sales come from the Internet and 90 percent of their overheads come from their shops. It is a very simple business decision.

(link) [New Criterion]

08:07 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link