Crossing the great divide

There’s a kind of approach comes up from time to time among skeptics, and it’s often considered a good thing, but I’ve always been of mixed feelings about it. It’s the idea that, in order to get to know those who hold what we consider to be irrational beliefs, we (meaning anyone that wants to promote critical thinking) need to immerse ourselves in the culture. Hemant read more

Making change

One of the most confusing things to attempt is self-evaluation. It might be easy to think that if there’s one person we’re intimately familiar with, it’s ourselves, but when it comes down to it, we realize how hard objectivity is in such situations. Ego is such a loud voice in our minds, it’s hard to hear the little things which might be much more accurate.

Thus, I cannot read more

You animal!

You know, there are a lot of misconceptions about animal psychology and behavior out there, and they’re all over the map. I’m going to address a few of the more prevalent ones here, with the hopes of at least promoting a little more perspective and forethought among the topics.

Let’s get one thing out of the way right from the start: “animal” is a simple read more

There are skeptics, and then there are skeptics

Reading an old post, it occurred to me that there’s a lot of misunderstanding about skepticism, enough so that perhaps it could stand a bit of clarification as to where it comes from, and why at least some people find it to be useful. In many circles – circles that spend a lot of time discussing ghost stories, or UFO encounters, or miracles, and so on – ‘skeptic’ is read more

On composition, part 22: Distortion

A fundamental part of photography is focusing light onto the recording medium, be it film, digital sensor, or even our own retinas. And the method used for doing this the vast majority of the time is a lens, a transparent substance with a certain index of refraction – the trait of bending light when it passes through the surface of the substance. Put the right correct surface angle read more

Repost: You don’t look a day over eighty

This is cheating, I know, and especially lazy when the posts have been so thin lately. I could have just linked to it while providing new content, but I find the original from last year to be pretty complete. Plus I’m not sure who actually follows links…

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So not only is today the summer solstice, but also World Humanist Day – which is, admittedly, an odd read more

Fair’s fair

In a recent discussion about religion, someone told me that I had to be fair and consider all the good that religion does along with the bad, far from the first time I’ve heard this directive. It sounds innocent, and in fact, praiseworthy on the face of it, but it’s almost offensive in its nature it all depends on the circumstances, and is a great example of read more

Isn’t that the real truth?

Just in case anyone hasn’t seen this subject the last nine times I approached it, I find ‘free will‘ to be a corrupt concept, a common belief without rational support (which gives it plenty of company.) And no, I’m not going to broach it again. Instead, we’ll look deeper into the question of whether we should retain some illusions.

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Limitations

Several years ago, I witnessed a particular action from a friend’s dog that startled me. The dog had come into their living room on a lazy afternoon and looked around for a place to lie down, to find the other dogs had already claimed all of the best snoozing spots. He actually got a slightly pained expression, tail dropping and ears twitching back slightly as if hearing a harsh sound – read more

You don’t look a day over eighty

So not only is today the summer solstice, but also World Humanist Day – which is, admittedly, an odd thing. Not in that I believe we shouldn’t bother with it, but in the implication that there’s only one day to consider or celebrate humanism. It’s like having a National Don’t Set Your Neighbor On Fire Day it’s something that we shouldn’t read more

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