While I still have two Hitchens books I need to tackle ('Love, Poverty and War' and 'Hitch22') I received three more books that I had ordered this week. These include Hitchens' 'Letters to a Young Contrarian,' Ayaan Hirsi Ali's 'Nomad,' and 'What's God Got to Do With It?: Robert Ingersoll on Free Thought Honest Talk & the Seperation of Church & State.'
The questions remain - which will I tackle first? and How long will it take for me to get around to it?
Does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on any of these books?
I've been working with a friend on a logo for the new website. I've done tons of tweaking on this and really like where it's at. I would like to know you're thoughts. It might be more appropriate to refer to this as a header design for the site.
While I am staying at my sister's house, and I do get headaches putting up with her, I am recovering nicely.
I am going out tomorrow for lunch with several old friends, and had dinner with another last night.
The thing I am waiting for is for my "patient advocate" - i.e., my sister - to find a cardiopulmonary rehab that accepts my insurance and is close enough for her to drive me back and forth. According to her, it is likely to be 3 sessions per week for 10 weeks. I will need to stay at her house until it is all over. This doesn't exactly make me very cheerful, but I can't really see that I have much choice in the matter.
In other news, I got a new laptop and a new cellphone, so I have been having fun getting them all set up t my liking.
Next thing is to start participating in some atheist forum other than facebook.
The early 1800’s were a time of religious upheaval in the fledgling United States, a time known as the Second Great Awakening that gave birth to a host of schisms, sects and whole new churches. The Baptists and the Methodist had a heyday, and even the staid Presbyterians and Anglicans saw their numbers swell.
Anticipating the second coming, Advent churches arose, such as the Advent Christians and the Seventh Day Adventists. It was into this swirl of Christian primitivism mixed with the folk lore and superstitions of the country folk that Joseph Smith Jr. was born.
Rational Response Squad website and affiliate sites are in a black out on Jan 18 to draw attention to SOPA and PIPA which threatens our existence...
Have you noticed how some of our members like to cut and paste news articles for discussion on our forum? Did you know that in many cases you're not supposed to do that? Did you know that it's not always easy to tell if you can or can't because of tough to understand copyright rules and potential for fair use treatment since the post is being used for critique, parody, or criticism? What do you think would happen if corporations and the government worked together to control the copyright problems on the internet?
For the last few years some companies have been fighting for a bill that protects against online piracy. They pushed for a bill to come along that they could support. Many of those same people today are leading the charge against SOPA and PIPA which go too far, give the government too much control, put too much fear into the webmaster, and should put fear into everyone talking about anything on the internet. These rules would stifle internet development. The next big thing will not happen, it'll cost too much in legal fees for the start up. Only mega-corps will stand a chance at innovation.
I recently updated the server fundraiser thread to ask for a few last minute donations because after a week of hits to the wallet I was only prepared to cover $5,000 of the $6,000 server I was about to buy. I had almost $2,000 of unexpected expenses in the last week, half of which was a new computer, the one I'm typing this on. The one that will make it all happen in the next 5 yrs. I posted on the forum asking for help and got a $25 donation instantly. I called my rep at Dell and worked some magic on him... some jedi secret atheist stuff... and he brought the final cost down to $5,000. I did the Tebow!
We should have it before Feb 1. Not sure how long it'll take for us to get it up (hopefully by Feb 15), I do know that site building wont be anywhere near complete until March. Much of the configuration is actually going to happen after we go online. We'll be online before we're fully configured.
It has been awhile since I posted anything in my blog so I thought I would share another little business story now since the economics threads have gotten so much interest recently.
Once upon a time there were two youngish entrepreneurs who decided they were going to attempt to take advantage of a newfangled advertising tool called the internet. Independently of each other they determined that there was great potential for businesses to expand their customer base and more importantly, there was a large and relatively untapped market of businesses that needed people to create websites for them. Both decided to start businesses that catered to this market.
The great thing about web design is that start up costs were minimal. The first entrepreneur had already purchased a computer for personal use being a big fan of computer games and internet porn. The second entrepreneur worked at a tech support desk and was married to a geek so of course she had a computer. Since hosting costs and such could easily be billed to the customer, the only real significant start up cost involved was advertising.
The Discovery Institute was founded in 1990 by Bruce Chapman, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Vienna, a Republican strategist, politician and ex Fellow of the arch conservative Hudson Institute.
The Philosophy of the Institute;
Mind, not matter, is the source and crown of creation, the wellspring of human achievement. Conceived by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Christians, and elaborated in the American Founding, Western culture has encouraged creativity, enabled discovery and upheld the uniqueness and dignity of human beings.
Linking religious, political, and economic liberty, the Judeo-Christian culture has established the rule of law, codified respect for human rights and conceived constitutional democracy. It has engendered development of science and technology, as well as economic creativity and innovation.
In contrast, the contemporary materialistic worldview denies the intrinsic dignity and freedom of human beings and enfeebles scientific creativity and technological innovation. Its vision of a closing circle of human possibilities on a planet of limited horizons summons instead the deadening ideologies of scarcity, conflict, mutual suspicion and despair.
William A. Dembski was born July 18, 1960 to William and Ursula Dembski. He showed a great deal of promise in his youth, finishing high school (an all male Catholic Prep School) a year early. On entering the University of Chicago, he ran into a wall both academically and personally, dropping out to work in his mother’s art business. It’s said that during this down period, he became fascinated with the Bible and Creationism.
Dembski eventually returned to school, garnering an undergraduate degree in Psychology, Masters Degrees in Statistics, Mathematics and Philosophy as well as Doctorates in Philosophy and Mathematics.
He went on to acquire a Master of Divinity in theology at the Princeton Theological Seminary. It was at the Seminary that Dembski was involved with the Charles Hodge Society, named for one of the founding fathers of the University, an arch conservative Calvinist and slave owner famed for his scathing criticism of Darwin and who is credited as the inspiration for modern fundamentalism. The society while Dembski was associated with it, worked to counter the ‘free swinging academic style’ and the ‘theological disarray’ of the Seminary. They also managed to be sued twice, facing everything from accusations of racism and sexism to threat s of funding cuts and curtailed academic careers. There were also rumored threats of a good old fashioned Christian ass kicking. Oh, those wacky Seminarians…