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I spent ages writing a post here, and the Dreamwidth rich text editor dumped it. Next time I will use a text editor.
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Visiting Cambridge this weekend, would be lovely to see some of you in the Elm Tree for GothSoc tonight!
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This is not at all meant as an argument against robustly disagreeing with public people - I think that's very often a good thing - but:

It seems to me that when you criticize public intellectual A for arguing X, you implicitly criticize all those who argue X. If I say that Ray Comfort is an idiot for arguing that the shape of bananas demonstrates the existence of God, I'm not saying that all theists are idiots, but I *am* saying that anyone who similarly argues that the shape of bananas demonstrates the existence of God is being idiotic.

I'd go further and say that this is a key role of debate among public intellectuals, that often we attack a particular published position not just because we disagree with the individual but because we want a response for all those who share their position.

Am I mistaken?
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The HTC desire has no lanyard port, a bit of a design oversight in an expensive phone if you ask me! So if I wanted to be able to use it in a high-street-theft city, where and how should I attach the steel cord? Some creativity may be required, also possibly use of glue and other components...

Update: a hard case might make it easier!
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I've been reading The Winterval Myth, and wondering, what's the left-wing equivalent? What's a story that
  • is told over and over
  • to support a left-wing narrative
  • as if it were an unquestioned fact, a simple matter of public record
  • when it is in fact incontrovertably false
  • and has been utterly debunked in detail?

Obviously I tend to think that those I've got more sympathy for have a more fact-based way of talking, but it would be odd if there were no examples. There must be some program that a specific named Tory council implemented, only they never did, or some awful thing that Thatcher or Cameron never in fact said (or whose meaning is so utterly changed by the context that once you knew the context you couldn't possibly apply the original meaning to it) or some terrible "fact" about nuclear power that isn't a fact at all. Anyone able to link me up?

Thanks!
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A zooming view of all time, from the Big Bang to the Bomb. Ideas very welcome!
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Have bought a Dreamwidth paid account for just one month, because I miss being able to post polls. So to start with one key question:

Poll #5444 Dreamwidth polls?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 24


Do you ever vote in Dreamwidth polls?

View Answers

Yes!
24 (100.0%)



I believe that LiveJournal users can vote in DreamWidth polls using OpenID, but it would be good to see that confirmed!
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The front room has sash windows and is currently freezing. I'd like to do something cheap to stop the cold air getting in during the winter. I have two ideas in mind

- I'd like to use that plastic disposable double glazing film you can get - any recommendations?

- I'd like to use removable caulk to seal up the windows until the summer, but I can't find any to buy in the UK - eg I can't find anyone selling DAP Seal'n'Peel here. Any ideas?
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Thinking of going to Inferno at the Electric Ballroom on Friday evening - first time out clubbing in a long long time!
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I need to go shopping shortly, and I am quite sick of ready meals. Cooking just for myself - so doesn't have to be vegetarian - what shall I make for myself for tea?
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via Pharyngula:
Unable to bear any longer the tedious work of seeking out all the instances of these two comment types so I can delete them, I have decided that from now on I will hunt down the relevant commenters and kill them.

I realize that it is unusual for a popular science blog to launch upon a policy of killing its own readers. That is why I thought an explicit warning should go up on the site first. This is that warning.
Boring preposition jokes: new termination policy, Language Log
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Just so you know: the cheese rolling contest was not cancelled by Health and Safety, nor were kids asked to wear safety goggles to play conkers, nor does anyone ban toothpicks. The BBC reprints it from the comments by the Prime Minister, who gets it from reading the Daily Mail, who sit at their typewriters and make it up.

Lazy BBC hacks repeat Daily Mail ‘elf n safety’ myths

HSE myths page - thanks Pir!

Oops!

Oct. 4th, 2010 10:04 am
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I was a bit over-subtle in my last entry - the blockquoted text was a transcript from the linked video, not my own words - sorry! I never had a religious upbringing - both my parents were atheists.
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My, I guess, departure from religion came I think as early as nine or ten when we were being taught about a big element of the Catholic faith which is called "transubstantiation". Transubstantiation, for those that don't know, means that during the Eucharist, during the sort-of communion ceremony, the bread is actually physically changed (whatever that means in terms of Catholic doctrine) into the body of Christ. And I got very excited as a nine-year-old, and stuck my hand up excitedly in the class, and said "Look, look, I got a microscope for Christmas! What we can do, we can do this really great experiment, we can look at the host beforehand, and we can do the holy communion thing, and then we can look at it afterwards. Wouldn't that be a great experiment?" And I got sent out of the class, and also, a note was sent to the parish priest. And I was told that those type of questions are not the questions you should ask.


(Updated to add: block quote is from video, not my own story!)
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I stopped reading Beware of pushing Catholics out of the progressive club at the point where I reached the phrase "atheist deity, Richard Dawkins".

What makes this sort of talk a total waste of everyone's time is that you can say this about anything. Creationists love to talk about the priesthood of Darwinism, or global warming denialists the acolytes of Al Gore enforcing orthodoxy. By the same standards, Phil Plait counts as some sort of Pope of heliocentrism. It requires absolutely no thought or imagination to speak of a belief you don't like in this way; it shares absolutely no insight into what problems that belief might have. As a form of commentary, or as a form of humour, I therefore have to rank it below sarcasm, below puns, and somewhere just above repeating what the other person said in a high-pitched girly voice.
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I have imported my old LiveJournal entries and enabled cross-posting, so hello from Dreamwidth! It'll do until something better comes along. Rather sad to see that the imported entries don't include links to the originals, but I guess it'll matter less when it finishes importing comments.
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there was a banner saying Merry Christmas across the front of the council house, Christmas lights, Christmas trees in the main civil squares, regular carol-singing sessions by school choirs, and the Lord Mayor sent a Christmas card with a traditional Christmas scene wishing everyone a Merry Christmas
-- Birmingham Council, on their 1997 and 1998 event "Winterval". See also Ten years on from the Winterval row by Mike Chubb.
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What's the advantage of importing all my old LJ posts into DJ over just leaving a forwarding address? Won't I lose all the comments?

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