Politics, God and Religion vs. Science


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High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 18, 2013 - 09:13am PT
"Atheism" groups to pay consulting firms hundreds of thousands of dollars to help them improve their "image" or "brand" identities.

Really? No.

But medical schools do, of all things. Which points to the importance of image, reputation, brand identities when it comes to social change and influence, popular movements, et. (Heads up atheists.)

An interesting thought-provoking proposal for universities: If MOOCs, why not MOOAs?

"...widespread use of MOOAs could result in substantial unemployment among college bureaucrats."



It's not the fact of evolution but rather the notion of "free will" (and its links to sin and judgment) where science really pulls the KEY STONE out of the Abrahamic house of cards.

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 18, 2013 - 10:08am PT
Thanks for the good laughs about the MOOAS. I'm sure Mike L and others will like it too. The main surprise of the article is that administrative costs have only accounted for 30% of the rise in education costs in the past couple of decades. With university administrators making $200,000 and beginning faculty $30,000, the rising tuitions sure aren't going to the faculties.

Social climber
the Wastelands
Jun 18, 2013 - 10:12am PT
Atheists SHOULD be paying special marketing firms to improve their image.

When 70% of adult Americans believe in little fairy Angels, the Atheists need a lot of help.

Atheists are seen as lepers, diseased yacks backing in to linen closets.

God bless the Atheists.

Jun 18, 2013 - 10:49am PT

MOOCs did not initially become attractive as a cost-saving measure but as a way to provide more individualized instruction and to provide broader outreach to those who cannot afford an education these days.


Secondly, MOOCs seem particularly well-suited to Millennials as new ways of reaching them. Again, see TED at

http://blog.ted.com/2013/06/14/reinventing-education-for-millennials-anant-agarwal-at-tedglobal-2013/ .

On the other hand, if you want something cynical, clever, and comedic, then you can look at the URL that Fruity points to. It provides a good laugh, but it's not relevant. It's a re-hash of the idea of centralized planning. I think we're a little beyond that point these days.

Somewhere out there
Jun 18, 2013 - 11:55am PT

Because it still needs to be said
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jun 18, 2013 - 01:12pm PT
Anybody seen this yet? Far out stuff for sure.


The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 18, 2013 - 05:48pm PT
So the question was quoted earlier What is it like to be a bat...


Certainly a different way of apprehending what's Out There.

Enjoying all the dharma-speak the last few pages. No puerile sarcastic urges are manifesting, so something must have changed for the better.

Jun 18, 2013 - 06:31pm PT
Aha! I wonder how a Zen bat sees the world.

The Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Jun 18, 2013 - 06:59pm PT
They're the ones that just fly in perfect circles all night long.

Funny how these newsy bits seem to pop up in clusters:

The Chief

Climber from the Land Mongols under the Whites
Jun 18, 2013 - 07:12pm PT
Thought I would share this post of mine from another thread.

During my several OPS TRAINING visits to Rum and Aqaba, Jordan, I had the distinct pleasure of conversing with some very wise old Jordanian Bedu's. One eve around a light fire, I proposed the following question to one of the old timers:

"Do you ever think about the future"

His instant reply was

"What is that?"

I then noted

"You know, tomorrow or next week or next year."

He pondered that for a minute or so. Then came this:

"Why should I do such a foolish thing when my cup and hands are overflowing with today. If I must worry, I will worry about the next piece of wood that needs to go into the fire that is burning in front of us. Even doing that takes away from the gift of what the fire is giving us this very moment. I have no time for such foolishness."

Mind you, the Jordanian Bedu have survived far longer than most cultures in modern times in one of the harshest environments on this planet. Many of the current small tribes date back to the days of the Pharaoh's.

This Wise Bedu would turn 92 the following week. Still walking/riding his camel through the Jordanian desert, collecting water, food and fire wood. Just as he had done every day of his life. As sharp as a brand new razor he was.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Jun 18, 2013 - 07:17pm PT
Thanks MikeL. As a father of millenials I can relate to a lot of what you wrote. I really appreciate you taking the effort!

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 18, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
The best young women are awesome and generally more advanced or evolved...

then add to this, say, in ten years time, a boy toy (ala the leadership of Paris Hilton, e.g.), and it's pretty clear it IS becoming, some might argue, at long last, a woman's world. ;)

Lucky dawg(ette).

Yeah, perhaps I am a bit jealous of the age, the millennials and their accoutrements. Nature of cultural evo, I guess. Deal with it.

Jun 18, 2013 - 07:32pm PT
No puerile sarcastic urges are manifesting,

That was funny.

Chief: Wonderful story. I busted out laughing.

Cheers, DMT. (I wonder if you ask as a father or as a teacher. If either, I'll bet you have your hands full.)


"Deal with it" may be another way of saying, "relax."

Jun 18, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
One of my climbing partners worked in Nigeria. He would try to make plans to do things with his friends. They would listen to him and then ask, "But what of NOW, Robert?"

Jun 18, 2013 - 09:29pm PT
I said above somewhere that the most important thing that I learned on this thread, was the strength or power of beliefs. In the face of almost irrefutable evidence or reasoning, folks appear to serve their beliefs more than anything--irrespective of political or spiritual denomination.

I thought this must be an important mystery. Recently, I read something that seems satisfying as a possible answer.

Beliefs must be emotional. If that's accurate, the realization could make it easier for anyone to hear another's beliefs when they do not harmonize with their own. Beliefs are emotional things, rather than things that can or should be argued about with each other.

Beliefs must somehow create a sense of self or identity. I can't see that how others thought of one's identity would matter all that much, . . . but to Self, . . . well, THAT must be foundational, somehow.

Beliefs turn "this is who I am" into "this is who I must be." They escalate commitment.

Without beliefs, who would we be?

Jun 18, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
What are beliefs, MikeL?

Sport climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 09:00am PT
The power of beliefs a la MikeL: Charlie bit me... and it hurts... Isn't it real?

No,no... it's not... I'm just being rude to the ten-masters.
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Jun 19, 2013 - 09:51am PT
In some of the protracted discussions about the recent generations I introduced an observation having to do with what I recognized as the dual or bifurcated nature of every other generation in the most recent cross- saeculum grouping
Silient- short
Boomer- long
Millennial- long

The " shorts" seemed more monolithic , and less bifurcated. The "longs" seemed to contain two distinct groupings.
Again , without getting in a long discussion supporting my claims, I only bring this point up because there seemed to be a natural curiosity about Millennials recently expressed on this thread.

Millennials represent two distinct groupings: those born in the 1980s and those born in the 1990s.
Among the many differences betwixt the two I've always considered the analog/digital divide to be perhaps the more significant distinction from an educational , and cultural vantage point.

1980s Millennials were the last of the analog peoples. Their earliest childhood experience in mass media were shaped by the retreating vanguard of analog technology . They grew up singing songs in grade school to the teacher's rather cutting-edge cassette tape deck.
Again, it is not my intention to delve into an overly- long invocation of McCluhanesque explanations to suggest why this might be important .
The 80s Millennials are now in their twenties and they have had to reassert their analog acoustic strumming sensibilities partly as a reaction to the strictly digital ear of their slightly younger brothers and sisters.

1990s Millennials are the first digital generation. The first CD, and now hard drive download peoples. The first Internet sub-cohort.
They are now mostly teens and very early twenties.
Their sensibilities and sense ratios have been thoroughly shaped visually and auditorily by digital technology.

High Fructose Corn Spirit

Gym climber
Potemkin Village
Jun 19, 2013 - 10:22am PT
Egypt has invented a time machine!

Unfortunately the dial is stuck on the 14th century.


You all know Ryan Reynolds...
"Religion poisons everything good in this world."

This meme seems to be spreading.

In the long view, I think what's emerging in ever stronger numbers is some kind of new-age metaphorical theism or new-age mythical theism minus "religion" or religious institution to serve as counterpoint to the traditional forms.


re: blue pill versus red pill (as religious and anti-religious symbols)


Regarding "free will," what's your pleasure... blue or red?

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jun 19, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Every time humans change their subsistence levels dramatically, all the previous institutions change or modify radically. The outlooks and institutions of the hunter gatherers, pastoralists, horticulturalists, agriculturalists and industrialists are all quite different. It makes sense that the digitized information age would evolve different systems as well. The most difficult periods are the transitions inbetween when the old order is crumbling and the new one can not yet be seen.
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