A message after close on the new channel "Yesterday".

I find this pleasingly Zen
I have just watched "Did Darwin Kill God?" which was a programme arguing that God and Evolution are not in conflict, argued by a evolution scientist who also believes in God.

It was very interesting, and highlighted how the Creationist position is a recent one with little or no basis in the traditions of Christianity.

He had me agreeing for a lot of the programme before a random section at the end attacking what he called "Ultra Darwinists" with a ridiculous straw man argument concerning memes that he gave no opportunity for any of the so called "Ultra darwinists" to respond to, and that I felt could be shot down in seconds.

He then went on a silly diversion about science is provisional and how can anything provisional disprove God without actually making an argument that held water.

After an interesting programme I was very disappointed by this ending. Particularly as there are better arguments that the programme used earlier which showed the lack of conflict and how the God of the Gaps argument that evolution was shooting down was not what Christianity was about.
Can I recommend The Bottom Billion by Paul Collier - A researched backed look at the world's poorest and what we can do about them.

The central premiss is that the "middle 4 billion" in developing countries are being lumped together with the very poorest and this is obscuring the issue - the very poorest are the problem as the development of the rest of the world will help the others, but the bottom billion are no developing at all.

It looks at traps, methods of helping, and reviews how aid works and does not work, and how we need to reverse some assumptions to get it it be fully effective. It also explores military intervention, trade rules and so on.

It challenged a lot of my ideas and made me think differently about how to help the very poorest.
I was on a training course and there were various exercises to disrupt peoples thought processes - one was quite a fun one where you had to speak on a subject and another person had to disagree with a particular point - "No they are not X" and they speaker then has to agree with that and keep going. My conversation went like this:

Partner: Tell me about flowers
Me: Well they are a member of the vegetable kingdom...
P: No they are not
M: Well actually they are mineral and carved out of stone...
P: no they are not mineral
M: you are quite right they are animals that scurry into...
P: I don't think they scurry
M: Ok, they saunter, but they freeze when you look at them so you see them as still
P I don't think they are still
M: Well actually they are moving so fast they appear to be in just one place
P: No they don't
M: Quite right you see them in multiple places - when you see a bed of flowers there is in fact only one flower you see multiple times over
P: I don't think I do
M: Well actually you just see a red blob as they...
P: I don't think it is red
M: Of course it is actually blue but it appears red due to the doppler effect as they are moving so fast
P: It's not the doppler effect
M: No it actually a breakdown in the laws of the universe at a quantum mechanical level
P: I don't think it is the universe
M: No it is just in Brighton...

At which point the exercise was over, but I found it quite interesting and fun


Apr. 23rd, 2009 10:42 pm
Pride and Prejudice, Comic book style

Some very good headlines: I particularly like the "Lizzy on Love, Loss and Living" - makes it sound like a Good housekeeping magazine.

But "How to cure your boy crazy sisters", and "Bingleys bring Bling to Britain" are good follow ups...
This is a wonderful selection of complaints from British holiday makers. I do like:

"No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled"

But I think my favourite is

"I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts."


Mar. 14th, 2009 07:02 pm
Can anyone guess what, in the context of schools, a MUGA is?

The answer )


Mar. 14th, 2009 06:59 pm
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead may be the best film name in a while. Even Lesbian Vampire Killers cannot quite match it.
Daily mail review of Watchmen

"This despicable trash will find an audience among sad sociopaths, deranged pseudo-intellectuals and brutalised, immature men of all ages. I just hope that there aren't enough of them to make it a hit. If there are, God help cinema."

If the mail hates it that much, it must be good...
This might be the most impressive cv I have come across for someone so young. I found it while following back an IMDB search.

Born 1981, Double first from Magdalene Cambs, Scholarship to Harvard, Contributing editor to the spectator, Scholar to and Winner of Violin prize at Royal college of Music, contributed to the economist, Guardian, Telegraph among others, Fashion staf writer at Vogue, Trustee of a charity, Worked with UN world food programme, appeared on question time, oh, and the small matter of appearing in lots of films and TV programmes, including Party Animals, Poirot and Dungeons and Dragons...

How much and what range of things does one person need to do?
An interesting article on the ten commandments - particularly the point about taking God's name in vain.

Taking an historical perspective, it re-examines the ten commandments and challenges the idea that they are the "rantings of an angry, vain and vengeful God" - they are a way of living together without a central authority.
This is a very rare beast.

Not in the fact that it is a guardian article that uses terrible arguments: that sadly is all too common.

But it is a comment thread full of sensible people debunking said article and not being "Speak your braaaaain" about it.

That may be unique. Even the economist website has "speak your brains" people who cannot make a solid argument for toffee...


Jul. 10th, 2008 05:15 pm
At 3.30pm today Junior Stanton no.2 arrived!
Piccies )

Mother and baby
Piccies )
Ok - game number two.

Seeing If I can work out who anonymous and anonymous38 are from what qualities they think I have.

Hmmm. Not getting anywhere so far!
My Johari Window - Please help fill it in!

Idea nicked from [livejournal.com profile] the_lady_lily - I will be interested in this as I suspect that:

a) my self image is a few years out of date, and
b) I have no idea how I come across!

thanks in advance!

Left behind

Jun. 1st, 2008 07:30 am
We appear to have aquired a black "The North Face" fleece cum jacket thing - does anyone claim it?


Apr. 25th, 2008 11:13 pm

I saw him live just before the end - I'm sorry I haven't a clue live. He did seem a little frail.

Could anyone replace him?



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