Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Slide 1: “Almighty God, who is not limited in space or time, created a universe 13.7 billion years ago with its parameters precisely tuned to allow the development of complexity over long periods of time.”
Slide 2: “God’s plan included the mechanism of evolution to create the marvelous diversity of living things on our planet. Most especially, that creative plan included human beings.”
Slide 3: “After evolution had prepared a sufficiently advanced ‘house’ (the human brain), God gifted humanity with the knowledge of good and evil (the moral law), with free will, and with an immortal soul.”
Slide 4: “We humans used our free will to break the moral law, leading to our estrangement from God. For Christians, Jesus is the solution to that estrangement.”Slide 5: “If the moral law is just a side effect of evolution, then there is no such thing as good or evil. It’s all an illusion. We’ve been hoodwinked. Are any of us, especially the strong atheists, really prepared to live our lives within that worldview?”
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
But how else will they be different from the newspapers of today (or a couple of years ago)? What of value will be missing? The lists tend to reflect the subjective tastes of the listmakers. But typically these lists include 1) local and community news; 2) international news (in particular that iconic Baghdad bureau); 3) investigative and "enterprise" journalism at all levels; and 4) serendipity—stories you stumble across as you turn the pages of a newspaper. (No one seems overly alarmed about national news or about commentary and analysis of any sort. As a paid-up member of the commentariat, I note this bitterly but without comment. It would be hard to argue that there is a shortage of opinions on the Internet.)Mike, let me assure you. I'm alarmed. I know that the web is abound with opinions and a great chunk of them are unbelievably naive and absurd. Most of those who take news seriously invariably value the editorial page too. Although most of the opinion articles published today are reflections of their bosses' political/environmental/economic affiliations, they're nevertheless informed and present at least one side of the argument convincingly. And this is very important for me to stay away from confirmation bias. And in cases of columnists like David Brooks - a conservative writing for a somewhat center-left paper, their opinions and the comments that ensue for their pieces are too invigorating to be lost to a bad business model.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Olivia, as a Hindu I am glad that you say, “…Even on your skin, the diversity of bacteria is prodigious. If you were to have your hands sampled, you’d probably find that each fingertip has a distinct set of residents; your palms probably also differ markedly from each other, each home to more than 150 species, but with fewer than 20 percent of the species the same. And if you’re a woman, odds are you’ll have more species than the man next to you. Why should this be? So far, no one knows…”Although the subject is vast, in brief, the above perhaps could help realize it as the basis also arrived at by the ancients who developed the art/ science of ‘Palmistry’ that is practiced since time immemorial. Each finger and gaps between those are believed to represent different members of our solar system such that both palms represent two hemispheres, eastern and the western. In which, in the males, the lines on the right palm are believed to represent his likely behaviour as an independent individual, while the left palm indicates the likely effects of other external influences during the life-span and, hence, need to read both palms and predictions made based on the predominant lines on either palms, whereas, in females, the reverse is believed applicable…
Friday, July 17, 2009
In the early nineteen-sixties, a man named David Wallerstein was running a chain of movie theatres in the Midwest and wondering how to boost popcorn sales. Wallerstein had already tried matinée pricing and two-for-one specials, but to no avail. According to Greg Critser, the author of “Fat Land” (2003), one night the answer came to him: jumbo-sized boxes. Once Wallerstein introduced the bigger boxes, popcorn sales at his theatres soared, and so did those of another high-margin item, soda.
A decade later, Wallerstein had retired from the movie business and was serving on McDonald’s board of directors when the chain confronted a similar problem. Customers were purchasing a burger and perhaps a soft drink or a bag of fries, and then leaving. How could they be persuaded to buy more? Wallerstein’s suggestion—a bigger bag of fries—was greeted skeptically by the company’s founder, Ray Kroc. Kroc pointed out that if people wanted more fries they could always order a second bag.
“But Ray,” Wallerstein is reputed to have said, “they don’t want to eat two bags—they don’t want to look like a glutton.” Eventually, Kroc let himself be convinced; the rest, as they say, is supersizing.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
To work, to parent, to housekeep, to be the ones who schedule “date night,” only to be reprimanded in the home by male kitchen bitches, and then, in the bedroom, to be ignored—it’s a bum deal. And then our women’s magazines exhort us to rekindle the romance. You rarely see men’s magazines exhorting men to rekindle the romance....
If high-revving women are sexually frustrated, let them have some sort of French arrangement where they have two men, the postfeminist model dad building shelves, cooking bouillabaise, and ignoring them in the home, and the occasional fun-loving boyfriend the kids never see. Alternately, if both spouses find life already rather exhausting, never mind chasing around for sex. Long-married husbands and wives should pleasantly agree to be friends, to set the bedroom aglow at night by the mute opening of separate laptops and just be done with it. More than anything, aside from providing insulation from the world at large, that kind of arrangement could be the perfect way to be left alone.
Link via Amit Varma.
Bollywood actor Shiney Ahuja's lawyer on Tuesday gave a new angle to the case, claiming that the victim of the alleged rape belongs to a lower caste, which is "aggressive" in nature....
Elaborating his version of "consensual sex", Shivde argued that if Ahuja had tried to rape the victim, she could have "definitely" resisted. "She belongs to a lower caste, which is aggressive by nature, and she wouldn't have submitted herself so easily. They are known for being aggressive," Shivde said.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Regardless of one’s political proclivities or whether or not one just happens to like the personable Barack Obama, it’s clear that the president relishes the vague metaphor, adores the illogical argumentative sequence, and luxuriates in making words mean what only yesterday they didn’t.
Orwell is important here less for the topics he wrote about — although subjects such as poverty and oppression are obviously significant — than for the observational and anti-theoretical way in which he endeavored to write about them.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
You are known as a liberal Muslim. Why don't you see the sexual emotions of hundreds and thousands of people around us? If your son or daughter would have been gay how would you have addressed the topic?If my daughter or son would have been such, I would have definitely counsel them. I would have explained them this is unnatural and inhuman. Because this will ultimately lead to the destruction of the human race. This (legal right to have sex with the same sex) cannot come under the definition of 'freedom'. All kinds of freedom have some moral context or ethics. We have to follow those ethics.