alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
Free Press

If I were involved in designing the book jacket for this tome, I would not have put "Bestselling author of THE GOD DELUSION" at the top of the front cover. Not because Prof. Dawkins should feel ashamed of having written that book--he shouldn't--but because it's not an appropriate comparison for TGSOE. He is also the author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Climbing Mount Improbable, Unweaving the Rainbow, and other biologically inclined works. In TGSOE, he honestly intends to speak to people who don't already agree with him, which means he doesn't touch the question of God's existence. He certainly doesn't pretend to be a believer, but he says, at the beginning, in so many words, that he is not writing as one of the Four Horsemen of the Atheist Apocalypse: "This is a book about the positive evidence that evolution is a fact. Is is not intended as an anti-religious book. I've done that, it's another t-shirt, this is not the place to wear it again." With that in mind, I don't agree with the publisher's sticking "THE GOD DELUSION" on the front cover, and I hope it didn't scare away any readers who are ambivalent about the validity of evolutionary theory but would otherwise be curious about Prof. Dawkins's case for it, because it's an immensely helpful book and I would highly recommend that they read it.
The Tree of Life is a big sprawling organism )
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
Okay, now I've lost the link, but anyway, 23/6 posted a link to a video clip of The Daily Show involving Will Philips and Mick Foley.

So, I watched the video and posted this as a comment:

THAT LITTLE BOY IS AWESOME. *ahem* Sorry, but the child's erudition and precocity simply demanded an all-caps moment. I want to make Will Philips my best friend and teach him how to use words like "presuppose" in a sentence. That is, IF HE DOESN'T USE THEM IN SENTENCES ALREADY.

So then some other 23/6 fan said:

Alyson, that is one of the most pretentious paragraphs ever written.

Another poster came to my defense, but I still replied:

You can't have seen many pretentious paragraphs.

I mean: what? That's what she calls pretentious? And, am I supposed to apologize for using big words to enthuse over the kid's intelligence? Making use of one's vocabulary is "pretentious" now?

Fuck. That. Noise. Never hide your light.
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
Only took long have I been working on this one? Now that I've finally reached the end of DFW's copious footnotes, I can share my Deep Thoughts on it. This will be rather random.

Y'all please excuse me if there are some apostrophes missing in this. I'm using the Eee, whose keyboard is mostly fine but the ' key takes more elbow grease than others.

Spoilage ahead! )
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
Last night, I needle-felted a dark red capital A (as in Atheist, though it also doubles as my initial) onto the back of my laptop sleeve, and a Darwin fish on the front, while watching The Matrix.

Now THAT's the way to enjoy a night alone in the house.


Aug. 21st, 2009 04:14 pm
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
I've just begun reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace--and by "just begun," I mean I started on it several days ago, but it's such a long book that I've only now read a very slim percentage of its total.

Thank goodness for the Search function. )
alyson_m: That's my face, in case you're wondering (Default)
I'm wondering...what is a good thing to do in downtown DC on a Sunday afternoon?

And before you say, "visit the Smithsonian," that's just the problem. I want to visit a museum or two while I'm already in town to do something else. What else is there to do, with or without company, in that part of town, in the middle of the day on Sunday? I know there are dozens of options, but I'm drawing a blank here.

March 2012

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