Reality Conditions

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Blog Laziness Leads to Shameless Linking

For first time since I started two weeks ago, I am feeling lazy to do real blogging. There are many things I could be talking about, both in physics (I have finished the "trivial couple of steps" I mentioned here and am in position to start writing a paper, so I could well give you the promised explanation of what my work is about, as I shall do tomorrow in a talk for other maths postgraduates at the university) and in philosophy (I have finished reading Ryle's The Concept of Mind and am well into Webster's Why Freud was Wrong, and both books deserve some commenting here). But I somehow don't feel motivated today, so I will keep the blog alive by suggesting you to visit the following places:

* The thread on "Bad physics jokes" at Cosmic Variance (warning: only for those of a very nerdy disposition. Yours truly contributed two jokes.)

* These cool optical illusions: rooms painted in a way that they seem to have circles or lines floating in the middle of the room.

* Bill Vallicella, aka the Maverick Philosopher, is blogging his impressions on Breaking the Spell, the last book by Daniel Dennett. Now Dennett is a scientistic, naturalistic and evolutionistic philosopher whom I admire greatly (he has been the major influence in shaping my current philosophical beliefs, as no other author had been since I was fascinated by Bertrand Russell at age of 17; I promise to blog about him some day) and Vallicella is a conservative and religious metaphysicist, so you might imagine I don't find his criticism very congenial, despite not having read the book. (Malcom Pollack in the comments, on the other hand, is expressing more or less my opinions so far). But Vallicella's thoughts are well worth-reading if only to see a reasoned and consistent articulation of the views I oppose. (Something that keeps me returning to the conservative group blog Right Reason as well).

* Carl Zimmer reviews Flock of Dodos, a documentary movie on the evolution-intelligent design controversy that seems to be really good. I hope it gets to UK.

* Peter Woit points out that two recent physics papers included blog posts among their citations. Dave Beacon, who was one of the cited bloggers, also mentions it and supplements with a list of the funniest "comments" ever on physics papers (the "comments" are a line in the arxiv filing of the paper that usually has only the number of pages and figures... but some are more inventive! Check it out for more nerdy laughs!)

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