What I’m Reading: November 2019

My migraines have been in full swing this week, so we’ve got a few lighter ones here. Like the Audobon “What Kind of Owl Are You?” quiz. I’m apparently a spotted owl, but that may just be because a dark woods sounds good right about now.

For those who Tweet, if you ever want to see how many words you’ve racked up over time, this link hooks you up.  It tells you what your Twitter feed would be if it were a book. I’m slacking at “Where the Wild Things Are”. The goal apparently is to beat Proust at 1.5 million words.

The above led me down a rabbit hole of “longest novel” Googling, which got me here. Turns out a lot of long novels end up with controversy over whether they are one or many books. Regardless, I’d only even heard of 3 of these. Interesting.

For a slightly longer read, I thought SSCs post on the fall of New Atheism was pretty interesting. As someone who blogged for one of the websites involved in all this for a few years, I’d say Scott hits on a lot of interesting things, and he’s right that more people should be asking “what happened here?”. My two cents: I think people involved in the movement were there for two different reasons. One group rejected religion primarily because they believed religion opposed science and reason, the other because they believed religion promoted oppression. When the second group started to accuse the first group of being oppressive, they were upset to find the first group didn’t care as much as they’d assumed. When the first group started hearing about oppression, they got upset because they believed it to be a secondary concern. I think this was a case of finding out the hard way that the enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend, but if any readers who were involved have other thoughts I’d like to hear them.

On a related note, the AVI wrote me this week to tell me he wants to lend me The Genesis of Science, which chronicles the history of science and the church in the middle ages. It looks interesting.


4 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: November 2019

  1. Interesting, but not interesting enough to actually try to read one of those things. And since I’m not a scientologist I don’t have to buy “Hubbard’s” books. (Actually his pre-dianetics stuff has some fairly good works in it.)


  2. It will not shock you to discover I am also a spotted owl. If nothing else, our families are much too similar to allow for speciation.

    I have currently written up to Madame Bovary levels, which I am not certain how much that is, since I have never read Madame Bovary.


  3. I am giving you the book, not lending. As we downsize, we are looking for good homes for things, and you fit that description for a couple of categories.

    The SSC article is indeed excellent. Something to notice: In the graphs of twin-peaked Republican and Democrat sort-of Gaussian distributions, the Republicans have not moved much at all. They have moved on some specific items mentioned below that, but the stability of belief in impressive (though it is a short time frame). How one interprets that will depend on where one starts. You can probably guess my spot.

    As to the two types of New Atheist, or Internet Atheist, I think the group that was attracted to the SJW side converted to that faith, the other group did not. Considering Social Justice to be a religion in itself is a common idea, easily said and easily criticised. Yet if you consider SJW and proto-SJW as religions and look at the graphs at SSC, it does provide a lot of explanatory power.

    I never felt that New Atheism was representative of the atheists I encountered, BTW, any more than Young Earth Creationists were representative of Christians.


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