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Ichthyology at PeaceFest

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#GamerGate: The Players and the Played

Good thought piece reframing GamerGate in terms of the ideological struggle for feminism

Paula Wright

The #GamerGate controversy reached a new high (or low depending on your perspective) recently when one of its main protagonists, the radical feminist and cultural critic, Anita Sarkeesian, was featured on the front page of the New York Times. Ironically, in view of the focus of her criticism about passive female characterization in video games, she herself was cast as the “damsel in distress”, under threat from active male protagonists.

Ostensibly, headlines like this are a direct validation of her work. Sarkeesian asserts that video games directly contribute to a culture of gendered violence in real life and – hey presto – there it is!  

But are radical feminist claims about games promoting violent norms really correct?  Studies of violence in video games say no. Last year the U.S. Supreme Court evaluated the evidence and came to a disappointing conclusion for people, like Sarkeesian, who are fond…

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A closer look at the latest numbers of Ebola cases in W Africa – Pray, Give & Act

Via an Anglican Prayer Blog, we have an alarming exponential growth curve . . .

Lent & Beyond

Note: the graph below is my own work, based on the data in the WHO Ebola situation reports.  It shows cumulative reported cases of Ebola in each West African country, and in total, since the outbreak began in March 2014.

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I’ve been looking tonight at the latest WHO report on Ebola in West Africa (October 10, 2014), and I took the time to update my spreadsheet where I’ve been tracking the cumulative number of cases each week.  The data is just scary.

  • In Liberia:  2000 new cases in the past 4 weeks
  • In Sierra Leone:  2000 new cases in 6 weeks, (but they’re now on pace for 2000 cases in the next 27 days if current case rates continue.)
  • It took 4 1/2 months (from beginning of March to mid-July) to reach 1000 total cases.
  • It then took only a month for the number of cases to…

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Adam Lee has lost it

Yup.

Why Evolution Is True

One of the most despicable attacks on Richard Dawkins in recent years (and that’s saying a lot!) has been posted at the Guardian; it’s by Adam Lee, atheist blogger who writes at “Daylight Atheism”. I won’t bother to dissect it in detail because reading it makes me ill. Dissing Richard is a regular thing at the Guardian these days, and there’s no shortage of unbelievers willing to answer the call. Lee’s piece is called “Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name.” Read it and weep. If you cheer, you shouldn’t be reading this website.

It’s one-sided, quoting only the anti-Dawkins Usual Suspects, and accuses not only Dawkins but Sam Harris of “ignorant sexism.” To do so, Lee relies on quotes that have been cherry-picked by people determined to bring down Richard and Sam.  Rather than distress my lower mesentery by going through the piece, I’ll post the remarks…

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The objectivity of oppression

Boodle . . . oops!

Rebecca Reilly-Cooper

In my post yesterday on intersectionality and identity politics, I tried to argue that the internal logic of identity politics is flawed, and though motivated by good intentions, can’t actually yield a practical vision of politics that makes people’s lives better. I now realize that there is an assumption in this argument that I didn’t elaborate on sufficiently, and yet is crucial to the point, namely: the fact that oppression is objective. This is a fact that many intersectionalists seem to want to deny. Yet they can’t, because the very fact that we can talk about oppression at all relies upon its being in some sense objective.

Suppose Joey claims that Chandler has broken his arm. Joey might be in the best position to know how his arm feels, and so the first thing we need to do is listen to Joey and find out how his arm feels…

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Another Pastafarian gets a driver’s license picture

woot, Shawna!

Why Evolution Is True

This is at least the third such incident I’ve heard of: a Pastafarian—an atheist with noodly tendencies—named Shawna Henderson in Oklahoma, got her driver’s license picture taken with the Sacred Headgear (a colander) atop her head. That, apparently, is legal. Here’s the story from KFOR News, and her driver’s license:

As PuffHo reports:

Hammond told KFOR that she is an atheist who believes that unbelievers should be able to express their views.

“I’m glad I was able to do it. It’s hard living as a non-religious person in Oklahoma. It felt good to be recognized that we can all coexist and have those equal rights,” she said.

A screenshot of her license:
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.16.27 AM

Quite fetching, I’d say.

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Oklahoma woman claims spaghetti strainer as religious headwear in license picture

HAHAHAHAHA

KFOR.com

[ooyala code=”NrOXM0cDrxtzZuPnmCcyjG7X5CvZmbC9″ player_id=”df513009265e4427aaf5f0342a75c90e”]

ENID, Okla. – It may sound like a joke but an Enid woman says her Oklahoma driver’s license features a unique symbol of her religious freedom.

It may even prompt a giggle, but for Shawna Hammond, the spaghetti strainer is a symbol of freedom.

“It doesn’t cover my face. I mean you can still see my face. We have to take off our glasses, so I took off my glasses,” Hammond said.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety’s rules, religious headpieces cannot cause shadows on your face and the photograph must present a clear view of your face.

“I asked if I could wear my religious headwear and he said, yes, it just couldn’t have any logos, or any type of writing. I told him it didn’t, and I went out to my car and got my colander,” said Hammond.

Hammond says she walked back into the…

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