Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I am voting. I am going to be watching. I am going to be interested. I am going to be hopeful. That is my day today. Along with…

Today I don’t have that much to say, except that I love Norma Blum and Smartypants and Sheldon, of course.

And Big Daddy is seriously trying to put me on with his story about impregnating women. I think he is trying to impersonate someone with a scientific Darwinian view of life and to him that makes him think that impregnating as many women as possible is the logical conclusion to that worldview and how do I like that? Or something. In any case, it made me laugh, so I guess that’s okay. If he’s in any way serious, he should have read “The Moral Animal” by Robert Wright.

What I am currently reading: It may sound silly, but I am going to bed reading “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff With Your Family – Simple Ways to Keep Daily Responsibilities and Household Chaos from Taking Over Your Life.” (Pretty titillating, huh?) I can be a real fan of some of these types of self-help books. I loved “Simplify Your Life” – the even simpler version of “Don’t Sweat, etc.” I actually followed some of the advice in the book. More than that, I thought about it.

Also I just read Nora Ephron’s “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” I got it at the airport and read it in a couple of hours on the plane. It’s only 137 pages! I really like Nora Ephron’s writing much more than her movies. When “When Harry Met Sally” came out, I absolutely hated it. I hated it so much. I couldn’t stop telling people how much I hated that movie. I hated the way Meg Ryan behaved. I hated the throwing of the tissues in the air and the overacting. I felt that they were all trying to be so sophisticated but they really weren’t. I found it insufferable.

But then, over Christmas last year, it was on TV. And while I was killing time at my mother’s condo, I re-watched it. And it was so much better than I remembered it! Sure, there were cheesy parts – lots of them. But I didn’t know why I loathed that movie so much, before. Maybe I’m getting older and I’m not so judgmental about contemporary romantic comedies the way I used to be. Anyway, “I Feel Bad About My Neck” is breezy and funny and unexpectedly poignant. The best chapter in it, I think, is the one about her apartment in New York at the Apthorp. And how she eventually moved. I read it in the New Yorker, I think – a while ago. Anyway, that essay is in this collection as well and it’s really even better the second time around.

My favorite magazine right now is: Seed. It’s glossy, it’s a science magazine, and the layout is fantastic. It’s going to be my Christmas gift this year. E.O. Wilson is on this month's cover. He's trying to bring the religious right together with the environmentalists to get them to work together. I have read some evidence that there is some alignment. I still don't know what I think about that yet. I guess, if it get's people to behave differently towards their environment and actually take the future seriously, I am for it.

There is also an article in this last issue of Seed about creationists in Turkey. There is a creationist museum, and there is a lot of fighting about irreducible complexity, and how a scientific worldview is what leads to violence and fascism. Here’s a excerpt from the article:


Terrorists, according to Oktar, are "social Darwinists hiding under the cloak of religion," while communists, still active in Turkey, are in "bloody alliance" with Darwinism. "Evolution is a communist and fascist belief," offers Tarkan Yavas, BAV's president. "The Muslim community understands that now."

Oh jeez. It’s so important that evolutionary psychology be understood. And how everything falls under “Darwinism” – not just violence, but everything else too; love, community, altruism, sacrifice for others. People, in general, don’t understand that you can be good without God.

Daniel Dennett, the last time I saw him, said that this is the one thing he wished the typical, average person who might not think through ethics and morality and religion understood: You can be good without God.

Tomorrow I am doing a shoot for Yahoo – eight little comedy bits for their “Lifestyles” webpage about parenting. My assistant, Frances’ mother has a friend with a horse ranch in Wyoming. I’m thinking what a wonderful environment that would make for Arden, my dog. I mean, I’m just thinkin’.

16 comments:

Atheism Quotes said...

What a wonderful collection of random thoughts for the day! Here in Oregon, we're going to see how progressive the state really is. An anti-choice candidate for governor, a parental-notification law on the ballot, some free-speech-restricting laws... we'll see. After 2004, I can't afford to get my hopes up just yet. There was NO way Bush could be reelected, and, well... you know.

I'm going to check out the magazine you recommended and see how it is. It sounds like something I could use right about now.

Time magazine's cover story for the next issue is basically "Science vs. God" They're giving space to both sides of the "bible as science" so we'll see how they come off.

I don't knwo if I'd mentioned this before here, but over the summer, my wife got into a conversation with a neighbor while my wife was visiting her mother in California. The neighbor was one my wife had known her whole life, a woman with very bright, nice kids and grandkids now. She has an advanced degree, and several of her children and gandkids do as well.

This woman was going on about how the Noah story really is literal, and the earth really is 6000 years old.

When my wife asked about dinosaurs, it turns out that Noah DID have dinosaurs on the ark. But he took them on when they were still eggs, so that explains the space issue people like to point out.

So, dinosaur eggs. Your proof of god and creationism :-)

Laurence Boyce said...

Hi Julia. Love you to bits.

I'd like to order some CD's, only I'm from the UK. Is that possible? I tried emailing you. Take care.

shannon said...

I saw James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, on Charlie Rose. He and the other guest, a Harvard science writer, stressed the point that Darwin is the Most Important Person Who Ever Lived because he was the first "to get it right" with the idea of natural selection. The evolution idea had been bandied about for a while.

Daniel Dennett (sp?) was on C-Span and of course he is great but it was strange to me when he seemed to stress the wonderfulness of the Universe without much on the converse. Alot of god-believers point to the grandeur of the Universe as evidence of God.

It's weird that people seem to constantly want to motivate themselves and others by tagging everything with a smiley face. They interject their feelings into the facts.

Reel Fanatic said...

I got up to vote at 6 a.m. this morning, not too confident but hopeful for a changing of the guard .. I guess we'll find out soon!

Sheldon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sheldon said...

Oh jeez. It’s so important that evolutionary psychology be understood. And how everything falls under “Darwinism” – not just violence, but everything else too; love, community, altruism, sacrifice for others. People, in general, don’t understand that you can be good without God.

I so agree with you on this one! I take the opportunity to teach my Psychology students about Darwinism at every turn, and have found that they're often equally confused about his theory when it's applied physically or psychologically.

The funny thing is, I don't get a whole lot of opposition (although that HAS happened, usually from a student who has clearly been coached by some Fundamentalist nay-sayer). I mostly get blank stares, some probing questions, and then a "Why didn't someone explain it that way to me before" kinds of comments. It's very rewarding.

Oh, and we love you too, Julia! : )

Anonymous said...

You might want to try the book "Small Gods," by Terry Pratchett. It's a wonderful take on religion in general, and (as an added bonus to a parent with limited time) a relatively quick read.

Anonymous said...

Ah...at last! I find myself in the company of fellow human beings who understand that "you can be good without god." How lonely it's been out here in Redneckville, where the only social opportunities are hanging out at the bar (I don't drink) or going to church functions (where I clearly do not belong). Looking forward to the CD!

SweetThursday said...

I read an interview Nora Ephron did years ago, I think when she was directing her first film, that in her original script of "When Harry Met Sally" Harry and Sally didn't end up as a romantic couple. Yes they had 'the sex' but got over it and realized that they were true friends.

I wish I had read that before I watched the movie as a passionate & overly romantic twenty something with her best male buddy. It put thoughts in my head, and it put thoughts in his head. A few months later we emerged boyfriend & girlfriend. 2 years after that a break beyond all mending.
The path back to friendship, was obliterated.

I am friends or friendly with all my other exes.

Funny, I should have known Nora's intent had been monkeyed with, because I read "Heartburn" a couple of years before seeing Meg and Billy.

Now here is to reality!
I am very happy at the outcome of yesterday's events.

Although, after seeing Pelosi's victory speech, I was thinking, "Come on loosen up and show some sparkle." I felt like one of those scary moms in "Little Miss Sunshine". Schumer's grinning nodding profile to her right, Harry Reid's half raised fist raisin' the roof to her left.

Hopefully, it was just the late hour. I would find it impossible to sparkle after a long day of waiting and tensely watching Tim Russert and his eraser board. Are you uncapping the red or the blue pen Tim? Yay it's the blue, it's the blue!

Anonymous said...

Found via SciTech Daily
http://scitechdaily.com

"It is commonly held that religion makes people more just, compassionate, and moral, but a new study suggests that the data belie that assumption."

Direct link to the study being described is found within the article.

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