Quid Novi? | October Blogcation 2018


Hey, all! Just letting you know that next week there will be no new posts on the site, and I’ll be editing, recreating, and taking down old pages, including the Fiction Links page. Otherwise, most of next week or the next two weeks will be spent attending to study, important projects, and personal matters that need addressing as well as blog maintenance. I’ll be back onsite with new updates before the end of October. I’m making good progress in study, so I’m satisfied with that, and I hope that things are also going well for those of you who visit my little blog now and then. Several of the fiction serials on this site will be deleted, or at least taken offline indefinitely, as you can read much better, cleaner versions of them in my published e-books on Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by, and until then….

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Logico Fractatus | Fraxations of Gaston [1]


Here’s a wallpaper generated using Frax Pro. It’s of a Julia set from a point in some far off region of the Mandelbrot set, while playing with textures and randomized color mapping. I’ve turned filigree settings down quite a bit, focusing mostly on details. Feel free to use this one, on your phone, tablet, desktop, or your website, as long as that’s for noncommercial purposes. Thanks!

Tf. Tk. Tts.


fractal-wallpaper

Mr. Eccles Presents | Blasphemy Laws as Tools of Oppression


From the YouTube page:

Robyn Blumner, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, warns that blasphemy laws are being used as tools of oppression against atheists. “Any law that criminalizes apostasy or the defamation of religion is an unjust law.”

Delivered September 18, 2018 at the 39th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Help CFI fight for freedom of expression and belief around the world! Donate today: https://centerforinquiry.org/support – – – –

Thank you, Mr. President, The Center for Inquiry stands for the rights of atheists and nonbelievers around the world. Today, we are urging the Council to remember that those of us who reject religion have a right to live and speak freely. According to media reports, there is an effort being promoted by Pakistan for the adoption of new international strictures on blasphemy. Any move in that direction would be devastating to freedom of conscience, and would directly conflict with the Rabat Plan of Action that urged the repeal of blasphemy laws where they exist.

Any law that criminalizes apostasy or the defamation of religion is an unjust law.

Blasphemy laws are used as tools of repression against nonbelievers. They give vigilantes an excuse to commit violent acts, and governments a justification to shutdown valid debate and religious criticism.

The number of atheists around the world is growing, which in our view is a positive outcome. But whatever one thinks of atheists, the international human rights community has an obligation to protect our rights alongside that of any other religious minority.

Mr. Eccles Presents | Thought, Language, and How to Understand the Brain


Blog post with show notes: http://traffic.libsyn.com/seancarroll…

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/seanmcarroll

Language comes naturally to us, but is also deeply mysterious. On the one hand, it manifests as a collection of sounds or marks on paper. On the other hand, it also conveys meaning – words and sentences refer to states of affairs in the outside world, or to much more abstract concepts. How do words and meaning come together in the brain?

David Poeppel is a leading neuroscientist who works in many areas, with a focus on the relationship between language and thought. We talk about cutting-edge ideas in the science and philosophy of language, and how researchers have just recently climbed out from under a nineteenth-century paradigm for understanding how all this works.

David Poeppel is a Professor of Psychology and Neural Science at NYU, as well as the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive science from MIT. He is a Fellow of the American Association of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the DaimlerChrysler Berlin Prize in 2004. He is the author, with Greg Hickok, of the dual-stream model of language processing.

MetaCognitions | A Perfect Storm – Post-Florence


Vanakkam. I enjoy blogging, and have done so ever since adopting the current posting schedule for Tuesdays and Thursdays nearly every week.

I’d like to be able to maintain that consistently, but a perfect storm of events last week conspired to keep me away from WordPress’s editing window, namely my birthday celebration with family (I’m now 54 years of age and still kicking, thank you.), home renovations, reestablishing our family presence at home after mandatory evacuation from our street during Hurricane Florence, and the publishing of my new book, The Giant who Fell from the Dark beyond the Sky: And Other Collected Works which went live after pre-orders ended on the 19th. I’m glad I finally got that done, and on time!

Here’s the cover art and link to the book on Amazon for Kindle:

the-giant-who-fell-cover

https://www.amazon.com/Giant-who-Fell-Dark-beyond-ebook/dp/B07H64FSSK

So, it’s back to the paradigm, and I’ll be scheduling posts from here on, at least into the first few weeks of October. I’ve begun drafts for new non-fiction material, some of it in keeping with this blog’s skeptical bent, to be published when each is complete and ready. Study is mostly done for September, to be renewed on the first weekday of next month. So far so good, it’s been a mostly sustainable schedule that doesn’t put my health at risk. Not a perfect one, but a good one. I never expect perfection, a manifestly unreasonable standard in my view.

One more thing …

I’ve started a monthly newsletter, still in its first run, that I started in June of this year. It’s the Pikatron Monthly, published as a PDF file to those friends, family, and others on my mailing list on the first of each month. It covers topics of interest from fractals, to blogging, to my fiction, and general topic matter I tend to cover on this blog and elsewhere.

Interested subscribers should write me at troythulu@gmail.com to receive your free copy of the newsletter. I’ll be sure to put you on the mailing list. Also, I’m sending out back issues from June and afterward as requested, otherwise it’ll just be whichever is the current issue for that month.

Thanks!

Tf. Tk. Tts.

Mr. Eccles Presents | Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, and the Future of the Internet


Blog post with show notes:

https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/…

Support on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/seanmcarroll

For something of such obvious importance, money is kind of mysterious. It can, as Homer Simpson once memorably noted, be exchanged for goods and services. But who decides exactly how many goods/services a given unit of money can buy? And what maintains the social contract that we all agree to go along with it?

Technology is changing what money is and how we use it, and Neha Narula is a leader in thinking about where money is going. One much-hyped aspect is the advent of blockchain technology, which has led to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. We talk about what the blockchain really is, how it enables new kinds of currency, and from a wider perspective whether it can help restore a more individualistic, decentralized Web.

NehaNarula is the Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at MIT. She obtained her Ph.D. in computer science from MIT, and worked at Google and Digg before joining the faculty there. She is an expert on scalable databases, secure software, cryptocurrencies, and online privacy.