Archive for January, 2011

Should I read 'The Moral Landscape'?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

The subtitle of Sam Harris’ The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values can be read in two ways. One would point to a book I might be interested in reading, the other to one I could dismiss in advance as nonsense. My problem is that the review by Russell Blackford  recommends the book […]

More MOOCs

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Massively Open On-Line Courses allow large numbers of people to participate at varying levels of commitment in a process of shared learning. Part of the openness aspect is that there are many avenues of participation and rather than relying on a centralized Course Management System people are encouraged to control their own involvement by contributing […]

Rodney Dangerfield Award

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

The Rodney Dangerfield 'No Respect' award for 2010-11 has to go to John S Wilkins for two of his recent posts. First he complains on behalf of his discipline that it gets no respect from the scientists whose work it purports to analyze, and then declares himself bummed out to have only 700 or so […]

Stop The Meter?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

I'd like to hear more of what someone like Stephen Downes or Michael Geist thinks about this. (Both have reported the campaign but not really made a clear statement of their own reasons for doing so favourably.) To me, the logic of true usage-based billing seems very reasonable, and it's only the implementation that is […]

Muslim Reactions to Violence

Monday, January 10th, 2011

What a contrast between this and this!

Sunrise and Sunset at Solstices

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

It is curious that the days of shortest and longest periods of sunlight (which just about everyone knows are due to the tilt of the earth's spin axis relative to the plane of its orbit)  are not everywhere the same as those of latest and earliest sunrise. This is because the length of the full […]

Denis Dutton

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

For several years now, Arts&Letters Daily has been my favourite source of on-line stimulation. Sadly, its founding editor, Denis Dutton, died on December 28.