Upgrades …

The new version of WordPress, the software that powers the main version of this blog and many others, was released yesterday, and I took the opportunity today to upgrade to the latest and greatest. If the blog was offline for you for a bit, thats probably the reason, but I must say its a very quick and painless process that involves very little disruption in access. In fact, while I haven’t really blogged much about how the underlying software of this blog works, it really is a remarkable set of self-publishing tools, the like of which were unimaginable even a decade ago. In future, I plan to write in more detail about the revolution that ubiquitous blogging represents, and the impact of WordPress and similar systems in realizing one of the promises of the internet … democracy of ideas.

Its been awhile since I’ve written anything here … as I explained in my last post a week or so ago, work life closes in on me at this time of year, and its very difficult to find the energy to write. This past week saw the end of the exercise season for this year, meaning things get back to “normal,” whatever that might mean in the case of this blog. This time of year also represents an “upgrade” to my quality of life, so the title is doubly meaningful. While I find it hard to write during the intense exercise period, I still spend a lot of time reading, and I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve been reading and thinking about lately, in short spurts. I may expand on some of these ideas in the future, or not, but they are some of the things that caught my attention in the past few weeks.

PKK and Turkey: This controversy seems to have died down somewhat these days, but its still a very real “match” at the edge of the powder keg. Jon Stewart may have captured the irony of the US position best with his juxtaposition of Presidential statements about the evil of terrorism and the need for firm action, with other Presidential statements urging restraint for Turkey. He ended the bit with the message the President was trying to convey to Turkey … “Frankly, its a quagmire … its just a really bad @#*%ing move.”

Quantum Omniscience and other fun things: Steve Gimbel is a philosophy professor at Gettysburg College, and along with his duties there, he writes a fascinating blog, The Philosopher’s Playground, with a wide range of subject material. I’ve been reading him for quite awhile now … in fact, he was one of the people I borrowed articles from for the now defunct Global Paradigms magazine. The past couple of weeks he’s had a few very interesting posts, including one based on the recent post I made about God and omniscience where he examines how the indeterminacy of the quantum waveform might impact the idea of omniscience. If you enjoyed my post, you’ll REALLY enjoy reading a real philosopher tackle this. One of the reasons I enjoy him so much is that he also has a strong interest in comedy. He posts weekly Comedist posts, and other discussions of humour, including an interesting discussion of women in comedy recently. Check him out … he usually has very fascinating posts.

James Watson and the IQ/Race Debate: Every so often, this debate rears its ugly head again. I remember writing a n article for my local Mensa newsletter, that was picked up by the national magazine MC2, about the problems with the Bell Curve when it first came out. For those who didn’t hear about the controversy, James Watson, one of the discoverers of the double helix model of DNA along with Francis Crick, reopened the debate around racial IQ scores in a Sunday Times interview. Greg Laden probably debunked Watson’s comments best here, and here though I wonder if going as far as “moron” was necessary. For the record, I found Greg’s comments through another blog I read a lot, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, a great blog on accurate history, among many other things, written by Ed Darrell.

That’s a brief rundown of some of the issues I’ve been thinking about the past few weeks … View from the Edge should start getting back to “normal” again now, and my next comedy show looks to be Nov 5th in Calgary at Dickens Pub. I am back at work next week for “normal” hours, but I expect I’ll have some time to rant here, as well as make a long ignored post or two back over at Geeks are Sexy. Hope you stayed tuned … I think I am back.

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