is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
Everybody knows TVTropes
is the best and most time
way to learn about the clichés and archetypes that permeate modern media. But dear reader, there is so much more
. Enter Useful Notes
. Originally created as a place for tropers to pool factual information as a writing aid, the subsite has quietly grown into a small wiki of its own -- a compendium of crowdsourced wisdom on a staggering array of topics, all written in the site's signature brand of lighthearted snark. Though it reads like an irreverent and informal Wikipedia, its articles act as genuinely useful primers to complex and obscure topics alike, all in service of the project's five goals: "To debunk common media stereotypes; to help you understand some media better; to educate, inform and sometimes entertain; to promote peace and understanding (maybe); and... to facilitate world domination." Sounds about right. Click inside for bountiful highlights... if you dare. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 26, 2010 -
(NSFW - cartoon nudity) is a webcomic by Jesse Moynihan
(NSFW) that tells the history of the evolution of man via the machinations of various alien entities whose familiar names (and unfamiliar stories) have been recorded in various religions throughout time. [more inside]
posted by lyam
on Dec 16, 2010 -
Just your typical day at the Vatican. Topless muscle-bound gymnasts perform for the Pope, appreciative cardinals and waving nuns. Make your own jokes.
posted by illy
on Dec 15, 2010 -
The Christian left
is a term originating in the United States, used to describe a spectrum of left-wing Christian political and social movements which largely embraces social justice. "We will not be profiled or pigeonholed and we will not ‘Be Quiet.’ We’re Christians. We’re Liberals. Please get used to it. Thank you."
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit
on Dec 14, 2010 -
Rabbi Rami Shapiro is a self-described holy rascal, with an often sarcastic twitter feed
. His blog, Beyond Religion
, has covered a wide variety of issues, both spiritual and political, from descriptions of God
, the relationship between religion and science
, the reality of Christian law
, and the role of women in Israel
In today's post, he defines and defends the role of myth in religion: “Myth” is not the same as “falsehood.” Myth is a narrative structure used to convey some of the deepest truths we humans can glean. Myths are not believed in but unpacked and lived."
posted by JustKeepSwimming
on Dec 7, 2010 -
begins today. In its 4th year, the movement continues to urge Christians to spend less money on Christmas gifts, and asks the question "What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?" Videos here
posted by klausman
on Nov 28, 2010 -
"A pious, peaceful man, York
had fought his country's enemy only after great deliberation and had to be convinced that war was sometimes necessary."1
On this day let us remember Sergeant York
Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell.
posted by unliteral
on Nov 11, 2010 -
- written by Alan Moore in December 2002 to appear in KAOS #15, which never appeared. Published here for the first time.
posted by MetaMonkey
on Oct 24, 2010 -
Ask the atheist
"Have a question for an atheist? Ever wonder what atheists think about morality, faith, science, etc.? How do atheists live their lives without a god? How do they know right from wrong? Are they just angry at god? Do they really NOT believe?" [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Oct 13, 2010 -
"IN THE COURTYARD OF THE BELOVED
is a visual and aural portrait of Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah
, a Sufi shrine in New Delhi, India. Made from over 18,000 still images and ambient sounds recorded on-site, rapid-fire bursts of kaleidoscopic imagery assemble into fractured collages where a moment expands outwards and then converges back into itself, fleshing out a three-dimensional rendering of place."
posted by gman
on Oct 7, 2010 -
In a survey of Americans' religious knowledge
conducted by the Pew Research Center, atheists and agnostics, Jews and Mormons scored higher than evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions, leading the surveyors to conclude that "large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions – including their own."
posted by Houyhnhnm
on Sep 28, 2010 -
For millions of addicts around the world, Alcoholics Anonymous's basic text - informally known as the Big Book - is the Bible. And as they're about to find out, the Bible was edited. After being hidden away for nearly 70 years and then auctioned twice, the original manuscript by AA co-founder Bill Wilson is about to become public for the first time next week, complete with edits by Wilson-picked commenters that reveal a profound debate in 1939 about how overtly to talk about God.
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 22, 2010 -
In a five part series he wrote a few years ago, blogger J. Brad Hicks breaks down how, in the mid-1960s, the Republican party made a conscious decision to rebrand themselves as the party of Christians, and in doing so, how they had to shift the ideology of the churches to what he calls a "false gospel
". [more inside]
posted by quin
on Sep 15, 2010 -
As reported on NPR's All Tech Considered ("Tech" and "Religion"?) on 9/13. "In a world where Google has put every bit of information at our fingertips, some people are now demanding less information when they surf the Internet" by using religion-based search engines
. And folks are worried that Goohoo results might be biased? (SNPRL - Single Nat'l Public Radio Link) [more inside]
posted by Man with Lantern
on Sep 14, 2010 -
"On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
the planned Cordoba Initiative
Islamic Community Center and Mosque to be built near Ground Zero against critics
. Yesterday, after the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted
the demolition of a building that would be replaced by the center, Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech
on Governor's Island (the location seems to have been deliberately chosen)
in which he eloquently defended religious freedom.
) (Previously on MeFi)
posted by zarq
on Aug 4, 2010 -
The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism
for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition
earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House
, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation"
by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up
angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on Aug 1, 2010 -
“There’s a tremendous amount of anxiety among religious traditionalists that when you take one step toward egalitarianism, the floodgates are open and everything that seemed self-evident will no longer be. Men go to work, and women raise children. If you undermine that, you have lost your whole universe.”
The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements of Judaism have been ordaining women as rabbis for decades, but the religion's most traditional sect, the Orthodox, remains a lone, minority holdout against egalitarianism. Last year, Orthodox Rabbi Avraham "Avi" Weiss (political activist
and founder of the controversial
, liberal, "Open Orthodox" Yeshivat Chovevei Torah
Yeshiva in New York) tried to shake things up by ordaining the first female American Orthodox rabbi
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jul 31, 2010 -