strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price

Archive for March, 2013

Posted by Sabura on March 28, 2013

The Belle Jar

If there is one thing that drives me absolutely bananas, it’s people spreading misinformation via social media under the guise of “educating”. I’ve seen this happen in several ways – through infographics that twist data in ways that support a conclusion that is ultimately false, or else through “meaningful” quotes falsely attributed to various celebrities, or by cobbling together a few actual facts with statements that are patently untrue to create something that seems plausible on the surface but is, in fact, full of crap.

Yesterday, the official Facebook page of (noted misogynistandeugenicsenthusiast) Richard Dawkins’ Foundation for Reason and Science shared the following image to their 637,000 fans:

Naturally, their fans lapped this shit up; after all, this is the kind of thing they absolutely live for. Religious people! Being hypocritical! And crazy! And wrong! The 2,000+ comments were chock-full of smug remarks…

View original post 2,052 more words


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Posted by Sabura on March 27, 2013

Having God on both sides is a bit problematic, but it’s still an interesting thought experiment and certainly beautifully made.

“Duelity is a split-screen animation that tells both sides of the story of Earth’ s origins in a dizzying and provocative journey through the history and language that marks human thought. … To have the full experience, visit

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Posted by Sabura on March 23, 2013

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Enso of life

Posted by Sabura on March 22, 2013

“I have lived with many Zen masters, all of them cats.”

“I sometimes call animals – dogs and cats particularly – guardians of being. Dogs fill a vital function in the collective consciousness of humanity…they show us what we have lost and, once we realise that, they can help us in our shift into a deeper state of consciousness.”

― Eckhard Tolle, Guardians of Being

Posted in Nature, Quotations, Spiritual | Leave a Comment »

deGrasse Tyson veladora

Posted by Sabura on March 22, 2013

Want, want, want.  The artist doesn’t currently have any available in her Etsy store, but I’m guessing that she’ll be thinking about making some more soon since it was recently posted on Boing Boing.

Neil deGrasse Tyson prayer candle on Etsy

Neil DeGrasse Tyson in votive candle form

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Keep Calm and Smash Patriarchy

Posted by Sabura on March 18, 2013


Feminism is the one F-word that makes eyes widen in polite company

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Stepping Westward

Posted by Sabura on March 17, 2013

What is green in me
darkens, muscadine.

If woman is inconstant,
good, I am faithful to

ebb and flow, I fall
in season and now

is a time of ripening.
If her part

is to be true,
a north star,

good, I hold steady
in the black sky

and vanish by day,
yet burn there

in blue or above
quilts of cloud.

There is no savor
more sweet, more salt

than to be glad to be
what, woman,

and who, myself,
I am, a shadow

that grows longer as the sun
moves, drawn out

on a thread of wonder.
If I bear burdens

they begin to be remembered
as gifts, goods, a basket

of bread that hurts
my shoulders but closes me

in fragrance. I can
eat as I go.

― Denise Levertov


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The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Posted by Sabura on March 17, 2013

I can never remember the name of this “frequency illusion” phenomenon.  Maybe this’ll do it. Or at least I know where I can find it quickly now.

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon • Damn Interesting.

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Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

Posted by Sabura on March 17, 2013

featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson

Posted in Science, Videos | 4 Comments »

My atheism

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests.”

― George Santayana

Posted in Atheism, Quotations | Leave a Comment »

I finally decided

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I’ve been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say one was an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn’t have. Somehow, it was better to say one was a humanist or an agnostic. I finally decided that I’m a creature of emotion as well as of reason. Emotionally, I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”

― Isaac Asimov

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Live a good life

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

― attributed to Marcus Aurelius

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Starry Night

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion, then I go out and paint the stars.”

― Vincent van Gogh

Posted in Quotations, Spiritual | Leave a Comment »

All atoms in the universe

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.”


Posted in Quotations, Science | 3 Comments »

One of the painful things about our time

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision.”

― Bertrand Russell

(q.v. Dunning-Kruger effect)

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The passivity of good men

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

“I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you? You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren’t you standing with us? Why aren’t you driven to the point of madness by the rape and humiliation of us?”

― Eve Ensler

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The Paradox of Tolerance

Posted by Sabura on March 16, 2013

This finally resolved for me what I thought was the irresolvable, even seemingly hypocritical conundrum of my being intolerant of intolerance.

“Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. – In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.”

The Paradox of Tolerance,”
The Open Society and Its Enemies
Karl Popper, pub. 1945

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