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Atlas Shrugged: Does Not Compute

Reading Time: 8 minutes Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IX As we’ve seen previously, the villains of Atlas Shrugged are strangely reluctant to actually do anything evil. But now that they’ve run out of options, they’ve finally decided to act like villains by torturing John Galt. (Insert “Muahahaha!” laughter here.) It’s all part of their evil master plan to […]

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Is Addiction a Moral Failing?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Something that, as an atheist, I always insist upon is that we are biochemical machines. There’s no spooky, supernatural ghost in the machine directing our bodies, no Cartesian Theater where the nervous system feeds into a single ineffable locus of consciousness. Our thoughts and our desires arise from patterns of electrochemical activity in our heads, […]

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Movie Review: Alive Inside

Reading Time: 4 minutes Alive Inside is an award-winning documentary by Michael Rossato-Bennett about the work of Dan Cohen, a social worker from Long Island, and the charity he founded, Music & Memory. (Disclaimer: I know Dan personally, and I’ve contributed to his charity.) It spotlights a slow-rolling demographic crisis poised to overtake the Western world, and offers at […]

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Book Review: The Illusion of God’s Presence

Reading Time: 4 minutes Summary: Not a new theory, but a new and strong case for an old theory, supplemented with up-to-date neurological evidence. Jack Wathey is a neuroscientist and computational biologist and the founder of Wathey Research, a scientific firm that focuses on problems like protein folding. His new book, The Illusion of God’s Presence, presents an answer […]

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Some Thoughts on Trigger Warnings

Reading Time: 4 minutes The latest thinkpiece that’s consumed the internet is an editorial by Judith Shulevitz about trigger warnings. A trigger warning, if you don’t know, is a warning label intended to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s meant to give advance warning of material they might find distressing so that they can avoid it and keep […]

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Weekend Coffee: March 28

Reading Time: 2 minutes • GOP congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers asked her constituents for Obamacare horror stories. The response she got was rather different. • “Shouldn’t you be having these same kind of prayer circles around divorce attorneys’ offices to ‘save’ people from acting on the sin of divorce?” • According to federal investigators, a self-described American “patriot” named […]