“I’m trying to notice the world”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"I'm trying to notice the world around me, connect with it, and let it in. And prioritizing what's true over what I want to be true is an essential part of that practice."

“I’m trying to notice the world around me, connect with it, and let it in. And prioritizing what’s true over what I want to be true is an essential part of that practice.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 2, “Skepticism as a Discipline”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed above silhouetted image of people watching the sunrise.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“I’m trying to notice the world”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen
{advertisement}

Frivolous Friday: The Coin Toss Problem

I was playing my flashcard game on my phone, and in the “Mathematics and Measurements” section, I got this question (paraphrasing): “If you toss a coin ten times and it comes up heads each time, is it more likely to come up heads the eleventh?”

And I started thinking.

I know the “correct” answer. The answer is No. If the coin is truly random, each toss is independent of the previous ones, and each toss has a 50/50 chance of coming up heads. In any random sequence of sufficient length, pseudopatterns appear, and if you get one of those it may seem like… well, a pattern. But it’s not. In fact, if you flip a random coin an infinite number of times, it’s essentially guaranteed that any sequence you can think of will come up at some point: ten heads in a row, a hundred heads in a row, the lyrics to “Never Gonna Give You Up” spelled out in Morse code (with heads being dashes and tails being dots). It doesn’t matter how many times it came up heads before: each flip is still 50/50.

But. Continue reading “Frivolous Friday: The Coin Toss Problem”

Frivolous Friday: The Coin Toss Problem

“Doesn’t experience get to just matter?”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"At some point, doesn't experience get to just matter, simply because it matters?"

“At some point, doesn’t experience get to just matter, simply because it matters?”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 60, “In Praise of Frivolity”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed above silhouetted image of person dancing.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Doesn’t experience get to just matter?”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

“Adulthood isn’t about any particular signpost”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"Adulthood isn't about any particular signpost. It means painting the signs yourself."

“Adulthood isn’t about any particular signpost. It means painting the signs yourself.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 56, “Imposter Syndrome, and What It Means to Be An Adult”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of signpost with two blank signs.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Adulthood isn’t about any particular signpost”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

“Science is why I’m alive”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"Science is why I'm alive. I’m not going to embrace its results — the messy, uncertain, unpredictable, loaded-with-false-starts, “try a hundred things with no idea if any will pan out” scientific process — and then piss all over it because it isn’t perfect."

“Science is why I’m alive. I’m not going to embrace its results — the messy, uncertain, unpredictable, loaded-with-false-starts, “try a hundred things with no idea if any will pan out” scientific process — and then piss all over it because it isn’t perfect.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 24, “My Body is the Knife: The Reality of Medical Uncertainty”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of hand in latex or nitrile glove dispensing powdered medicine from a bottle.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“Science is why I’m alive”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Government Knowledge and Administrative Skill

Hillary Clinton

I’d been working on a piece about reasons to vote for Clinton, but it was becoming huge and unmanageable. So I’m breaking it down into bite-sized morsels.

I recently did a poll of my Facebook readers, asking, “Clinton supporters — what are the main reasons you’re voting for her? Not reasons you’re voting against Trump, those are easy, but things you positively like about her and make you want to support her.” The entire thread is well worth reading, especially if you’re planning to vote for Clinton but aren’t wild about it — or you’re not planning to vote for Clinton and are wondering why other people are. And one of the themes that came up again and again: Clinton’s administrative skills and knowledge of government are fierce.

Clinton knows government inside and out. She knows how to get things done. She has years of experience in government, in the Senate and as Secretary of State: even when she was First Lady, she engineered the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), a compromise she forged from the defeat of her attempts to create universal health care. Her platform is detailed, with specific policies and proposals for how they can be accomplished (a fact that, weirdly, may be detrimental to her campaign),

And she is well-known in Washington, even among her opponents, for her policy expertise, her willingness to study and increase her already prodigious knowledge, her work ethic, her ability to work with others and make effective deals while maintaining her tenacity, and her willingness to share credit (a useful and underrated trait in long-term political strategy).

Trump, on the other hand… Continue reading “A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Government Knowledge and Administrative Skill”

A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Government Knowledge and Administrative Skill

Why Is It So Hard To Read For Comprehension About Consent?

Facepalm-Meme-Picard

Me, in piece about consent on AlterNet: “If you know someone well and have kissed them a lot, you can probably read their body language pretty well…” “They’d been dating for a while at that point, and she’d made her interest in him clear, so it’s not unreasonable to think he was able to read her body language.”

Commenters: “What’s wrong with reading body language?” “Making verbal communication the only acceptable or exclusive way of consent is BS.” “+1 for notorized consent forms.” “My wife says it spoils the mood if I ask for things.”

Why, oh why, do I read the comments?

Why Is It So Hard To Read For Comprehension About Consent?

5 Amazing Scenes Where Pop Culture Got Consent Right

brad-pitt-shirtless-in-cowboy-hat-holding-hair-dryer-thelma-louise

Pop culture often promotes some lousy ideas about consent. Persistence and not taking no for an answer are portrayed as romantic; rape and sexual assault are excused because the victim “wanted it“; lying and manipulating people into bed, and having sex with people too drunk to consent, are offered as light, prime-time humor; rape victims stay friends and lovers with their rapists, with rape being trivialized and even denied.

But pop culture does have its moments. Whether it’s because the creators were thinking consciously about consent or simply had good values, here are five times pop culture got consent right. (Spoilers for Steven Universe, Thelma and Louise, Frozen, The Philadelphia Story, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.)

*****

Thus begins my latest piece for AlterNet, 5 Amazing Scenes Where Pop Culture Got Consent Right. To read more, read the rest of the piece. Enjoy! (Please note: AlterNet changed the title, and the title they gave it is somewhat misleading: not all the scenes are sex scenes, and not all of them are exactly right.)

5 Amazing Scenes Where Pop Culture Got Consent Right

Frivolous Friday: Smokin’ Hot Funeral Sculpture

Content note: marble nipple.

I’ve been going through various free stock photo sites, looking for pictures to illustrate my memes. (I’ve been making a series of memes to promote my book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life.) I was looking for images of cemetery sculptures to illustrate the quotes about death, and came across this:

cemetery sculpture half naked woman reclining

Damn. DAY-um.

I guess I don’t know for sure that this is a funeral sculpture: I have only the stock photographer’s word for it. But damn. This almost makes me want to be buried in a conventional cemetery, so I can have a sculpture like this on my grave. And I love that she’s reclining on a stack of books. Reading is sexy.

Alas, I never did find a good quote from the book to illustrate with this. But it was just too good not to share anyway.

(Image description: cemetery sculpture of a reclining half naked woman, her bottom half draped in fabric, her elbows resting on a stack of books.)

UPDATE: I’m informed by commenters (thanks, Dauphni and anon) that this is, in fact, a funerary sculpture. The figure is Urania, the muse of astronomy, sculpted by Giovanni Duprè, from the tomb of Italian-Argentine physicist Ottaviano-Fabrizio Mossotti. That makes it even more awesome. Sexy science funerary sculpture FTW!

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!

Frivolous Friday: Smokin’ Hot Funeral Sculpture