Back in March I went to this lecture by Richard Dawkins hosted at the University of Auckland. I was intrigued by his comments about ‘thankfulness’ in it – interesting that people can start from the same place and come to a huge range of different places in their understanding of the world.
Anyway, the lecture video is now available at the link below:
Richard Dawkins lecture: The greatest show on earth live- The University of Auckland
See also: Richard Dawkins: The greatest show on earth live- The University of Auckland – more video links etc.
Update: Mark suggested this link to go with the video: John Bishop: We all have right to give thanks – Religion and Beliefs – NZ Herald News
This looks like a really interesting interactive site looking at the history of the Royal Society. See Trailblazing – Royal Society.
Seen on Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog – Cool Tools: The Geek Atlas – a book about a large number of different places to visit that have special geeky significance. I wonder if it’s on sale here?
The Secret Life of Scientists is a PBS web series with videos about different scientists and what they do out of the lab. Maybe a ‘Secret Life of Theologians’ at some point?
Possibly the coldest object in space they reckon. See BBC NEWS | Science & Environment | Planck achieves ultra-cold state.
(Of course, scientific measurements fail to accurately measure the temperature of sideline spectators watching their children play sport in the winter).
Attitudes towards technology include techno-optimism (the good features outweigh the bad), techno-pessimism (the bad features always outweigh the good), and instrumentalism (where technology might be value-neutral). Here’s an interesting mini-essay that picks up on the first of these attitudes – techno-optimism.
See: The Technium: Technophilia
Excellent. I’m all for different ways of getting people to think about things and this looks interesting: How Comics Can Save Us From Scientific Ignorance
Related links: Greenflame · Action Philosophers!
Article this week on ‘reborn babies’ – very lifelike dolls – sold to people primarily for collecting but also purchased by people like grieving parents. See ‘Reborn babies’ niche for collectors, grieving parents – Stuff.co.nz. I’m wondering if the revulsion some people feel towards them is part of the ‘uncanny valley’ response to human simulcra noted by Masahiro Mori (see Greenflame · Robots: From tools to partners).
Seems similar to the article I linked to in Greenflame · Virtual babies aim to ease parenting pain back in Feb 2004.
When I can get a moment on the PC at home I’ll download and have a play with WorldWide Telescope. Looks interesting, but I need the PC to run it – no Mac version.
And I’ll get around to looking at Google Sky too.
When I was at high school I used to make regular trips into Wellington’s Carter Observatory to attend astronomical society meetings, so I was sad to see this article today noting the loss of jobs and national status there. Many good memories of heading up the cable car to the observatory and planetarium at the top of the Wellington Botanical Gardens. Places like that fired my imagination to engage with science by firstly wanting to become a scientist, and then more recently to look at science’s relationship with other things like religion. It appears, like many of these things, that the money could only stretch so far – concentrate on education and the research drops, on the research only and it becomes disconnected from the public (and stimulating young scientists). So much, perhaps, for funding a broad ‘knowledge economy’.
See: Jobs lost in Carter Observatory restructuring – Stuff.co.nz.
Hopefully, once the dust settles, there’s something to continue in some positive form.