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links for 2010-06-29


From the Notebook

-Read “the Philosophy Gym” by Stephen Law. The book introduced a couple dozen modern issues in philosophy, including consciousness, God, cosmic origins, number theory, language and morality. It’s a great little book for those interested in a broad introduction to philosophic thinking. But I found the text rather biased whenever it came to religion. Still, this book introduced me to Richard Swinburne, and for that I’m thankful.

-Read Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. What an incredible book. Well deserving of its reputation. Emotionally crushing, and sadly funny. Vonnegut suggests we are all rudderless travelers in life, at the mercy of forces beyond our ability to control. Read it.

– Read a selection of Pascal’s Pensees from the Great Books of the Western World ten-year reading plan. Pascal puts forth his famous wager, defends the Christian faith and discusses the nature of God in this awesome work (that was never finished). While reading parts of it, I wanted to break social norms and start reading passages to random strangers to show the remarkable genius contained within.

-Read  “Is there a God?” by Richard Swinburne. This is a condensed and popularized version of Swinburne’s philosophic case for the existence of God. He uses classic Thomistic proofs, but changes them from deductive to inductive, in order to show God’s existence is very probable. I was disappointed with his answer to the problem of suffering, but this issue has become much more prominent and has progressed a lot in the decades since Swinburne wrote this book. On the whole, it is a very good book, especially for those not philosophically trained.

-A personal milestone, four years ago I made a commitment to myself to excercise at least six days a week, for at least half an hour. Outside of two weeks of sickness where I missed a few days, I’ve succeeded.

-And yes, I have now completed the MBA. Final GPA of 3.94.

links for 2010-06-28

links for 2010-06-27

Tom Horner

There is a great disagreement between the MNGOP and DFL camps in the media (mainstream and otherwise) over the possible affect Tom Horner’s campaign may have on the outcome of the 2010 MN Gubernatorial election.

Having looked at lots of polling data over the years, I can pretend to make an intelligent guess as to whether Horner hurts or helps Emmer.

Horner is attracting slightly more DFL support than GOP support. Not by much. So you might immediately think “It helps Emmer!”

Not so fast.

The IP generally loses support as the general election approaches, most of it is lost the day of the election.

This means there will be more DFL votes picked up by their champion (Dayton is my bet) than by Emmer. I’d say it’s a full percent gain on election day.

With Dayton leading a three-way race already, this is bad news for Emmer.

We’ll see how the campaign develops. Right now, Emmer has a hole to work out of.

links for 2010-06-25


If I had to spend time in a single moment, like some sort of four dimensional being created by Kurt Vonnegut, gorging myself on an overpriced hot dog at some baseball field tucked away in the middle of nowhere would be high on the list. Thanks Night Writer and Fam.

Thanks for not leaving me in Miesville

links for 2010-06-23

links for 2010-06-23

links for 2010-06-21