The Evil Links I

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Why are there more Christian congregations where there is more crime?

On Quasispecies; Abbie notes an open source paper in FEBS on viral quasispecies. I worry that it fails to attend to the work of Sergey Gavrilets on holey landscapes, though.

Psycasm on Academic Twittering.

Contrasting plant diversification histories within the Andean biodiversity hotspot in PNAS. Seems that ecosystems can remain stable for millions of years. This is important, given that we are perturbing ecosystem stability on the scale of decades.

Pleiotropy rediscovers the Tragedy of the Commons and relates it to global warming.

Steve Matheson at Panda’s Thumb on developmental buffering. Joe Felsenstein comments!

Wikileaks is illegal in the US, so watch out Assanger! There’s a secret indictment and a hit squad coming your way. Putrely in the name of democracy of course.

Don’t send, or open, Word attachments in email! Tell your colleagues now.

Anne Rice, whose Christ, the Lord, was a terrible piece of fluff, has given up on Christianity. Of course, she is now being attacked by the faithful. I say, thank the fates! We may not have to endure more than two of that series…

On framing conservation at Voltage Gate.

This is crucial. It’s often joked that the best studied tribe in the anthropological and psychological world are Chicago undergraduates. Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine and Ara Norenzayan, have published a target article “The weirdest people in the world?” in Brain and Behavioral Sciences, in which they discuss this bias and what it means. They coin a memorable acronym: Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic, or “WEIRD”. Neuroanthropology has a discussion and summary.

9 Comments

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9 Responses to The Evil Links I

  1. Susan Silberstein

    Why are there more C congregations where there is more crime? Unreasonable expectations that God can help. My husband has relatives who are Cs; some of them are Evangelical. I’ve heard them say and see them write on FB how they can’t find a job, are low on money, life sucks, but they know if they just trust in God, things will get better. They never seem to ask why, if their Deity has so much power, he did not keep them from drowning in the first place.

    I saw that, too, when my 35 yo SIL died a few months ago. The funeral was at a American Indian Christian Evangelical Church. One after another, friends and relatives noted that God has a reason, a plan that some how required T’s death. Or some such nonsense. Excuse after excuse. No one asked why the plan didn’t allow for her life.

    I went to the lobby when the sermon started. One can only listen to so much.

    • John S. Wilkins

      The question Epiphenom asks, though, is what is chicken and egg, or if this is merely a correlation based on some other factor. I think it likely that those who are in depressed socioeconomic conditions might turn to religion of a particular kind for comfort, as Marx saw its role.

  2. Physicalist

    Don’t send, or open, Word attachments in email!

    Question: Is rtf OK? (I don’t see it endorsed at the GNU link, and seem to have heard that it too should be taboo.)

    • John S. Wilkins

      RTF is not OK for the same reason: it’s proprietary. Microsoft haven’t updated their “official” standard to include all kinds of things they added to it, so that only Word can properly parse it without information or format loss.

      Open Office’s XML is truly open standard.

  3. J. J. Ramsey

    “Don’t send, or open, Word attachments in email!”

    So you’re one of those GNU agnostics, aren’t you?

  4. cold water

    In America, the church/crime correlation strikes me as just that – a correlation. Churches are by large cash poor. That is, it’s not easy to move. Many churches were built when the neighborhood was middle class or better. As the neighborhood goes downhill, the church is simply stuck there. This is, I would argue, the primary force behind the phenomenon (historical – not causal).

    The newest trend I’ve observed is that evangelical churches are eschewing brick and mortar edifices and are holding weekly sermons as renters at movie theaters, conference facilities, and (bestill my separation of church and state heart) PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!!!!

  5. The Word attachments article contains some … exaggeration.

    And because Microsoft changes the Word file format with each release, its users are locked into a system that compels them to buy each upgrade whether they want a change or not.

    Oh, really? But how can that be when I’m using Word 2002?

    (The Anne Rice thing makes no sense to me, but I certainly don’t see that your links contain anything to back up the phrase “attacked by the faithful”.)

    • John S. Wilkins

      Back in the 90s, when I ran a graphics department for a medical research institute, we had exactly that problem; Word files that Microsoft itself could not open because they had moved on and not included the filter from the 80s. The solution was to open these files in WordPerfect!

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