April 7th, 2005

chi3

hedgehog

Yesterday went extremely well. I did 1,742 words on Chapter Four of Daughter of Hounds. Now it's time to backtrack and rework and expand the first scene in the chapter. I'm not sure how much work I'll get done on it today, however. Yesterday, I rescheduled the meeting with Marvel for today, and I'll also be having dinner with Poppy before her reading at OutWrite Books. She's picking the restaurant, of course. This is going to one of those times when the vegetarian thing is especially hard (Spooky and I have been staying clear of restaurants for the most part since the End of Meat — it's sort of like being a reformed alcoholic and staying out of bars). Anyway, I've not seen Poppy since she was in Atlanta last year, so I'm looking forward to it. But, first, there's work, the writing, and I have to talk with Marvel (because I didn't do it yesterday), and I need to speak with my agent, and I need to speak with Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press.

We had another nice walk in Candler Park yesterday. No more golf balls, but there was a "herd" of robins, a chipmunk, and baby raccoon tracks in the mud. There was also an hilarious bit with a mockingbird trying to immitate a crow. After Mythbusters, I spent about an hour on Nebari.net, working on the "extras" for Prophecy. This would be coming along faster, but most of the files I need weren't on my iBook, though I'd thought they were, and I had to have Leh'agvoi e-mail them to me. I got most everything uploaded last night. Now I just have to layout the pages and upload those. All in all, yesterday was marked by the sort of productivity I need six days a week, three hundred and thirteen days a frelling year.

It's cloudy today, but still warm.

After Poppy's "I am not a liberal!" pronouncement yesterday, I almost feel the need to proclaim that I am a liberal, dyed in the wool, card-carrying, and so on and so forth, the sort your morning talk-radio host warned you about. Then again, it should be fairly obvious from the things I write and the things I say in this journal. No need to recount the particulars. I don't tend to think of it as "liberalism," though. I tend to think of it as common sense. There is, of course, nothing common about it. If there were, we'd not have a turnip for a President.

Gotta run. Maybe I can still squeeze in some writing today.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Airships"
chi4

something fast (and funny)

Busy, busy, busy, but somone just brought this recent Scientific American editorial to my attention (thanks, Jada), and I wanted to spread the joy. You may read it at the SA website by following the link below, but, I've also pasted the full text of the editorial below the link:

"Okay, We Give Up

Okay, We Give Up
We feel so ashamed

By The Editors

There's no easy way to admit this. For years, helpful letter writers told us to stick to science. They pointed out that science and politics don't mix. They said we should be more balanced in our presentation of such issues as creationism, missile defense and global warming. We resisted their advice and pretended not to be stung by the accusations that the magazine should be renamed
Unscientific American, or Scientific Unamerican, or even Unscientific Unamerican. But spring is in the air, and all of nature is turning over a new leaf, so there's no better time to say: you were right, and we were wrong.

In retrospect, this magazine's coverage of so-called evolution has been hideously one-sided. For decades, we published articles in every issue that endorsed the ideas of Charles Darwin and his cronies. True, the theory of common descent through natural selection has been called the unifying concept for all of biology and one of the greatest scientific ideas of all time, but that was no excuse to be fanatics about it. Where were the answering articles presenting the powerful case for scientific creationism? Why were we so unwilling to suggest that dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago or that a cataclysmic flood carved the Grand Canyon? Blame the scientists. They dazzled us with their fancy fossils, their radiocarbon dating and their tens of thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles. As editors, we had no business being persuaded by mountains of evidence.

Moreover, we shamefully mistreated the Intelligent Design (ID) theorists by lumping them in with creationists. Creationists believe that God designed all life, and that's a somewhat religious idea. But ID theorists think that at unspecified times some unnamed superpowerful entity designed life, or maybe just some species, or maybe just some of the stuff in cells. That's what makes ID a superior scientific theory:
it doesn't get bogged down in details.

Good journalism values balance above all else. We owe it to our readers to present everybody's ideas equally and not to ignore or discredit theories simply because they lack scientifically credible arguments or facts. Nor should we succumb to the easy mistake of thinking that scientists understand their fields better than, say, U.S. senators or best-selling novelists do. Indeed, if politicians or special-interest groups say things that seem untrue or misleading, our duty as journalists is to quote them without comment or contradiction. To do otherwise would be elitist and therefore wrong. In that spirit, we will end the practice of expressing our own views in this space: an editorial page is no place for opinions.

Get ready for a new
Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can't work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and imperil national security, you won't hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration's antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that's not our concern. No more discussions of how policies affect science either-so what if the budget for the National Science Foundation is slashed? This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science. And it will start on April Fools' Day.
  • Current Music
    VNV Nation, "Forsaken"