Thursday, September 30, 2010

Quote of the Day: Steve Albini

I'm a big fan of musician and sound engineer Steve Albini, partly for his band, Shellac, and partly for what he's said about the music business. (See my post from last November about his article "The Problem With Music".)

So I was delighted to read an interview with Albini on He's articulate and opinionated, and not entirely negative about the state of the music business today.

But the best part was his response to the very last question, How would you describe your fashion?
"I think fashion is repulsive. The whole idea that someone else can make clothing that is supposed to be in style and make other people look good is ridiculous. It sickens me to think that there is an industry that plays to the low self-esteem of the general public. I would like the fashion industry to collapse. I think it plays to the most superficial, most insecure parts of human nature. I hope GQ as a magazine fails. I hope that all of these people who make a living by looking pretty are eventually made destitute or forced to do something of substance. At least pornography has a function."

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Animal Camera

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Quote of the Day: Dave Silverman, President of American Atheists

“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”
That's Dave Silverman, the president of the advocacy group American Atheists, quoted in the New York Times today.

Silverman was interviewed for an article about a survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life that polled 3,400 Americans about religious knowledge. Atheists and agnostics scored the best, beating all other religious groups. Mormons and Muslims were close behind, and Hispanic Catholics scored the worst.

Interestingly, most respondents had trouble with questions about religion in public schools. According to the Times, "fewer than one of four knew that a public school teacher is permitted 'to read from the Bible as an example of literature.' And only about one third knew that a public school teacher is permitted to offer a class comparing the world’s religions."

And there were other areas of notable confusion or outright stupidity. Half of Protestants didn't know Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation. Nearly half of Catholics didn't realize that they are actually consuming Christ's blood and flesh when taking communion. And 43% of Jews didn't know that the philosopher rabbi Maimonides was Jewish.

I took a shortened six-question version of the quiz on religion (via the Times), and I'm pleased to report a perfect score!

(When I tried to access the Pew Forum's website to look for the full questionnaire, I got an error message saying the server was too busy.)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: William Gibson

"Give me a new technology and I will give you six sleazy, really disgusting things that people will do with it."
That was science fiction writer William Gibson, speaking on Minnesota Public Radio today. Gibson has a new book coming out: Zero History, the third in a trilogy that started with Pattern Recognition and Spook Country.


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