Time Heals All Wounds.. And Then Kills the Patient
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Tue May 13 21:58:39 2003
Resoults .. ermm.. Results

Before I get to that, here's something interesting: Zen Buddhism versus traditional buddhism. I've been chewing on this one for awhile. It's fascinating. Also, on a slightly more modern note, interesting to people who arn't into philosophy but like politics, there's the Texas Democrats on the run. It's really interesting, and reminds me a bit of some of my ideas on variations on the theme of traditional voting systems. I only wish it were on an issue I find more meaningful than redistricting. Finally, I've been thinking about reading some more Dostoyevski, and found a really decent translation, online, of The Brothers Karamazov.

Ahh, yes, results. Tonight's meeting was really interesting. There were 27 attendees and a presenter. Sadly, they meet the 2nd tuesday of every Month, September through May. So, I just caught the last meeting for awhile. Oh well. Another interesting thing -- the age distribution was completely different than CMU. Including myself, there were only 4 people there who I'd think were under 40 -- me, another guy who looked like he might've been a student at Pitt or CMU, and a couple around age 28 which included at least one teacher. In a way, it was reassuring -- one thing I was worried about in Columbus was that we never had anyone above perhaps 30 in the group. It also shows, sadly, that something is pretty messed up about CMU/Pitt's campuses if there arn't groups out there doing this stuff already. Could it really be that all it takes is a spark and some organization, or is something else missing? Anyhow, back to the meeting -- the presenter talked about Biological Determinism, focusing on a book by Steven Pinker. I didn't catch the title, but reading from Amazon, I'd bet that it was The Blank Slate: The modern denial of the human nature. Sadly, the speaker wasn't Steven Pinker himself, but oh well :) The talk was okay -- there was a lot of room for improvement in his speaking style, but the content was interesting enough that it captured my attention. The book did come to a bunch of rather surprising conclusions though, and either the book or the speaker seemed to put things in a way that two rather sciency folk there, one a Psychology professor at CMU, disagreed with a lot of the facts he put forth. Near the end, as he neared the most controversial topics, it changed in style (not by choice of the presenter) from that of a book report to that of a rather heated discussion with very little order in the room. Eventually, the talk ended, a lot of people left, and things broke into small conversations. The entire meeting went from about 7:40 to 9:30.

I'm glad I went -- it was fun, I got to talk some more with one of the leaders who I spoke on the phone with earlier today, and learned more about what's in store for me in my hope to bring about a college-based atheist/agnostic/etc group. I got the definite feel though that there isn't one now, so I might as well get started. I'm trying to get advice and help from Aug and the gang, and hopefully I'll get things moving within weeks.

My life is still reeling from the sudden loss of Debb, but it seems that this time, having had my heart ground into a pulp once already by Martha, it's not quite as bad. It doesn't stop me from wishing that she'd be willing and able to work through the problems we had, but I know that life will go on either way. It's easier, I think, now that I have something new to throw myself into. One thing that I've always kicked butt in is public speaking/debating. With any luck, I'll get the chance to do so again soon :)

Here's a neat Nasa Pic.