What I have been reading

A couple of books I have read within the past few weeks, most of them on my Kindle 3G device(*):
Scott Berkun’s “Confessions of a Public Speaker” (get the Kindle edition): the author is a professional speaker, in front of audiences large and small, hence he has got some very helpful tips for anyone who ever needs to engage in public speaking, mostly drawn from his own experiences.  → Read more

Weekend Econlinks

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The next thing is to inquire whether the saints are listening…

The empirical conclusion from this analysis is important. A little prayer does no good and may make things worse. Much prayer helps a lot.

If Jim Heckman says that, it’s gotta be true.
So, either stop praying altogether, or pray 24/24, nothing in between helps…

PS.  → Read more

Unire intru fanatism…

… sau intru prostie, as completa eu. Costi Rogozanu scrie foarte bine pe blogul sau despre recentul protest al Patriarhiei Romane vizand traducerea in romana a “Versetelor Satanice” scrise de Salman Rushdie. Am zis ‘foarte bine’ mai sus; asta nu acopera insa si remarca lui Rogozanu referitoare la “stilul greoi emfatic al lui Rushdie“, dar ma rog, sa o lasam la de gustibus (desi m-as fi asteptat la mai mult de la Rogozanu si ajung sa ma intreb cat a citit din Rushdie…).  → Read more

It is time for the current Minister of Education to go…

… and I’ll come back to the theme of the title soon (there are many reasons for the title, beyond what this short post will touch on), with an alternative, you’ve always got to have an alternative when you criticise… But meanwhile, if The Diplomat is right in this article (via Gabi Istrate, on Ad Astra), the MEdC signed itself up (in an apparent total ignorance, which is a proxy to a far more serious sin– and this is a real sin!–incompetence) to a new beginning of the Dark Ages… Hopefully we’ll only get to watch the first episode of that, though.  → Read more

Quote for week 9th – 15th of September ’07

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.  → Read more

Read of the day: “Rational Atheism”

Michael Shermer at his best. The gist:

Whenever religious beliefs conflict with scientific facts or violate principles of political liberty, we must respond with appropriate aplomb. Nevertheless, we should be cautious about irrational exuberance.

Rational atheism values the truths of science and the power of reason, but the principle of freedom stands above both science and religion.  → Read more

Libertatea de alegere in educatia pre-universitara

…e atacata frontal in ceea ce constituie cea mai recenta mostra de imbecilitate a MEdC. Se intampla desigur in Romania, un stat care, pe hartie, se declara “neutru fata de orice credinta religioasa sau ideologie atee“. My forecast: MEdC actual va cadea in curand; si mai important, in sfarsit exista motiv si scop suficient pentru incurajarea si sustinerea scolilor particulare, care s-ar detasa de ideile infantile ale sindicalistilor si guvernantilor (de acum si de pururea).  → Read more