1. Brother Blackford has a new post on accommodationism and the anti-New-Atheism of other atheists, particularly Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse:
So I don’t have any reason to call these two authors accommodationists, but I do think that it’s very unfortunate that they have (a) distanced themselves from their natural allies in their post (and, possibly in their book? I don’t know yet), and (b) added to the popular myth of the gnasty gnu atheist who is thoughtless and uncivil when dealing with others.
I do hope they’ll rethink this and change their approach to this issue. You can damage your own cause in many ways: in this case, accommodationism is only one way to throw your allies under the bus. Anti-accommodationists can do that, too.
2. At the Guardian, Anthony Grayling decries the trend of spoon-feeding students, and opposes new calls for increased professorial “contact hours” in the UK. It sounds a bit curmudgeonly, but it’s still refreshing to hear someone stand up against the clamors of students for printed lecture notes, Powerpoint presentations, and make-up exams based on flimsy excuses.
Aristotle said: “We educate ourselves so that we can make a noble use of our leisure.” The idea that education is for the mind and soul, for the whole person – the citizen, the parent, the voter, the reader, the lover, the traveller, the human being in the round – is lost to view in trying to make university education a mere continuation of school for the same sausage-machine purpose of churning out employees.
3. The Sixth Wall has a list of “Twelve movies so bad they’re good.” Two of them star Sylvester Stallone. Sadly, the only one I’ve seen is “Reefer Madness” (a staple for Sixties stoners), but I very much regret never having seen “Showgirls,” which appears on many worst-movie lists (other perennial dogs are “Gigli”and “Glitter”). If you want a comprehensive list of the worst 100 movies of the last decade, Rotten Tomatoes (my go-to site for movie guidance) has one.
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen? Or the best bad movie? For the first I’d nominate “Popeye” with Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall (although she does look exactly like Olive Oyl), and for the best bad movie I’d go with “Reefer Madness.”