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Religious Books -- Not Fundamentalist!
The Fundamentalist Xtians should not be allowed to hijack the language of Christianity. They are at least as much heretics to Christianity as the Arians and Gnostics of early Christian days.
Biblical inerrancy is not possible.
The books both above and below show the limitations of language and the impossibility of Biblical Inerrancy.
How can language be misused? Using General Semantics, this book was Written to explain Nazi propaganda and still used as a textbook
Books - Popular Math, Post Enlightenment & Science
This book explains why the above books on Christian Fundamentalism are politically important in America today.
Modern Society measures risk & predicts possible futures. The book below is a higly readable history of insurance, statistics and modern financial instruments.
Compare this to religion, in which it is presumed that the perfect society was known in the past and all that is necessary to do is to return to that perfect society.
Fascinating, highly readable and fun book on modern mathematics and its limitations. If you are interested in ideas, this is your book!
This is a collection of Hofstader's Scientific American articles. Again, a very fascinationg and highly readable book, requiring no mathematical background. (Buy it used - it is one of the books that will keep disappearing.)
Older, very fascinating book on mathematical ideas. Did you know there are three kinds of infinity?
Thursday, June 17, 2010
At last - the Truth about the Republicans is told.
Have you wondered where this ad was for the last ten years? This is the Truth!
Here is an eleven minute lecture explaining the problem behind the problem behind the problem.
It is posted by Paul Rosenberg at OpenLeft. For those of us who are not academic researchers buried in the literature Jon Hanson lays out how the problem of tobacco sales was dealt with in law and public policy (the rational actor policy) and how the tobacco companies quietly applied psychology and social psychology to subvert the efforts of the government and the legal system to protect the public. It's found right after about the 9:45 mark.
To me this also very clearly shows the utter failure of all libertarian approaches to public policy. He does not use the term in his discussion, but he clearly demonstrates how the rational actor economic and legal model places all the blame for social problems on the individuals who have the problems and provides blinders to be used by those who benefit from those problems.
...take a look at Friday's jobs report. As Tim Fernholz notes for The American Prospect, this report was the most disappointing piece of economic news in months. While the economy gained 431,000 new jobs during the month, 411,000 of them were temporary hires by the U.S. Census, meaning the private sector is not able to support much new hiring.
There's a critical lesson there: The only serious engine of job growth in the month of May was the federal government. Absent government hiring, the economy is not improving at all. There is an almost bottomless supply of critical social needs that require work right now, but no private-sector momentum to meet those needs.
The BP oil catastrophe should underscore how important new, green energy is to the U.S. economy-yet U.S. efforts to develop green energy solutions have fallen far behind those of China and other industrial powerhouse nations. Major federal investment into the research and implementation of green energy would be good for our environment and good for our economy."
The only strength in the American economy is federal spending. It is maintaining some employment where the private economy simply cannot.
Why does this matter? The Great Depression II was limited to merely the Great Recession in 2009 by this federal deficit spending. Right now is too damned soon to stop deficit spending that maintains jobs!!
Is deficit spending inherently bad?
Should a family ever borrow money to buy a house? If they can't, then available housing drops throughout the economy and so do jobs. but housing itself builds and protects families so that the children can grow up to join and expand the economy. It's investment spending both for the families and for the economy.
That contrasts with families that gamble away their income and have nothing to show for it, or economies that borrow money to go to war and have nothing to show for it. Some deficits are good, some are bad. Spending to protect jobs is inherently good spending, because ultimately the borrowed money can be repaid from the increased work performed by the economy overall.