Thursday, July 27, 2017

No politics today


*  I think this article at the Catholic Herald looking at the history of the 20th century splintering of the Anglican Church (and warning that the Catholic Church could well be heading towards the same path) was interesting.   I hadn't heard of these categories before:
For most of the 20th Century this diversity was even viewed as its strength because, thanks to a shared pension board and the clever use of ambiguity in official statements, the three main factions with Anglicanism – which one wag labelled ‘high and crazy’, ‘broad and hazy’ and ‘low and lazy’ – were happy enough to rub along together despite their radically different set of beliefs. It seemed as if the Nicene Creed, a very loose application of the 39 articles and strong civic approval gave just enough common ground to hold the show together.
But the question as to how Catholicism is going to handle the same pressures is far from clear.   I can see how very liberal churches essentially lose their raison d'etre, and become more or less just purely Left wing social clubs; but I also see how the highly conservative Catholics are now extremely uncharitable and  unpleasant Right wing culture warriors who are amongst the worst examples of religious devotion.  It's hard to see how the Church is going to keep weaving a path between the two extremes...

Pop philosophy apparently is big in Germany at the moment.   Who knew?:
Philosophie Magazin now has a circulation of 100,000, proof that Eilenberger’s approach paid off. Indeed it would appear there is a new demand for ideas in Germany, one ripe for the plumbing. In 2017, philosophy in Germany is booming. Student enrollment in philosophy courses has increased by one-third over the past three years. Its leading practitioners are giving TED Talks and producing best-selling books, top-ranking TV shows, and festivals such as, which attracts more than 10,000 visitors to the German city each June.

*  I care little for poetry (by which I mean, I care not at all), but this book review talking about an apparently famous Polish one still seemed interesting.

*  And as for science - Nature explains how scientists are really fretting over what are appropriate P values for different disciplines.   Seems it took an awfully long time for this problem to be recognised.


John said...

The p value issue has been around for a long time Steve. In biomedicine at least the problem is that attaining .005 if often not practically possible. Nonetheless .05 is too easy. Not particularly concerned about it because I rely on effect sizes more than p values. BTW, of things scientific, to demonstrate how woeful it has become, have a look at this from Neuroskeptic:

Steve said...

Yes, I read about that midichlorian paper - but I thought he got it published in "pay to publish" type journals, which were already suspect, so I wasn't sure it proved anything new...