Monday, August 28, 2006

God-given morality

Martin Wagner had the bright idea of creating a new atheist blog that will include, as members, all current and former hosts and cohosts for The Atheist Experience. Set your bookmarks and your feed readers to check it out. So far there are four members, but only Martin contributed any original posts.

I decided to make my mark by adapting an email exchange I've been involved in. You can read the resulting post here.

I don't want to redirect too many of my original thoughts to some other blog, so I'll still update this blog about as often as I did already. However, when I have a juicy topic for the TV show, I'll try to make an effort to post some discussion there and link it from here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Here we go again

Sitting in my Distributed Systems class today. Pretty interesting so far... to me, not many of you. :) I actually like sitting in a classroom much more than sitting around reading stuff at home, which is what I had to do this summer.

I also did something pretty insane... I auditioned for Chorus Austin last weekend and got in easily. Tenors are always in extremely short supply that they were extremely excited to see me, so now I'm committed to rehearsals every Monday night is, as well as several extra rehearsals and some performances in November. I hope I'm not making a mistake, because I was already juggling school, work, family, and my video game habits. Now I've just got something new in the mix, but this is something I would consider a recreational activity, which hopefully won't require TOO much time outside of rehearsals.

The music is all very religious in nature. First we're doing Bach's B-Minor Mass, then Handel's Messiah around Christmas. You might think that, as an atheist, this would bother me, but it doesn't. I love Baroque music, especially Bach and Handel, and I recognize that religion was a big patron of the arts at that time.

Since so much art is religiously based, I think I've come up with a good topic for my next appearance on "The Atheist Experience." I'm going to talk about religion in schools. There are ways in which we DO consider it acceptable to teach about religion on government money, and I'd like to explore those particulars. That will include some discussion of religion in art, history, and philosophy, as well as non-organized school prayer.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Papers from Spring 2006

Some time ago, I said that I intended to post the final projects I did for my first semester in grad school. I posted them, but forgot to link them. Here they are:

Implementing Natural Language (Software Validation and Verification), written with Kevin Driver, Louis Helm, and Oswin Housty.

Guns and Crime (Data Mining), written with Chip Killmar

I can imagine very few people who would find these papers a thrilling read, but you might like to know what I was so busy with through the months of April and May. And they did help me get my A's in the class.

Speaking of which, it's not official yet, but early feedback indicates I almost definitely have another A for my latest class (The Practice of Programming).

Starting in two weeks, I will be taking two new classes: Wireless Computing, and Distributed Systems.