The googleplex is a big place

Another busy day ahead of me: yesterday I met Alex and Bora, shared a dinner table with James Randi, and saw swarms of other people I have to meet today … so off I go to another series of random encounters.


  1. says

    Can you prove Randi was there? I’m offering one American dollar to anyone who can prove the existence of James Randi. I personally find Bora more interesting than Randi, but figure the MacArthur money went to his ego.


  2. Graculus says

    Why, oh why, am I getting an image of three orcs and a beholder playing bridge around a random encounter table….

  3. says

    The purported existence of James Randi is a satanic hoax intended to usurp the god-given gullibility of believers everywhere.

  4. says

    “The purported existence of James Randi is a satanic hoax intended to usurp the god-given gullibility of believers everywhere.”

    Nonsense, you simply lack faith in the Rand-man!

  5. RamblinDude says

    For anyone wanting to know what foo-camp is all about, Kara Swisher has a nice video summary that can be found HERE

  6. Titus Brown says

    PZ, be sure to look up Chris Adami, of the avida/artificial life research.


  7. SEF says

    shared a dinner table with James Randi

    You mean you ate a whole one just between the two of you?! ;-)

  8. Scott says

    a little off subject, but I was just over at UTI and read an article there about the atheist “A”… Well, the link led to a “Brownback for President” website. Looks like that site wants to claim victory for Pharyngula posting the “Scarlet Letter A”… I think this is where I should roll my eyes.

  9. CalGeorge says

    He ba-aaaack! That doofus from Harvard is at it again.

    Atheist Tracts
    God, they’re predictable.
    by Harvey Mansfield
    08/13/2007, Volume 012, Issue 45

    There was an Epicurean atheism in the ancient world quite different from ours today. That atheism also uncovered tyranny behind the mask of religion, but it was content to point out the power of injustice. Injustice in this view was the way of the world, and there was no remedy for it. The only recourse for a reasonable person was to stay out of politics and live a life of pleasure, seeking calm, watching storms of the sea from ashore, and suppressing one’s indignation at injustice.

    Today’s atheism rejects this serene attitude and goes on the attack. In its criticisms of God it claims to be more moral than religion. But it cannot do this without becoming just as heated, thus just as susceptible to fanaticism, as religion. Today’s atheism shows the power of our desire for justice, a fact underestimated by the Epicurean pleasure-lovers. But it ignores the power of injustice, which was the Epicurean insight. Atheists today angrily hold religion to a standard of justice that the most advanced thinkers of our time, the postmoderns, have declared to be impossible. Some of those postmoderns, indeed, are so disgusted with the optimism of atheism that, with a shrug of their shoulders, they propose returning to the relative sanity of religion.

    Heehee! Harvard’s only idiot professor has spoken!

  10. SmellyTerror says

    #17: why do you hate my brain? What did it ever do to you?

    Now how do I get that drivel back out?

  11. tony says

    I am insanely jealous…but that has nothing to do with this post ;)

    I had dinner – at home – with my wife & kids today, which makes it a red-letter-day for sure! I think I’ll order a t-shirt with a big red ‘D’ for days like today.

    (backstory: I’m usually traveling during the week, and weekends are busy, busy, busy – so we most often eat out)

  12. says

    Geez, you get to hang with Neil Stephenson AND Randi AND Freeman Dyson? But WTF is Martha Stewart doing there? Showing y’all how to tastefully drape lab equipment in batik cotton? Other than her, I’m jealous.

  13. Graculus says

    I think this is where I should roll my eyes.

    parody: noun. a form of satire that imitates another work of art in order to ridicule it.


  14. Yodel says

    I don’t want to wish ill of anyone, but after what Dr. James Kennedy has just said about evolution on the TV, he can —- in a —- of —-!

  15. Yodel says

    And he’s re-showing “Darwins deadly legacy” later this month!

    I think I’m going to plotz.

  16. says

    Re #4, I have it on good authority (the president of the Swedish Humanist Association, actually) that not only did Randi survive his surgery, he has it on video and gleefully shows it to those who will watch.

    Having dinner with him and PZ would be … extraordinary!

  17. says

    Aaah! Wait! Disregard that comment. It was Dennett’s heart surgery my boss got to watch. I’m such an airhead. Well, at least they both got … beards.

  18. Deepsix says

    Everyone should read James Randi’s weekly updates. His first tid-bit for today, “BLATANTLY SUPPRESSING SCIENCE”. A story about a Netherlands broadcasting corporation removing referrences to evolution from the series “The Life of Mammals” presented by David Attenborough.