Sunday/Monday weekly blogs round-up - 30/31 January 2011 - blog by Gurdur


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Sunday/Monday weekly blogs round-up - 30/31 January 2011
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Posted 31-Jan-2011 at 04:43 PM (16:43) by Gurdur
Updated 31-Jan-2011 at 05:23 PM (17:23) by Gurdur

Owing to the Christmas / New Year period, and to a spot of extended illness, I haven't done a blogs round-up for several weeks, but here's a new Sunday/Monday blogs round-up and it will be kept regular from now on in. Since I began this a while before, but could not complete it owing to illness, there is some blogosphere news from much earlier in the month. Do pardon that. This round-up will also be much shorter than usual for me, since I must get this out today, and owing to stress of still recovering from illness, stress of backlog, and stress of sheer multitude of events in the blogosphere, I am simply not able to make this round-up as long as I would like.

The big news of the moment is of course the protests in Tunisia, Egypt, the Sudan, Yemen, and (for different reasons, but similar in protesting against authoritarianism, repression and corruption) in Lebanon. A real tsunami of protest throughout the Maghreb and the Middle East. There are tons of good blog posts on the subjects, but so many I'll refer to them in separate blog posts, and not handle the issues here in this round-up. I will be mentioning here though a blog post on the horrific murder of Salmaan Taseer in Pakistan; this issue must be dealt with and repeatedly forced into public discussion. It is an issue essential to deal with for humanist atheists such as myself, for the whole world to deal with. Onwards to the whole round-up:

If you still think blogging is some mildly irrelevant pastime, you better read this; new book authors are now been encouraged hard by publishers to maintain blogs.

Athene Donald has an interesting blog post earlier in January on the history of science and about how unconscious biases can influence science.

In all about science blogging, one recent big event was the #scio10 event. Frankly, out of a million different blog posts about it all, it's difficult to pick one or two or three out, so I am instead going to refer you to a huge long list of links to blog posts about it all.

You perhaps should look at this new blog post too; diversity was a big issue at #scio11, and while mainly about women, of course the diversity issue covers a good deal more than that, and that new blog post looks at other areas. Please also see this post.

On the question of women, diversity and representation, away from science, I've already dealt with diversity and women in atheism quite a lot in my blog; women / diversity came up as an issue with religious bloggers, with Hannah Mudge of the blog We Mixed Our Drinks adding a lot to the subject, and Rev'd Lesley Fellows doing a lot on it, including eventually a list of UK women religious bloggers.

Coincidentally, today's issue of the German news weekly magazine Der Spiegel carries two front-page headlines on articles; one being "Die arabische Revolution" of course -- no-one can avoid that one -- and the other one being "Warum Deutschland die Frauenquote braucht", which in my loose translation means, "Why Germany needs women quotas".

Again, the question of quotas -- for any minority, women included -- is something I've tackled quite a bit in my blog here; in very short, the main answer I would give to you is:

When people enter a discussion, room, movement or anything similar, they look for faces similar to theirs. If they see no such similar faces, quite often they feel alienated, and do not join in or make their voices heard. This leads, by pure accident of an unintentional vicious circle, to a self-perpetuating situation where minorities simply feel closed out from an arena. One way to overcome this is quotas, or aggressively grabbing members of minorities and getting them to speak up and to be seen and heard. It can be difficult.

The blog The Vernacular Curate covers the other side of diversity in religion in a blog post today, and in blog posts here and here. The issues raised are not insignificant; for example, Germaine Greer recognised the role of matriarchy in Australian culture that partly helped the rise of sexism and anti-women attitudes. It is a nastily complex area.

As for myself, I promote diversity and minority bloggers constantly here. But there are always more sides than one.

The Rev'd Lesley has also started up a Wednesday weekly round-up, which is good; regular and semi-regular blogs round-ups really do help ring ideas more to attention. Look at her blog for that Wednesday round-up.

MadPriest of the blog Of Course I Could Be Wrong came up with a very funny post, "FOR LINGERIE AND GUNS SHOP AT THE EPISCOPAL DIVINITY SCHOOL"; one that generated a lot of discussion in comments under the blog post.

On much sadder subjects, MadPriest's blog posts on the aftermath of the Tucson shooting and the Salmaan Taseer murder are very well worthwhile reading. Here is the blog of Taseer's daughter, Shehrbano Taseer. I also recommend the following Twitter accounts to you for further updates and news (and I will be blogging much more on this later):
@sarataseer |||| @AamnaTaseer |||| @SalmaanTaseer |||| @shehrbanotaseer

The other extremely sad event was the murder of David Kato in Uganda. murdered for being gay. At his funeral, the presiding Ugandan Anglican priest called on gays to repent or "be punished by God".

This is evil. This is wholly immoral. I had to physically stop myself from blogging on the day I read that news report. I know a lot of Christians and Christian bloggers who would never put up with such Fred Phelps-type garbage, and had I blogged on the day I read that, I think I probably would have been simply far too angry, and would have run the risk of being misunderstood by those who are in fact not among the guilty. So I waited till now. But I will be specifically blogging on this issue and on similar issues, and that very soon, and I will be forthright.

The only good news was that another Ugandan, Brenda Namigadde, won a temporary reprieve from being deported from the UK back to Uganda, since she is a lesbian, and given the anti-gay campaign in Uganda, obviously her life would be in danger there. MadPriest again does full justice to the issue of homophobia, and that quite often, so I refer you to his blog. Other bloggers mentioned here, such as Lesley, and others still also cover the issue well.

On a completely different subject, how history influences the present, do read this blog post on Norm's blog about Sara Sheridan and slavery.

Then The Christian Humanist blog did a fascinating podcast on the Italian Renaissance.

The blog Barth's Notes has a lot of good blog posts up in the last 3 weeks; there is one looking at GOD.TV and some unsavoury connections, and that post among others deserves mention.

The Velveteen Rabbi has a good blog post up on human rights and "Plant an olive tree this Tu BiShvat".

There are many more blog posts to mention. I will do that in separate blog posts, since I really want to simply get this damned round-up posted and out there.

Comments are welcome! Please keep in mind if you are not registered that comments posted here to this blog post may take a while to appear - up to 16 hours after you post them, since they go onto a moderation queue and have to be individually approved, owing to a recent flood of spammers. The answer to the so-called "Random Question" is always "human".
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  1. Old Comment
    Gurdur's Avatar
    I made a mistake, left out a link; I have now edited it into my blog post above. To repeat it: A blog post by Kate Clancy.
    Posted 31-Jan-2011 at 05:22 PM (17:22) by Gurdur Gurdur is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Lesley's Avatar
    Wow thank-you Gurdur, and thanks for being caution when you heard of David Kato. It is truly and utterly obscene and I know the church has to take a large chunk of the blame.
    Posted 31-Jan-2011 at 06:50 PM (18:50) by Lesley Lesley is offline
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