- Further evidence that the Steve-o-sphere is expanding – In the intellectual wake of Larry Arnhart’s consistently interesting Darwinian Conservatism web journal, a spate of right-wing bloggers have stepped up to combat the influence of ID hokum. Conservatives Against Intelligent Design leads the pack with some deeply considered cogitations on religion and cognitive psychology, while the unrepentant evol-cons at Darwin Central have been turning out delightfully splenetic commentaries detailing and debunking the Dembski-derived scientific misinformation currently being pitched by the ever-irritating right-wing doyenne (and alleged plagiarist), Ann Coulter.
- "His nemesis was other people" – In Marek Kohn’s review of Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age , the late Nobel-Prize-winning engineer cum eugenicist comes off as an insufferable misanthrope and a borderline Aspergers case. A more concise overview of Shockley’s life and work (he played a leading role in the invention of the transistor) can be found here. For a sympathetic take on Shockley’s hereditarian ideas (and antics), check out Roger Pearson’s Shockley on Eugenics and Race.
- Oliver Stone’s Bookmarks – After being profiled the recent Chronicle of Higher Education cover story "Professors of Paranoia?" leading 9/11 conspiracy theorist Steven E. Jones has launched the Journal of 9/11 Studies, which is billed as "a peer-reviewed, open-access, electronic-only journal covering the whole of research relating to 9/11/2001." Articles from the premiere issue include Frank Legge’s "9/11 – Evidence for Controlled Demolition: a Short List of Observations" and "The Flying Elephant: Evidence for the Involvement of a Third Jet in the WTC Attacks," by an English prof named Dixon Reynolds. Time being finite, I see little reason to waste my hours poring over the technical arguments raised by these fringe academics, which of course is not to suggest that their arguments can or should be dismissed out of hand. In a perfect world, I suppose the grassy knoll speculation about controlled demolition and government complicity could be put to rest by a blockbuster episode of Mythbusters, but until Adam and Jamie are blessed with a multi-billion dollar production budget, your best bet for informed skepticism is probably 911Myths.com.
- From the Classical Liberal Vault – Andrew Sullivan links to a captivating Open Mind television interview with the great Milton Friedman, which I’m guessing was shot in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution directs our attention to Daniel B. Klein’s paper "Mere Libertarianism," which seeks to reconcile the philosophical underpinnings of two of my favorite libertarian thinkers, Murray Rothbard and Friedrich Hayek.
- And Don’t Forget – Tonight’s episode of Tom Goes to the Mayor features a guest appearance by Gary Busey.
Time to start drinking.