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Links With Your Coffee - Monday

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When the Supreme Court heard Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Co. in 1886, few would have pegged the case as a turning point in constitutional law. The matter at hand seemed highly technical: could California increase the property tax owed by a railroad if the railroad built fences on its property? As it turned out, the Court ruled unanimously in the railroad’s favor. And in so doing, the Court casually affirmed the railroad’s argument that corporations are “persons” within the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment, which provides that no state shall “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” So certain were the justices of the Fourteenth Amendment’s applicability that their opinion did not engage the issue, but the Court reporter recorded the justices’ perspective on the topic:

Before argument Mr. Chief Justice Waite said: ‘The Court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution which forbids a state to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws applies to these corporations. We are all of opinion that it does.’

We all know one atom of experience isn’t enough to spot a pattern: but when you put lots of experiences together and process that data, you get new knowledge. This might sound obvious, but following it through – watching patterns emerge from the noise – still gives me a sense of beauty and awe.


 

Comments

Ha, I've had the psychiatry post open in one of my tabs for a couple of days now, thanks for reminding me I have to read it sooner or later!

Re: the Monty Hall problem. I really didn't have much of a hard time accepting and understanding the result (of course after I read the explanation). I find it so interesting that so many people kept sticking to their guns. Especially the story of Paul Erdös who had to be shown computer simulations to finally admit he was wrong. Maybe cause I know that I don't know much about mathematics...

I told this problem to two friends, and also, one of them fairly quickly understood it, but the other one, an MD (and a fan of philosophy) could never grasp it.

One more thing... the comments at the original SciAm post are still doing it!

Also, I got that P(B)=1 in about 5 minutes. I think I might be one of them geniuses and shit.

Thanks for posting the Boston Review article. Pam Karlan would've been a better SCOTUS pick than Elena Kagan, IMO.

re: "is islam against science?" i find it frankly ubelievable :) that you dare present this as if it were a question, or that the author of this (generally excellent) article presents the issue as if it were something new. context, re: 1gm- for YEARS i've been making the point here that the "new" atheists/ atheists in general seem to be focusing on christianity for political reasons and ignoring other religions, while claiming to be against religion in general. my "theory" as to why this is so- that y'all have political motives rather than intellectual- has fallen on deaf ears for YEARS, with only the occasional attempt by norm or his readers to be as harsh on judaism as they are on christianity- and this only because i repeatedly raise the issue/challenge. and now you're suddenly waking up to islam's current relationship to science and (specifically) evolution? even though it is clear and obvious that, while both christianity and judaism have "orthodox" thinkers who make room for evolution, islam doesn't and never has?

on the one hand i applaud this post, which joins...um, maybe a few vague references in "jesus and mo" that have been posted over the years having to do with this issue. on the other hand, the level of obtuseness- for YEARS, again- is simply breathtaking. maybe you can reset your sights now. but i doubt you will. arguing with muslims can be physically dangerous unlike, for the most part, arguing with christians, jews or buddhists (another religious group you pretty much leave alone). grow a pair.

And how does not being taken seriously make you feel?

all grown up and right at home.

Now, now, JB, if you keep up being so obvious in baiting us, we'll stop taking you seriously!

...you dare present this as if it were a question...

...author of this (generally excellent) article presents the issue as if it were something new...

...now you're suddenly waking up to islam's current relationship to science and (specifically) evolution?

...the level of obtuseness- for YEARS, again- is simply breathtaking.

Huh?

Let us repeat: Religion is ridiculous! All of them. That anyone takes any of them seriously is what is breathtaking. (I especially loved the 'problem' of facing Mecca here - ROFL! If Tahiti were just a little further southeast, think how tough the problem would be for any Tahitian Muslims!)

As for this:

...both christianity and judaism have "orthodox" thinkers who make room for evolution, islam doesn't and never has?

It just needs a little correction (overlooking, as usual, the lack of capitialization):

...both christianity and judaism have orthodox "thinkers" who make room for evolution, islam doesn't and never has?

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