Worship of reason and the rationalist delusion
As many of you will already be aware, I’m currently reading The Righteous Mind by the psychologist Jonathan Haidt. It is overflowing with thought-provoking insights and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. I’m sure there’ll be a few further posts that are triggered by it too. In this post I want to comment on the last section of chapter four where he makes a fascinating case...
Apple’s response on its tax practices (and how Tim... →
Over the weekend The New York Times published a piece entitled ‘How Apple Sidesteps Billions in Taxes’. Apple then chose to publicly respond with a statement that I’ve linked to in full above. Here’s the first section though: Over the past several years, we have created an incredible number of jobs in the United States. The vast majority of our global work force remains...
Samsung sold 44.5m smartphones in the first... →
The Guardian: After narrowly beating Apple last year, Samsung’s smartphone sales exceeded Apple’s by a large margin in the first quarter. Strategy Analytics said Samsung became the world’s top smartphone maker, selling 44.5m handsets in the January-March period, followed by Apple’s 35.1m. Very impressive quarter from Samsung in terms of sales. Not nearly as strong as...
An email signature that says it all
Oh my. Somebody please tell me this is a joke. I don’t even like ‘sent from my iPhone’, but this really takes the biscuit.
It's World Malaria Day: Let's not let the progress... →
World Malaria Day website: The theme for World Malaria Day 2012 - Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria - marks a decisive juncture in the history of malaria control. Whether the malaria map will keep shrinking, as it has in the past decade, or be reclaimed by the malaria parasites, depends, to a great extent, on the resources that will be invested in control efforts over the next...
Apple Reports Second Quarter Results →
Apple PR: The Company posted quarterly revenue of $39.2 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.6 billion, or $12.30 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $24.7 billion and net profit of $6.0 billion, or $6.40 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 47.4 percent compared to 41.4 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 64 percent...
Google Drive is real and now live →
After years of rumours, Google has finally launched its Drive service. What is it? It’s Google’s attempt to create their own equivalent of Dropbox. The big question: is it too late? Dropbox has gained real traction in recent years and it’s not yet clear how many people will want to change to a new service. That said, Google Drive definitely benefits from being part of the...
The iPhone accounts for 78% of all AT&T smartphone... →
Jay Yarow, Business Insider: AT&T activated 4.3 million iPhones, which is a 43% sequential decline. That means between AT&T and Verizon, iPhone activations fell 37% on a quarter over quarter basis. This information was published under a somewhat misleading headline: ‘The iPhone Crashes At AT&T’. As you’d expect for this quarter - and Apple themselves indicated...
"Android is suddenly in a lot of trouble" →
This is a pretty solid piece by Jay Yarow at Business Insider breaking down the growing array of challenges the Android platform is facing. As John Gruber points out though, the only thing you can really argue with in the piece is the use of ‘suddenly’. The truth is that there have been tell-tale signs of Android’s problems for a long time. More people are just waking up to the...
How to make your life more interesting →
Don Miller: Ask yourself before your next major decision “If I were a character in a story, what decision would make the story more interesting?” You’ll be surprised at how differently you feel about the decision. You’ll weigh safety over excitement, risk over comfort. You’ll likely decide to love people more, quit your job, bring home roses, leap off the cliff into the water and so on....
Goals are not the ultimate purpose of our lives →
Stephan De Villiers, quoting Anthony Robbins: Goals are a means to an end, not the ultimate purpose of our lives. They are simply a tool to concentrate our focus and move us in a direction. The only reason we really pursue goals is to cause ourselves to expand and grow. Achieving goals by themselves will never make us happy in the long run. It’s who you become, as you overcome the obstacles...
The lost art of making fire (and disciples) →
Alex McManus: The stark truth is this: the fact that we inhabit the 21st century doesn’t mean we really know how stuff in the 21st century works. Ask yourself this question: If you were suddenly transported into the past 1000 years, would you be able to invent electrical light? Exactly. In fact, we know neither how to make fire like our prehistoric ancestors nor how to make the stuff...
Why The Next Shoe To Drop Post-Instagram Is Apple... →
Eric Jackson, Forbes: Sure Twitter could IPO but, realistically, it’s going to sell itself to either Apple, Google, or Microsoft. Apple clearly has a good relationship with Twitter and on some levels I’m surprised Apple hasn’t bought Twitter already. It’ll be interesting to see whether Facebook’s purchase of Instagram makes that deal more likely.
Taking Lunch: How a real lunch break can transform... →
Ryan Offutt: Researchers have found that workers who take breaks within the work day and stop working report a greater sense of well-being. After a long period of work, a lunch break lets people recover. Those who work through lunch don’t recover at all; in fact, they carry on using their intellectual and emotional resources, leaving themselves drained (we all know what that feels like....
More Anti-Trust Woes Ahead For Apple? →
Charley Moore, lawyer and the founder of online legal service Rocket Lawyer: Whether or not the government wins the e-book case, Washington would be wise to tread carefully down the path of interfering with dynamic, technology-driven markets. A little more than a decade ago, Apple was down and Microsoft was up. At that time, Google didn’t even exist, Amazon was a tiny startup and the Facebook...
The Guardian review of 'The Righteous Mind' by... →
Ian Birrell: Drawing on everything from advertising to anthropology, he argues that liberals are driven by a morality based on compassion, the desire to fight oppression and, to some degree, fairness. Conservatives have a broader set of six “moral tastes”, sharing such concerns but balanced by the binding foundations of loyalty, authority and sanctity. It is, he says, as if...
A humanist reviews 'Religion for Atheists' →
I’ve still not yet read Alain de Botton’s Religion for Atheists, but I’ve been enjoying reading different people’s reviews and perspectives on it. This review by the humanist James Croft is one such interesting perspective. Whilst positive on some levels, he has his fair share of criticisms too. Though many of de Botton’s suggestions for secular appropriation of religious...
If there is any one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other...– Henry Ford
Was Jesus gay? →
Paul Oestreicher, an Anglican priest, writing in the Guardian: Jesus was a Hebrew rabbi. Unusually, he was unmarried. The idea that he had a romantic relationship with Mary Magdalene is the stuff of fiction, based on no biblical evidence. The evidence, on the other hand, that he may have been what we today call gay is very strong. Oh my. Talk about seeing what you want to see without...
Scientists restore sight in blind mice →
BBC News: Scientists have taken a crucial step towards restoring the sight of people suffering from degenerative eye diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. “This is a landmark study” says Professor Robin Ali who led the research. “We’ve shown for the first time that transplanted photoreceptors can integrate successfully with the...
Do people really expect this to work?!
I received an email today from a guy (let’s call him Pete) who wanted to partner with me. Here’s how he started out his email: I reviewed your site and it seems we could complement your current content. Let me start by saying great job you’ve obviously put a lot of handwork and long hours into producing your website! Oooh, nicely done. I’m feeling all good about...
Modern civilisation is a cage →
Dean Sharp: Modern civilization is a cage—a recently developed artificial habitat for humans who’ve spent the previous 2,000,000 years living in close connection with the earth. Don’t think you’re in a cage? You sleep on a nice comfy bed, live in a temperature controlled box, drink water from bottles, sit around most of the time … and as far as exercise goes,...
The difference willpower makes
Roy Baumeister and John Tierney: People with stronger willpower are more altruistic. They’re more likely to donate to charity, to do volunteer work, and to offer their own homes as shelter to someone with no place to go. Willpower evolved because it was crucial for our ancestors to get along with the rest of the clan, and it’s still serving that purpose today. Inner discipline...
Unemployment down by 35,000, Employment up by... →
Office for National Statistics: The employment rate for those aged from 16 to 64 was 70.4 per cent, up 0.1 on the quarter. There were 29.17 million people in employment aged 16 and over, up 53,000 on the quarter. The unemployment rate was 8.3 per cent of the economically active population, down 0.1 on the quarter. There were 2.65 million unemployed people, down 35,000 on the quarter. This...
Into The Wild: Lost Conversations From Steve Jobs'... →
Brent Schlender, Fast Company: If there’s anything that parallels Apple’s decade-long string of hits—iMac, PowerBook, iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iPad, to list just the blockbusters—it’s Pixar’s string of winners, including Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, WALL-E, and Up. These insanely great products could have come only from insanely...
Twitter's "Innovator’s Patent Agreement" doesn't... →
Marco Arment: The Innovator’s Patent Agreement is a nice sentiment, but the loophole potential is simply too great, and it doesn’t (and can’t) address the fundamental problems and dysfunction in the patent system. Much of the tech press have been showering praise on Twitter’s “Innovator’s Patent Agreement” that they announced yesterday. But not many of them seemed to...
Find out from the source →
EmbracingInfinity: I find that most Christians treat their bible like computer software. They just scroll down the terms and conditions without reading it and click ‘I agree.’ There’s no denying there’s some truth to this! That said, I don’t think that ‘scrolling through the terms and conditions’ is limited to Christians. I’m constantly...
On charity George Osborne must stand up to the... →
Polly Toynbee: From the outcry of the big donors, you might think they were being banned from giving. Not at all. They are only being told to pay their taxes like everyone else and then donate out of their taxed income, just like every basic-rate taxpayer. Paying your taxes is the most communitarian thing we do, signing up to society and the democratic choices it makes about taxing and...
Earning attention →
Chris Brogan: It took me 8 years to get my first 100 readers. Great post on the right and wrong ways to go about earning attention for the content you create.
Noticing the people around you →
Joseph Thompson: Is it potentially possible that the key to unlocking the power of your story—or fulfilling your destiny—might lie with one of the people that you walk by each day and never really see? I love this latest post by my friend, Joseph. How much of life might we be missing out on simply because we are not seeing the people around us?
Five second poll: Which content on KERUFF are you... →
I’d really appreciate your input!
Labour voters leave Ken red-faced by supporting... →
Stephan Shakespeare, chief executive of YouGov: [Johnson’s] winning edge comes courtesy of Labour voters. In 2008, with the Johnson-Livingstone lead exactly the same, the vote for the assembly also had the Conservatives ahead, by 1 per cent more. Now, Labour is in front by 10 per cent. That’s an 8 per cent swing from Conservatives to Labour, but the Livingstone vote hasn’t moved an inch....
The future of eBooks: DRM free? →
Charlie Stross: It doesn’t matter whether Macmillan wins the price-fixing lawsuit bought by the Department of Justice. The point is, the big six publishers’ Plan B for fighting the emerging Amazon monopsony has failed (insofar as it has been painted as a price-fixing ring, whether or not it was one in fact). This means that they need a Plan C. And the only viable Plan C, for...
Readability introduces 'Iris' (aka another reason... →
Chris Dary on the Readability blog: Once the content type is determined, there’s still the complex task of knowing precisely what to tease out of a web resource. Even web articles—Readability’s wheelhouse—are comprised of much more than just a headline and body text. With Iris, Readability gains the ability to glean a whole new level of insight into what facets of a web resource matters to...
"I want to be part of an un-cool church" →
Rachel Held Evans: I want a church that includes fussy kids, old liturgy, bad sound, weird congregants, and…brace yourself…painfully amateur “special music” now and then… …I want to be part of an un-cool church because I want to be part of a community that shares the reputation of Jesus, and like it or not, Jesus’ favorite people in the world were not cool. This is a GREAT...
Smaller "iPad mini" rumoured for later this year →
Killian Bell at Cult of Mac: Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch its much-anticipated “iPad mini” during the third quarter of 2012 in an effort to “counter attack” the upcoming Windows 8 tablets. The 7.85-inch device is expected to cost between $249 and $299, which will also allow it to compete with cheaper Android devices from the likes of Amazon. There’s definitely a growing...
Secular world has a Christian foundation →
Chris Berg in The Age: Not satisfied to point out that elements of Christian belief are historically implausible, or that religion is scientifically unsubstantiated, the New Atheist movement wants to prove something more. That Christianity has been a force for bad, that there is something fundamental about religious belief that holds back progress, approves of oppression, and stokes hatred. ...
The Righteous Mind
I keep coming across this book and, after seeing it again in Waterstones this afternoon, I think it’s definitely going onto my electronic books to read pile. It looks like it’ll be a really interesting read. It’s certainly getting some positive reviews too. This from Paul Bloom is just one of many recommendations: “A brave, brilliant, and eloquent exploration of the...
The Justice Department just made Jeff Bezos... →
Jordan Weissmann in The Atlantic: By shackling publishers, the Justice Department is only ensuring one half of a free market. It’s hard to imagine that bodes well for anyone long term, even if it means low prices today. It’s seems the real consensus is that the only winner from the US Government suing Apple and the big five publishers is Amazon. Who knew a government would go...
Apple finally speaks up about accusations of... →
Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr: The DOJ’s accusation of collusion against Apple is simply not true. The launch of the iBookstore in 2010 fostered innovation and competition, breaking Amazon’s monopolistic grip on the publishing industry. Since then customers have benefited from eBooks that are more interactive and engaging. Just as we’ve allowed developers to set prices on the App Store,...
Christian group books anti-gay ads to appear on... →
Robert Booth, Patrick Strudwick in The Guardian: Core Issues Trust’s advert states: ‘Not gay! Post-gay, ex-gay and proud. Get over it!’ mimicking the style of Stonewall’s: ‘Some people are gay. Get over it’ advertising campaign which has run recently. London buses have been booked to carry a Christian advertising campaign expected to start next week,...
Create a more humane future through simple acts of...
I love the vision - manifesto as they call it - of this new organisation called Unstash. It’s being led by Lon Wong, a good friend of mine and it’s offers a real challenge to our tendencies to endlessly consume goods. You can find out more via the blog Unstash have and you can request an invite to join the site too. (The site hasn’t launched yet, but is launching soon.)
Some thoughts on religion, atheism and morality
Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? And judging by the number of people - particularly atheists - I’ve seen sharing it on Tumblr, it clearly has a lot of resonance. Of course, it’s not hard to see also how it is also deeply flawed. Without in anyway...
US government is ensuring Amazon have an even... →
David Steitfeld in the New York Times: As soon as the Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it was suing five major publishers and Apple on price-fixing charges, and simultaneously settling with three of them, Amazon announced plans to push down prices on e-books. The price of some major titles could fall to $9.99 or less from $14.99, saving voracious readers a bundle. But...
U.S. Sues Apple, Publishers Over E-Book Pricing →
Chad Bray and Brent Kendall reporting for the Wall Street Journal: The U.S. filed an antitrust lawsuit Wednesday against Apple Inc. AAPL +0.89% and five of the nation’s largest publishers, alleging they conspired to limit competition for the pricing of e-books. The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, alleges Apple...
Nokia's rapid decline →
Horace Dediu: Nokia’s smartphone market share will drop to about 8% in Q1. It was 12% last quarter, 24% a year ago and 40% three years ago. Nokia provides a vivid example of how quickly a company can decline if it fails to keep innovating and thinks its position cannot be challenged. It’s a great reminder too of how hard it is to stay at the top for a long period of time....
iTunes - Divide and conquer →
Thomas Verschoren with some pretty sensible suggestions for how iTunes could be overhauled: In my opinion Apple would give customers a better experience if they split the iTunes application in three separate part, each with a clear function Which parts? iMedia App Store iCloud / iSync Whilst I don’t have a lot of issues with iTunes, it is the one application that I...
Typing with no hands →
Walt Mossberg reviews and compares voice dictation with Android (on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus) and iOS (on an iPhone 4S): I found that both platforms’ dictation systems worked well enough for me to recommend them. In case after case, both phones got it right, or close enough to require little correcting. I can only speak for the iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation), but I too have been very...