- I just assumed we were past the whole “Harry Potter is bad for children!” But I guess Richard Dawkins didn’t get that memo:
- Twilight Body Glitter — now there’s something with a detrimental effect! [via]
- “Michael Platt’s editorial on July 21, 2008 may have inadvertently left the impression that General Motors in some way supported neo-Nazis.” Regret the Error has many more. [via]
- A helpful Guide to Understanding Flow Charts, courtesy of xkcd.
- Job discrimination against World of Warcraft players? I don’t play — watching The Guild is about the closest I get — but even so, what worker doesn’t sometimes lose focus or have erratic sleep patterns? These recruiters might want to check out the counter-argument.
The prominent atheist is stepping down from his post at Oxford University to write a book aimed at youngsters in which he will warn them against believing in “anti-scientific” fairytales.Prof Hawkins said: “The book I write next year will be a children’s book on how to think about the world, science thinking contrasted with mythical thinking.
“I haven’t read Harry Potter, I have read Pullman who is the other leading children’s author that one might mention and I love his books. I don’t know what to think about magic and fairy tales.”
I do like that he’s willing to think about the issue critically. He’s actually not saying the books are harmful; he’s saying the possibility of their detrimental effect on children should be examined closely. But still, the underlying assumption — that children read these fairy tales and believe in them, that they are unable to differentiate fantasy from reality — seems to me rather flawed. It’s an assumption we usually see from fundamentalist Christian groups who are afraid that witchcraft will poison the minds of our youth. If nothing else, it’s interesting to see it come from the other side of the aisle.