: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

The End of the Universe is in Houston, Texas

According to Lewis Black. The sad part is that I can think of two different places in Houston he might be talking about.

But It’s Good for You

In today’s WSJ Sam Schulman takes the new crop of public atheists to task for failing to acknowledge the long, rich history of debate on theism, dismissing belief in God as addled superstition or pure ignorance. Schulman contrasts this with the nuanced understanding of religion displayed by old school atheists like Matthew Arnold, George Eliot, Carlyle, Hardy and Darwin. Those names I’m familiar with. Of the new atheists Schulman names – Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Sam Harris, and Steven Weinberg – only Dawkins is familiar to me from the Selfish Gene and his interviews on Charlie Rose (See interview 1, interview 2). I have no idea who the others are. This led me to wonder if there isn’t still something to be gained by reading a few books I’m very unlikely to agree with.

WSJ: Without God, Gall is Permitted ($)

There are books one hates because they’re poorly written (Dan Brown’s book falls in this category for me) and there are those we consciously or subconsciously avoid because whatever anyone says about them, they’re ‘just not for me’ meaning they are ‘not likely to reflect and enhance my own personal values or worldview.’ If I look at the books I’ve read in the last year most come from a related group of authors or adhere to a fairly consistent demographic of thought. Of course we realize on some level that reading a book does not mean agreeing with it, but our actions so often belie this. I’m convinced I would probably learn more actively disagreeing with what I’m reading than seeing my own views marginally enhanced or parroted back to me. I’ve decided to start with Sam Harris’ Letters to a Christian Nation. Any other books out there I’m not likely to pick up on my own but should? Send me an e-mail or leave a note in the comments.

Latte Art


New Mexico


Heading to New Mexico to see family today. Here’s what it looked like at Christmas.