Well, it's finally here, the one Carnival I expressed my reservations
about. Yesterday, Brent Rasmussen
finally released the first edition of The Carnival of the Godless
. As you may (or may not) recall, my specific reservations were that it would serve mainly as a forum for religion-bashing posts by militant atheists and thus be of little interest to us non-atheists (even those of us who are not particularly devout or even bordering on agnosticism). Although I haven't read everything there yet, so far it looks as though my fears were unfounded. There's some good pieces on the role of religion in public life and science and in how atheists deal with a theistic world. The religion-bashing I had feared is minimal or nonexistent. Brent even posted my reservations about the whole idea first. It almost makes me think it might be worth sending a piece to PZ Myers
, who's hosting the next session. Unfortunately, at this time I don't know which post I've already made would be appropriate or whether I'll be able to write one in time for the deadline. We'll see.
Finally, there's another new carnival, The Carnival of Bad History
. (Thanks to PZ
for the tip.) The criteria suggested by the creators of this Carnival:
- Bad presentations of history -This is the easy one. Review bad historical movies, books and teevee. How anachronistic are those uniforms? How improbable is that alternate history novel? Did kindly frontier doctors really talk like that?
- Bad uses of history - When pundits, politicians, and talking heads get hold of history they often twist it beyond all recognition or justification. Tell us about the mangled metaphors, unjustified parallels, or outright lies you find in the public sphere.
- Historians behaving badly - Historians manage their share of embarrassing talking head appearances, plagiarism scandals, and corporate sell-outs. We don't want mere unpleasant gossip. Contributions in this category should be of historians behaving badly in their professional capacity as historians.
I wonder if my recent post
about my first encounter with online Holocaust deniers would qualify (there's only one way to find out). Holocaust denial certainly is
bad history. I also have some interesting ideas for a piece about notorious Holocaust denier David Irving
(a piece I've been meaning to write almost since I first started this blog) for the topic of "Historians Behaving Badly," but I worry that they might disqualify it based on the simple fact that David Irving has been utterly discredited as an historian.