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About Ormond

  • Birthday 07/10/1951

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  • Onomastic expert
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    Omaha, Nebraska
  • Interests
    Besides ASOIAF:Given names, their usage and history

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  1. I got so busy yesterday I forgot to post the link to my column: https://omaha.com/life-entertainment/local/cleveland-evans-russell-is-a-surname-that-became-a-common-first-name/article_393d2bd0-f2af-11ee-b562-07d76feb49a8.html One of the interesting differences in naming between the UK and USA is how in the former people called "Rusty" and "Ginger" are normally thought to have the nickname because they have red hair, while until very recently in the USA these were primarily thought of as pet forms for Russell and Virginia, respectively. "Ginger" as a term for "redhead" in particular is a Britishism which has only started being used in the USA in the last few decades. The famous American actress Ginger Rogers was born as a Virginia and did not have red hair.
  2. If you're not into Christian Nationalist Bibles -- my latest Trump email informs that I can get an official Metal Black Trump Card!
  3. I guess whether this is more or less likely with the Electoral College or with direct popular vote isn't my main point. I still think it's a much greater possibility with first-past-the-post rather than with either a runoff system or ranked choice voting. Of course even those don't make it entirely impossible, but at least if a demagogue is elected with one of those systems we could more truly say the electorate has gotten what they deserve.
  4. Back in 2020 Ann Leckie declined a nomination for The Raven Tower. I wonder why she didn't do the same for Translation State.
  5. Yes, that would be one of the other options as an alternative to ranked choice voting.
  6. Personally I think for a bipartisanship or "moderate" movement to really work we need to get every state to adopt something like "ranked choice" voting as now exists in Alaska and Maine, or something similar that would lessen the problems with "first past the post" elections. I would certainly be in favor of moving to a national vote total Presidential election rather than the electoral college. But my worry about that is that it might encourage people to run as third party candidates even more than the present system, and that would make a Trump-like demagogue even more likely to come out with the highest % of votes even if well over 50% of the voters are actually rejecting them. So if we go to a national popular vote system, I want ranked choice or some other system that makes such an outcome less likely as part of it.
  7. And a couple of links to obituaries for John Barth: https://hub.jhu.edu/2024/04/02/john-barth-writing-seminars-obituary/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/obituaries/2024/04/02/john-barth-author-dead-obituary/
  8. Maryse Conde, who won the "alternative Nobel Prize" and has generally been considered one of the authors in the running for the actual Nobel for years, has died at age 90. https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/03/style/mayse-conde-author-nobel-literature-dies-90/index.html https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-68712276 https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/entertainment-news/ap-maryse-conde-prolific-grande-dame-of-caribbean-literature-dead-at-age-90/amp/
  9. That we all have images in our dreams from our personal past (and especially from what went on the day before) doesn't mean that every single image is from something that personally happened to you. For modern people, the "personal past" would also include all the images you have from all the movies and TV shows you've seen and books you've read, which might account for a lot of bizarre imagery these days.
  10. Is the "Best Game or Interactive Work" a new category? I don't remember that one from the past, but as I am seriously old and not the best at paying attention to the Hugos, maybe my memory is faulty.
  11. On the "Evangelicals" and politics issue -- more and more people, especially Southern White men, who label themselves "Evangelical" actually never or almost never go to church. They are actually more right-wing and Trumpist on average than Evangelicals who do actually participate in churches. Here's an article from Christianity Today by a historian about this: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2022/august-web-only/church-attendance-sbc-southern-evangelicals-now-lapsed.html His conclusions (when he says "When people leave church", he's just talking about the White Evangelicals who he gives statistics on earlier in the article):
  12. The idea that most Buddhists are "atheists" seems to be a big misunderstanding to me. Buddhism may not have a "Creator God" concept or an idea that there is a God/Goddess who is omniscient or omnoipotent, but they certainly have a belief in a separate realm of spiritual existence where there are many powerful beings -- often specifically called gods or goddesses -- who can have some influence on humans. Wikipedia has an article on Buddist dieties that explains the variety of such beings that many Buddhists believe in. There are probably some highly educated and sophisticated Buddhists who would accept "atheist" as a self-definition, but they would be a minority among adherents of that religion. For the most part, people who call Buddhists "atheists" are adherents of Western religions who think if you don't believe in an omnipotent Creator you are an "atheist", which would make all sorts of polytheists "atheists", which seems untenable to me. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhist_deities
  13. If you think there should be an RIP thread in General Chatter, start one!! I did exactly that in the Literature section so that discussion of the deaths of authors could be moved out of this thread in Entertainment, and it's worked out well. There is no reason why you or someone else couldn't do the same in General Chatter. As a retired psychology professor I of course think Daniel Kahneman's death does deserve to be mentioned somewhere.
  14. I think it's fine for atheists to declare themselves as such. But I do not think saying you "have no religious affiliation" in an exit poll means that one is an atheist. I think it simply means that one does not identify as being a member of a particular religious group or congregation. Not only would the "no religious affiliation" people include most who identify as "agnostic" rather than "atheist", but depending on exactly how the question was worded and what alternatives were given, it could include people who have strong religious beliefs but who do not belong to or attend a church or other religious organization. And there are now millions of such people in the USA -- many people who will claim to be "evangelical Christians" never attend church -- and those people are even more likely to hold "Christian nationalist" views than self-identifed "Evangelicals" who do attend church. And there of course would also be many Americans who have vague "New Agey" or "cafeteria" religious beliefs who would say they have "no religious affilication" while still saying they "believe in God."
  15. Did you read what you linked to? Though this is good news, it is NOT a "deep red" district: I would think an Alabama district which Trump only won by a single % point in 2020 must actually be one of the more liberal areas within that state.
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