Archives for July, 2007

Carnival of the Godless 71

“Damn ye, Gods!” Photo by Pär Svensson / Kurtz. Welcome everyone to Aardvarchaeology and the 71st Carnival of the Godless! The carnival is a bi-weekly roundup of godless blogging from around the net. Aardvarchaeology is mainly about Scandinavian archaeology and various skeptical issues, but I rarely discuss religion much. You see, in my native Sweden,…

Jesus and Mo rule!

A large and varied 10th century silver hoard of typical Scandinavian character with international components has been found at Harrogate in Yorkshire. Amateur metal detectorists made the find and immediately notified the authorities. Thanks to Tim at Walking the Berkshires and Jeff Lanam for the tip-off.

For years and years, there has been an on-going conflict over Ales stenar, a prehistoric stone ship monument in Scania, southern Sweden. Scholarship has argued that like all other large stone ships in southern Scandinavia with ample space between the standing stones, Ales stenar was built as a grave marker in the late 1st Millennium…

Faith-Based Cactus Care

Some time around the turn of the millennium a friend gave me a cactus. It’s been sitting happily in its pot ever since, proliferating into a cluster of green phalli until it was clearly too big for the pot. Yesterday I relented and transplanted it to a larger one. This involved a few arcane steps…

Kilnaughton Abbey

From that soft-spoken friend of all Sweden’s little idiosyncracies, Paddy K, a fresh cell phone snapshot of Kilnaughton abbey in Tarbert, County Kerry, south-west Ireland. The ruins are 600 years old and the site is still in use as a cemetery: among other illustrious lineages, the K clan has a family plot. Tarbert is a…

Over at my buddy Frans-Arne’s blog Arkeologi i Nord I found a great quotation from Norwegian archaeologist and anti-Nazi politician Anton Wilhelm Brøgger (1884-1951): “Det vi vet er så uendelig lite mot det som er hendt. Arkeologen er som den som går langs en strand og finner småtterier, skyllet i land fra et forsvunnet skib.…

People have been everywhere on Earth and whatever they did originally in a certain spot rarely continues into the present. The Swedish legal definition of an archaeological site is that it should contain remains of people’s activities in the past that have become permanently discontinued. This means that our planet’s entire surface (including the waste-strewn…

Singularity and AI Free Will

Yesterday at the beach, Charles Stross’s 2005 novel Accelerando in hand, I introduced my dear friend, the Aard lurker and professional logician Tor, to the concept of Singularity. Explains Wikipedia: The Technological Singularity is the hypothesized creation, usually via AI or brain-computer interfaces, of smarter-than-human entities who rapidly accelerate technological progress beyond the capability of…

De-Lurking Week

Orac mentioned that he runs recurring De-Lurking Days on his blog. “Lurking” is to hang around a web forum or a blog without making your presence known. “De-Lurking” is to come out into the light of on-line day, however briefly. Aard currently has about a hundred visits by returning readers every day, and most regulars…