Friday, October 24, 2014

Terms of Use

My CQA page (linked in the sidebar) answers most queries which readers may have about this blog (and several others besides), but it has hitherto been silent about terms of use. I don't make any money from this blog, so I'm not too fussed about asserting copyright over the content as long as people behave with common decency.

On a few occasions, people have been kind enough to email me asking if they can link to a post or use an image. Most recently, someone from tokyobike NYC – a bike company – emailed me to ask permission to use one of my photos (this is where they shared the image, and here is the post where it originally appeared).

So, to save such people the time and effort of having to contact me to ask permission, I hereby introduce The World According to Sroyon terms of use.

I toyed with the idea of adopting Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0, but in the end I settled for something that's even more flexible and non-legalistic (or, to use a Creative Commons phrase, "human-readable").

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Cat-and-Mouse Theory Against the Existence of God

In a letter to the American botanist Asa Gray, Darwin wrote:
But I own that I cannot see, as plainly as others do, & as I shd wish to do, evidence of design & beneficence on all sides of us. There seems to me too much misery in the world. I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent & omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidæ with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.
The other day I saw a cat catch a mouse at Mudchute Farm. But perhaps unnerved by my presence, it did not play with its prey. Instead it retreated post-haste under a nearby wagon to finish its lunch, occasionally stealing mistrustful glances in my direction.