Star God: Fu Star God: Lu Star God: Shou

Writing & Research

I'm finally starting to gather some of my writings, edit them, and put them up on my site. I'll add more as I find the time. Coming soon: (1) an interactive turorial on understanding regular expressions; (2) a series of articles on how to use Unicode at every level of the development process—text editors, web forms, scripting, databases, email, etc.

Rumors caused city havoc, not the protests (2020) – On Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, Louisville, Kentucky was supposed to have been shut down by 600 cars and destroyed by thousands of Black militia. It didn’t happen, of course. Instead, Louisville experienced a minor disinformation bomb. Read the full story at LEO Weekly.

Secular but not Superficial: An Overlooked Nonreligious/Nonspiritual Identity (2016) – I interviewed ex-clergy (who no longer identify as "religious" or "spiritual") to find out how they now express their identities to indicate that part of themselves that they once referred to as "religious" or "spiritual", and to find out how they manage the stigma of saying "I'm not religious" or "I'm not spiritual". I analyze the ambiguous nature of religions/spiritual language, the problem of conflating the literal and figurative meanings of those words, and how that leads to miscommunication and a failure to understand one another. Along the way, I use the analytical concepts I developed to offer a complete re-interpretation of Max Weber’s famous notion of the “disenchantment of the world”, and to analyze Oprah Winfrey's conversation with long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.

Thoughts on Peace from a Humanistic Perspective (2011) – This is a short speech I delivered at an interfaith service in Louisville, Ky on 13 November 2011, organized jointly by the Louisville Peace Action Community and Occupy Louisville.

Political Correctness and the Dilemma of Old Song Lyrics (2011) – This article was a response to a very long mailing list discussion about how to deal with some of the old songs that contain racist or sexist language.

How to Typeset Equations with TeX (2011) – This is an interactive tutorial that demonstrates how easy it is to typeset equations with the TeX markup language, and shows you how to put equations on Web pages with MathJax, and how to place them into Word and PowerPoint.

Advice for Audio Podcasting (2010) – Some random advice on producing podcasts—equipment, recording, encoding, and naming conventions.

Was Dawkins Arguing Against a "Straw God?" (2008) – A response to a common critique that Dawkins was arguing against a concept of God that no one really believes in anyway. A review of sociological studies that demonstrate that most believers do in fact believe in just the kind of God that Dawkins argues against.

Class Action: Assigning JavaScript Events to CSS Classes (2005) – A little tutorial I wrote back in 2005 as part of a series of training sessions for the developers who worked under me. This explains how to use Javascript to assign actions to HTML elements based on CSS class.

Web Services Made Easy (2004) – I wrote this little tutorial back in 2004 as part of a series of training sessions for the developers who worked under me. The use of web services was just becoming popular, but most developers still hadn't grasped the concept, much less begun to incorporate it into their work.

How Professors Wade and Giles did a Great Disservice to the Chinese Language (1997) – For many years English speakers have been horribly mispronouncing Chinese words and names. The cause of this: the Wade-Giles system of romanization.