Loch Awe view

It’s been another warm, dry day here in Argyll, with beautiful blue skies and good clarity. This is a new viewpoint for me, looking up Loch Awe from close to the entrance to Ford Bay. The sail of the small dinghy picks up from the rythmn of the three headlands.

Glasgow local elections; my preferences based on secularism issues

Here’s some good information for Scottish electors casting their votes in next week’s local council elections. If you’re interested in seeing which parties take a positive position on secularity in society, Paul’s article is essential reading.

Primate's Progress

Life goes on at local level, and I urge you to cast your local vote on local issues. Here, for me,* the order of preference is clear, based on my educational and secularist concerns:

Greens > SNP ~ Labour > LibDem >> Conservative

Marble staircase, Glasgow City Chambers (click to enlarge)

My reasons are apparent below.

Under the system used, it is important to list all your preferences (or as pedants point out, all but the last of your preferences) in order

I asked all parties a series of questions saying I would publicise their response or lack of it. SNP replied with specific answers. The Greens referred me to their manifesto. Other parties did not reply at all. I give below SNP replies, and such information regarding the other parties as I could gather from manifestoes and other sources (note that this introduces sampling errors); direct quotations from party…

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Socrates is still mortal, but fallacies aren’t fallacious

Primate's Progress

Updated repost of The Fallacy Fork and the Limits of Logic, at 3 Quarks Daily

No quiet moment; Theresa May calls snap UK election (BBC)

I had been waiting for a quiet moment to write about this, but there isn’t going to be a quiet moment, so now will have to do. [Update: these words went up on 3 Quarks Daily last Monday. On the Tuesday, Theresa May called a snap UK General election]

Debaters regularly accuse their opponents of using fallacies. These can be formal fallacies, such as simple errors of logic, or informal fallacies, such as appeal to authority, ad hominem and strawman arguments, among others. If a piece of reasoning depends on any of these fallacies, so it is claimed, the conclusion does not really follow from the premises, and while it might still be true we have not been given any good reason…

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Ben Donich

Ben Donich is one of the Arrochar Alps, a cluster of mountains near the Argyll village of Arrochar. This hill is 847m high, which makes it a Corbett.

This is the view from the summit, looking towards Ben Lomond, with The Cobbler and Ben Narnain on the left.

One of the features of the walk up from the Rest and Be Thankful is the rock step, which has to be descended on the ascent and ascended on the descent. It sounds more exciting than it is, although it’s a real obstacle in icy conditions.

That was my first proper hill of the year, and a reminder that there’s an awful lot of up involved in going up a hill.

Whooper swans leaving Argyll

Yesterday afternoon I watched this group of 15 whooper swans fly in to Loch Ederline; this morning I saw them fly off on their spring migration north to their summer breeding grounds. There were a total of around 32 whoopers overnighting on the loch, being given close attention by the resident pair of mute swans.

The flock circled around the village a couple of times and then headed out west towards the sea. There are a number of juveniles in this group of birds.

It won’t be long now before the incoming migrants, ospreys, swallows and martens return from lower latitudes. Spring’s finally around the corner.