1. (Via 3 Quarks Daily.) If we live in a universe that is deterministic, but in which everyone believes that we have free will, I can see why murderers ought to be punished. But if we live in a universe that is deterministic, and everyone knows that it is deterministic, then punishing people for predetermined acts is silly. (Of course, there is the question of how we are supposed to know for sure whether we live in a deterministic universe, or in a universe where free will reigns. Assuming uncertainty on the question on the part of the inhabitants, even if it turns out to be the case that the universe is deterministic, I can accept punishing someone for a bad act because the possibility that people might have free will is not ruled out in the minds of inhabitants, and therefore, the inhabitants need to take responsibility for their own actions.)
3. More evidence–as though any were needed–that Hugo Chavez is an idiot. And I don’t need to assume that he was being serious in his comments to conclude that he is an idiot.
5. I have no problem with the Harry Potter series as written. But I really like this version as well.