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Quatrarius  ·  13 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Take This Cheat Sheet To The Ballpark To Decide When To Leave

baseball is the most zen of sports - not "Zen" in caps, but zen all lowercase

you go to a baseball game because you want to sit outside for a couple hours and enjoy the weather / think about nothing in particular, and sometimes something mildly interesting happens and you get to participate in the group happiness of a stadium full of people entertained by a home run or a clever bunt or something

baseball is the game you take your kids and your grandkids to to eat some popcorn or peanuts or a hot dog or something, and get ice cream after the game

you can enjoy baseball on any level of understanding of it from "jack shit" to "nate silver", and that's okay, because actually going out to see a baseball game is not really about the game

that's why there are 10 thousand games per season and they play through the summer is because baseball is about slowing way down and enjoying little things in the moment you experience them

the "exciting" part of baseball is in the playoffs so if that's your goal just wait until then

there's an unaffiliated minor league about a half hour away from here with 4 teams and one stadium - they have a little plaza with food vendors and a playground, and there's a grass hill in the outfield that you can sit on and watch from, and they have little gimmicks to get people there like fireworks and a dog that gets the bats, and there's beauty in that experience that's really important

there's baseball happening in the middle there but the important part is everything on the edges

Quatrarius  ·  88 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Wired | Sam Harris and the Myth of Perfectly Rational Thought

i was thinking a few seconds ago and i'm going to call these people "thought daddies"

a thought daddy is some guy (they're almost always guys) aged >30 with a college education, generally white (or off-brand white) - they can be gay, but they aren't normally, and the crucial part is that they're all writers or scientists. if they're a scientist, their specialization basically doesn't matter at all

because all thought daddies have big thoughts about the whole world, and they write so many books, and they know why everything sucks so much (there are no optimist thought daddies)

and science fetishists cluster around these people because they're just opinionated turbonerds with power, as opposed to them (the powerless ones)

i don't understand why cynicism means you have to take people at face value when they say they have all the answers - when somebody tells you "i'm the rational, right one and the people that disagree aren't logical," doesn't that set off some alarms? why are these people exempt from questioning? just because they say they're right? because they confirm the beliefs you already have? i'll never understand that

was freud right all along? is it a father figure thing - they fit the dad mold so well, they're so comforting with the answers, sometimes they have beards

i guess it doesn't matter too much in the end

OftenBen  ·  94 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 16, 2018

No update of substance with regard to health. More testing has been scheduled after the treadmill stress test I took showed a drastic decrease in exercise capacity. Essentially as soon as I start moving I become anaerobic because blood isn't getting to all the bits it should. Another neck-needling cardiac procedure sometime soon, inner ear testing to check for/rule out true vertigo, a few other things.

I have a long time friend and mentor who got a heart transplant last year after almost fifty years of living with a condition almost identical to mine. Last week she found out her donors name, Brandy, and some more information about her. She left behind a sister and a teenage daughter, and they have tentatively begun to get to know one another. There is no standard model for contact between a donor family and an organ recipient, everyone seems to do things their own way, for better or worse. My friend is a strong, kind and deeply affectionate person. I hope that Brandy's family will take some comfort in knowing that their mother's, sister's passing accomplished some good, and allowed my friend to continue her work improving cardiac care across the country, across the globe.

Barring some massive development in artificial hearts in the next few years, this is the path I will be on. If you had asked me a year-ish ago if I would accept a donor organ, I would have told you no. I would have told you that there is a high demand for organs, and I have lived my life without much regret. I would have told you that someone younger than me deserved a chance at more years. I would have told you that someone older than me has obligations to dependents, and it would be unfair of me to take a heart when someone's parent might need it. I would have told you lots of things, most of it true-ish. But the real reason I didn't want one is because I truly didn't think that I was worth keeping around.

I have since been convinced otherwise.

    He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.

In less dire news, my request to terminate my lease early because of foundation leaks/water damage was approved. We have a cute little house to move into at the end of the month, after it's had it's carpets cleaned, a few other odds and ends. For the first time in three years, I'm going to have a yard, a garden, and nobody smoking cigarettes outside my windows at all hours of the day and night.

Cheers Hubski.

PTR  ·  170 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Contra contemporary architecture

It's hard not to side with Alexander. His built work is meant to be occupied by humans; Eisenman's is not. That's basically the whole deal.

The Katarxis gallery you linked by Alexander's student, Michael Mehaffy, is a good example of the care Alexander put into designing these spaces, and not just the design but the construction of his projects. His published works (especially The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth) describe the care he takes in tectonics, the art of construction.

Eisenman did not. He designed Wexner with 12,000 square feet of fenestrated galleries which were later refitted because prolonged and unprotected sunlight exposure damages artwork it turns out. He designed House VI just a few years before this debate, and that was a fucking shitshow saved only by the kindness and architectural appreciation of his patrons.

I mean, you can already tell the style of the guy when he said Chartres was "boring". My coworker (GSD faculty at the time) said everyone's collective jaws dropped at that considering, well...Chartres looks like this:

Just for quick comparison, this is one of Eisenman's most prized works of his career:

Which, despite looking like graphing paper ski slopes, also has this going for it:

    The project has more than doubled its original budget and has not attracted significant numbers of visitors. Construction of the final two planned buildings was stopped in 2012 and terminated definitively in March 2013 following high cost overruns.

Par for the course for Eisenman - overblown budget, unfinished project, unusable space. This article is scathing.

Meanwhile, Alexander's designing Eishin campus with Japanese school children:

    The architectural commission to build this community, came with the explicit insistence, by the managing director of the school, Hisae Hosoi, that he wanted the project to be done under conditions where faculty, staff, and students, were all taking part in the design process. And by this he meant, not the pablum of token "participation" and "charettes" that has become common in the last twenty years, but honest-to-goodness decision making by the people in the school, based on individual and group understanding.

They ended up with this - no hiccups, no errors, in budget, active client participation, highly functional, highly used.

But Eisenman's career took off in the years following this debate while Alexander's languished, and the implications of that are astounding. Design had stopped being about livable spaces, perceptual harmony, humane principles, client's needs, and basic functionality. In that vacuum had entered Eisenman's dialectic, and the academe from which it's derived. By taking a stand for functional harmony vs. post-humanism, Alexander took himself out of modern discourse and Eisenman et al became the lion and the Christian. Design's post-modern positioning can only be understood by that lens.

kleinbl00  ·  269 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: November 22, 2017

    it's primarily that he gets his ideology from memes. Not kidding. His Facebook history is full of fucking memes - and I've got to reference Dawkins here for the literal and original meaning of meme, because the sourced knowledge this guy has on politics is insidiously hard to pin down. His news feed is full ubiquitous, pint-sized ideas and fact-checking every meme he's ever come across and internalized is a herculean effort.

This is insightful. I've experienced it. I have not put my finger on it before but you have the most of it.

I work with a couple die hard conservatives. They are lonely people in Hollywood; there's a contingent to be sure and they're insular as fuck but the overwhelming majority of Hollywood liberals are in fact liberals.

One of the things I've noticed in discussions with them (careful, respectful, well-bounded discussions) is that the conversation is not built around ideas. It's built around factoids. It's built around totems. It's built around memes.

These ideas are not, in and of themselves, coherent components of a greater philosophy. They are not arguments. They are touchstones. They are bookmarks in an internet search of alienation, secret handshakes of cultural identity.

A funny thing happened when Trump won: they got cranky. Keep in mind: I know people who worked with Trump. a lot. Had I gotten here a few years earlier I totally would have been crew on The Apprentice. He's a known quantity around here and yeah - it's a right-wing conservative orgazmotron. But at the same time, with Republicans owning the house, the senate, the executive and the judicial, the world should be perfect, right? But they knew - they knew - it'd be a long way from perfect. Theirs is a philosophy of opposition, particularly here in liberal Hollywood, and it wasn't so much that they were right, it's that everyone else was wrong.

HERE's MY THINKING

We don't drag him along, we live our lives and do the right thing. We don't assail his ideas hoping that eventually something sticks. It's an oppositional mentality and so long as he wants to oppose, it really doesn't matter what he's opposing. They're a tribe that want everyone else to lose. They don't really know what that looks like, but they want it really badly.

This is the way cognitive dissonance works: it starts by feeling uncomfortable so you ignore the sources that assail your worldview. Then it pushes you into an insular place because you're retreating from information. Then you lose sight of reality because you're working so hard to keep up your microcosm. Then one day it snaps - and it snaps hard. And now you're a disillusioned searcher.

Trump and the modern conservative universe is about the purest form of cognitive dissonance challenge you could ask for. He's not a conservative by any stretch. He's leading the party towards the reductio ad absurdum place the liberals always joked about - Trump literally defended Nazis. And they have nothing to build on, and their efforts to tear down are failing.

There's going to be a reckoning. There's going to be soul-searching. And we'll need to welcome them back.

but not yet, goddamn it

b_b  ·  274 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What Democratic civil war? The Left already wonx 2

    The central challenge for Democrats in taking back the White House will hinge on the party’s ability to persuade a majority of Americans to support a more progressive agenda going forward.

Apparently, Mr. Sosnik isn't familiar with how the Electoral College works. A plurality of Americans already vote democratic, and have so in all but one presidential election since 1992. Democrats' problem isn't one of majorities; it's one of geographics. That is unlikely to change anytime soon, and moving further leftward will accelerate, not decelerate this phenomenon.

The leftward lurch has some real perils in it. The numbers cited above I think don't paint the whole picture. Immigration, e.g., wasn't much of a partisan fight until like 2015 when the Muslim Ban was first proposed. Immigration reform was the darling of W and the Kochs and was opposed by Bernie Sanders as recently as the beginning of the primary season. That dramatic 52 point shift has seen a lot of its movement only in the last couple years. Similarly, we're seeing a dramatic increase in "single payer" devotees in just the last half year. Democrats and liberals should be wary of getting caught in the "against Trump" vortex, and not let it color their chances of ever winning another presidential election.

Speaking of, NYT published an OpEd today calling for Al Franken's resignation. That's the level of crazy liberals are going to rise to in service of all things "against Trump". Of all the moronic OpEds NYT has published over the years, this one got me particularly pissed off (because when Erik Prince or John Bolton publish one they're easy to laugh off), because it represents the worst of the left mob: letting a staff writer (as opposed to a one off partisan) call for the head of one of America's finest senators because, well, Roy Moore is a child molester and Donald Trump is a rapist and we don't like them so everyone gets a trophy.

People need to keep their heads. America and the Democrats don't need a leftward push, especially one that's driven by "against Trump". We need a push toward sensible regulatory and tax reform, driven by a shared sense of community and compassion. That's not a leftist agenda, even though it sounds like one in today's world. It's a humanist agenda that the left has the best mandate to push. It will only happen, however, if we move past the identity driven leftism that's currently en vogue.

StJohn  ·  465 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: May 10, 2017

Thank you! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

As for your neighbors, have you tried sending them sexually suggestive gingerbread men in the mail? I am hard-pressed to think of anything that would delight me more than receiving erotic cookies from an anonymous source.

Trombone  ·  512 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why does Mount Rushmore Exist?

This was offputting. It drips with disdain. I understand that he's trying to make a political point, but way to do that by being an arrogant tool to the entire state of South Dakota. The best compliment he can come up with in the whole thing is "It was as beautiful as any land I’ve ever seen". That's the compliment equivalent of "meh" while looking down your nose. I've been to South Dakota, and yeah, Mt. Rushmore is kind of strange. "The hubris of man" and all. But? Custer's a great little town, and it's an excellent base of operations to see the state. There's more than a freakin' Pizza Hut there. Try out Wall Drug. Custer SP is quite beautiful. There's Pipestone. There's Badlands. There's Teddy Roosevelt NP. South Dakota is a treasure trove of nature's wonders. Instead of appreciating any of this, our narrator tosses his backhanded compliment out and spills more words talking about the local fauna come begging to lick the salt off his car. Does he ever mention another human being outside of his family unit? Is he that self-absorbed?

If I was to give Mr. Anderson some polite advice, I'd say:

- Go on your trip in season, because things will be open.

- If you want to actually see things, do some research and take some time to get out of your car and take a hike.

- Put down your electronics, and please make your kids do the same. If they're unshackled from their screens for a while, they might actually look around them, and appreciate it. They should understand how fortunate they are to be able to go on such a trip to such a beautiful area of the country. If all they do is Snapchat, you've wasted all your money getting them there.

- Check your preconceptions at the door and talk to people.

user-inactivated  ·  581 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's Official: Sixteen Government Agencies Now Have Access To Unminimized Domestic NSA Collections

I keep trying to put out a decent response but Portland is snowed in and the shop is busy. I'll be brief.

There are no triumphs in foreign policy and many dissatisfaction.

We still have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and now have troops in a few new countries. The Arab spring made nothing better. Pivot to Asia doesn't seem to have even happened. Rapprochement with Russia, well...lolz. Israel is...a fucking mess, we really couldn't be getting along with them worse. Relations with Cuba is a nice thing but pretty underwhelming. There have been some improvements in relations with regional economic and governance groups around the world. He killed Osama!

Health care costs jumped more this year than they have in decades. Health care is supposed to be Obama's big thing. Personally I don't feel like the health care reform was done well, it might mostly be because I've paid more for less care every year since it's been passed and I lack any objectivity about all the good it's done. I'm paying significantly more for significantly less care as are most other people I know.

He 'saved the economy.' I think most presidents would have done about the same thing he did. Lots of people lost their homes but the 1% did pretty well as he bailed out the banks.

Some decent work on the environment and workers rights. Don't call it a legacy because much of it will be gutted in the next two years. Gays can openly serve in the military and LGBT rights have been advanced, that's cool but not really big impact stuff that wasn't coming down the pipes in the next decade Obama or not.

The main reason I think he should live in infamy. Government has become opaque and the citizens transparent. Bush got things started but the Obama administration really ran with it. Massive surveillance technology has been brought to bear against citizens while Freedom of Information requests are being denied at a record rate. NSL letters, prosecution of whistle blowers, Sneak and Peek warrants, suspicionless stops of American citizens at internal US checkpoints by the boarder patrol, prosecutions that are based on the fruit of knowledge obtained by technology's like stingrays where the defendant never gets to challenge the initial search or even know that it existed (who knows what else they are using). I could go on but this is a fair collection of the things his administration has been up to that trouble me.

The people get to see less and less of how the sausage is made while they have lost most of the protections that used to be assumed to be protected under the 4th amendment against getting ground up by government. I think that the relationship between government and the governed has been profoundly changed and there will be terrible consequences down the line when the new powers and protections available to government fall into the wrong hands. I think people we will look back and say that this was the time things really went off the tracks. Bush II was the inflection point in relationship and Obama was the guy who pushed things over the edge needlessly.

I could be getting crazy. I sound a lot like people I've known who were survailed and assailed by the FBI in the 60's. They sounded a little crazy to me until I heard some of the dirty tricks that the government put on them. There are people I love and respect who think I'm a little wacky but I still think that our society is in deep trouble and that Obama has done things that are undermining our basic constitutional protections and enhancing government power by degrading constitutional freedoms and the liberal democracy.

On an up note I just found out that a coffee shop three blocks from me is closing down. Huzzah! The opened after me and there is plenty of space to put a coffee shop without being that close to another one in this part of town. It was kind of a dick move. Their coffee wasn't as good as mine but they had some nice pastries that they made on site. I think what killed them was not being open 7 days a week and changing their hours too much. If they had been open seven days a week and had better brewing equipment they probably wouldn't have closed up shop. I don't know that I'll see a lot of business from them closing but I'll see a bit. They were very new Portland with natural wood edge counters and shiny and slick, my old building shop has a lot of character. I'm sure they played a lot of very comfortable music, I play all kinds of weird shit that is delightful if you don't want the standard Portland playlist. It's a lifestyle guig. I'm very old Portland... WTE, things might get better but they aren't going to change. I'd rather jump off a bridge than look at a natural edge counter all cut from the same tree for the rest of my days. Huzzah! Huzzah! I've outlasted the competition! I'm busier this winter than last! Huzzah! Seriously I just found out about this and want to crow but don't want to come off as a dick to my customers so this is my outlet.

WanderingEng  ·  613 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Coal is dead, because nobody wants to build coal-fired power plants.

The wind tech is way better than it was even ten years ago. The expiration of GE's patent on variable speed turbine generators opened the versatile technology up to everyone. These turbines can control voltage more dynamically.

Separately, the cost of power electronics have come down, so now some turbines use full converters to change the generator output to the power system frequency. These can eliminate gearboxes, too, and also control voltage.

In the US, FERC has made a number of rulings that forced wind plants to improve. FERC Order 661-A (pdf) required wind turbines have low voltage ride through, forcing them to remain online during system faults. 661-A also mandated a power factor range, relating back to the GE patent and full converter turbines with their ability to control voltage.

We're also able to push the power system harder than ever. Fifty years ago we still had manned substations. People would sit there and call the control center every so often to tell them what the analog meters showed. Today we scan every analog and digital point every few seconds. And every few minutes the entire system is simulated to see what would happen if a failure occurred. That lets the system accept more wind. The output is variable, of course. The system was easy when it was the same generators running all the time. The variable wind output means one day to the next could be drastically different. The tools allow us to be confident the system is still reliable.

There were a couple wind output records broken in the US a week or two ago. I think MISO topped 13,000 MW. For comparison, that's about double the maximum output of Grand Coulee.

To me, the issue is wind doesn't provide capacity like a gas, coal, nuclear or hydro plant does. I think MISO allows something like 16% of wind nameplate capacity to count as capacity to serve load. So you build a 100 MW wind farm, and you get 16 MW of capacity. Build a 100 MW gas combustion turbine and you get 100 MW of capacity. Load needs capacity to ensure all load can be served.

Odder  ·  617 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Has anyone read "Rationality: From AI to Zombies" by Eliezer Yudkowsky

I don't plan to. Yudkowsky isn't remotely qualified to write a book on rationality, and he knows nothing about philosophy, computer science or cognition. He's just a sci-fi nerd with delusions of grandeur and no formal training in anything, and I know that no serious philosopher, computer scientist, or psychologist takes his work very seriously.

I have a very negative view on both LessWrong and Slate Star Codex. LessWrong is Yudkowsky's blog, of course, and he would have done better if he had bothered to read some philosophy before trying to teach others philosophy, instead of just deciding that Bayes Theorem was the answer to everything. Slate Star Codex strikes me as more irrational and reactionary than rationalist, mistaking fear, paranoia, and lack of empathy for "cold, hard logic." I'd be concerned for anyone that took anything they read there too seriously, as it seems like a precursor to nasty places like theredpill subreddit.

snoodog  ·  619 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: December 7, 2016

Had a couple hours this weekend to start my hydroponic Deep Water Culture lettuce raft project. Every year when it gets cold and my garden dies back I get the itch to grow stuff indoors and this year right on schedule in time for the 28degree weather I've got the itch again. This will be the 3rd hydro iteration for me. The first one was a bubbler blueberry plant. The second was a pretty elaborate rain gutter tomato system. This one is going for middle ground 2'x2' lettuce raft under florescent lighting. Ill post pictures once I get the foam cutout and the plugs in. I ran into some issues with the air pump being way too loud and the airstones being more porous than I like (causing the bubbles to be bigger than Id like). Im looking for a better (quieter) air pump and some finer air stones, im thinking woodstones atm but if any of you guys are aquarium geeks and have suggestions im open to them. Tying to keep things simple/cheap this time, using a 1part nutrient solution form General Hydro, and going back to paper PH strips. Its always tempting to buy more gear/tools/stuff but past experience has shown me that a lot of that stuff is unnecessary and just adds cost.

user-inactivated  ·  648 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It's election day America!

Hubski will be here tomorrow. So will the television. Turn off the electronics and just spend time with her tonight

flagamuffin  ·  679 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A lil shindig in Hampden, Baltimore

5. myself

thenewgreen

thenewgreen  ·  809 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 3 Questions with @mike

mike, this was a fantastic one. Thank you! I couldn't help but lock in to the overarching message of "doing" and "creating." I took your advice and I wrote an original piece of music titled, "Mike" for your #meethubski. I hope you are cool with that.

Thanks for all you've done around here by just participating and encouraging people, including me. Cheers!

Devac  ·  827 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Dear hubski, what do you look back on as your proudest moment in life?

I was given an opportunity to start high school at thirteen, pretty uncommon in my country. Despite what my family was telling me, that I should stay where I am, I went with it. It took me almost two weeks to get all the pros and cons straight, but it was my most adult decision pretty much up to this point in life.

It was hard. To be honest, it is still hard. People often assume that such a small difference in age should not affect anyone or go to the other end of the spectrum; assume that this is just a kid who does not know any better. Despite the fact that I was lacking a lot in cynical aspects of my decision back then, I would still do it the same if I was given some time travel way to do it all again.

Another aspect is the fact that I am pretty much financially independent and my eighteenth birthday is about two months from now. I get my scholarship, my parents still send me some money but I have never gone above my own 'earnings'. It's a bit of a buffer, but I would consider it as my failing if I were to ever use their resources. That makes my expenses very tight, but I don't mind it. I'm on my own due to two or three decisions that resulted from the first one. It's "unfair" in the way that I can count on them backing me up (and considering my expenses vs what they send me, I could probably live for next three semesters just on that), but even in such case; Some of the students I'm attending classes with call me kid despite having their parents cash in their wallets and eating food that they did not make themselves. It's hard, but I do consider my current state as both lucky and one that I can call a point of pride.

I hope that you will get kick-ass foster family soon :D. Keep your chin up and think of Hubski as… Delad glädje är dubbel glädje och delad sorg är halv sorg ;).

rob05c  ·  840 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Religion broad topic, what are your experiences?

I had a similar experience. I was raised in a Conservative/Fundamentalist Christian environment. Sometime shortly after undergrad, I realised I didn't believe those things anymore, and how many were logically indefensible. I now identify as a Progressive Christian, sometimes leaning toward Deism.

I believe in God, as a fact, from philosophical arguments. Primarily First Cause and the Ontological Argument (maths minor here). Logically demonstrating Jesus is God is a bit harder, but, I think he was about as good as any man who lived, and the absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, so, eh. Theologically, I'm at a point where I'm not sure it matters. One of my favorite quotes is a paraphrase of Marcus Aurelius,

    Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

I have a lot of friends who outright rejected Theism when confronted with the indefensible. Which I understand, but don't agree with. I think that rejection is often a continuation of the black-and-white philosophy of Fundamentalism and Conservatism. When faced with incontrovertible facts against black, it's easy to flip to white, rather than recognising it's not "black" which is wrong, so much as the dualistic worldview itself.

    do you still believe that there is someone who will greet us after your death?

Again, I lean toward Deism. I'd like to believe in an afterlife, but I don't think it would be the horror many people think if there isn't. Time doesn't cease to exist after it happens, if that makes any sense. As Mark Twain said, "I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it."

    Do you still talk to God and ask for his help even though the belief is fading away?

Yes. Though I wouldn't say my belief is fading away. I'd rather say I deconstructed my faith and rejected the indefensible, and am now rebuilding it.

I'd add, I think a great many people, especially Fundamentalists, mistake God for themselves. That is, "God" is whatever they want and whatever supports them. That may mean rationalising their selfishness, or it may mean condemning vices they dislike in themselves. But regardless, it's self-worship, and bad. It's something I actively think about and try to avoid in myself. And also, just because many people worship themselves and call it God, doesn't mean a real, impartial, omnipotent God doesn't exist.

I'd also add, that I think "good" and "evil" are immature misconceptions. People aren't "evil", they're broken. The conservative theology of eternal damnation is childish. The philosophy of punishment because people "deserve it" is childish. People need helped, and fixed, not "punished" because they're "bad". Children think "bad actions are punished"; adults realise "bad actions are given negative reinforcement to teach good behavior". The purpose of all pain is learning, not some warped concept of justice. Suffering is bad. It takes a sick or childish mind to think otherwise.

You might be interested in Fowler's theory of Stages of Faith.

Marcus Aurelius' Meditations is also a fantastic read, but especially for anyone caught between fanaticism and atheism. It doesn't have answers, so much as advice for living well, and honest, rational thought.