Friday, July 31, 2015

We Are All Confident Idiots


Actually, I don't like that way of putting it. We're not idiots...but damn we've got a lot of room for improvement...

Is Eating Chicken Worse Than Killing Cecil The Lion?

Well, there's an obvious case to be made that it is...

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

More Evidence That The F-35 Can't Dogfight

But not unforeseeable when you try to make one plane that does everything.
One response that holds out some hope: it takes awhile for pilots to develop tactics for new planes.

Anti-White Chic: Pop Culture Crap Edition

   Well, it's trendy to hate on white people, that's for sure... That's the point, for example, of talking about "white privilege" instead of discrimination...
   I mean, I'm not going to discuss this pop culture nonsense, I'm just gesturing at one crappy article out of thousands.
   Race is, of course, still a big problem for the U.S. I'm sympathetic to the idea that we may have become complaisant about it (or perhaps just worn out by our inability to fix the problems...). Re-energizing discussion might be good... But the current trendy crap is driven by the lefty-left, which, IMO, rarely says or accomplishes anything serious and positive. The real gains are to be made by making real policy changes...not by spewing trendy new terms.
   My conservative acquaintances used to accuse liberalism of covert anti-white racism. I always thought they were wrong...I still think they were wrong back then...but one thing the far, "social justice" left is injecting into the current cultural discussion is anti-white racism. (Another thing is anti-male sexism..trendy misandry...).'s typically harder to do real harm to whites or to males with such attitudes. I'm not up in arms about this nonsense, nor do I think it's likely to do a lot of real, long-term harm to, say, me... But just as an intellectual/moral point: I'm still an adherent to the liberal ideal of color-blindness. The contempt for "white people" is loathsome. Racism is racism. Barely-concealed contempt is contempt. And "progressives" that are going down this road are not friends of liberalism. It's all pretty gross, and it's very easily avoided. But fads sell, and I'm sure we'll see this fad milked for money and political gain until it gets gross enough that more centrist liberals (typically a fairly invertebrate lot) work up the guts to criticize it.
   Of course anti-black racism is still a much bigger problem... Who would deny that? But trendy anti-white racism is not the solution to anti-black racism and its fellow travelers.

State Permit-To-Purchase Policies Can Reduce Gun Violence

Monday, July 27, 2015

I'm Drunk

In the middle of the day
On a Monday

Just thought you should know...

The Cosby Number... now 35.
What does one even say about something like this?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

NAS: A Crisis Of Competence: The Corrupting Effects Of Political Activism In The University Of California

This is an absolute must-read.
There are some bits that can be questioned...and it's not as if this is some big surprise...but seeing it all together like this is sobering indeed.

Bernie v Black Activists At Netroots Nation

Make of this what you will...

Alyssa Rosenberg: Jonathan Chait, Radicalism and the Future of the Left

   Another extremely weak criticism of Chait contra the neo-PCs.
   Rosenberg avoids the substance of Chait's criticism, and wants to suggest that irrational, shrill contributions to the cultural conversation also have their place. That's going to take a lot more to establish that what we get there. The obvious response--never mentioned--is that shrill insistence and a refusal to reason can come in on either/any side of the discussion. The SJWs are wrong at least as often as they're right--more often, probably. Sure non-rational methods--like their beloved bullying and shaming--can be effective in coercing belief. But such methods have no tendency to favor true belief over false belief. In fact, they tend to be the methods employed by those who don't have good reasons to back up their views.
   It really is amazing how crappy the prominent responses to Chait have been.

Grilling, Feminism and Masculinity: A Parody of Contemporary Web Essays?

   Studying English and literature can be a really great thing. Currently, however, the stupid is rampant there. Here's a concentrated dose of much what's currently wrong with it. In short: it makes you stupid. Accepting a bunch of dumb theories--especially theories with implications for how we ought to think about things, which questions are worth asking, and how we should go about trying to answer them--is like running a stupidity emulator. Even if you're not innately dumb, you'll reason as if you were.
   Or maybe it's a parody.
   I can't really tell.

(h/t S. rex)

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Saletan on GMOs

I'm a Saletan fan...though I'm also one of the folks he derides for having vague, gut-level concerns about GMOs...though I'm also derisive of lefty my biases largely cancel out here...
Anyway, this is worth a read. It's really more anti-(anti-GMO-movement) than it is pro-GMO...but still, there's a lot that's interesting there.

Friday, July 24, 2015

An Ideological Turing Test

Interesting idea.
I wish somebody'd actually do an experiment on this. My prediction: liberals will be a little better at it than conservatives, but not much.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This Blog Is Not Dead; It's Just Restin'

I've been off dealing with an IRL crisis.
Things are ok now.

Recent public events have also been depressing the hell out of me, and that's a secondary factor contributing to blog silence.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Things You Never Knew We Needed: Heterosexual Flag Edition

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Are Men Harassed More Than Women Online?

   One study says so.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Hannah Rosin: The Tricks People Use To Avoid Debate

Link. Short. True. Perhaps worth a read.

Bullshitting: Bullshitting In Philosophy: Bullshitting About Race: John Caputo

   Well, here's how it starts:
“White” is of the utmost relevance to philosophy, and postmodern theory helps us to see why. I was once criticized for using the expression “true north.” It reflected my Nordo-centrism, my critic said, and my insensitivity to people who live in the Southern Hemisphere. Of course, no such thing had ever crossed my mind, but that points to the problem.
   I reckon there must be at least two kinds of people...those who might continue to waste their time reading this, and those who perform triage at this point, realizing that life is short, and move on...
   Just for the record, it simply doesn't seem to be true at all that "'white' is of the utmost relevance to philosophy"...whatthehellever that is supposed to mean... In the face of crap like this, I find it annoying to have to note that race is a pretty important topic. In fact, it's important enough that it's probably a bit difficult to exaggerate its importance. And yet folks over in that academic quadrant routinely do so. Race simply isn't the end-all and be-all of human existence. It's an important topic. But, honestly, it's not that philosophically important. It's important politically, and in terms of policy. But it's not important from every perspective or in every discipline. It's not important mathematically. I'm led to believe that it's really not all that important to biology. And it's not that important philosophically either. But many philosophers are liberals and lefter-than-liberals, and such people love to gnash their teeth and rend their garments about race and sex... So here we are. And who knows? Arguments might emerge some day that show that we philosophers ought to be doing just that. But they don't exist now.
   The Caputo interview is long. I didn't make it very far into it. Philosophy, as you may know, is a sprawling kind of discipline, and to say the very least, someone like me has very little in common with someone like Caputo...someone who, for example, thinks that the distinction between geodetic north and magnetic north is fraught with "Nordocentrism"... (In fact, it's probably worse than's probably just some whining about the use of the word 'true' in conjunction with the word 'north'...) Philosophy can be good, but bad philosophy is really, really bad. Bad philosophy is a confusion force multiplier. Sadly, this toxic soup of postmodernism etc., leftist politics, and an obsession with mere words has led many people in the humanities and social sciences down the rabbit hole. I can only urge others, in the strongest possible terms, not to follow them.