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If you care about X, you have to care my way

by Crowhill on 27 May 2016

Saw this today. Classic illogic.

If all lives matter, then why don’t we have universal health care?

Hmm. Maybe there are competing values and goals to be considered. Or maybe there are other ways to affirm the value of life than to create yet another bloated federal program.

1 comment  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-27  ::  Crowhill

The left who cried bigot

by Crowhill on 27 May 2016

(The awkward title to this post is an attempted play on “the boy who cried wolf,” in case you didn’t catch that.)

I’ve mentioned Milo Yiannopoulos before. He’s a flamboyant conservative homosexual provocateur, and either a genius or pretty close. Unlike most of us — he does not suffer from staircase wit. He seems to always have the ready reply on the tip of his tongue.

It’s worth your time to watch a few of his videos or listen to his podcast. If you can stomach his flamboyance.

I love this tweet from Milo. He’s replying to an attempted rebuke from Jonah Goldberg. (I’m not taking sides in the dispute, BTW.)

It’s only the people who have demonstrated a knack for reading the rhetorical styles and fashions of the day that can deploy the “nobody cares” line successfully. Nobody would care if I said “nobody cares,” because I’m the most un-hip person you’re likely to meet. I intentionally avoid the trendy new words and phrases. They annoy me.

Milo can say that kind of stuff because he’s gay, and gay guys know. Or … at least they have that reputation, right?

But he takes it further. It’s not just that “nobody cares” about Jonah’s harangue, because everybody’s “so over that,” but Milo commits Jonah to that sad “conservative also ran” category.

You know what I mean. The hip people create “We are the World,” and then the conservatives come up with a lame “we can do that too” thing. It’s like watching some old guys at a conservative church trying to do rap. It’s just pitiful and embarrassing.

1 comment  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-27  ::  Crowhill

Emo, goth, hipster, punk

by Crowhill on 27 May 2016

This morning on the metro I heard a couple teenagers discussing whether a person they both knew was emo or not, which got me thinking.

Is it just my imagination, or are there a whole lot more sub-cultures today than there were in the 70s (or 80s for you young kids)? I’ve heard my children debate what “hipster” really means. And then there’s metrosexual, and (believe it or not) lumbersexual, and all kinds of other little groups.

I don’t recall such conversations when I was a lad.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-27  ::  Crowhill

“marinated in relentless gender-equivalence propaganda since kindergarden”

by Crowhill on 26 May 2016

From a comment on this article.

And while the level of insanity has climbed exponentially in the past decade, virtually everyone under-30 (my generation) has been marinated in relentless gender-equivalence propaganda since kindergarden.

Sometimes I wonder how the world has gone crazy. Then I’m reminded that the majority of kids go to government schools, watch TV, watch movies, listen to music ….

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-26  ::  Crowhill

The internet increases tribal thinking

by Crowhill on 25 May 2016

This is worth your time.

How Facebook Warps Our Worlds

The proliferation of cable television networks and growth of the Internet promised to expand our worlds, not shrink them. Instead they’ve enhanced the speed and thoroughness with which we retreat into enclaves of the like-minded.

And it’s not just that our feeds are individually tailored to our peculiar likes and dislikes. There’s also the social pressure.

Facebook allows people to react to each other so quickly that they are really afraid to step out of line.

We’re not assimilating into a common culture. We’re breaking up into thousands of micro cultures.

7 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-25  ::  Crowhill

Proxy data vs. measurements: one way the climate alarmists consistently get things wrong

by Crowhill on 24 May 2016

We can measure the modern climate with extraordinary accuracy because of satellites. In previous decades, we could record some things with decent accuracy with thermometers, but coverage could be somewhat sparse. In historical times, we had “measurements” of another kind, where people would record what they saw, with varying degrees of accuracy and reliability.

Before all that — that is, for the vast majority of the history of humanity, and obviously for the history of the earth — all we have is proxy data.

Proxy data is stuff like tree rings, seasonal sedimentary layers in lakes, estimates of where shorelines were, etc. It’s interesting and valuable stuff, but confusing modern measurements with trends based on proxy data is ignorance on steroids. Which means it’s what you regularly hear from the climate crisis crowd.

For example, comparing the rate of warming that we can measure with satellites to the rate of warming we can measure with proxy data is simple ignorance, and as you read alarmist claims you should keep that in mind. When someone says the climate is warming at a different rate than it ever has in the past, that person simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Even using the less precise proxy data, there is evidence of rapid climate change in the past. It’s not as reliable as what we can see nowadays with satellites, but it should teach climate scientists not to make exaggerated claims.

For example, from this article

From the two records, they built a timeline of so-called interstadials — periods when climate suddenly warmed by as much as 16°C, sometimes over decades, and then cooled down again just as quickly.

I’ve read quotes like that repeatedly, from several different sources dealing with differents times in Earth history. But you have to read stuff that’s not directly about climate change to see these kinds of statements. Scientists are so afraid of the mean girls that they have to toe the line when they talk about “climate change.” But when they’re talking about the Neanderthals, or ice ages, or the history of Europe, or some other subject, you can see more honest statements about the climate of the past.

So even with the proxy data we can know that it’s wrong to say that the rate of warming today is unprecedented. But if we didn’t have these studies showing rapid periods of change in the past, we should still be extremely cautious about comparing precise satellite readings with imprecise proxy data.

Climate change alarmism would be amusing if it wasn’t such a threat. We’ve spent, and we’re likely to spend, tons of money on the ravings of people who don’t know what they’re talking about, and regularly demonstrate it with their crazy pronouncements.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-24  ::  Crowhill

Has “hate” jumped the shark?

by Crowhill on 23 May 2016

You know the drill. If you don’t like Hillary’s policies, the only possible reason is that you hate women. And if you don’t like Obama’s policies, you hate blacks.

I would never deny that there are irrational people who hate various folk. But … how about the hatred directed at Trump? Or at that guy who shot the lion? Or at the owners of the pizza place who said they wouldn’t want to cater a same-sex wedding?

The left seems full of plenty of its own hatred, but it’s always ready to run to hate as the only explanation for people who disagree with them.

As I’ve said before, I think this comes back to the problem that the left has with undersatnding any view other than their own.

Jonathan Haidt has shown (allegedly, of course — it is social science after all) that conservatives are better able to answer questions as liberals than liberals are able to answer questions as conservatives. (Source.) There seems to be a gap in the liberals’ ability to put themselves in a conservatives’ shoes, and — at least it seems to me — since they can’t understand why conservatives think the way they do, they just attribute it all to hate.

It seems that some people have a thing for hatred. They’re obsessed with it. A day doesn’t feel right unless they can accuse somebody of hate.

The rest of us are tired of it, and we’re immune to it. You’ve cried wolf too many times, and now we just laugh.

2 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-23  ::  Crowhill

Nobody believes in equality between the sexes

by Crowhill on 21 May 2016

Yesterday I was high up on a ladder to fix a problem with my siding when lots of stories went through my head about all the ways men get hurt climbing on ladders. Usually those stories are told as jokes. Ha ha, those stupid men.

Then I got on Facebook and saw this in a meme.

A man got paid on Friday and decided he wanted to go fishing and camping. He didn’t tell his wife. He was gone all weekend and showed up at the house on Monday. She was angry as a hornet and asked, “What if I just disappeared for a few days and didn’t tell you where I was?” He replied, “That would be fine.” Then, sure enough, he didn’t see her the rest of that day, or Tuesday, or Wednesday. By Thursday the swelling went down enough that he could see again.

Ha ha.

Then just today I was walking behind four 20-something women. One of them was complaining about her boyfriend’s behavior on a recent date, and she said that when she got back in the car with him she punched him in the face. The other three women voiced their hearty approval. Then she said, “Then he slammed my head into the wall,” and they all reacted with predictable indignation. How dare he?

(Don’t ask me how there was a wall inside the car.)

The common thread is that it’s funny when men get hurt, but it’s tragic when women get hurt. If a woman hits a man, that’s empowering, and funny, and he probably deserved it. “You go girl,” and all that. But when a man hits a woman, he’s a jerk and everyone condemns him.

Since I don’t believe in equality between the sexes, this all makes sense to me. But it’s a huge blind spot for the people who pretend they do believe in equality between the sexes.

If you posted a meme on Facebook that told a story of a man hitting a woman so hard that she couldn’t see for three days, you’d not only evoke a storm of criticism, you might get your account closed down. But if a woman hits a man, that’s funny.

18 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-21  ::  Crowhill

Elites: nobody believes you any more

by Crowhill on 20 May 2016

I just read a hyperventilating bit of nonsense in The Washington Post about how Trump will bring fascism to America.

This kind of absurd rhetoric is a big part of why nobody cares about the media / political establishment. This is why they lost their influence.

They presume to lecture us from the seat of Moses, but they don’t have a clue.

Remember when we were told how offensive the Washington Redskins’ name was? And now … oh, never mind. It turns out Native Americans don’t care. (The only people who ever really cared were people who were instructed to be offended, the people who want to be offended on somebody else’s behalf, or the wannabe 60s activists who are desperately grasping about for “the civil rights issue of our day.”)

We’re sick of the bias. We’re sick of how out of touch the media / political elite are with real people and real concerns. And most of all we’re sick of being lied to.

I don’t like Trump, but comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini is simple nonsense.

But what really bugs me about this craziness is how badly it misunderstands the things that do keep America free of fascism. Specifically, limited, delegated powers that are dispersed among disparate, competing groups. Even if Trump were a wannabe fascist dictator, he wouldn’t be a threat if we stuck to those principles. But the media / political elite have watched those bedrock American principles erode and fade away with hardly a whimper.

Just today I read about how a federal judge is requiring DOJ lawyers to take remedial ethics classes after discovering that they had misled the court over Obama’s amnesty program. This is the same Justice Department that is trying to bully North Carolina over its bathroom policies. It’s the same justice department where Eric Holder abused his power to enforce Obama’s agenda.

That is how fascism comes to America.

8 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-20  ::  Crowhill

Do we really want “smart houses”?

by Crowhill on 19 May 2016

“Computer, play a random selection of acoustic Jethro Tull”

I used to wish that I could come home and say things like that, and the music would start to play, and follow me around the house as I walked from room to room.

Or, even better, I could say “Make me a bourbon and soda” and it would appear in front of the liquor cabinet.

We’re very close to that first one. A friend has an Amazon Echo, and I tried that exact phrase on it. (Except I had to call it some other name than “computer.”) I could probably wire my house to recognize what room I’m in, and activate speakers accordingly. And as you may have heard, Google has a new product to compete with Echo. So pretty soon every house will be equipped with a device that listens and talks to you.

But … do I really want this? Do I want “the cloud” recording my every word?

This week we learned … no, we didn’t learn it. We suspected it already and it seems to be confirmed … that Facebook filters what we see. They don’t want us to believe certain things, so they actively suppress those ideas.

Whether or not Facebook is really doing this right now is irrelevant. Facebook 2.0 will. Or the Next Big Thing will. However the tech struggle turns out, people in power will abuse that power. There is simply no question about that. And the more power they have, the more subtly they can abuse it and drag us around by the nose.

So, after Echo has been listening to your dinner conversation for a couple months, it might decide that it needs to adjust your view on certain things and start filtering your search results, or what TV shows you can watch.

Conservatives (rightly) warn about government power, but there are other powers that can be just as dangerous, and we’re inviting them into our homes, and even our pockets.

Technology is a wonderful thing, but it can and will be abused. Last night Dave and I watched a show where somebody hacked a car’s computer and made the airbag deploy. The guy crashed and died. There was an article recently about how medical equipment can be hacked. How long before a Russian hacker can murder a politician in the hospital by adjusting his meds?

I’m not a Luddite, but it’s very tempting to just opt out of all this nonsense.

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2016-05-19  ::  Crowhill

2016-05-16 :: Crowhill // General
What if we reclaimed desert?
2016-05-16 :: Crowhill // General
NYT shoots self in foot?