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How not to be a jerk on social media

by Crowhill on 30 October 2015

I’m trying to compile a list of annoying things people do on social media — i.e., blogs, discussion boards, Facebook, twitter, etc. Your insights would be greatly appreciated. The point here is not to create a “never do this” list, but a “you’re probably annoying a lot of people when you do this” list.

  • Giving too much personal information (including lovey dovey stuff that you want to make public for some unknown reason)
  • Too much self-promotion (Promote others instead)
  • Taking things personally
  • Interpreting what others say in the worst possible light
  • Expecting people to provide academic-level documentation for everything they say
  • Repeating ridiculous things (check Snopes first!)
  • Political (or otherwise dogmatic) rants
  • Angry rants
  • Foul language
  • The cryptic status (“why are people so mean?” with no explanation)
  • Invites to play games
  • Posting too many updates

4 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-30  ::  Crowhill

Prostitutes and addicts are rich in faith and heirs to the kingdom?

by Crowhill on 29 October 2015

Cf. James 2:5.

This is a very interesting article. The people who challenged my atheism most were drug addicts and prostitutes

I saw some of myself in [Richard Dawkins]: quick with arguments, uneasy with emotions, comfortable with logic, able to look at any ideology or any thought process and expose the inconsistencies. …

If anyone seemed the perfect candidate for atheism it was the addicts who see daily how unfair, unjust, and evil the world can be. …

None of them are. Rather they are some of the strongest believers I have met, steeped in a combination of Bible, superstition, and folklore. …

They have their faith because what they believe in doesn’t judge them. Who am I to tell them that what they believe is irrational? Who am I to tell them the one thing that gives them hope and allows them to find some beauty in an awful world is inconsistent? I cannot tell them that there is nothing beyond this physical life. It would be cruel and pointless. …

Soon I saw my atheism for what it is: an intellectual belief most accessible to those who have done well. …

I also see Richard Dawkins differently. I see him as a grown up version of that 16-year-old kid, proud of being smart, unable to understand why anyone would believe or think differently from himself. I see a person so removed from humanity and so removed from the ambiguity of life that he finds himself judging those who think differently.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-29  ::  Crowhill


by Crowhill on 29 October 2015


1 comment  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-29  ::  Crowhill

No debate this time

by Crowhill on 28 October 2015

Sorry, folks, I didn’t watch. I played poker with friends.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-28  ::  Crowhill

Speaker Ryan?

by Crowhill on 28 October 2015

I don’t have anything against Rep. Ryan, but I hope it doesn’t work and they’re stuck in limbo land a little longer.

At this point, anything that makes Congress even more dysfunctional is probably good for the country. It doesn’t need a paint job. It needs a full body off restoration.

1 comment  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-28  ::  Crowhill

Your government-approved lunch

by Crowhill on 27 October 2015

In 1984, the government nanny watches Winston Smith every morning to make sure he does his exercises. Well … when you put the government in charge of health care, there will be pressure in that direction.

It’s one thing for your health or life insurance company to charge you more if you choose to smoke or hang glide or ride a motorcycle. When it comes right down to it, they don’t care if you smoke and die of cancer. They just want to assign the risks and costs appropriately so they make money.

The government, on the other hand, wants to “help” people. To shepherd them. And they can exert enormous power to do so.

Consider this. What would happen if child protective services found out that you were letting your 10-year old smoke? You might end up in a world of trouble, because we’ve all been conditioned to think that smoking is a terrible, awful thing. (It is bad for you. Don’t do it.)

Is the same going to happen now if you feed your child bacon, or a hot dog? See Bacon, hot dogs and processed meats cause cancer, WHO says.

Seriously. According to some news stories (which probably got it wrong) WHO is saying that bacon is just as bad as smoking.

I’m not going to be like the idiots I heard on the radio this morning and fault the study simply because I like bacon. Maybe processed meats really are that bad for you, and maybe I’ll cut back. Or maybe, like so many other health and diet studies, we’ll find out in a year that the exact opposite is the case.

In any event, I can listen to the advice and make my own decisions.

But … can I? Really? These kinds of things are no longer a matter of prudence for individual citizens to decide, but are becoming matters of public policy and, potentially, matters of enforcement.

There is an appropriate level of government interference in our decisions. IMO, laws requiring seat belts and against selling raw milk are both good ideas, for example.

When the government becomes both the health care provider and the default insurance company, that adds another level of nannying to it, and it makes me uncomfortable.

6 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-27  ::  Crowhill

Managing the superstitious impulse

by Crowhill on 26 October 2015

When God Goes Away, Superstition Takes His Place. (HT Instapundit.)

There’s an old saying that when people cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything.

That’s certainly not always true of individuals, but it may to be true of cultures. I’ve heard it was very true in the Soviet Union.

Some people blame this on the human tendency to find patterns and assign meaning to things.

I have often thought that “religion” (broadly speaking) is an inevitable human trait, and that it’s better for a culture to manage it — that is, to promote a sane, responsible religion that encourages good behavior — than to let it grow on its own.

Within bounds, of course. I don’t believe that non-believers should be forced to attend church services, or that minority religions should be persecuted. But it does make sense to me that there is a civic good in promoting religion.

 ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-26  ::  Crowhill

Hot vs. beautiful

by Crowhill on 26 October 2015

Some news story about a politician saying an actress was “hot” got my attention, because I’ve never liked that term and I avoid using it that way. ISTM that “hot” implies lust, while “beautiful” is simply saying something about the person.

I can’t imagine that my wife would be offended or concerned or threatened if I were to say that Grace Kelly is beautiful. She is. There’s not much to argue about that.

But if I say she’s hot, that tends to imply something else.

Agree or disagree?

5 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-26  ::  Crowhill

The worst thing about Benghazi

by Crowhill on 23 October 2015

The thing that upsets me the most about the Benghazi hearing is that what we all now know to be true beyond any reasonable doubt — that Clinton lied, that Rice lied, that the entire Obama administration lied, that they defamed Romney for telling the truth, that they made up a silly story about a video to support the Obama campaign narrative that Al Queda was on the run, that they were willing to attack American free speech in order to sympathize with terrorists, etc. — will all be met with a big yawn.

IOW, what upsets me is that we are not willing to hold our public officials to even the most basic levels of decency.

8 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-23  ::  Crowhill

Questions about “free” college tuition

by Crowhill on 22 October 2015

Bernie Sanders says that America decided, many years ago, that education should be publicly financed up to 12th grade, but that nowadays that’s not enough. We need everybody to be educated a little more, so we should pay for school through college.

There are a lot of assumptions in that, but for the sake of argument let’s take it as true. There are still a lot of details to be resolved, it seems to me.

  1. What about somebody who wants to be a tradesman, for whom a college degree is irrelevant? Should we also finance trade schools? Why or why not?
  2. If we remove the cost / benefit analysis in getting a college degree (e.g., is this degree worth what I paid for it?), will we see an increase in useless degrees? (There is evidence that happened in Scotland.)
  3. Do the smart kids and the dumb kids all get equal access to the same schools? That doesn’t reward the kids who worked hard in high school, and would tend to dumb down the quality of education for the smart kids.
  4. What about living expenses? Some kids live in commuting distance from a public college, but many do not. Will the public end up funding room and board?
  5. Will the government also pay for books, lab materials, etc? If so, won’t this create a huge opportunity for graft?
  6. Will this impose even more of a secular agenda on the country, since the public colleges will certainly have to be religion-free zones?
  7. If our current publicly funded education isn’t good enough, will adding four more years to it make it better?
  8. Will a “free” college education be offered to illegals?
  9. Colleges are well-known as bastions of liberalism. Isn’t “publicly funded college” just another way of saying “publicly funded liberal indoctrination”?

3 comments  ::  Add your comment  ::  2015-10-22  ::  Crowhill

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+ 1 comment