John’s XCMVIXXXXVCIIVth Letter To Ecologians

John Kerry says faith and environment are inextricably linked -

Because, you know, the Bible states again and again that global warming is, like, Bad, man. The Beast of Revelation is made of CO2 held together by sugar-laden trans-fats. Look it up.

Always watch these gasbags when they pontificate publicly…. note the gestures and hand motions, the pauses, and the excess of words with four or more syllables. Also throwing words like “profoundly” into grammatically dangerous places to fend for themselves.

There are patterns to these speeches designed to numb the rubes at home watching on television – repeating key words like “duty,” “sustainable,”  and “responsibility” to make viewers feel guilty (“Check your climate privilege!”), and using fifteen dollar words that the speaker is sure the rubes don’t understand but sounds really book-smart, to name a couple examples. The gestures recall the Sage  Old Professor of bygone days. All profoundly, inextricably linked to bamboozle the ig’nant Joe Sixpacks.

Speakers like that have the package down pretty well but nothing inside the box, like throwing fancy dressing and expensive croutons on an empty salad plate.

 

When will L.H. Puttgrass finally be given his own cable show? The citizens demand it

(Click to embiggen)   When will L.H. Puttgrass finally be given his own cable show? The citizens demand it

 

2 Down

I got a notice from WordPress saying “Happy Anniversary.” It’s been two years now since Night Sky Radio started. It’s gone fast. Never would have thought it would impact my life so much. The biggest change was meeting and marrying my wife, of course (hi SSM, we miss ya!), but there have been others.

I’ve had fun through this site too… I’ve learned things, talked to people I never would have met otherwise, and even kicked Wdydfae screaming into helped Wdydfae in starting his own awesome music-oriented site. But the best was when Donal Graeme and I went to hang out with Free Northerner (he had to post bail, we didn’t have any Canadian money or know the language). Great times.

Lost In The Weeds

Examining game theory (no, not that type of Game) and K-strategy vs r-strategy by using black market marijuana agriculture as an example – Equilibrium in Local Marijuana Games by Bart Kosko, from the Journal of Social and Biological Structures, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 51-66, 1991

Yeah, it’s a pdf, and yeah it has math.

I first discovered Kosko 15 years ago when I found his book Fuzzy Thinking, which delves into fuzzy logic. It’s a bit off-putting in places though… as one review on Amazon puts it -

…until Kosko gets down to chapter and verse on what FL is and how it works, reader will be put off by the constant put-down of Western logic and philosophy and opposing schools of computer science. But when Kosko is good, he’s very, very good. One comes away from his text with a real understanding of the concepts of fuzzy sets, rules, and systems, and of how they’re applied to make “smart” machines, devices, trains, and planes.

And pretty soon automobiles, at least if Google has its way. No word on whether the computer systems in the cars will have the voices of John Candy or Steve Martin, though.

I can’t say I agree with all of Kosko’s assertions, but it is well worth reading.

A couple years later, I read Heaven in a Chip: Fuzzy Visions of Society and Science in the Digital Age, which raises questions like “Would you still be you if a chip replaced your brain?” and “Who owns the ocean or the moon — or your genome blueprint?” The sort of things I often ponder over breakfast.

If you like science fiction (and probably especially if you like cyberpunk), these are good examples of some fiction becoming fact during our lifetimes.

Fuzzy Cognitive Map of the American Drug Market by Rod Taber. From Wikipedia

Fuzzy Cognitive Map of the American Drug Market by Rod Taber. From Wikipedia

Get Yourself High

Contrary to a lot of people around these parts, I have no problem with respecting women equally to men. It’s just that she requires equal accomplishments.  Feminists can easily hit those heights of respect and admiration by doing the same work men do.

More seriously, I don’t respect everyone equally from the outset (who does?). I’ll give basic civility, but the amount of respect – to man or woman – depends on the person’s actions and behavior.

Captain! What You Say?

Well I’m aware that the guy must do his work
But the piledriver man drove me berserk.

- Captain Sensible, Wot?

So Captain Capitalism writes about this piece on the Huffington Post -

Minnesota raised its minimum wage by 75 cents to $8 last week — the first increase in the state since 2009.

An owner of the café claimed the 35-cent fee was a way of “thumbing my nose at the law change,” according to CBS-affiliate WCCO.

“Shame on your protest over over a small increase in pay required by law,” wrote Facebook user Terry Edgar in a one-star review. “Hopefully customers will not continue to patronize your cheapskate establishment.”

By Wednesday evening, the café’s most recent Facebook post, a photo of huevos rancheros slathered in cilantro salsa, had 94 comments, most of them berating the restaurant’s owners for refusing to pay its employees a living wage.

I’m just going to quote Cappy summing it up in his own inimitable way…

Now you,
me,
and anybody with half a f*cking brain knows that this is merely a play on words

That no matter how they break down the bill ALL OF THE EXPENSES HAVE TO BE PAID BY THE CUSTOMER!

It’s always been that way.
It will always be that way.
And if it stops being that way, then the company goes bankrupt because it’s NO LONGER PROFITABLE.

And that’s what so many people just don’t get. Go read the “galactical stupidity” (as CC aptly put it) of the comments. The vast amount of ignorance on display is breathtaking. Not just ignorance, but willful, smug ignorance. They don’t get it, and they don’t want to get it.

You can’t talk to a leftist Progressive Democrat like you would to anyone else. No matter what you say, they can’t or won’t to understand it.

What you say: “Hey, if the minimum wage is raised, then businesses have to pay more in costs, and then have to charge customers more money to cover those costs.”

What they hear: “Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.”

They’re invulnerable to matching up cause and effect. Consider this comment from the above-linked CBS article -

“You’re essentially blaming customers for the increase when you charge for it the way you do,” one customer wrote on Facebook.

How did the minimum wage increase come about? People voted for politicians who would enact it. Which people voted this way? The same people that eat in restaurants affected by the wage hike. They vote for the piledriver man to work on the street, then complain about the noise.

They are on the way to destruction. And taking us with them.

The Wages Of Dumb

I’ve decided not to surf the internet anymore and just steal from let Vodkapundit bring me my news. It’s the best source for stories about pantless intoxicated female schoolteachers. On her first day of work, no less.

Also of note is his his semi-regular commentary on the latest babytalk by juicevoxer Matt Yglesias. And by “commentary” I mean “smart-ass comment on how ridiculous Yggy’s article is.” Such as Yggy’s” case for a maximum wage.” He uses professional basketball as an example of how such a cap works, noting that the NBA has a salary cap and because of that, players are less motivated to sign with a team for money than for things like “teammate and title chances.” But here’s the kicker -

The most important lesson, however, is what the maximum salary doesn’t do — lead the stars to Go Galt and take their talents to the retirement community.

For starters, the top stars get paid a lot of money! But more than that, it turns out that to be successful at high-level professional basketball requires a certain level of passion for the sport and competitive instinct. Players want to win games and outshine their rivals on the biggest stages. Stars not only play for sub-market wages professionally, but they often play for free for their national team in the Olympics. Top performers like money, but they also take pride in a job well done.

This is followed by a recap of tax rates from World War II on, and the results of changes implemented during Reagan’s administration. Although there’s a comparison of the pre-Reagan and post-Reagan economies (yet nothing about the actual Reagan years), no mention is made of a cutoff point in the post-Ronnie years. Do we stop counting at 2000? Or do we include the dot-com bubble bursting and the endless post-2008 recession?

But don’t think about concrete numbers. What matters here is the feelings involved -

A related issue is raised by Facundo Alvaredo, Anthony Atikinson, Thomas Piketty, and Emmanuel Saez who find that lower tax rates have shifted incentives for executives at big companies such that effort is now “diverted to increasing their remuneration at the expense of enterprise growth and employment.” In other words, in a high-tax regime executives compete to run the biggest, best company for pride and glory whereas in a low-tax regime they compete to take home the biggest paycheck.

Because execs want to play for free every four years in the Executive Olympics. And have more pride and glory to distribute among their workforce.

I also get a kick out of caption beneath the last photo – “happy German factory worker.” Potemkin on the Rhine.

I could go into more problems with this piece, but it’s all ultimately irrelevant. Regardless of arguments for or against such a super-tax, it really comes down to two points -

Point one is that given the problems that come with a minimum wage, is a maximum wage really a good idea?

The second point comes down to property rights. If the NBA owners freely agree to cap their salaries, that’s their business. Imposing a tax by legislation is a different story. This was best summed up in the 80s by the legendary sage Bobby Brown -

I made this money, you didn’t
Right, Ted?
We outta here

In The Village

Number Six: Has it ever occurred to you that you are just as much a prisoner as I am?
Number Two: …It doesn’t matter which “side” runs the Village….
Number Six: The whole Earth as the Village?
Number Two: That is my hope. What’s yours?
Number Six: I’d like to be the first man on the moon.

It must be “Politics & Superheroes” Week on the internet or something…

 

Edison vs the Village

“The Village is mediocrity. The Village is failure.”

 

 

She’s Been Living In Her BitCoin World

Like her transactions, I’m anonymous.
Look at her reading the Economist’s
Analysis

H/T Cafe Hayek, who gets all the cool digital-currency music videos.

Der Kommissar’s Online

Zwei drei vier, it’s easy to see
But it’s not that I don’t care so
‘Cause I hear it all the time
But they never let you know
On the T.V. and the radio

- Falco, “Der Kommissar

A couple of Thought Police wannabes want to silence Dalrock – Atheist Adam Lee’s smear campaign to silence my discussion of Christian sexual morality.

Adam Lee AKA the Daylight Atheist has asked his twitter followers to falsely report my blog to wordpress for abuse.  I’m writing this post to help anyone from wordpress understand the nature of the smear campaign against me, and to also ensure that I have the opportunity to defend myself against this smear campaign while I still have a platform to do so.

Adam Lee is a blogger on Patheos who focuses on attacking Christians whom he accuses of being liars.  However, Lee isn’t above lying himself when he gets the opportunity to silence a blogger like myself who dares to write about Christian sexual morality:

smear

First, this isn’t an MRA blog.  I am not an MRA, I am a Christian and I write almost exclusively about a topic I have great passion for;  marriage.  However, MRAs do read my blog and are part of the conversation.

More importantly, the blog post which caused Adam Lee to organize a campaign to have me silenced wasn’t abuse, it was a discussion of sexual morality.  In my post One at a time, please I pointed out that since we have abandoned biblical sexual morality we have ended up with the incredibly low standard of serial monogamy, which when you boil it down simply means “one at a time”.  In that post I pointed to a columnist on the gossip site The Frisky who wrote about having sex with multiple men after telling her husband she wanted a divorce but before the divorce was official.  To be clear, this is a woman gossiping about her sex life on a gossip site she writes for.  This wasn’t me exposing anything in her personal life that she hadn’t decided to share with everyone who will listen.  In the same post, I linked to the woman’s personal blog where she has a dedicated section of self portraits, as well as to her public Flickr page.  These links were in context with the point of my post which was that even a free spirit like the woman at the Frisky felt compelled to demonstrate that she was complying with our new (but meaningless) definition of sexual morality.

The gossip columnist was incensed, and reached out over Twitter to fellow atheist Adam Lee asking him to organize a campaign of atheists to (falsely) report this blog to wordpress for abuse…

Read the rest here.

Lee claims to be a libertarian, but apparently doesn’t understand the libertarian concept of free speech, including speech that one finds offensive. But then, Lee is also unclear on the Hobby Lobby case, not understanding that the decision was an affirmation of individual rights, e.g. “you can’t be forced to spend your money on other people.” Hardcore free-market libertarian and atheist Don Boudreaux grokked it just fine here, so I’m not sure what part of it Lee has trouble with. But given Lee’s reasoning on the HL case, one can see how he doesn’t really get free speech either.

Lee’s censorious – and anti-libertarian – nature is exemplified by this tweet -

Social Sanction

Gotta shut them h8ful Xians up.

Social sanction. Hah! I’m highly amused by this. Having spent most of my life on the outside, socially speaking, I don’t see what’s so horrible about buzzword-spewing HerdThinkers not wanting to talk to me. I kinda prefer it.

Lee’s “About” page states “Daylight Atheism was created to push back against undeserved privileging of religion and to encourage atheists to step out of their closets, into the daylight, and take our rightful place at the table of society’s discourse.” Fair enough. But keeping true to left-“libertarian”ism’s zero-sum mentality, this place at the table can only come at the expense of shoving other people away.

So Thor She Can Hardly Pith

…that’s what happens when you lose Little Mjolnir.

Mjolnir

Mighty Mjolnir, the phallic sym… er, hammer of Thor

 

Marvel Comics is turning Thor into a woman. As writer Jason Aaron explains -

This is not the Thor we knew transformed into a woman. This is a new character; someone else picking up the hammer… we’ve never seen a big story about a woman picking up the hammer and if you look at the inscription on the hammer it even says, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” I’m going to flip that on its ear and for the first time see what it’s like to have a brand new version of Thor who is female; the Goddess of Thunder… You pick up this book and it just says “Thor” on the cover, which features a new female version of Thor. It’s pretty much telling you she’s not She-Thor or Lady Thor. She’s not Thorika. She is Thor. This is the new Thor.

New Thor. New Coke.  It’ll last a while then it will be back to the status quo after the PR buzz wears off.

I’m minimally familiar with Aaron’s work, but I suspect perhaps he feels more comfortable writing female characters. I base this on the one piece of Aaron’s writing that I’ve read, a screed against big-time writer Alan Moore, most famous for the comic series Watchmen in the mid-80s.

When Moore blasted DC Comics for their “Before Watchmen” comics, he stated “When Dave Gibbons phoned me up, he assured me that these prequels and sequels would be handled by ‘the industry’s top-flight talents’.  Now, I don’t think that the contemporary industry actually has a ‘top-flight’ of talent.  I don’t think it’s even got a middle-flight or a bottom-flight of talent.” Moore was criticizing the endless rehashing of old material into “new” derivative work that didn’t actually bring much of anything new to the table.

Aaron, who had bought everything Alan Moore wrote, as well as “read his novel and listened to his weird CDs” and “envied his beard,” took it quite personally, saying he must have “let the old man down”and that Moore thanked Aaron’s devotion by ” throwing me under the bus,” sounding like a jilted crush even though Moore never mentioned Aaron by name and likely had never heard of him.

Aaron concludes by calling Moore a bitter old man – despite how amazing his beard is – and lobs a final parting shot.

So goodnight Alan Moore, wherever you are. I’d wish you happiness in the New Year, but you probably wouldn’t know what to do with it, would you? Just stay bitter. And those of us in today’s comic industry will stay shitty. And hopefully the two of us will never meet again.

If Aaron hadn’t signed the piece (and ended the closing mini-bio with “His beard is bigger than yours”), this could totally pass for some fangirl blog.

So I can totally understand how Aaron would feel more at home writing “strong, empowered” female characters. I guess it’s supposed to be a step forward for Gender Identity or something by rehashing stories about a male character onto a derivative female one that doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It reminds me of how the Rick James song “Superfreak” was sampled and looped, the new “song” containing some mediocre lyrics pasted over a repetitive snippet of the original. Hammer Time, indeed.

Somewhat amusing is the concept that Thor’s power resides in his hammer. A woman having to hold her big strong hammer and channeling the power in it strikes me as not quite breaking down those gender barriers. Or maybe it is, in an androgynous sort of way.

I’m not sure what gender warriors will make of the fact that the new female Thor is still dependent on Sugar Daddy Odin the All-Father for her power. Serve that Patriarchy.

Now, I will say that this could be a good storyline. The concept of another person picking up Thor’s hammer isn’t new, and has potential… how would a newcomer deal with the highs and lows of more-or-less being transformed into a god, at least part-time? This kind of idea has been used to good effect in Green Lantern – he’s a member of an intergalactic police force, and got his name and service weapon when the previous officer of that region passed it on right before dying, and later passed it on to someone else in turn. But the entire idea behind the Thor revamp strikes me as a mix of political correctness and cheap shockstunting.

I do agree with John C. Wright that Marvel should at least give this new female Thor a skintight catsuit or chainmail bathing suit.

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