Yet another weird SF fan


I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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The Former Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse:
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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Why Iraqi Antiquities Were Looted

The real reason we Americans permitted the looting of antiquities is our short attention span. That means we are quities and, as a result, we wanted revenge against the hated antiquities.

Friday, April 25, 2003

Frustrating the Mullahs

On the one hand, Iranian agents are apparently behind the anti-American demonstrations in Iraq. On the other hand, Iran is also cracking down on dissidents. Wa can solve both problems by giving the dissidents a safe haven in Iraq. That will keep them away from the mullahs and they can explain the disadvantages of a theocracy to Iraqis better than we can.

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Reposting un-archived messages

SInce the archives for March are unavailable, I decided to repost everything from March.

The following was originally posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 1:16 AM.

Just in Case the Environmentalists Are Right for Once …

Global warming is a particularly knotty problem for several reasons. First, it is even more complex than most other scientific controversies and requires a very broad range of experts. Second, for the past few decades there has been a belief in some quarters that industrial civilization is a Crime against Nature and we must be made to pay. Third, once every blue moon or so, those people get something right (they were right about lead — which can cause brain damage and voting for Democrats). Fourth, the belief in the environmentalist faith tends to be cumulative; acceptance of dubious ideas ideas on acid rain etc. is used as a precendent for accepting other dubious theories. This means if the GW hysteria is wrong we can't let them get away with assuming it is indubitable. On the other hand, if they turn out to have some proof and are resisted anyway that could also be used as a precedent. Fifth, the extreme complexity means it is possible to gerrymander the expert advice. We might have theorists telling us the statistics prove the case and statisticians telling us the theory is solid. We can also have people summarizing things by telling us the truth, the half truth, and nothing but the truth.

I doubt if it is possible for the average citizen (or even the average on-line addict) to make an informed decision. The best we can hope for is trying to eliminate so-called “experts” who are using this as an excuse for an anti-industrial revolution. The good news is we have a method.

Nuclear energy.

If the worst-case analysis is even close to truth, that can be used to push through nuclear energy schemes. If every government has a set policy of using nuclear energy as an alternative to regulation, the environmentalist wackos will back off from their most extreme claims and maybe real experts will be able to decide. If they back off we'll know it was a bluff and if they continue anyway we'll know they're sincere.

The political problems involved in deregulating nukes are minute compared with the regimentation needed to suppress fossil fuels. In any case, the political problems are due to the fact that the People think the Experts oppose nuclear energy and the Experts think the People oppose nuclear energy.

GO NUKES!

The following was originally posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 1:10 AM.

Ann Coulter's Idea Upside Down

Shorly after 911, Ann Coulter suggested converting the leaders of Muslim nations to Christianity. The opposite idea might make more sense. Recently, the Arab street has been quiescent whereas the European street has been obnoxiously noisy. Apparently, the Arabs object to dithering whereas the Europeans admire it. Maybe if we converted Europeans leaders to Islam, we'd get people who are less obstructive.

The following was originally posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 1:00 AM.

Math and Usenet Kooks

Many usenet kooks put exclamation points after each sentence! I just realized that every sentence with an exclamation point is true! For example, the sentence “2 + 2 < 4” is false but “2 + 2 < 4!” is true!

It's so simple!

The following was originally posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 at 12:49 AM.

Why Iraqi Civilians have Guns

The right-wing of Nuts R Us has recently noticed that the Saddam regime has allowed its subjects to own guns. On the other hand, a well-known picture of the “fierce Iraqi militia” shows them with guns but no ammunition. On the gripping hand, some of the Iraqi forces are wearing civilian clothes and ambushing our soldiers.

If we put this all together, we get: the Saddam regime handed out guns to civilians to ensure they look like soldiers. If ordinary civilians were visibly disarmed, our forces could use metal detectors and treat the civilians leniently with no fear of attack. When they all have guns, they all look like guerillas. They don't need ammunition and if they had it, they might use it to overthrow the regime.

The following was originally posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 11:26 PM.

The Roman Analog of Dubya

Responding to an attack by barbarians nobody had even heard of before, professionalizing previously amateur government services, changing a foreign policy based on reacting to preceived threats to one based on preventive war, launching numerous initiatives not all of which make sense, using dubious interpretations of election laws, …

In other words, it's Marius.

Of course, in the days of Marius, Rome could flatten any other nation within reach with a small fraction of its might.

There was even a revolt by Rome's allies, which was stopped by giving in on a few token issues.

I suppose this means it will be five hundred years before Washington is sacked … so things could be worse.

The following was originally posted on Sunday, March 23, 2003 at 11:21 PM.

US Empire vs. UN Empire

One of the few good arguments against US intervention in Iraq is that it might be a step on the road to an American Empire. If we have to give up our sovereignty to the UN, we're going to have an Empire anyway. In that case, it may as well be our empire and not somebody else's.

At least our Empire will protect free speech and the right to keep and bear arms.

The following was originally posted on Thursday, March 20, 2003 at 12:36 AM.

Rachel Corrie and Illegal Abortions

Let's see… We have someone who was killed while engaged in deliberately risky activities she had no business doing in the first place. This is supposed to be somebody else's fault.

Is there any reason I should feel more or less compassion for someone dying in the act of shredding an unborn child and someone dying in the act of helping future fragheads?

The following was originally posted on Purim, Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 1:48 AM.

The Real Jewish Conspiracy

A few years ago, I realized where Kevin MacDonald (recently discussed on the Gene Expression weblog) got the details of his theories: He based it on the musical Fiddler on the Roof.


The importance of self-interest in Jewish society is clearly based on “If I Were a Rich Man.” One of the first things the song mentions as a consequence of wealth is the ability to “build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen right in the middle of the town.” This shows how Jews evolved to fit a crowded environment; most gentiles would buy land as part of a move to the upper class.

I don't think MacDonald can handle an exact translation of “dydle deedle dydle digga digga deedle dydle dum” right now.

The theory that Jews always referred to themselves as victims is clearly referring to “underpaid, overworked Anatevka.”

The belief that Marxism and Judaism have something to do with each other is clearly derived from the treatment of Perchik. (“He's a good man. Hodel likes him. In fact, Hodel loves him.”) She is even willing to follow him into exile in “Far from the Home I Love” which implies the above characterization of Anatevka is just self-pity. Perchik's characterization of Laban as characteristic of employers can only be the basis of the widespread belief among in some quarters that tirades against anti-semites in classical Jewish literature led to the Gulag.

Near the beginning of Fiddler, Hodel has her eye on the Rabbi's son. (This implies that religious authority is regarded as partly hereditary.) Of course, this shows how religious authority was replaced by ideological authority among Jews. The Rabbi shows himself to be an obvious proto-Marxist with the prayer “May G-d bless and keep the Czar ... far away from us!” This shows how he did not regard Jews as part of Russian society.

The claim that the two sources of Jewish authority represent a continuous tradition is demonstrated by “Sunrise, Sunset” which shows how Jewish tradition as a whole is more important than the manifestation of it in a given generation. The tradition reasserts itself when Tevye regards a Marxist as a far more acceptable son-in-law than a goy.

The fact that many Jews were willing to follow an ideology (Marxism) that made no sense whatsoever must be a consequence of the Jewish attitude towards tradition. (“I'll tell you. I don't know. But it's a tradition.”)

We can see a possible reason for the change in the replacement of Lazar Wolf by Motel Kamzoil. In a stagnant economy, someone of established wealth is a much better “catch” than a poor tailor. (This also shows how polygyny could be part of a nominally-monogamous society. Lazar Wolf would have had two wives serially. Frume Sarah is portrayed as reacting in a manner more appropriate to the first wife of a bigamist.) In a growing economy, a young man who will spend his working life in a richer society is a better catch.

Most important of all, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” shows the Jewish eugenics plan in action. Jewish eugenics was designed to produce both intellectual success (“For Papa, make him a scholar”) and economic success (“For Mama, make him rich as a king”). There is also some degree of assortative mating going on. (“With no dowry, no money, no family background, be glad you got a man.”) “Family background” can only refer to the very best genes possible.

One last point: When I regard a possible takeover by National Socialism with disfavor, “It's not that I'm sentimental; it's just that I'm terrified!”

You can see evidence of our other plans in the works of Celine Dione. For example:

It was dead long ago
But it's all coming back to me
It's so hard to resist
And it's all coming back to me
I can barely recall
But it's all coming back to me now

At first sight this appears to have nothing to do with Jews at all until we check it against Spengler. From The Decline of the West by Oswald Spengler (out of context, of course, I must adhere to the intellectual standards set by conspiracy theorists):

In the ‘Enlightenment’ of the eighteenth century the Western Culture in turn becomes megalopolitan and intellectual, and so, suddenly, accessible to the intelligentsia of the Consensus. And the latter, thus dumped into the middle of an epoch corresponding, for them, to the remote past of a long-expired Sephardic life-current, were inevitably stirred by echo-feelings...

This all becomes clearer when we realize that Elvis is a Jew. (He was descended from Jews in the female line.) When we also recall that He has been acknowledged as King by all the nations and has even been resurrected, it should be obvious to the meanest intelligence that Our Lord Elvis Christ is the Messiah.

Conclusive proof of the divinity of Elvis can be found in the book of Isaiah (55:2): “Let your soul delight itself in fatness.”


The above was taken from Protocols of the Elders of Pop Culture. Coming up next: The Judeo-Bolshevik Agenda of the Marx Brothers or Why Did Adolph Marx Change His First Name but Not His Last Name?

The following was originally posted on Thursday, March 13, 2003 at 11:23 PM.

Depleted Uranium

Depleted uranium has supposedly had horrifying effects in the Gulf War. Let's crunch a few numbers. Kuwait has an area of 17,881 square miles. If we assume the war zone was Kuwait and a similar area in Iraq and if we assume that the ground in the area has an average amount of natural radioactivity, (4 ppm of uranium) then the top inch of the war zone has over 20,000 tons of natural uranium — far more than was used as ammunition.

Radioactivity might not be that dangerous. People in the Rocky Mountain States (“where the scenery's attractive and the air is radioactive” — Professor Tom Lehrer) have low cancer mortality rates. There is also no evidence of multi-generation damage at Hiroshima.

Uranium-238 is not very radioactive anyway. It is more dangerous because of chemical poisoning than radiation poisoning. (It's the second least radioactive actinide, just behind thorium-232.) If we didn't use U-238, we would have traditionally used lead — another chemical poison.

The following was originally posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 12:40 AM.

There's more evidence that abortion can lower crime rates. Pro-life guy is highly critical:

Seems the abortion-crime link folks are at it again. For the sake of argument, assume they're right. So what? Execute every violent felon immediately upon conviction, and you'll find a strong link between your public policy and the crime rate. Do as Franco did and make criminals of all stripes disappear, and you'll find a strong link between your policy and the crime rate. Hell, just chuck the Bill of Rights and you'll see a very nice drop in the crime rate.

There's a simple way to characterize abortion as a crime-prevention measure. It is preventive execution.

The following was originally posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2003 at 12:14 AM.

According to The New York Times, the universe might be shaped like a doughnut. I can imagine the new translation of the Book of Genesis:

In the beginning God created the griddle and the dough. Now the dough was raw and had a hole and the spirit of God hovered over the face of the pan. And God said “Time to make the doughnuts!” And there were doughnuts...

In related news, Charles Murtaugh found a link to Homer Simpson's cosmology.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Is This a War of Islam vs. the West?

Not long after 911, posters supporting Osama bin Laden appeared at anti-American demonstrations showing bin Laden with Bert the Muppet. Apparently, the poster makers took every picture they could find on the Internet of bin Laden—including a picture from one of the “Bert Is Evil!” websites—and didn't bother actually looking at them.

This is an example of how the wacko rumors we see in mideastern politics get propagated. The poster makers found an apparently useful picture which they did not analyze but used anyway. Similarly, Islamic propagandists will find an apparently useful argument but will not bother analyzing it or even check to see if it is coherent with last year's argument. That's how we can have accusations that Jews are part Khazar and also inbred racists. That's how we can have claims that “goyim” means “cattle.” That's how we see a shift back and forth between “we must return these people's ancestral lands” and “returning the Jew's ancestral lands is like returning Native American lands.” (About this last point: At the rate the northern Great Plains are depopulating, Native Americans might have the are back soon. So if the Palestinians are just patient enough …)

There an even deeper significance of this. All the means used by the Ladenites came from Western Civilization. The box cutters came from hardware stores. The planes came from Boeing. The oil for the jet fuel might have come from the Persian Gulf, but it was found by Western geologists, extracted by Western drilling rigs, and defended by the American soldiers Osama was so upset about. If this had anything to do with Israel vs. Palestine, the rhetoric needed for that conflict came from nationalism. If they didn't use nationalism—if they stuck to portraying it as a religious war—they would be unable to portray it as poor weak Palestine vs. powerful Israel, but would have to explain why Moslems could not take care of Palestinian refugees on their own. The economic theory behind Ladenism is that Western Civilization has been stealing cheap oil from OPEC. Even that theory came from the West. In the 1970s, many people believed that overpopulation and the increase in entropy meant ever rising oil prices. I'm sure the young Osama was looking forward to this. When oil prices tanked, Osama refused to believe the theory was wrong but that Some Conspiracy was fooling around. (A possibly relevant quote: “Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back.”—John Maynard Keynes) The rhetoric used in the conflict came from Chomsky.

The ideology behind the Iraq regime also came from the West. According to Bernard Lewis:

In the Western world, knowledge of history is poor—and the awareness of history is frequently poorer. For example, people often argue today as if the kind of political order that prevails in Iraq is part of the immemorial Arab and Islamic tradition. This is totally untrue. The kind of regime represented by Saddam Hussein has no roots in either the Arab or Islamic past. Rather, it is an ideological importation from Europe—the only one that worked and succeeded (at least in the sense of being able to survive).

In 1940, the French government accepted defeat and signed a separate peace with the Third Reich. The French colonies in Syria and Lebanon remained under Vichy control, and were therefore open to the Nazis to do what they wished. They became major bases for Nazi propaganda and activity in the Middle East. The Nazis extended their operations from Syria and Lebanon, with some success, to Iraq and other places. That was the time when the Baath Party was founded, as a kind of clone of the Nazi and Fascist parties, using very similar methods and adapting a very similar ideology, and operating in the same way—as part of an apparatus of surveillance that exists under a one-party state, where a party is not a party in the Western democratic sense, but part of the apparatus of a government. That was the origin of the Baath Party.

This is not a war of Western Civilization against Islam (or even parts of Islam). This is a civil war inside Western Civilization in which the insane side is using Islam as an instrument.

On top of all that, the imagery used (Does Islam even allow such imagery?) came from the American-created Internet with American cute fuzzy puppets.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The US Is Already Using Asymmetric Warfare

I just realized that the US is already using asymmetric warfare in Iraq.

Let's see. Classic guerilla warfare involved being able to fade into the countryside and harassing enemy bases whenever the guerillas chose. We appeared to have mastered it. We didn't even have to take it to the terrorist stage.

Since it's hard to win a war with only guerilla warfare, we asked the redcoats to take care of cities.

What Will Their Side Do When Our Side Starts “Asymmetric Warfare”?

The fundamental ingredients of 911 were: a batty tycoon intent on revenge and a handful of suicidal loons with pilot training. We have more tycoons than they do and our suicide rate is not zero. All we need to do is identify people similar to the Columbine killers and we have more psychiatrists than they do, so it should be possible.

We can even be more brutal than they can. If they try capturing relatives of big shots, they will find that a nation of individualists is almost immune to such pressure. A nation of extended families, on the other hand …

If they took advantage our open society, we can take advantage of theirs. Islam was a relatively open society first. They still welcome converts. What if someone converts in order to infiltrate? So … if a young fake “convert” to Islam were to make a pilgrimage while carrying smallpox …

Another tactic we could use more than they can is smuggled bombs. The OPEC nations import far more than we do and export far less (except for oil). We can put more bombs in their imports than they can put in ours.

They have some targets available. We might have more targets, but that makes any given target less important. When the WTC went, business could move into other skyscrapers. When the Petronas Towers go …

Most important of all, they have more immovable targets than we do. We could scatter the top management of the US government around the US. (This might generally apply to organizations with enemies. Redmond, WA might ask Microsoft to scatter.) They can't do the same with Mecca. I suspect it will probably be just as easy to assassinate their top management as our top management … and our top management is more replaceable.

We can hold their sacred sites hostage. Christians don't care that much about sacred sites and Jews are used to having them destroyed.

Even “dirty bombs” may be more dangerous to them than to us. It will probably be easier to wash cesium-137 off asphalt in a rainy climate than to wash it out of sand in a dry climate.

They have boasted about their ability to brainwash their kids with toy bombs. We can use similar methods.

Last but not least: the Aswan Dam.

As the saying goes: “Kill Americans and you're dead meat.”

My First Blogger/Blogspot Complaint

I just noticed that my archives consist of the two lines:
03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003
04/01/2003 - 04/30/2003
even though I posted several times in late March … and that the second line doesn't work.

Update: Republishing the archives activated the second line, but the posts from late March are still not in the archives. On the other hand, I extended the current page to thirty days, so I still have some time.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Are Jews Rethinking the Left?

Meryl Yourish no longer trusts the left—mainly as a result of the left abandoning Jews. I think there are more reasons than that. We should also look at the content of leftist ideas.

Jews are rethinking their relation to the left partly as a result of Palestinians pushing left-wing buttons. There's the Kent-State button (rock-throwing goons must never be shot at), the anti-SDI button (if someone claims that defensive measures are “destabilizing” he must be believed), the multicultural button (any random bunch of loons who call themselves an ethnic group have legitimate aspirations), the egalitarian button (relative poverty is proof of oppression), the economic paranoia button (an economic decline following the withdrawal of capitalists must be blamed on the capitalists), the content-free racism accusation button (anybody who is called a racist automatically is one), the idiotic tolerance button (try to understand the other guys point of view while being mugged), the anti-religion button (any claim based on the Judeo-Christian Bible is illegitimate), and the weird oscillation button (yes, we're just peaceful protestors; no, we hate you and will stop at nothing; and we insist on the favorable treatment of the first and the serious treatment of the second). We're rethinking the stories that made us leftists in the first place. If we can see the same rhetoric being used today nonsensically, maybe yesterday's leftist legends were also nonsense.

I suspect that current events may also limit Jewish support for legalized abortion. Abortion was legalized in the first place because of the supposed damage done by “back-alley butchers.” There may be a decreasing amount of sympathy for their alleged victims among Jews. Women who die from illegal abortions are analogous to suicide bombers. Someone else's death is more important than their own lives. We also see the same excuses: People who risk their lives must be treated seriously; they are going to kill anyway so we should make it possible for them to do it safely; any opposition is motivated by mere prejudice; etc. It's time to rethink those ideas.

Besides, it's easier to identify anti-Jewish opinions on the right. (I refuse to use the term “antisemitism.” It was invented by Jew haters so that their opinions would look like an ideology instead of a pathology.) A leftist might be anti-Jewish when you least expect it. There are two allegedly conservative opinions that make anti-Jewishness easier to spot on the right. 1) In the US, frothing at the mouth about Abraham Lincoln goes along with anti-Jewish nonsense. (I don't know if they think Abraham is a Jewish name or if they think Jews are a kind of d@mn Yankee.) 2) Opposition to immigration—especially “second-generation” immigration. There are real reasons to decrease the number of people moving here (although I think they're exaggerated in some quarters), but expelling the next generation goes along expelling Jews. (Apparently, Jews are always considered second-generation immigrants.)

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Are Jews on the Front Lines in Iraq?

I noticed a familiar-looking name in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Did Rumsfeld Deliberately Understaff the War?

I've been following some of the paranoid theories about why the war is understaffed. They're overlooking the most obvious reason of all: It will ensure that next year's Defense Department budget gets passed. No politician wants to put up with that kind of second guessing.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Looking for vulnerabilities

Chemical weapons are often analyzed in terms of numbers of lethal doses. We can apply that to other substances. One possible weapon along those lines is the nicotine bomb. The LD50 for nicotine is 35 mg/kg of body weight. If we take a typical American body weight as 100 kg (a round figure but one which might be typical of Americans), we can see that a lethal dose is a mere 3.5 g. There are roughly 8,000,000 people in NYC. Eight million lethal doses of nicotine is a mere 28 tons—which can fit in a truck.

If nicotine is turned into a controlled substance (as seems increasingly likely), they might try using an aspirin bomb instead. Since the LD50 of aspirin is 1800 mg/kg, the necessary amount is 1440 tons. This is too large for a truck so the “militants” will have to take over an entire aspirin factory. This is an exceptionally humane weapon since the victims will feel no pain.

Of course, this implies that Clinton was completely correct in ordering the bombing of that aspirin factory in Sudan.

 
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