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, March 30, 2004

Question for Democrats

Aren't you embarrassed to belong to this party? (Seen via The Palace Of Reason.)

Monday, March 29, 2004

Noun-Tolerance and Verb-Tolerance

In the last third of the 20th century, there were two movements for more tolerance. One of them was for more tolerance of minority groups (we can call this “noun-tolerance”) and the other was for more tolerance of previously deviant actions (we can call this “verb-tolerance”). In recent years, more people have realized that verb-tolerance produced epidemics of crime, abortion, illegitimacy, and divorce. On the other hand, noun-tolerance is widely regarded as a step forward.

The remaining advocates of verb-tolerance are trying to blur the boundary between the two types of tolerance and use the continuing loyalty to noun-tolerance as a lever. For a while, they tried accusing anybody opposed to verb-tolerance of being a racist/sexist/classist/whateverist bigot. When President Bush came out in favor of relaxing immigration laws, they realized they couldn't get away with that and switched to gay rights. On the one hand, gay rights can be considered a form of noun-tolerance (tolerance of gay persons). On the other hand, gay rights can be considered a form of verb-tolerance (tolerance of homosexual activity). Since other forms of gay rights have attracted less opposition than expected, they invented gay marriage in an effort to make consevatives continue to look bigoted. If more conservatives back gay marriage, they'll come up with something else. (I am not imaginative enough to figure out what that will be.)

UPDATE: The latest plan is to annoy conservatives into being noun-intolerant. (Seen via The Corner.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Nativists Are Not Complete Idiots

According to Iain Murray, the recent Spanish elections were marked by an increased turnout and left-wing voting among first-time voters. I'd like to know how many of those voters were either Muslim immigrants or their children. There may have been a voter-registration drive in Spain's Muslim community. It's even possible the terrorists planned their operation in order to provide cover for an electoral takeover. That might explain the attitude of Spanish conservatives that the election was somehow stolen.

On the other hand, maybe a nation with as low a birth rate as Spain deserves to be taken over.

The Enemy

When I blogged about the difference between consensus and mainstream last month, I didn't realize that there was a political party in Britain called “The Consensus.” Let's see, they claim to be Libertarian unless the liberty in question actually accomplishes something. (They oppose economic liberty and open borders.) They claim to be technophiles unless the technology is real instead of imaginary. (They oppose pesticides and ignore nuclear reactors.)

There will be a full-scale fisking at a future date.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Ayn Rand on the Spanish Election

I am sorry gentlemen, that I will be obliged to save your goddamn necks along with mine.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

Scabs Wanted

According to The American Spectator (seen via Kesher Talk), the Service Employees International Union is considering trying to disrupt the Republican Convention. All the hotels, etc. have to do is hire a few hundred illegal aliens. The sight of union Democrats protesting olive-skinned workers will ruin their reputation for years and make any muliculturalist who tries supporting them look like a hypocrite.

Other Red Sox Technologies, Continued

I asked for opinions on Red Sox and Cubs technologies on and received a reply that some of the Cubs technologies aren't even here yet whereas the Red Sox technologies are here and ignored. In that case, maybe the best analogy would be with a team that never gets to the World Series in the first place. The term “Cubs technologies” still fits.

Driverless Robots, Continued

The furthest any of the robots got was a mere seven miles.

That won't even get you to Queens from my house.

Friday, March 12, 2004


This blog is one year old today.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Other Red Sox Technologies

Arnold Kling wote a recent Tech Central Station column on “Red Sox technologies”:

Here is a list of some well-known Red Sox technologies.


  • Micropayments
  • E-books
  • Speech Recognition
  • Video Conferencing
  • Social Networking Software
  • Virtual Classrooms


There are other Red Sox technologies:

  • Aircars
  • Controlled nuclear fusion
  • Space industrialization
  • Household robots
Those are the technologies of the future and they always will be. It's a well-known fact (and a running gag) that controlled nuclear fusion has been thirty years away for the past fifty years.

On the other hand, those are technologies that affect the world of atoms, not the world of bits. I suppose a better metaphor would be a perpetually-unsuccessful team from an industrial city instead of an academic city. Maybe we can call them “Cubs technologies.”

Sunday, March 07, 2004

It Won't Only Stop at Gibson

The Long Island Rail Road continues past Gibson to Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Lawrence, Inwood, and Far Rockaway.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

God Hates Potatoes!

Acording to Talmud Purim. in addition to shrimp, God hates potatoes!

We can see the evil Godless nature of potatoes by analyzing the real reason for the kosher laws. Kosher animals (cattle, sheep, goats) tend to be grassland animals whereas pigs are forest animals and camels are desert animals. The intent is clearly to provide an incentive for people to maintain a grassland ecosystem and prevent it from turning into anything else. Obviously, God created humanity to be the servants of grass. Further evidence is supplied by the fact that humans evolved on grasslands so God's plan started a long time ago.

Potatoes interfere with the Grass Takeover of the Earth by giving humans a high-calorie non-grass crop. God gave us a warning not to eat potatoes by not mentioning them in the Bible and by making them a close relative of deadly nightshade.


Failing that, all potatoes must be boiled in oil…

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Driverless Robots

If there are driverless robots that can get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, how long will it be until we can buy driverless cars?

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

“That's No Fair! You Know More Than I Do!”

Neil Levy has written a philosophy paper “Open-Mindedness and the Duty to Gather Evidence; Or, Reflections Upon Not Reading the Volokh Conspiracy” on why we should ignore experts we disagree with. I won't quote it on the grounds we should ignore it, but I realized his attitude was summarized more succinctly by James Blish in his story “Watershed” (found in The Seedling Stars):

Dimly, Capt. Gorbel saw where Hoqqueah was leading him, and he did not like what he saw. The seal-man, in his own maddeningly indirect way, was arguing his right to be considered an equal in fact as well as in law. He was arguing it, however, in a universe of discourse totally unfamiliar to Capt. Gorbel, with facts whose validity he alone knew and whose relevance he alone could judge. He was, in short, loading the dice, and the last residues of Gorbel's tolerance were evaporating rapidly.
On the other hand, Captain Gorbel was an obvious racist.

I suspect that the major beneficiaries of an attitude of “ignore experts you don't like” will be racists and fundamentalists

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