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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jhertzli AT ix DOT netcom DOT com

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Small Sample Watch
XBM Graphics

The Former Four Horsemen of the Ablogalypse:
Someone who used to be sane (formerly War)
Someone who used to be serious (formerly Plague)
Rally 'round the President (formerly Famine)
Dr. Yes (formerly Death)

Interesting weblogs:
Back Off Government!
Bad Science
Boing Boing
Debunkers Discussion Forum
Deep Space Bombardment
Depleted Cranium
Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine.
Foreign Dispatches
Good Math, Bad Math
Greenie Watch
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Howard Lovy's NanoBot
Liberty's Torch
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My sister's blog
Neo Warmonger
Next Big Future
Out of Step Jew
Overcoming Bias
The Passing Parade
Peter Watts Newscrawl
Physics Geek
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Poor Medical Student
Prolifeguy's take
The Raving Theist
Respectful Insolence
Seriously Science
Slate Star Codex
The Speculist
The Technoptimist
Tools of Renewal
XBM Graphics
Zoe Brain

Other interesting web sites:
Aspies For Freedom
Crank Dot Net
Day By Day
Dihydrogen Monoxide - DHMO Homepage
Jewish Pro-Life Foundation
Libertarians for Life
The Mad Revisionist
Piled Higher and Deeper
Science, Pseudoscience, and Irrationalism
Sustainability of Human Progress

Yet another weird SF fan

Sunday, August 27, 2017

A Common Right-Wing Meme

If the mainstream calls ordinary conservatives Nazis, what will they do when real Nazis come along? Now we have some idea.

Penalty for being a pro-lifer: Winning the lawsuit.

Penalty for dissent on global warming: Getting your name on a Museum wing.

Penalty for homophobia: Getting your name off a declining web browser. (On the other hand, Pale Moon sometimes hangs on PJ Media articles.)

Penalty for Naziism: getting booted off the normal Internet and onto Tor … along with the drug dealers. (On the other hand, it's unfair to drug dealers.)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How Powerful Are Online Mobs?

Let's look at recent online mobs.

The mobs after Hobby Lobby and DropBox lost. Period.

The pro-gay-marriage mob lost the battle of Chik-Fil-A. They won a temporary victory over Duck Dynasty but had to retreat. They got Brendan Eich fired but the result was that Firefox is getting increasingly buggy and losing market share.

The feminist mob after James Damore got him a job offer from Wikileaks.

It looks like we have the equivalent of an aging black-belt who, after losing a fight or two, first picked a fight with a couple of white-belts, drew those, and finally went out into the street to beat up a cripple. (The black belt can get away with it only because the cripple used to be an even worse bully.)

I suspect they're marching against “Nazis,” not only to look noble, but also in order to look powerful.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What Were They Thinking at Google?

I have a couple of theories on why Google came down on James Damore like the proverbial ton of bricks.

Why there's a crackdown on anything that looks “alt-right” now

The tech industry top people don't actually like feminists (who have a tendency to produce expensive lawsuits) but they made the mistake of surrendering to them (at least verbally) a decade or two ago and it's too late to go back now. They have resolved to not let that happen again.

Meanwhile, opponents of feminism (or left-wing ideology in general) have been saying it's time to imitate left-wing tactics. As a result, the tech industry is trying to stop Feminism II before it starts. It is, after all, very difficult to surrender to two incompatible factions at the same time.

Without the threat of the imitation leftist tactics, disagreeing with company dogma would simply earn a reprimand and a warning to not do that again. With that threat, dissent produces:

The infamous memo might not be “alt-right,” but it can be plausibly claimed to be in “THAT ENTIRE CATEGORY OF THING.”

Was this a false flag?

A conspiracy theory I haven't seen anywhere yet:
Since Google has not actually been promoting that many women, it doesn't look like it is a real feminist-run organization. What if the purpose of coming down on James Damore in such a heavy-handed manner is to provoke such a lawsuit? They might be able to get a court order that they can wave in the faces of the feminists.

If the lawsuit goes the other way, of course, they now have a legal precedent that can be used to fire feminists suing them.

I (and apparently very few other people) noticed that, with a few minor changes, the Zunger response to the Damore memo (including the need to fit in) could be used against feminists.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Identifying Science-Curious but Science-Ignorant People, Part II

The studies I asked for a few months ago are starting, at least as far as brain science is concerned.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

A Brief Note on Free Speech

Much of what appears to be a violation of freedom of speech is actually a matter of refusing to listen.

Much of the time such a refusal to listen, although not a violation of constitutional rights, is very unwise. If you refuse to listen, you might find that someone you loathe, that you thought didn't have a chance, just got elected President.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Things to Avoid in Health-Insurance Regulation

Any reform of health-insurance regulation must avoid the following:

  1. A death spiral, when people put off buying otherwise unaffordable health insurance until they're sick.
  2. Bankrupting the country, because promises that cannot be fulfilled will not be fulfilled.
  3. Price controls. This includes giving governments the motive, means, and opportunity to institute price controls (e.g., a single-payer system).
  4. A welfare cliff, in which people don't bother looking for a job because you lose more in benefits than the job pays.
  5. Charging people twice for their health care, in which people with private insurance are charged for the government insurance they might be using anyway. (This is based on the fact that families with children in private school still have to pay school taxes.)
  6. (Lest we forget…) Losing the next election.
I suspect this means we're stuck with the individual mandate, at least until the herd of independent minds starts to stampede in another direction.

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