In commentary following Barack Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address last night, MSNBC commentator Chris Matthews said “You know, I forgot he was black tonight for an hour.” It’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around racial prejudice that blind and entrenched. If I were black I think I’d be righteously pissed… Continue reading “I forgot he was black tonight for an hour”
These are comments on policy for sharing information from the U.S. Coast Goard’s NAIS, a network of 140 AIS receivers covering U.S. coastal waters, as solicited by Federal docket USCG-2009-0701. (The docket request for comments is here.)
The Times of London reports a determination from the Information Commissioner’s Office of the United Kingdom: members of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.
Yesterday morning I learned that GPSD has been awarded the first Good Code Grant by the Alliance for Code Excellence. This is how I think about it now: Amount of test hardware you can now afford: $500 Being able to tell people that your project is funded by the sale of indulgences…priceless!
There’s been a lot of punditry emitted in the wake of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts special election to replace Teddy Kennedy. All of it that I’ve seen is aimed at making some partisan point in the Democratic vs. Republican tug of war. But the facts of the Brown victory seem to me to… Continue reading Are political parties obsolete?
One of my commenters recently pointed me at the work of Kevin McDonald, an academic who has studied the adaptive strategies of diaspora Jewry in great historical depth, largely drawing from Jewish historians as his sources. I have yet to read his actual books, but I’ve found a great deal of review and discussion and… Continue reading Jews and the tragedy of universalism
I have a scholarly interest in the historical roots of science fiction and related genres. For this reason, I sometimes seek out and read late 19th and early 20th-century fiction, both classic and “pulp”, that I have reason to believe was formative for these genres. Nowadays I read such books critically, trying to understand what… Continue reading Reading racism into pulp fiction
There’s a great deal of ridicule being aimed at Pat Robertson for describing the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti as God’s retribution on the country for a deal with the Devil supposedly made by the leaders of the 1791 slave revolt in which they threw off French control. And Robertson is a foaming loon, to be… Continue reading The Devil in Haiti
A silly webzine posts some serious news: A new study released Monday by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences found that more than 24 million Chinese men of marrying age are likely to find themselves unable to find women to marry come 2020. The reason? There just aren’t enough females to go around, because Chinese… Continue reading Twenty Four Million New Socialist Men = War
One of the consequences of the Great Recession we’ve been in since 2008 may be the long-overdue death of the “root causes” theory of crime and criminality. In A Crime Theory Demolished Heather McDonald points out that crime rates are dropping to 50-year lows even as unemployment hits a 70-year high. While she is right… Continue reading Beyond root causes
In yesterday’s New York Times, David Brooks wrote perceptively about the burgeoning populist revolt against the “educated classes”. Brooks was promptly slapped around by various blogosphere essayists such as Will Collier, who noted that Brooks’s column reads like a weaselly apologia for the dismal failures of the “educated classes” in the last couple of decades.… Continue reading Escalating Complexity and the Collapse of Elite Authority