Jul 31

Life Ex

We have done fucked up.

And just wait till you see what this chart looks like when climate change really hits.

Jul 31

Priorities

It’s so odd that all the centrists and “progressives” come out of the damn woodwork to ask, “Where’s the money?” and “How will you pay for it?” when talk of health care for all or free college is mentioned, but never make a peep about highway construction or military spending.

Here’s a clue: with the amount we waste on those two alone, we could fund health care for all and free college with hundreds of billions left over.

Jul 31

Cold Open

The Dream of Open Borders Is Real—in the High Arctic.

The only places in the world that open borders can actually work is where hardly anyone wants to live. That comports with the available evidence. Also notice how social services are deliberately curtailed as that’s all that open borders can really support.

But for some, belief is all that matters, all that is.

But this doesn’t matter to Rackete, she’s an idealist and for true idealists there are no trade-offs, no negative externalities, no unforeseen consequences…there is simply the ideal and anything that furthers that is good and anything that doesn’t is bad.

Never mind that it’s impossible for hundreds of millions of anyone to move to Europe, and for Europe to survive that onslaught. Survival doesn’t matter to these idealists because as long as you are doing the right thing, providence will provide. And of course that will work out about as well as it ever has in history.

Jul 31

Dun

True. And every time some STEM type says that philosophy is worthless and should not be studied nor taught, they inevitably spend the next half hour expounding on some weirdo, thoroughly-discredited epistemological ideas that they would not even consider if they’d spent any time studying philosophy.

Jul 30

How To Fail

Forget about getting everything right. Most people are so consistently wrong that merely avoiding major errors is enough to set you apart from the pack.

I have been saying this for many years. It’s not important being the very smartest one. It’s far more important not to do the stupidest possible action at the most inopportune time. Unfortunately, that’s just what most people end up doing in this domain.

The Dalbar results for 2018 are especially painful to contemplate. The inflation rate was 1.93 percent, so investors would have had to earn that just to tread water. Instead, the average stock fund investor lost 9.42 percent, for a gap of more than 11 percentage points.

How, just how, do you lose so much money in a year like 2018? Just…what?

Though that’s not really fair to regular investors, as the S&P 500 returned -4.75% that year, including dividend reinvestment. In 2018, though my broker makes it difficult to calculate, my return was 5%, approximately. So I beat the market by about 10 percentage points, which is what I try to average year over year. If you can’t do that, you aren’t even trying.

Looking at it more realistically, then, the average investor was -4.67 percentage points vs. the market, which is still absolutely awful. (And that means many investors likely lost a lot more, which is what makes it an average.)

All of this is a scam, but it’s a scam I am good at.

Jul 30

Resting H

My resting heart rate is now 46 bpm. Not bad for a 43-year-old who doesn’t really do that much cardio.

Weightlifting works, ya’ll.

Jul 30

Another Life (To Live)

Another Life is a work that seems content to explore every single sf TV show cliché, and often two or three of them in the same episode. Additionally, while doing this, it seems to aspire to be Real World: Space Edition. None of this works well, and it works even less well juxtaposed against the parts of the show that are actually good. It turns out that a show that is 10% good and 90% bad to terrible is worse than one that is all dreck because you start to get your hopes up for any improvement and then are sorely disappointed as someone, say, creates a Space Vaccine for a boron-based (I know) virus in an hour.

The writing team seemed perfectly content to do no research at all on any science, or how astronavigation works, or why exposing the entire crew to unshielded gamma rays from Sirius B would not be a great idea. The writing is so shoddy and careless that you get the idea that the authors of this rubbish must actually despise their viewers openly. Nothing in the show would work how it’s depicted, even stretching the science as many other shows do.

And if you think the human relationships would rescue all that, as they do in some shows? Well, no, they only make it worse as crew meetings consist of the cast yelling at each other repetitively while alarms sound menacingly in the background and no one ever seems to do much of anything but flirt in between attempting to kill one another, all while they should be doing other tasks. These people all relate to each other like toddlers in spacesuits, opening their visors on unknown planets, attempting to kill one another over minor slights, arguing over trifles while the ship is nearly destroyed by a heliosphere. It’s baffling, because no humans alive ever acted how the people on this show act. This show might’ve literally been written by aliens for all the verisimilitude it has to how any humans behave anywhere.

I would say that Katee Sackhoff is a bright spot, but even with her intensity and wealth of emotion she can bring even to a tough character, there’s just nothing there for her to latch onto as the world is so implausible. The few good moments, mostly involving her dealing with the aftermaths of crises, are subsumed in the river of garbage this show delivers. (I also enjoyed Blu Hunt and her deep humanity, but once again, she had nothing to work with. Will watch for her in other works, though.)

Another Life is thoroughly insulting as a show, because it does a disservice to its viewers and to the actors who should’ve had better material to work with. The basic premise is a good one, but as is often said there are unlimited ideas and execution is everything. This damned show demonstrates the truth of that assertion.

Jul 30

Time

I turn all push notifications off on everything right away. The only thing that has the right to hijack my time is my own bad self.

Why do people so willingly and cavalierly cede their time to apps and corporations? Don’t you have better things to be, to do, to learn? I sure as hell do. I don’t give a crap about what Tim Cook or Delta wants me to see. Humans are not cognitively set up to handle what smartphones do to us. We’re just not.

Jul 29

Part of It All

The left’s denial that biophysical evolution has occurred and is still occurring to humans has resulted at least in part in the horrors of our built environment. If you posit as much of the liberal faction does, that humans have no evolutionary history and are infinitely adaptable and moldable, then it matters not that you embed them in horribly-designed cities, have them dwell in sepulchral concrete boxes and enact aesthetic crimes upon them. Because for these liberals there is nothing there but a tabula rasa, no environment that we’ve evolved for and is more salubrious for us, for that would imply we had been molded by our genes and our environment to be a certain way.

Of course, all the evidence points the other way. We’ve evolved to prefer and be enhanced by contact with nature, to enjoy color and variety, to like trees and to be biophilic in general. This is our evolutionary history and nature. Sure, some liberals are waking up to to this fact and dispensing with their hatred of the idea that humans evolved like every other living creature. But mostly, it’s too little, too late.

Jul 29

Pru

Almost everyone who ever says “I’m no prude” is a huge prude. It’s kind of a law of nature.