Aug 16

Just stop

YouTube…why do you recommend this bullshit (boxed in red)? I never watch videos like this and I don’t give a crap about the hottest athletes at the Olympics. Shocker, those people who work hard on their bodies and don’t think two Big Macs and two McFlurries constitute a balanced meal tend to look good.


Don’t get me wrong, though. I don’t think there is anything wrong with noticing that anyone — including an athlete — has a nice body. The left’s push to relegate everyone to a monastic, approved-sex only existence is completely doomed*. But the women at the Olympics have so much more to offer the world than how they look in shorts. I mean, obviously. Come on.

Mostly, I just want to tell YouTube to never show me anything like that. Show me Katie Ledecky lounging at the end of the pool with enough time to read War and Peace waiting for the other competitors to finish. Show me Aly Raisman doing a double layout as casually as I fall down the stairs. Show me Simone Biles in her attempt to finally let Isaac Newton know what’s what.

But keep that misogynistic crap away.

*I’ll have more to say later about how the left is just interested in regulating sex and sexuality as the right, but just in different directions.

Aug 16

The similarities

Though the mainstream Democrats criticized vociferously the George W. Bush-era republican proclivity for saying that Bush was someone they’d want to “have a beer with,” the Dems who support both Obama and Clinton have the same cult of personality I’ve noticed about both of them.

For instance, they constantly share photos of Obama (the one called “At least this cool kid”) in particular doing something “cool” or looking suave. Or less commonly but also fairly often it’s snaps of Clinton looking competent, or that otherwise aver her competence in some way.

I don’t want to have a beer with my president. I don’t want them to look cool, suave or even competent. I don’t give a crap how he or she looks.

What I want is that my president not be a granny-starvin’ neoliberal, brown-people-bombing warmongering World War III apocalypse starter.

Dems are a bit better than Republicans. A bit. But that’s just not saying much these days.

Aug 15

I know

I know this makes me unbearably terrible and racist in the eyes of the left, but if hundreds of recent immigrants ganged up repeatedly to sexually assault scores of my fellow citizens, I’d be tossing people out of the country so fast that we’d have to build new roads and buy new trucks just to get them all over the border.

The problem with the left’s tolerance of intolerance is that it doesn’t scale. When 0.25% of your “guests” don’t hold to your values or obey societal norms, it’s ok. When it’s more than 1% or 2% or so, there’s going to be huge problems. When it’s about 15% or so, your society is over even if it doesn’t know it yet.

But yes, it’s racist, even though if a bunch of white people went around assaulting, robbing and raping I would say the same thing.

Aug 15

Well Raitted

I like Susan Tedeschi’s version better, but I really enjoy this interpretation too. It’s more country and that feels truer to the song despite less vocal swagger.

Compare and contrast Tedeschi’s version. (And that flute player. Goddamn. I didn’t even know you could play the flute like that.)

Aug 14

AD Move

Academics — who tend to move around all the time – have great difficulty understanding in their informal writing and in their official monographs why poor people don’t just up and move when economic conditions decline in an area.

If you’re already destitute and don’t have a job lined up already, traipsing to another faraway city where you have no social connections and nothing to fall back on is just a terrible idea. It makes no sense at all.

Also, I shouldn’t have to mention but I will the fact that most people actually want to live near their families and friends and not abandon them every two years when the neolib overlords decide to blow up the world again.

Aug 14

Complex world

It can all be true — yes, all at the same time — that unrestricted immigration is harmful to some, beneficial to others, overall not the best path for a nation and will harm women while improving overall welfare by several measures.

And it can be true that those who oppose unrestrained immigration are both racists and largely right about the perils thereof, and that the left who defend open borders can also be racist (and usually are in their “defense” of immigrants’ rights to trample the rights of people already present).

Simpletons want to reduce everything to dichotomies, to some Manichean conception of the world.

If only it were so easy. If only.

Aug 14

Brain breaking

Been reading too many books that break my brain, that I can barely understand. Or in some cases, cannot understand.

So today I will read this finally.

Aye, that’ll be a big change from Cognitive Evolutionary Neuroscience edited by Platek, Keenan and Shackelford and Supersymmetry in Quantum and Classical Mechanics by Bijan Kumar Bagchi.

Shit, that last book is a bear. I have an easier time by far understanding quantum math than anything for classical phenomena. It’s just easier — at least the basics. So much more constrained than classical phenomena. Just throw out all your intuitions about the macro world, and it’s pretty cake. This damn book is a mix of both, though, and I have to say I only understood about 50% of it. That was even with pulling a Tony Stark and trying to get up to speed a little better.

The classical stuff is just too hard for me, and I don’t care enough about math or have enough skill to go any deeper. Everyone has limitations, and that’s mine.

Well, gonna start on The Fifth Wave now.

Aug 14


This reminds me of being in the grocery store one time and asking for “oven-roasted garlic cheese” that was stocked in the deli case. That is exactly what it said on the sign: “oven-roasted garlic cheese.”

So I ordered some. The woman behind the counter snottily said to me in the most dismissive and immediately angry way possible, “Sir, there is no such thing as oven-roasted cheese.”

Arrogant dismissive confidence while being completely and hilariously wrong is one thing that sets me off and even though I try not to be a jackass to service workers she — for lack of a better term — triggered old instincts.

I said, “Look, I’m just reading the damn sign. Says ‘oven-roasted garlic cheese’ right there. Turn it around and read it yourself.”

I felt bad later about that, but not that bad, because she never admitted she was wrong nor apologized or otherwise made any indication she started down the path of asininity while I just closed the gate behind us.

The cheese, at least, was good.

Aug 13

Reading what

You know you’ve found the right partner when she doesn’t even think to wonder why you’re reading the flight manual for the 747-800 or a book about nuclear reactor shielding. Or a practice guide for the GRE. Or a book about the genetics of lichens. Or a physician’s drug interaction manual.

I mean, why wouldn’t you read books about stuff like that? Right?

Aug 13


Blackhat is not a very good movie.

But one thing notable about it is that it showed what actual bullet damage looks like during a battle. Bullets don’t spark off things with cute little flashes of light. They pass right on through. An AK-47 round can go all the way through a shipping container (as occurs in the movie). And it leaves big holes as it does so. This is very rare to show in a film.

When I was a kid we — as many North Florida rednecks do — had an abandoned car in the yard. We’d shoot at it sometimes, so I got to see pretty early exactly what a gun does to a vehicle. Only thing that really stopped the bullets was the engine block.

Small bits of sheet metal are like air to a bullet. Does nothing, really.