Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ira Glass: Shakespeare Sucks


On the very bright side, Glass admits he probably can't defend that. 

Being able to admit error has become even more important with the twitterfication of middlebrow discourse. Being able to admit error has always been important, thought he ability has always been rare. Now that it's easier for people to say things quickly and publicly, they will undoubtedly say stupider things. Add a 140-character limit to that, and you'll get a whole lotta bullshit. Up the percentage of error, and you up the importance of admitting error.

So...anybody think that people--especially the kind of people likely to become twits--are going to get better at admitting their mistakes?

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Anyway: Glass is way, way wrong, and props to him for (basically) admitting it.

Turkish PM: Women Should Not Laugh In Public

Turkish women: LOL FU

Paul Ryan Admits There Is No Case for Impeachment


Though the best part is that he's trying to push the "hey what's all this talk about impeachment? Some Obama ploy amirite?"

That is, we know that:

A. Obama is a commie fascist mom-pants-wearing Kenyan Muslim dictator Antichrist who deserves impeachment more than anyone else has ever deserved anything in the history of American politics
B. Obama made up this whole impeachment thing to whip up his base and the GOP is shocked--shocked--that this is even being discussed

We don't know which one yet...but we do know that it's either A or B.

This, of course, is a corollary of:

Axiom 1: Everything is Obama's fault

Sometimes we don't know why something is Obama's fault...but that's always just a matter of working out the details.

Oh so crazy...

Dawkins Responds To The Twitterstorm


Dawkins isn't great on this stuff, but he's competent--and that puts him head and shoulders above most of his antagonists.

Here's his response to the twitterstorm.

As far as I can tell, he's right.

Jim B thinks I misread the Jezebel piece I'm going to check that out again. But, bracketing that for the time being, I don't see anything wrong with what Dawkins writes in the new piece.

The two serious points at issue seem to be:

1. Some violent crimes are worse than others
2. One can recognize that violent crime x is worse than violent crime y without thereby endorsing y.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Plague Of Bullshit: Model View Culture / "In Defense Of Twitter Feminism"

I'm not going to address this crap in detail.

But it's basically a paradigm of loony lefty web gibberish.

(And, I noted with exactly no surprise after having read it, it was typed by Suey Park (and some dude)...)

Standard disclaimer: yes, I do realize that the American right is (currently) more dangerous than the loony left. The GOP is actually out there denying climate change, working to disenfranchise voters, working against alternative energy, and logjamming the government for political ends. Oh yeah. I know they're worse. The loons on the right are actually in power. The loons on the left are very far out of power.

(And somebody does need to articulate this case clearly and in depth at some point...)
The deep crazy of the far left is still very dangerous in its own way. It is allied with the academic left, and that is a crucial, strategically crucial salient. From that position, the left exercises non-trivial control over young, impressionable minds. Though I think the right exaggerates the power of the left in academia, there's still a problem (or so I believe) even when the case is unexaggerated. We've seen the pernicious influence of the illiberal far left flare up in the PC movement of the '90's. Even a little bit of this deep crazy affecting university students can have a significant effect on the future of the country. Furthermore, American liberals ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, ideologically speaking. European liberals are used to opposing extremists on both ends of the spectrum. There's no reason that we can't oppose the excesses of the left as well as the excesses of the right.

One of the biggest problems with the web left, IMO, is the irrationalism that pervades it. The linked article above--which is by no means specially selected--it's just something I happened to run across a few minutes ago--is a decent example. The kind of dogmatic, rabidly ideological free-association on display there is characteristic of an important segment of the far left. It's largely word salad. It's an almost random collection of buzzwords, jumbled together to build a kind of logically hollow rhetorical case for a political conclusion that is, of course, never in doubt. In this case: white people bad. That's a constant over there, of course...

It might be useful to go through the thing paragraph-by-paragraph...but, frankly, if we spent even an hour trying to disentangle that tangle of verbiage, we'd be spending twice as long as the thing probably took to write. And I'm not at all sure it would be worth it.

On the bright side, the far web left is already at odds with itself, as demonstrated by the linked post. The loony left tends to slice itself thinner and thinner, always aiming at total ideological purity, until there is, in any given case, nothing left. (Cue The People's Front of Judea vs. The Judean People's Front...)

So that's comforting...

So, at any rate, I continue to think that the far leftish brand of crazy is worth being aware of and worth understanding, even if the rightish brand of crazy is currently much more dangerous.

The Keystone Congressmen Discuss Impeachment

Not only does President Obama deserve to be impeached, but...:
“This whole talk about impeachment is coming from the president’s own staff and coming from Democrats on Capitol Hill. Why? Because they are trying to rally their people to give money and to show up in this year’s election,” Boehner told reporters on Tuesday morning. “We have no plans to impeach the president. We have no future plans.” 
He added, “It’s all a scam started by the Democrats at the White House.”
I mean...he deserves it of course...but it's also just an Obama political ploy. Which...all those Republicans who started talking about it before he was even inaugurated...uh...fell for? Or something?

You know what this story needs?

More Yakkity Sax

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Compared to Jezebel, Richard Dawkins Is A Genius


Because sexism is cool...if it's against men

So, first you have to be stupid enough to care about Twitter.
Then you have to be stupid enough to think that anti-male sexism is cool

Because misandry: it's all the rage!

Bonus points for unfollowing a white dude, natch'

[Warning: Buzzfeed link! Do not click! Very, very, very stupid!]

Russian Documentary On Fighter Jets

"Fighters: Struggle For Superiority"

Damned interesting.

They seem oblivious to the obvious superiority of the F-15 and F-16...


Dissecting a Dogfight: Sukhoi vs. USAF At Red Flag 2008

Damn Su-30s are worrisome...

Should Doctors Ask About Your Guns?


Only Conservatives And Republicans Favor Lawsuit and Impeachment

More evidence--as if we needed it--of the crazification of the American right.

Increasingly, a large percentage of American conservatives seems to be living in its own little fantasy world.

It's astonishing to see how far this can go without politically disastrous repercussions...but there must be some limit to how far they can push it....right?

Monday, July 28, 2014

VA Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional (?)

So far!

I reckon the Supremes will ultimately have to decide...but so far, so good...

Fox "News": How Do I Dislike Thee? Let Me Count The Ways

Nothing really new here, but still worth a read

Friday, July 25, 2014

Can The F-35 Win A Dogfight?

Impeachment Fever--Catch It!: 57% Of Republicans Have Gone Insane Edition

So...has half of half of the two parties in our two-party system has gone crazy?

I mean...I guess 'Obama deserves impeachment' is no crazier than 'evolution is false' or 'anthropogenic climate change is impossible' or 'Obama was born in Kenya'...  So I guess there's really nothing too new here...

...but damn...

As I often do--and no, I don't know why--when I travel, I watched a bit of Fox News last week.

It's so crazy over there that it's actually a little scary. It's like a window into an alternate dimension or something. When I flipped it on last weekend, there was one of the Fox lunatics spewing incoherent vitriol against Obama, basically asserting (and I'm not making this up) that the world has never been this chaotic, and it's all BHO's fault...with a picture of a Buk missile launcher in the background. He didn't say that Obama was responsible for MH 17 being shot down...but that seemed to be one clear implication of the rant.

I seriously wonder whether or democracy can survive the combination of (a) gullible, semi-informed, semi-extremist rage and (b) a massive corporation dedicated to fueling the flames of anger and insanity.

The Existential Battle For The Soul Of The GOP

Impeachment Fever: Catch It!: 33% Of Americans Are Idiots Edition

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Greek Myth Comix: Deaths In the Iliad: A Classics Infographic


(via Reddit)

NRO: It's Time For Conservatives To Stop Defending Police


Wow. If the cops are losing the NRO, things really might be getting serious...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wikipedia: Feminist Geography

Posted without comment.

Oh...ok...just one comment:
An early reproach of geography of women approach was that gender roles were mainly explained as gender inequality, such as housewives and mothers, in combination with the some concept of spatial constraint.
Er um grammar a thing...anywhere?

Darth Vader Polls Higher Than All Currently Plausible 2016 Presidential Candidates

Seven Hours of Sleep Ideal?