Monday, June 27, 2016

George F. Will Leaves GOP Over Trump

I've always...well...usually...had a soft spot for Will.
Good on him.

Brexit Butthurt

   Wow, I did not have any idea that the Leave option was so idiotically disastrous and inevitably destructive of Western civilization itself... And racist--totally, completely, and inherently racist in every way. And old! That's worse, of course. Old, old, old. Why to old people even get to vote, I wonder?
   Anyway, if I'd have realized that there were exactly zero sound reasons for leaving and a nondenumerable infinity of deductively valid arguments from indubitable premises for staying, I'd certainly never have admitted that I had any fond feelings for Leave. I mean seriously.
   I'm just astonished to discover that there are so many naive, stupid, ignorant racists in the UK. And old! Don't forget old... Fucking olds.
   Frankly, reading the coverage, I can't believe that the world has survived this catastrophe. It's clearly an extinction-level event economically and culturally speaking.
   I really can't believe that the UK ends like this. It stood alone against Hitler, but then destroyed itself via referendum. In the end, I suppose the UK really was the only political entity that could take down the UK...
   Though it may still be saved by the petitions to vote again! This would be an interesting revolution in democracy: vote...and then, if you lose, vote to vote again! Presumably until you old stupid racist racists can manage to get it right. Seriously. I can't believe nobody thought of that before. We're even getting stuff promoting the petition on PHILOS-L, which used to be the list announcing conferences, calls for papers, etc., but is now the list that announces conferences, calls for papers, and things of interest to leftists. Come to think it, there's actually quite a bit of overlap there...

   I'm probably getting too weird and cranky to pay attention to political shit anymore, TBH. I really don't have a real opinion on this--and don't deserve one. But damn, the coverage has been bizarre.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Clinton 51-Trump 39

The gap ought to be a lot bigger...but I'll take it.

Sacramento: Crazy Lefties Make Nazis Look...Well...Slightly Less Terrible...By Comparison

   So apparently a gang of about 120 people possibly called By Any Means Necessary attacked a group of about 30 neo-Nazis in Sacramento. The Nazis--a group called The Traditionalist Worker Party--had a permit for their demonstration. The Southern Poverty Law Center identifies the TWP as a hate group...though...Nazis...so...not exactly hard to figure that out... Also, the SPLC has gone crazy lefty and can't really be trusted anymore.
   A representative (the leader?) of By Any Means Necessary explicitly says that the group will try to shut down such events even if they're legal. Don't miss her citing one of the group's chants in support of their position. (Note: the chant does not begin 'hey hey, ho ho...' so I'm not sure it's a legal chant for a leftist organization...)
   So that's what yer contemporary lefties think of the First Amendment, boys and girls...as if that weren't fairly clear already...
   Several people injured, some having been stabbed.
 
   Kind of interesting sidebar: I think that the leader of the TLP is the same kid who tried to get a white student center started at one of the Maryland schools a couple of years back. Also, when he gave the TLP's blurb on the news, I couldn't tell whether he was with the crazy righties or the crazy lefties. Of course, the crazy extremes are often pretty damn hard to tell apart...
   Though if a group of 120 Nazis attacked a group of 30 lefties, I don't think the media reaction would be as subdued as this one has been...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

New Barnard Curriculum's Lefty Spin

   Spewing out trendy-sounding general education curricula is a cottage industry at universities. How else are all those unnecessary administrators going to fill their time?

   Watch!  The video I guess. If you want to. I dunno.
   Hear! The provost say "Students needn't learn how to know, they need to learn how to think."
   Explain! To me what the hell that means.

   Hints that the curriculum is mixed up with the postpostmodern tangle that has its claws in academia abound. One thing such folk love is so-called "local knowledge." See...local is good! And other cultures are good. What's bad is the West. Especially the U.S. You want to minimize that stuff. 
   And, of course, there's really nothing about locality that's relevant to thinking per se. "Thinking locally" doesn't make any sense except in conjunction with bad, idiosyncratic epistemology that tries to localize reason itself. Of course you might be interested in facts about your locality...or you might be interested in thinking about your locality...but your locality has nothing to do with thinking itself. Principles of reason are universal if they are real. But universality, you see, is oppressive and hegemonic. That's the point of all this really. Deeply (well, not very deeply...) buried in all this is the postmodern/postpostmodern distaste for universality, objectivity, reality. 
   Then, of course, there's "thinking about social difference," another left-spun aspect of the thing. It's not that there's nothing important about "difference" (though it's hard not to be cynical about this damn mantra of the political and intellectual left, originating I guess in Derrida)... It's rather something like this:  Here's a chunk of the curriculum that ought to be about society. Now, among the things that are interesting about societies are their similarities and differences. "Difference," however, has become a kind of quasi-religious obsession of the postpostmodern left. And here's a school that not only follows along with this crackpot trend by overemphasizing "difference"...it makes it the main theme of the whole damn unit on society. The right-wing analog would be a university calling its social science distribution requirement something like Thinking About Autonomous Individual Children of God And The Free Markets And Other Institutions In Which They Participate.
   Then, of course, there's the fact that these highly-politicized bits of the curriculum are characterized as units about thinking. But I'm done ranting dammit.
   Oh...and then there's the over-engineered bullshitty nature of the whole thing...something only administrators could love...let alone believe in...  And here Anonymous's point about the alliance of the campus left and administrators is relevant... 

Trump Can't Recall Saying That He Has One Of The World's Best Memories

Not making this up

[h/t S. rex]

The Mystic On Hillary's E-mail

This was very helpful to me.

Friday, June 24, 2016

A Posse Ad Esse With Trumpo The Clown

Hu-hu-hu-hey, kids!
Did you know that possibly p therefore p?

tl;dw:
Trump:  Clinton was asleep during the Benghazi attack
Holt:  How do you know that?
Trump: She might have been. It went on for a long time.

Trump: Clinton's private server was hacked.
Holt: How do you know that?
Trump: It might have been. How do you know it wasn't?

Brexit Wins

Holy crap!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Don't Laugh: I Have A Serious Reason For Raising My Cats Gender-Neutral"; Or: A Silly And Ineffective Way To Neuter Your Cats

   As it turns out, she does not have a serious reason.
   Not, at least, if 'serious' here means worthy of being taken seriously.
   There's so much to ridicule here that I'm not even going to get started.
   Well...ok...here's one thing: lefties insist on the sex/gender distinction when it suits them, and throw it out the window when it suits them. Oh and, their most effective tactic: simply use 'gender' to mean whatever the hell they want it to mean in order to persuade people of their favored conclusions.
   All these really dumb mistakes are easy to avoid with just a little bit of thought...but most people (enthusiastic PC shriekers included) don't put even a little bit of thought into it. Add to that unshakable devotion to certain conclusions...and what you get is a complete and total mess. A tangle of downright dumb conclusions.
   And stuff like this is really stupid even if you think that it's kinda dumb to project stuff about masculinity and femininity on your f*cking pets...  Not that there aren't behavioral differences between male and female animals--including humans. Because there are. And all the women's studies courses in the world won't change that.* But it's still kinda silly--though hardly a cardinal sin--to exaggerate such things.
   Also: I'm going to resist the urge to ridicule the cat thing for "virtue signaling." I think it's a handy concept, but I also think we ought to psychologize less about our interlocutors.
   Sheesh. I think a lot of stuff...


* Though, of course, feminism (in the guise of "women's studies" and elsewhere) also tends to switch back and forth between the there are no sex differences position and there are lots of sex differences position, again, depending on which they prefer at the moment.**

** For the record--though I don't think we should typically offer such assurances--I'm an advocate of a kind of hard-headed egalitarian feminism. It's too bad that position isn't very prominent in public discussions anymore...

Ilya Somin: Political Ignorance Haunts The 2016 Election

Just a small selection of the relevant ignorances

Donald Trump, Bully

   Well, when you're wrong, you're wrong.
   I was thinking about this the other day, and I came to think that my objections to calling Trump a bully were basically two:
   First, we haven't really seen him seek to bully anyone--that is, dominate and humiliate someone weaker than him (a) recreationally and (b) over an extended period of time. What I've seen him be is an asshole. That's different...but I suppose it's the same impulse, minus the opportunity afforded by school/childhood...  (Kinda weird that what's assault and stalking and psychopathy in adults is mere bullying in kids...)
   Second--and this doesn't go to the truth of the charge, but, rather, its prudence...which is a completely different thing: I think it's unutterably whiny for an adult to accuse another adult of bullying. Trump's a stupid asshole...he's repulsive...his entire persona is like one one big, insistent request--nay, demand!-- for a punch in the face...I couldn't agree more with all that... And it does all reveal a personality that might very well manifest itself bully-wise in different circumstances (and, in fact, it obviously did)...
   ...But one of the characteristic Democratic/liberal vices is wimpiness... And when Dems call Trump a bully, to my ear it makes them sound like they're still scared of that mean kid that tormented them in third grade... Call him an asshole, call him a crook, call him a fraud and a joke and a representation of everything that's wrong with growing up rich...
   ...But calling him a bully...now, as an adult...not someone with the spirit of a bully or the grown-up version of a bully or whatever...I dunno, man...it clangs off my ear.
   Which is not to say that I wasn't wrong, because I'm agreeing that I was. But that's that reformed and tidied-up version of my thinking on that point, FWIW.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Please Tell Me That The House Dems Are Not Actually Staging A "Sit-In"

   I'm going to bed now.
   In the morning, this will all turn out to have been a bad, stupid dream.
   Of course the House Republicans have been insufferable pricks for the last 20-odd years...
...but that doesn't mean that the rules don't apply.
   Is this campus lefty crazy trickling up to the very House?
   But I don't really understand what's going on. Maybe there's some hidden way in which the Dems are right...  There'd better be... Otherwise the DCCC isn't getting it's  damn usual damn contribution from the damn Smith household.

Science Has Next To Nothing To Say About Moral Intuitions

This is ok. Not great, but possibly worth reading.

Drum Loses It Over Brexit Vote

   Uh...those supporting the Brexit are "resentful," "racist," "bitter," "misanthropes"... the Brexit somehow generates "the worst imaginable world"...?
   This has to be a joke...but I'm not getting it.

"In College Turmoil, Signs Of A Changed Relationship With Students"

link
Dunno whether the two problems are linked, but both are problems.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Better Never To Have Been: An Interview With Anti-Natalist David Benatar; With Cranky Comments About A Really Stupid Argument

   You'd think things couldn't get more eye-rolley than a discussion between a vegan and an anti-natalist...  But, just really as a side note here...they can...
   I'm thinking of a comment I saw somewhere on Daily Nous (but am too lazy to look up) (also: I'd have to read the Daily Nous...) in which...well, let's start with the fact that Benatar had been accused of being a racist on very flimsy grounds. Then in the discussion...because it was the Daily Nous...he ended up being accused of being a misogynist as well. Someone objected to this, whereupon someone else made perhaps the very worst argument I've ever seen offered in philosophy. Went like this: Benatar thinks we shouldn't have kids. But in many places women's status is linked to their ability to reproduction. So if Benatar's arguments were accepted, the perceived value of women might decrease (in those areas). Therefore Benatar is a misogynist.
   Yeah I'm not making that up.
   I'm not entirely sure who made that argument...so I won't name names. I'm fairly sure...and the person had a reputation among saner folk for not being the sharpest tool in the ol' shed... Something I probably don't have to point out, come to think of it. Appallingly, the comment was, as I recall, allowed to pass without objection. So...yeah. There are some reasons to worry about the PC-ification of professional philosophy.

Brave Man Endures AR-15 Recoil To The Face

bruising!
This is me still complaining about that BS "What's It Like To Fire An AR-15?" article.
As I noted...a "bruised shoulder" is unlikely.

Muzzled Professors At the University Of Northern Colorado

No Brexit Because HITLER!!!

Well there's this from Max Boot.
tl;dr:
No Brexit because HITLER!!!!!
The EU was disunited just before HITLER!!!!!
Who'll protect the Baltic states from HITLER PUTIN???
Oh...
NATO.
Right.
But what about natural gas, huh?
IT'S JUST LIKE HITLER
Am I wrong or is Boot's argument pretty crap?

   I'm not passionately in favor of the Brexit. I don't deserve an opinion on the matter because I don't understand the issues. In my gut, I'd kind of like to see  that it's possible to reverse the trend toward more centralized control. Like many Americans, I've got a strong sentimental attachment to to England... It doesn't bother me that Spain and Finland are partially controlled from Brussels...but the UK is different.
   This is just a report on my psychology. I have no good reasons. Overall, Brexit might be a bad thing. But part of me will breathe a sigh of relief at tangible evidence that we're not all on track to be sucked up into some kind of Political Borg.
   Very irrational.
   No need to rub it in.
   I'm well aware.