Sunday, March 30, 2014

Forget the 1%...It's The 0.01% That's Accumulating All The Wealth

America's Class System Across The Life Cycle

Go Blue

Beat the 'Cats

DukeReport: "Duke Needs More Pr*cks"

I have nothing to add to this.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Far Left Is Crazy: Suey Park / "Cancel Colbert" Edition


These people are completely nuts. 

There's no sense trying to reason with them of course. Ridicule is really the only sensible response...

But, just for the record: 'oriental' is not a "racial slur." It's perfectly cool to point out things like "in general, Asians prefer 'Asian.'" There's nothing wrong with that. But 'oriental' is simply not a slur. At worst, it's outdated. (Of course the use of 'oriental' in the tweet was intentional as part of the satire...). 

The lefty-left is obsessed with words, and it loves bullying and controlling people, so it really, really loves bullying and controlling people with respect to language.

Also, you've got to love when Park says "I won't enact the labor of having to explain this to you." LOOOOOL Nice. She could have said "I won't explain this to you," and, though that would be stupid, it would at least have been grammatical. But she couldn't resist cramming in a bonus leftyspeak buzzphrase, and so she gets some kind of solecism or something. But, of course, having to explain it to you is not an act. Explaining it to you is an act. You can't enact having to explain it to you. This is how you become stupid by trying to sound smart.

Seriously, I wish liberals were better at calling bullshit on the lunatic left. I know--I understand. The right is a a more politically significant target and all that...  But calling BS on BS should know no political allegiance.

Maybe they will if its Colbert that's being targeted. (I myself don't find Colbert funny...I think his schtick got old a long time ago... But I'm in the minority.)

It's great that the interviewer calls BS on that you don't get to have an opinion on this, white devil nonsense. It's too bad that people so seldom have sensible discussions of such points. Obviously its false that, say, whites cannot have views about racism. But I think it's also obvious that people who more commonly are the targets of racism do have something like a kind of expertise about it, so their testimony about things like frequency and effects counts for more than that of, say, whites, who are rarely the target of racism. But that's a far cry from SHUT UP AND BELIEVE WHAT I TELL YOU TO BELIEVE, which is, in essence, Park's position.

Park, incidentally, is a professional victim--where 'professional' is literal. This is how she makes her living. That doesn't mean she's wrong--she's wrong for other reasons. But it may add helpful context.

(Via /r/tumblrinaction)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Krauthammer's ODS: Russia/Crimean Edition

Not worth reading, really, but I give him a glance every now and then to make myself feel intellectually virtuous by comparison.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

God Is Not Dead

The Death Of The University: Mley Cyrus Edition

If you want to know why the American university is in decline, here's exhibit A-thousand:

The following class will be taught at Skidmore college:

The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender and Media

Jebus H. Christmas, what unadulterated bullslhit.

I mean, yeah, the Miley Cyrus bit is really damn stupid too... But the real problem is actually that this template could be used for thousands of useless courses all across the country:

The X of Y: Race, Class, and Gender

That's the holy trinity of the most disreputable parts of the humanities and social sciences.

Interpolating 'Miley Cyrus' just makes the absurdity a bit more poignant...

And, look: I'm somebody who thinks that race, class, and sex and/or gender are all worth studying. 

It's not that there aren't interesting questions there.

There just aren't nearly enough interesting questions there for this crap to take up like 5 damn percent of all classes in the humanities and social sciences or whatever it might be at this point. It's a ridiculous fad that's turned into an absolute plague. Being in a university today is like being stuck with a bunch of Jesus freaks--except instead of talking about sin and redemption and where not to put your penis and whatnot, these ones want to talk about "privilege" and Foucault and how penises are evil and "late capitalism" and bloody Judith Butler or some shit. Jebus, I'd almost prefer the God-botherers... At least if there was any intellectual rigor in such classes somebody might learn something...but the relevant disciplines are not exactly known for their demanding analytic standards.

Seriously, this is not the sort of thing that people should be getting college credit for. There are students out there sweating it out over Diffy Q, Kant, historiography, biochem...  And others getting the same number of hours for, y'know, shooting the shit about Miley Cyrus...

Totally nuts.

Carolina's AFAM/Football Scandal

Back in the news...

Nothing new...but still awful. 

Fortunately, basketball still seems to be untouched. My only worry is that some low-level tutor or someone similar colluded with AFAM/Nyang'oro... 

The general problem here is that there are classes and majors at every university that require almost no intelligence or effort, and which many students--athletes included--flock to. 

But of course UNC AFAM took this to a whole new level. It is utterly baffling that this happened at Carolina all--and the extent of it was jaw-dropping. 

I have no doubt that Dean, Gut, and Roy would steer clear of this sort of thing like the plague...  I'm not so sure about D'oh, however...  And that makes me worry...

It would be an absolutely betrayal of Carolina hoops if the basketball program had any involvement in this at all...  The Carolina Way is why many of us are fans.

I'm fairly confident that the new investigation won't find any significant problem for hoops that the other investigations missed...but "fairly confident" is a lot less confident than I'd prefer to be about this...

Needless to say, the Duke and State boards are ecstatic with the hope that they can accomplish off the court what they can't accomplish on it... It's hard to be objective about the matter in the face of the rabid irrationality and tribal hatred of such folk...but:

Fortunately, we don't need to be objective. We've got high-powered investigator (former DoJ, Former Homeland Security) coming in to make sure we've gotten to the bottom of things. 

I want the truth to out...but I am keeping my fingers crossed. It would be a tragedy if hoops participated in this bullshit--bullshit, moreover, obviously created and sustained by the football program and Nyang'oro/AFAM.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Russia Not Exactly Big Winner in Crimean Dispute

Drum is correct, as usual.

Creationists Hate Comets

Or, rather: they hate the Oort cloud...

Obama To Call For End To NSA's Bulk Data Collection Program


This doesn't surprise me a bit.

My own view is that the metadata collection program wasn't crazy--in fact, it was less bad than what I feared was going on. But 'not crazy' doesn't mean good.

So...looks like we might be on the right trajectory here.

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Wendigo Is Associated With Cannibalism

Ebola Outbreak in Guinea May Spread to Liberia

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Carolina 83, ISU 85

Great game...up 'til a controversial ending.

Clock started late, Roy tried calling a TO based on the incorrect clock. If the correct time had been visible, Britt would have just taken the shot. Refs finally call time out, confer for like 5 minutes, then declare the game over.

Great, great game up to that point. Tons of respect for ISU...  Some combination of great ISU play and a Carolina collapse led to an ISU 17-6 run in the last 3:30. Ouch...

Good luck in the next round to Iowa State!

Go Tar Heels, Beat Iowa State

Sucks that ISU lost Georges Niang because of a broken foot. Good for us, of course, but bad for ISU, and for basketball.

Good luck, Cyclones, I hope you find some way to minimize the impact of this...  I'll be rooting for you in a sense...but...not to win...if you see what I mean.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Carolina 79, Providence 77

To quote Roy: we're as lucky as the dickens and I'm happy about that...

There was a stretch there in the second half during which everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But this team is tough, and they pulled it out.

Bryce Cotton had a helluva game for Providence.

Survive and advance...

Mercer 78, Duke 71


Posted without comment.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Reflections On The Iraq Debacle

Lest we forget how insane the right was about Iraq:
... here is the bedrock tenet of the Ledeen Doctrine in more or less his own words: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business” ... The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense.
That's Jonah Goldberg, the Doughy Pantload himself. Not exactly a foreign policy genius...  Everybody who was clamoring for that war--and that means almost all the "pundits" on the right--needs to have his punditry/bullshitting card revoked.. What idiots. But they haven't missed a beat nor shown any remorse. Nor, in any case I can think of, even any recognition that they passionately advocated for arguably our biggest foreign policy error.

The Chicken from (the) Hell (Creek Formation)

VTOL X-Planes

So cool....

Anti-Vaxxers Bring Back Measles

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Romney Blasts Obama, Larison Blasts Romney

Romney makes with the Monday-morning quarterbacking and...surprise!...thinks the Crimea crisis is Obama's fault!

Gosh! I didn't see that coming!

Daniel Larison reminds us how lucky we are that Romney isn't president...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Why Do So Many (Incompetent) Men Become Leaders?

link...parentheses mine...

This is consistent with my own theory. Basically:  bullshit walks.

Overconfidence and bullshit are frequently winning strategies. Males are more inclined to act that way. Ergo males have an advantage.

I know both males and females who get by on overconfidence and bullshit...but I think it's obvious that dudes do it more...

Happy St. Paddy's

From the DKMs

Thinking About Teaching English Abroad?

Then you are a disgusting oppressor, jack.

(h/t /r/TumblrInAction)

Obama on "Between Two Ferns" Pisses off Republicans and Older People

Of course that's basically true no matter what he does, so...


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Gold Is Used As/In Currency

Gold is relatively unreactive, but it has a low enough melting point that it could be processed easily by past civilizations. In contrast, something like platinum, which is also relatively inert chemically, has a melting point of 3,000 degrees Celsius. This made platinum almost impossible to process until relatively recently. Similarly, gold is rare in the earth’s crust, but there is enough of it to go around.
It's not inexplicable. It's not a "social construction"...

JFC, who is convincing my students that it is utterly arbitrary and the core analogy for understanding all human interactions????

Bad Seed

6 seed...


Dean Smith: Ten Things You Should Know

Definitely worth watching.

Congrats Wahoos, 2014 ACC Tournament Champions

UVa is for real, yo.

Private Hexacopter Drone Armed With 80k-Volt Taser


Next, of course, come the H-Ks... Primer on the Keystone XL Pipeline

Definitely worth a read.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

NASA-Funded Study: Industrial Civilization Headed for Irreversible Collapse? (???)

Here's the report in the Guardian.

Despite the fact that I'm sympathetic to this sort of thing, the link to the organization does not inspire confidence in their objectivity.

I wonder whether the GSFC will have someone else analyze this report...  Seems a little tough for the layperson to evaluate. 

I don't understand why collapse conjectures are considered so fringe-y...  Seems like the sort of thing we should think seriously about. 

Note also that nothing in the story supports the headline.

(Snagged this off of Metafilter. This accorded with enough of MeFi's prejudices to be approved of by the echo that's another reason to be skeptical. Mention carrying-capacity there and you're normally accused of being a racist. But this throws some elbows at the rich, too, so I suppose that made up for the population stuff...)

Do You Participate in Food Gentrification????


It’s hard to believe that these forces are working simultaneously: how can we fetishize the act of eating so much while also making food more inaccessible to the people who need it the most? Who is benefiting from this? The setting-aside of food as social capital is logical within the aspirational framework of late capitalism; it makes sense for us to be celebrating the product over the worker and to implicitly shame the ones who cannot afford to shop in the same supermarket aisles as we can. It makes sense for us to colonize others’ traditional foods while critiquing new interpretations of those traditions by the same communities who strive to reinterpret their legacy back into the realm of meaning. In this way we enact little imperialisms that make it possible for us to pat ourselves on our backs, safe from “normal” food and the industrial processes that sustain an illusion of consciousness: trapped in an endless cycle of sleep, false awakening, and BPA-free Breakfast Bars.

This collage of nonsense brought to you my one Soleil Ho...

This sort of thing is way, way beyond stupid. The lefty-left is a cult, and it wants to destroy your mind. Liberals should have no more sympathy with this sort of crap than they do with far right nonsense. In fact, little of the conservative nonsense we routinely encounter is this confused. It may be wrong, but it's typically not gibberish--whereas this kind of crap is about two steps away from gobbledygook. You may not agree with, say, the free market fundamentalists--I certainly don't. But even Ayn Rand is way more coherent than this crap.

* Note: "cultural appropriation" is yet another bit of nonsense from the lefty-left. I just can't stand the thought that someone might think I'm using that phrase seriously.

ODS: Ukraine Edition: WHAT TEH GIPPER WOULD DO Edition

Since the rightosphere is in a constant state of frothy criticism of everything Obama does and says, and since one of their guiding fantasies concerns their delusion that Republicans are somehow intrinsically tougher than Democrats, it should come as no surprise that they're trying to use the Ukraine crisis so as to score them some points against their least-favorite Kenyan socialist. Of course there's no reason to think that there's anything obvious that Obama is failing to do here...but we're still getting a lot of the usual silly comparisons to Reagan.

Here, via Drum, is Dan Drezner calling bullshit on all the THE GIPPER WOULD NEVER STAND FOR THIS nonsense. It's a quick read: five tweets do the trick...

Friday, March 14, 2014

NC Boy Bullied Over MLP Backpack

Carolina Loses in the ACC Tournament to a Non-ACC Team


Carolina 75-Pitt 80

Bad, bad day for the Heels...

Heidegger, The "Black Notebooks," and Antisemitism

Posted without comment.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

NSFW: Rooster Teeth: The Dolphin Experiment

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Venezuela: 3 Killed In Fresh Unrest


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

CDC: Zombie Preparedness

Actually pretty cool.

A way to get people thinking about preparedness with respect to real emergencies.

(via Reddit maybe?)

M. Bachman: If You Criticize The Koch Brothers You Should Be Prosecuted Under RICO

via LGF

Haven't heard from her in a while...

Still crazy.

"Microaggression" Mania!

"Microaggressions"--yet another stupid terminological fad on the lefty-left. Have accusations of "microaggressions" gotten out of hand? Well, in certain quarters of the web, yes. Not that anybody cares about those quarters--e.g. Tumbler--except insofar as crazy lefty web crap tends to leak into academia, and thereby infect young minds.

Sadly, liberals are loathe to call bullshit on anything like this.

Of course people do throw little verbal elbows at each other with some frequency. And, of course, some of these verbal elbows are aimed at sensitive areas. And, of course, some of those have to do with people's sexuality and related matters. So it's not that the concept "microaggression" is hopelessly stupid. It makes a certain amount of sense...  Annoying: yes. Nonsensical: no. 

But if it's genuinely difficult to discern Smith's sex, and Jones guesses wrong and uses the wrong pronoun to refer to Smith, that is not an aggression of any kind. It's a mistake. And if, say, Smith goes out of his way to seem androgynous, or to dress and act in the way that the other sex has traditionally dressed and acted, then the responsibility for the error is Smith's not Jones's. As is typical of the lefty-left, there's a kind of overreach involved in this concept and its typical application. If it were simply used to describe small acts genuinely intended to annoy, I don't see how anyone could complain about it. But the far-ish left can't seem to resist the urge to try to categorize honest error as moral crime. Asking a middle-aged, straight-looking person whether he has a family is not an "aggression." Saying "I'm not being homophobic, you're just being too sensitive" (one of the little signs under discussion) is not inherently aggressive nor wrong. It may be true, it may be false. If the former it's fine, if the latter it's not. (In fact, accusing someone of homophobia simply because you're being too sensitive is wrong.) As always, truth matters.

Though not as dangerous as the right, the left always manages to be, well, nuttier. Right-wing stuff half this transparently silly would be slapped down by liberals without hesitation. But, of course, liberals don't like to criticize anything done by certain "communities"...  Just as the right allows itself to be dragged farther into the fever swamps by its own fringe, liberalism is dragged farther into barking moonbat-dom by its own fringe. If there's a direction on the political spectrum you refuse to criticize, it's not surprising that you are dragged in that direction...

Crowdsourcing The Search For MH370


(via Reddit)

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Carolina 81-Duke 93

Congratulations to Duke. Jabari Parker is a beast.

One of those nights on which not much went right for the Heels...but Duke did lots of things well, including killing us on the boards. That was huge.

We're so much better this year than anybody thought we would be without PJ that it's tough to complain... But it would have been nice to have played better and at least been in a position to steal this one...

But such is hoops...

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Go Tar Heels, Beat Duke

A far-less-hateable-than-usual Duke team this year...but it's still important to whup 'em...

Go get 'em, boys!

Snowdon Claims to Have Raised Concerns Internally 10 Times Before Going Rogue

At the Washington Post.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Heart of Dukeness

Some Sophomoric, Pseudo-Scienfic Crap About the Self

Jesus, why do I even read this crap?

Thursday, March 06, 2014


Ol' Roy has some serious streaks in ACC play.

Mass of Humans, Pets and Livestock vs. Mass of Wild Animals


But overpopulation isn't a thing of course...

(I didn't check the accuracy of the chart) 

(Via Reddit)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

New Marijuana Study Confirms Everyone Knows You're High

The Onion, still a national treasure.

(via Reddit)

Has Putin Lost Touch With Reality?


Trigger Happy: "Trigger Warnings" Are, Basically, Bullshit

Are you such a special snowflake/shrinking violet that you need to be warned if, say, spiders or fatty foods are mentioned in something you're about to read? Then perhaps "trigger warnings" are for you...

Some Ocean Fish Getting Smaller--A LOT Smaller

Here's the progression of the Florida Keys in the last 50 years.

The biggest fish used to be they're the size of large bass.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Poland Says Russian Aggression Must Be Stopped

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Feinstein on Dean Smith

A great piece. Worth reading it all. One bit that stands out:

Larry Brown:  “He’s the single most decent man I ever met."

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Report of Russian Forces Attempting to Seize Crimean Anti-Aircraft Missile Base

Interfax via Reuters [via Reddit]