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Yes, Let's Talk About Sloppiness

UPDATE: Sorry, I just saw I failed to link to Field's essay! Corrected. Laura K. Field, in a five-part essay attempting to trash Patrick Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed , accuses Deneen of sloppiness. For instance, she writes: "Bacon was not merely interested in 'torturing' nature to discover her secrets, as Deneen repeatedly alleges." I just re-checked my copy of Deneen, and: He never says Bacon was "merely" interested in "torturing" nature. This just happens to be the aspect of Bacon's thought he is interested in. The book is not a intellectual biography of Bacon, nor even an intellectual history of liberalism. So why would we expect a full picture of Bacon as a thinker? That itself might take up the whole book, and Deneen would never get around to discussing liberalism! He does mention this notion... just once . Not "repeatedly." Field writes: "I do not know where Deneen got the idea that Francis Bacon had no interest

Prices going up? Prices going down?

 Ball of confusion It's climate change today Hey hey! Or at least, there are people out there who would like to blame every single bad thing that happens on "climate change." Listen, I am a climate conservative: I think we should mess with our atmosphere as little as possible, and I believe we might have messed with it too much already. But ... Today, I saw someone on Twitter blame recent price rises on... us "cooking the planet." Uuuugh... Earth is warming up some, but it's been far warmer than this in the past. What's more... earth don't care! It's a friggin' planet! It will be fine even if we wipe out the human race. Not every bad thing that happens is due to climate change! The January 6 riot did not happen because of climate change. China persecuting the Uyghuts is not due to climate chnage. And the recent bout of inflation is not due to climate change: It is due to the Fed flooding the economy with cheap funds for a dozen years. Got it

What Is This Life?

Rationalists pride themselves on believing in evolution, unlike dopey creationists. Per the theory of evolution, if we find that all, say, woodchucks engage in some behavior, and expand a great deal of energy in doing so, we should suspect that that activity is important to the woodchucks’ survival, even if we are not sure how. It would be very non-Darwinian of us to dismiss this behavior as “Just stupid woodchucks, doing something ridiculous and pointless.” And yet when it is noticed that all human societies ever have engaged in some form of behavior that can be characterized as religious, and have spent a great deal of energy doing so, these rationalists dismiss this behavior as “Just stupid humans, doing something ridiculous and pointless.”

The biology of your eyes

I saw some contact lenses advertised that boasted that they were designed with that in mind. An example of sciences trying to take credit for the things they study: our eyes have a nature, not a “biology.” Biology studies that nature.

More Adams-esque Nonsense

This was in the Dirk Gently TV show, so I don't know if Douglas Adams wrote it himself or it was inserted by the TV writers, but it is fully in line with Douglas Adams BS: Dirk at some point "realizes" that a woman he has met is actually his former professor's brain-dead daughter's body operating via a "downloaded" AI. For the people who like this kind of nonsense, this is an acceptable story line, because it is "scientific." Ok, let us suppose that "AI" is a real concept, and let us further suppose that human brains are a sort of computer. Well, then, the original AI would have been a program running on some computer architecture... say, Intel x86... and then program was then "downloaded" onto the professor's daughter... so, wait: Her brain implemented the x86 instruction set? Intel created human brains? And although it was severely damaged, it was fine again once it downloaded some new program? The people who love this

Douglas Adams

He had a decent sense of humor. But his great appeal to intellectual midwits comes mostly through having his characters babble inanities like “Consciousness is just a stream of binary code.”

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice

When Martin Luther King said this, apparently quoting Theodore Parker, it demonstrated how thoroughly his Christianity had already been infected by progressivism. From a Christian perspective, there is simply no reason to suspect that the world will become more and more just in secular time. The sheep and goats will be with us right until the final judgment. Parker first coined this phrase over 160 years ago. The time since his death has seen the race for Africa, which included the huge slave work camp called the Belgian Congo, World War I, the Soviet Gulag, the Chinese cultural revolution, the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the fire bombing of Dresden… By any objective reading of history, Parker‘s conviction has been shown as idiotically wrong.