Showing posts from December, 2021

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.

Do you have any sticky buns?

And by “sticky buns” I mean steel wool And by “steel wool” I mean aspirin No? Well, forget I asked! What are my needs to you? Me, a mere scullery maid… And by “scullery maid” I mean sticky buns…

But isn’t it improving?

When I was mentioning how buggy Apple’s voice recognition software was, in about 2017, one of my audience asked “But it’s getting better and better, isn’t it?“ I thought about this for about a second, and answered “No, I’ve seen no improvement since I started using it seven or eight years ago.” I must report that my evaluation is exactly the same today. And I find this really remarkable: how could this software be out and in use for so long, yet show no signs of improvement whatsoever?

The stupidest convention in detective fiction

Is the one where, at the end, the detective assembles everyone who the reader or viewer ever suspected, accuses them one after another of the crime, and finally reveals the true culprit. Whatever would be the point of such an activity, in solving any real world crime? None.

One Day, I'm Going to Vanish Out of the Historical Record

I just heard: "After this defeat, the NeoAssyrian empire vanished from the historical record." What this nitwit meant was that the empire ceased to exist. It's not like he thinks there is still a secret "NeoAssyrian empire" that just happens to be missing from the "historical record." No, the empire ended, but he can't bring himself to speak simply, and has to say the nonsense I quote above.

Pulling a special science out of a rabbit hole

You’ve heard this before: the practitioner of some special science tells you “The world you see with your senses is not real. It is an illusion generated in your brain. The real world is the one exhibited by [FILL IN SPECIAL SCIENCE HERE].” So, a physicist may tell you that the real world is what physics shows us. But how do we know what the laws and entities of physics are? Well, we know them by looking at a read out on a scale, or watching a dial, or peering through a telescope or electron microscope. In other words, this supposedly reliable world of physics is completely built upon the supposedly illusory world of our senses! If we can’t trust our senses when we look at a tree or another person, why can we suddenly trust them when we look at a meter or a scale? It is obvious nonsense. At the very best, if the world of our senses is actually an illusion, then the laws of physics are the laws of how this illusion behaves.

The inconsistency of liberal neutrality

It is often been pointed out that “liberal neutrality“ is a myth, that all laws embody concepts of right and wrong, and liberalism certainly is not neutral between liberal and non-liberal viewpoints. But even on its own terms, its claims are unjustified: if there is no way that we can publicly assert what's right and what’s wrong, if there’s no objective way to justify these judgments, then there is no way to justify the liberal claim that the government should be neutral between different moral stances. That itself is a moral claim, and by the tenets of liberalism, can’t be granted any priority over competing moral claims, such as “In the face of competing moral stances, the best thing to do is Win! so that your own stance carries the day.”


I had a chance to rewatch the Dustin Hoffman film Tootsie not too long ago. Theoretically, it is a message about equality, and how men don’t treat women well. But if you actually consider the plot carefully, it seems the main message is “Men are even better at being a woman than women are.”