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About this blog

Between the void and the invalid, Reason!

Entries in this blog

 

Las Vegas massacre byproducts

A glimpse of the worst kind of 'reporting' ... from the Gateway Pundit, determined to put something out there to agitate and draw clicks, regardless of truth: Then there are those who go with the first thing on their minds (a sample): -- and of course, the "news" from good old 'Baxter Dmitry' ... spinning hard, and adding a "false flag" note drawn from his asshole. Helpfully, the ghouls at Infowars are busting a gut to lay blame ... Alex Jones

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Mann v Ball

"Have been knows" uses the passive voice and has no subject. Be that as it may, I think the lawsuit's progress is poorly reported by John O'Sullivan. There are a lot of claims made in his article at Principia (which Merlin noted was reproduced elsewhere, though not in mainstream news media). There are a lot of claims made, but some or all may prove not be true. An Objectivist approach ...?  Maybe examine the 'sides' ... and maybe examine the herald. It should be remembered that O'Sullivan i

william.scherk

william.scherk

489 Days of Excitement (Democratic Party Presidential Candidates)

489 Days of Excitement (Democratic Party Presidential Candidates)

Three hundred and twenty-five days until the first chance Democratic electors have to select a candidate (beginning with the Iowa caucuses), plus the time between that caucus and the end of the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee Wisconsin on July 16 2020. I'll be using this topic thread to note various peaks of excitement between now and then.  I don't think there will be much excitement on the Republican side -- since barring unforeseen circumstances, President Trump is assured th

william.scherk

william.scherk

How to disagree without being disagreeable

How to disagree without being disagreeable

I was thinking about some of the life-learning and wisdom of Nathaniel Branden, half-convinced in my mind that I was remembering a quote accurately, that Nathaniel Branden had written "disagree" and "disagreeable" much like I thought in the title of this entry. I did find a phrase, something like I remembered and put it in fuller context at bottrom. But first some thoughts from the departed. The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of t

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Release the MEMO

The Hill reports the 'breaking' news that the White House has approved the public release of the MEMO. The MEMO was crafted by staff of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). From an earlier report ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Conversation-starters

[Edited to add a clanger from 2008] Robert Bidinotto's penultimate posting at OL: From today (April 24) -- RC and MSK get closer to the nub of disagreement:        

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

MILO and the third rail

Glorp Glorp Glorp. Madame Macron is a pedophile. They never stop. Everyone knows that. Elsewhere on the blog ... Here is the promised video+audio of Milo Yiannopoulos discussing his youthful sexual activity, through the lens of a provocative gay man, with material from two podcasts, one internet radio show, and a press conference ...  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Annotating Regi Firehammer's essay on Evolution

I am intrigued by Regi Firehammer's article on Evolution, which is published at USAbig.com. With his permission, I have re-published it at my website with my annotations, suggestions and notes. I will keep this blog entry locked until I have finished the first set of notes. Below is the essay as it stands. -- here is my annotated version as published. My work is incomplete now mostly complete, although the frame will 'update' if the work proceeds and I revise the file. Thanks, Regi, f

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"Emotions are tools of cognition."

The topic of emotion in Randland has always interested me. My very first point of contact with Objectivish things online was the place of emotion in cognition. It is interesting to find myself in rough agreement with Michael all these years later.  In the midst of a very intriguing conversation with my favourite South African Randian, this by MSK: It's not really fair to truncquote this bit, but readers can plunge back into the front porch thread to gain the flow of discussion, and t

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Let's talk about it. Here.

Brant, some areas of biology are more complicated than flip one-liners ... I think you do well understand that there is variation in genitals. I have explained this before at length here. Please review the 'spectrum' of real-world and recurring cases of babies born with indeterminate external genitalia. It is relevant and not all that  complicated in principle: the X and the Y have jobs to do as chromosomes. In a normally developing fetus, their job is done to the norm.  It is the not norm I thi

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Convention report card -- Cleveland 2016

A well-timed leak of the Trump remarks as prepared has sloshed its way into the hoopla machinery. One such transcript is here, at Politico. Over at Reason, the reasonable Matt Welch points out a few disquieting tones of authoritarianism.  I have been watching Trump speeches since the primaries, since I ate crow about Bush.  I will watch and re-watch this one tonight, as it is probably the most important speech by the candidate to date, and will probably garner the biggest TV audience

william.scherk

william.scherk

Friends and foes chatter [Updated]

Friends and foes chatter [Updated]

Chat instructions via video! So, my new "livecasting" set-up is  coming along. Today I botched a brief video header for this topic. I insert it just for fun. The other voice you hear is young Jordan Sather; since I wasn't wearing the headphones, I didn't know he was talking. He is talking about the Toronto attack, obliquely,  via Qanon. I will replace this with a better version where the sounds make sense and I wear the headphones as I mix. I wanted to demonstrate how easy it is to add

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Dinesh D'Souza sez Hitler was not anti-gay

Twitter is a phenomenon indeed. Yesterday Dinesh D'Souza let off the mental equivalent of a wet fart ... and reaped a whirlwind of reaction, as they say: Is he stupid, misinformed, caught in a mental litter-box, or is he all three? In other "integrity in reporting" news, Milo Yiannopoulos and Breitbart were subjects of a 'bombshell' report at Buzzfeed that has been in the works for a few months, based on a trove of emails (presumably hacked by 'muh Russians' ...). It is the equiva

william.scherk

william.scherk

Killing NAFTA

Killing NAFTA

Bloomberg has a short Trump-whisperer item on the President's supposed impatience with negotiations to "update" the North American Free Trade Agreement. Trump’s Impatience Emerging as Biggest Threat to Nafta Agreement Some of you may have read the earlier report in which he instructs General Kelly that he "wants tariffs" ... while his weepy loser staff won't bring him tariffs. That report could be 100% shit, and since said tariffs were to be imposed on China, not perhaps pertinent

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"The Five Types of Trump Voters"

The folks at the Voter Study Group have an article from June, in which some 'types' of Trump voters have been discerned. The title and subtitle -- The Five Types of Trump Voters: Who They Are and What They Believe. It is worth a read, if only to explore the path of belief ... The five 'types' are said to be: Staunch Conservatives Free Marketeers American Preservationists Anti-Elites The Disengaged

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Ayn Rand sightings

Two long and involved articles that touch -- if only briefly -- on Randian ideas in culture.  The first features Arthur Robinson (of interest to our intrepid Brant Gaede) and the second drags its hooks through 'right wing' science-fiction. Although I am familiar with some of Arthur Robinson's activities, the article on him has dug up a lot of detail, and is fairly well-written -- despite its bias. The 'right-wing' science fiction article has a case of over-reach, but as with the Robinson ar

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

"The Truth About Alex Jones, Infowars, & The Trump Family"

David Seaman has had a fair bit of promotion on Objectivist Living, not that there's anything wrong with that. Here is his latest, from which you can glean a coherent narrative of his work. Seaman had a recent appearance with the dean of American 'truther' media, Alex Jones, in a short and sweet update on the dread communication platform Twitter. Truth, Truther, Truthest!  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Ihmisen lentävä ja lumilautailu kone

I first saw the headline from a New York magazine story and imagined a cutting-edge Finnish  'Backcountry Rescue Drone' ... but it is more of a showy stunt and a Samsung commercial and elaboration of concept.  Oversized drone capable of hauling a snowboarder. Ho hum.    

william.scherk

william.scherk

"How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole"

"How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole"

Mick West at Metabunk.org has published a book!  It's called "Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts, Logic, and Respect."  The early reviews at Amazon.com are brutal. I publish a fair-use excerpt from the introduction to the book published last month at Salon: How to pull a friend out of the conspiracy theory rabbit hole | It’s not a blue pill or a red pill, but a poison pill I've added highlights to parts of the excerpt that might be helpful to OLers st

william.scherk

william.scherk

SCIAM: "Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News"

SCIAM: "Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News"

The article "Cognitive Ability and Vulnerability to Fake News" appeared at the Scientific American website on February 6th. Its subheadline is "Researchers identify a major risk factor for pernicious effects of misinformation."  The article makes for interesting reading, whether you consider 'fake news' a classifier for broad swaths of the information landscape, or whether you consider 'fake news' to be particular items that are inaccurate, infused with partisan bias, subject to grotesque e

william.scherk

william.scherk

The Best Days of the Trump Presidency

The Best Days of the Trump Presidency

I have learned a few serenity lessons along the way, having been a typically shy-but-exuberant child and a normally anguished-at-times-by-love teenager. Emoting can be fun when it involves a bodily thrill short of nausea or panic or grief.  Outrage is then physical, in anger, disgust, just as with alarm, fear, and ever more physical as emotions heighten or become infused with more potent bodily energy -- to Rage, Revulsion, Terror.  How to keep your head when all around you are losing theirs. 

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

What do you know about psychopathy?

[Edit: this topic was "blocked" -- which I usually do when I haven't finished a topic opener, to prevent a response to a last-draft-but one. I just unblocked it, after adding my own comment below] I was thinking today about Objectivist/ish conceptions of mind, volition and 'determinism.' The context is a 2014 book called "The Psychopath Whisperer." I am about half-way through giving it a thorough read, and want to recommend it to OLers interested in the intersection of law, punishment, phil

william.scherk

william.scherk