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About this blog

Between the void and the invalid, Reason!

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"Atheist Terrorism" in small-town Texas

Another repulsive mass-murder in America. Another 'type' of and motive for killing, this time a "creepy" and militant atheism -- at least according to some media outlets. Our old pal Baxter Dmitry adds a bit of fey canoes ...  Texas church shooting – Facebook rants of ‘creepy’ gunman Devin Kelley, 26, who preached about atheism before killing 26 churchgoers Devin Kelley, 26, who carried out the worst mass shooting in Texas' history, ranted on Facebook about churchgoers being 'stupid

william.scherk

william.scherk

Tribes, Tribalism, Tribulations

Tribes, Tribalism, Tribulations

When Two Tribes Go To War ... Taking this topic out from the conspiracy thread here at Friends and Foes. I  want to look at how we discern tribalisms, membership, shibboleths and associated markers.    Define: William's tribe. Define: Michael's tribe.   List: core beliefs of Michael's tribe (sacred cows) List: core beliefs of William's tribe (sacred cows) Once a core belief of Michael's / William's tribal affiliates is identified, plug the details in

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

It's Flag Day in Puerto Rico

There is at least one American territory where the stand-up-when-the-President-tells-you-to brouhaha is not pertinent, the island of Puerto Rico.  Apparently, some storm lashed the island and left a bit of a mess. The President is probably demanding flag-obedience before unleashing any aid.  Speaking of aid, here is a mental aid in the form of visual imagery. Back to your regular programming, where dissent is cancer.

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Gaseous burbles from "the swamp"

Former President George W Bush doesn't usually make much news, but a speech he gave at his Presidential Center has the usual suspects dragging out portions of his speech for crimes against Trump.  The theme of the conflab at the Bush Center was "The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World." Here is the full speech, and below I add in the full text. Some  folks think it was an unfair attack on the current President (or his perfect policies and actions). You listen, you read, you decide

william.scherk

william.scherk

Fire, Cognition, Fury, Persuasion [Updated]

Fire, Cognition, Fury, Persuasion [Updated]

President Trump, in his inimitable fashion, has pushed back against one of the central themes of Michael Wolff's breathless work of gossip, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The theme -- fanciful, false, 'fake' or not -- is that Trump's White House was staffed with more than a few folks who view the man in the Oval Office as unfit for the job, lacking the qualities of mind that one should expect. This is not a new theme. Here is an article in Statnews last year that tried (a

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Falsifying Video: "Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment"

The world of video hoaxing has a relatively new tool. Technology is used to insert facial expression into a video of a person speaking, re-rendering the video to reflect a ''real time" actor's expressions ... ka-reepy implications. See also an alarmist Business Insider article, "AI and CGI will transform information warfare, boost hoaxes, and escalate revenge porn."  

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

A Tale of Three Points on a List

Thank you for tuning in. This is my script for responding to a notion put forward on the front porch of OL. I use the blog to form arguments and to analyze statements. Much of my work here is done to pre-load some assumptions. In this case, the prelaoded assumptions are in the quoted material First step, orientation and identification. Think of you and a map in hand, along with a remembered direction. You are in America, where opinions flow fast and hot.  Mark Levin is a radio-jock, a talk-

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Diamonds in the rough [was Test Bed]

[NB -- this was originally an unpublished draft, but was viewable by the Administrator, who rightfully thought it was a normal entry in the blog. I publish it now since it contains some interesting and challenging feedback on my opinions. The draft was taken from the Rigging thread.] Overkill.  Gotcha. Gazillions!  Maybe, as you say. Maybe not. I hope that reports and suspicions of irregularities and vulnerabilities are taken seriously by any American concerned about the integri

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

What is loaded language, and how can we make best use of it?

I came across an entry at the place called "Rational Wiki." The biases of the wiki are evidently left-wing, if not progressive, if not evul. Ostensibly ... Here's the loaded language page header (click through).  One of the more fraught uses of 'prejudicial language' is identified as "snarl words."  Isn't using 'snarl words' part of the fun of online discussion? -- surveying the Wiki site's entries, it made me think of a kind of weight in Ayn Rand's language in both fiction and

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Edit test

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william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Larry Budd Peikoff

Has at it here in a post taken from the http://www.peikoff.com/ site, front page, in response to a question about Ayn Rand and smoking. I will search diligently to find out what the heck this snippet means. Q: If Ayn Rand were still alive, would she smoke? A: No. As a matter of fact, she stopped smoking in 1975. When the Surgeon General in the 50s claimed that smoking was dangerous, he offered nothing to defend this view but statistical correlations. Ayn Rand, of course, dismissed any alleged

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Storm in the cosm

I can't imagine what this guy is feeling, but I am stirred emotionally a bit.  I can almost describe the feeling I had when I first saw the image.  I had been looking on Google Image for similar images to one which was used as illustration of the Romantic/Sublime arty-farty heyday. Google Images returns, most often, a similar colour-range (the illustration was blue) and quite often a contextual/conceptual similitude: the Google Image results for 'search for this image' gave "like" mountains, pea

william.scherk

william.scherk

Ayn Rand Institute Binswanger lectures on emotion on Youtube

Ayn Rand Institute Binswanger lectures on emotion on Youtube

Well worth a listen are two recently-uploaded visual-radio pieces from ARI's Youtube channel.  I wish a few of our founding-people regulars were still around to masticate this lecture. My first impression was that Binswanger is both precise and sloppy:  the lack of 'show notes' or references makes it cloudy where exactly he is relying upon someone else's work. He implicitly invokes both Plutchik and Ekman, but does not say their names, rubbishing one, but basing his next ten minutes on the other

william.scherk

william.scherk

Argument Clinic #1  'The danger in asking for specifics"

Argument Clinic #1 'The danger in asking for specifics"

[Added by WSS, August 18 2018: old placeholder thread, updated with a puzzler snatched from the front pages of OL. It's a neat little attribution discussion, with sides of psychology and morality ... I may not get around to answering myself for a bit, but thought to dust this old entry off, give it some glitz, and apply twenty-first century cogitation tech. ] Argument Clinic May 12 and 13 -- thanks to the tipster who saw this entrained convo begin to derail.  I'd like to think tha

william.scherk

william.scherk

Bones (and flesh) of Contention

Bones (and flesh) of Contention

I will put the whole list of unremarkables and red-zoned claims/statements, perhaps regrouping them, and adding links where appropriate. I have been hungering for some kind of discussion with OLers on climatology's raging discourse. This may be the opening, a list of contentious contentions, and notes on same. Sharpen the dialogue, deepen the inquiry, get over the hurdles of shared knowledge. To the curb with unwarranted assumptions, as we dig. I do believe reasoned and reasonable inquiry can gi

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Shock Therapy

Could be interpreted as meaning the US is 'considering' stopping all trade with Russia, China, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, and a list of other countries of lesser note.  If you interpret it as a threat of consequence, it could  have been designed to merely send a message to the biggest two-way trade partner, the People's Republic: Uncle Sam envisions extreme measures short of war, targeted at enabler nations. From another angle, the "all trade" is blufftrump, while the biggest offender s

william.scherk

william.scherk

 

Objective eyes on November: Roundtable - May 11, 2016

Objective eyes on November: Roundtable - May 11, 2016  Roger Bissell, Robert Campbell, and William Scott Scherk look through Objective(ish) eyes at the US presidential election. Get to know the spirit, humour and wit of the three amigos in the first of a series. Presented as an audio-only podcast at Conversations with the Greats | Show notes at November Eyes Notes  

william.scherk

william.scherk