Category Archives: Culture

Higher Ed Bubble

As Instapundit would say, the higher education bubble is going to pop.

“Around the same time, Pyne began to criticize new graduate programs within the business school. Internally, he told colleagues that they were more like undergraduate programs in quality. He said as much externally, including in comments posted to a local news website, where he also mentioned his findings on predatory publications.” (Bolding is mine…)

I suspect he was right about both the predatory publishing (a method of inflating one’s academic credentials) and the new program… after all, in response the university: 1) Told him that faculty, staff, and students were afraid of him 2) refused to give him access to complaints against him 3) ordered him to take a psychological evaluation or be forced onto medical leave 4) banned him from campus and confiscated his keys… which seems more like what you’d do with someone making threats of mass murder or something…

He messed up, he thought that the university cared about excellence…

 

 

Q comics

Whatever you think about Q, you probably have to agree that it would make a great comic… (Unless you’ve never heard of it…)

(The picture is a link to Indiegogo… where you can see more about the story plan etc…)

New Battlefronts

While conservative Christians focus on the near stalemate on evolution, this is happening. This is coming hard and fast. It’s like a heavy cavalry charge where all of us will be trampled to death if we refuse to face the changing threats… and everyone seems happy to argue about the interior volume of the ark…

WATCH: Leftist Students Freak Out When Panel Agrees Men And Women Are Different

The Democrat 2020 Totem-pole

I think Elizabeth Warren (Figure 1) is massively afraid of being upstaged on the diversity totem pole by Oprah (Figure 2) in the 2020 Democrat primary. (heh… totem pole) She is afraid that she will lose all political oxygen like the regular GOP candidates did… Since the diversity and progress cultists require ever renewed highs, (like addicts) I think Oprah would be formidable or even unbeatable in the Democrat 2020 primary. See, I think part of Hillary’s problem was that she wasn’t a step up the totem pole from Obama. Going from a black President to a white one is unacceptably regressive for Democrats. Oprah, being black and female, has more diversity points even than Obama, and therefore represents ‘progress’. (Eventually anyone who isn’t minority, female, LGBTetc, and diagnosed with PTSD will be unacceptable to democrats as they will be regressive…) Since the majority of the Democrats in power are white and/or male, I expect the Dems to launch preemptive strikes to keep Oprah out of the 2020 business. And Warren leads the way:

“I don’t know” if America is ready for another celebrity billionaire president, she said. “Here’s what I do know. We are right now in the middle of fights that will determine our future for generations to come.”

Figure 1: ‘Native American’

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Figure 2: ‘Cares about Sexual Harassment’

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Oh… look at that a few preliminary preemptive strikes…

www.washingtonpost.com

www.reviewjournal.com/opinion

www.chicagotribune.com

 

 

Christians in a SciFi world

Just a few days ago one of my student brought this up at our faith and science discussion. I had never heard of it, but the story is so tragic and yet God used the Gibsons to do something incredible. It is so odd and yet such a powerful story that it is hard to place the emotion it produces.

The Gibsons had Emma through the National Embryo Donation Center, a faith-based embryo adoption program in which couples hoping to conceive are paired with embryos that will not be used by their genetic parents. The NEDC said in a news release that it has received donated embryos from all 50 states, as well as foreign countries.

A “baby counter” on the NEDC website tallies its live births at 686 babies.

Emma was frozen in October 1992, when Tina Gibson, 26, was 18 months old. The embryo was thawed in March of this year and implanted two days later. “Emma is such a sweet miracle,” Benjamin Gibson said, according to the news release. “I think she looks pretty perfect to have been frozen all those years ago.”

Science Fiction almost never includes believing Christians but here we get a weird, uncanny view into how Christians behave in a Science Fiction wor

Some ‘Debunked’ Conspiracy Theories May Be True…

A few links here… I thought I’d share… (Which makes me think that although Comet Ping Pong may not be the place, Pizzagate in essence is real…) I don’t have any energy to write about such a gruesome topic, but I will mention that I continue to think (as I told my wife some days ago) that this whole ‘Sexual Harassment Apocalypse‘, the whole media/democrat #MeToo thing, is largely to burn everyone out on hearing about sexual harassment before the really horrible people (the ones that make Brian Singer look humane and moral) get found out. (Also, it makes me wonder if these kinds of rumors (like in the blind item) are what got Andrew Klavan going on A Killer in the Wind…

The Hollywood Rape Machine

Blind Item – The Church

The Last Closet

Emotional Contagion

Everyone is a propagandist… and cognitive science is scary.

Also, these things seem to be able to be actively encouraged and fomented: Transgender Social Contagion Reminds School Counselor of Salem in 1692

 

Humor

I’m about to poke a wasp’s nest: not one of those 2 hour old ones with, like 5 wasps on it, but a big full one…. Are women funny?

(I was going to just put “Answer: No… :)” here, but I decided that perhaps some people would stop reading immediately then…)

From anecdotal evidence: I have a funny wife (not just claimed to avoid the couch…) a funny mom and a sister who sometimes borders on the amusing. Naturally, I’m the funniest one (NB ‘Eat the Curds of fortitude’ is exhibit A), but yes. On to the article which was… wrong… on the internet…

The article begins with an anecdote about a TA:

A few years ago, Laura Mickes was teaching her regular undergraduate class on childhood psychological disorders at the University of California, San Diego. It was a weighty subject, so occasionally she would inject a sarcastic comment about her own upbringing to lighten the mood. When she collected her professor evaluations at the end of the year, she was startled by one comment in particular:

“She’s not funny,” the student wrote.

We could start to theorize why this women wasn’t found to be funny by her students, but I think as you read the article (which is interesting on several levels) you will start to form a picture as to what might have counted as ‘a sarcastic comment’. (Also note: sarcasm is hard, you have to be very good natured, funny in other ways, and perhaps even self-deprecating to pull off sarcasm in front of students. Like everyone else, students will find untempered sarcasm to be just nastiness, not humor, from male and female alike.)

The article discusses much interesting research into humor, but the odd thing about this article is the tone… It is hard to place at first, and then one finds increasing levels of bitterness. Somewhere closing in on the end comes the moment of enlightenment for the reader.

“If funniness is an implement of power, women deserve access to it, too.”

Welp… that’s your problem right there. Feminism is fundamentally Nietzschean, where the interplay of the sexes is actually a battle for power over each other. Also, apparently humor is only about power.  Women who have spent their lives absorbing all this poison are also women who automatically dismiss criticism from men as sexist and misogynistic. (How can you learn to make men laugh if you assume that the only reason they don’t is that they hate women?) By assuming that every man that doesn’t laugh is a misogynist, these women cut off their learning feedback and so will never actually be funny. They may be adept at mockery and witty spite, but belly laughter will always elude them.

Humor comes from a real desire to have other people laughing and at ease. This can be honed by lots of trial and error, wherein if something makes your audience laugh you do more of it, and if it doesn’t, you take the instant feedback and try something else. Its possible that, if the women who are angry that men don’t think they are funny just tried and tried until they found some things that work… maybe they’d be funny too. If you look at the research discussed in the article, you’ll find that that is how men are perceived to be funny, they just try more times and more things.

Hmm

Makes you wonder how bad it is, that they couldn’t find an excuse to put it off until after the election….

UPDATE: Per the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, the investigation will be complete prior to Election Day, in “two or three days, max.”

Trying to sort out the byzantine system of injustice that surrounds Hillary… Like maybe Comey was bought, but not that bought… you know… or maybe whats there isn’t anything, and she can crow for the last week on how awesome she is… or what…? We are nearly at Borgia levels of intrigue in our government… and I suspect we will get the whole way there if Hillary becomes president.

 

 

The ‘Obscure Move’ rule

Many of you are familiar with Chesterton’s fence: wherein he will not allow anyone who says ‘I don’t see the purpose for that gate’ to take the fence down. Rather, the man who understands why the fence is there might be permitted to take it down.

I propose a variation on that theme, but with the mechanisms of a political campaign. But I need a new analogy, and so I will use the game of go.

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We will call this the ‘obscure move’ rule. For this example, perhaps some knowledge of go ranking will be helpful. There are amateur ranks called ‘kyu’ and there are professional ranks called ‘dan’. At the IGS (a go server) that I play on sometimes the ‘amateur’ levels start at ‘beginner’ and then the first ranked ones are 17k at the bottom and 1k at the top. These are roughly 10 in steps of 10 point differences in skill. I play at about the 9k level currently (though I have been up closer to the 6k before I got rusty). So, say for example, that I am playing a 2k… and as we play the 2k plays a move that makes no sense to me. There are all sorts of moves on the board that seem to me to be more important to play at this point. I know from experience (when playing a 12k for example) that the most common response form most people is to assume that the better player just made a mistake. I, on the other hand, will spend as much time as I can afford on the game timer trying to figure out why that move was so important to the better player. I assume that I don’t understand the move because the player sees things that I cannot.

To take this a little further, lets say you are an average person… (by definition, this is the most likely place to find people, intellectually or in go playing ability…) and lets say that you are watching two people play a game of go and as far as you can tell the game seems tied. Then black makes a move that seems to be unimportant or a mistake to you. This move is obscure to you, it is the eponymous ‘Obscure Move’ and you want to rant about why it makes no sense.If your criticism is: ‘I don’t know why black just did that, but these other moves were much better’ I shall ignore you and all your subsequent analysis. You haven’t even tried to understand the move. If, on the other hand, you go and think for a while and come back with ‘I think black was trying to accomplish so and such but these moves would have yielded a better outcome’ I shall give you my full attention.

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elecitonmap

That is from Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight election forecast. And I am tired of hearing people say ‘I don’t know why Trump doesn’t have a ground game… I don’t know why he doesn’t buy ads… I don’t know why he doesn’t have tons of paid staffers for his campaign! He will clearly lose without these things! Obviously! Because Romney dumped a ton of money and lost, so obviously more money must be spent to win!’ Perhaps these people are right, perhaps Trump has no idea what he is doing. But before they speak so stridently, these strange people who insist that Republicans must continue to run their campaigns the same way they keep losing their elections really ought to at least try to come up with a reasonable explanation for the ‘Obscure Moves’ they are criticizing.

As for me, if money and ads won elections, the Republican Nominee would be named Bush. And perhaps staffers are actually parasites on the funds raised for their political cause… If anyone would do a cost/benefit analysis one would think that Trump might have done so, and decided that the return on investment for staffers is nil. As for the ads… I suspect that Trump might be the only candidate who really groks the American people’s short attention span. If ads actually yield a return on investment, perhaps all the conventional wisdom of ‘define your opponent early’ is wrong, and most Americans decide based on the last 2-3 weeks… maybe Trump is letting the voters get sick of Hillary ads and is deciding which states actually make sense to play ads in. Maybe this is an electoral version of holding ones fire until you can see the whites of the eyes… Maybe not. Maybe Trump is incompetent, but at least I don’t start with that assumption and then presume that the strategic choices are incompetent. I look for the possible competent/intelligent strategy possibilities first, then make a judgement as to the possible efficacy of the strategy.

So, when you encounter an ‘Obscure Move’ take your time to try and understand why it might be a good or even brilliant move before you conclude that it was a mistake.