It was the premise of the Politico article that drew me in. It was the claim that politics of 2030 would be shaped by the ghastly presidential election of 2016. There would be big changes to come.
Given the tumult of the times, I don’t doubt that one bit. The contest between The Hillary and The Donald, and all the odd and shifting v*ter alignments and policy preferences around it, is bound to reverberate into the future. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. I wondered if others were coming to similar conclusions. So I read.
Wow whotta way to go! And what a perfect song to be performing at the time. (H/T L.A.)
Twelve ways to increase your anonymity and security online. Very geeky and hardcore, but very good. (H/T Shel in comments) And for the non-geeks: is there a path forward for those who want online security but quail at the thought of TOR or an offshore VPN?
You ’60s and ’70s people — you Illuminatus! fans — want a blast from the past? This was obviously written a long time ago when Robert Anton Wilson was still alive, but the crazy life of Kerry Thornley is always worth a re-visit.
Is F*c*b**k controlling the news its users see? Are there reporters naive enough to be thinking otherwise? This becomes more and more of a problem as billions turn to a narrower range of online sources for everything. FB: the new MSM.
Ninth Circuit court — the previously infamous 9th Circuit — says there’s a Second Amendment right for gun stores, too. (Or rather, an individual right to be able to acquire guns.) And the WaPo, the always infamous WaPo, prints the recaps of both Eugene Volokh and David Kopel. Oh, the times they are a’ changin’ …
So. Do you think the whole Obama in the girls’ bathroom thing will hold up in the courts? And isn’t it downright embarrassing, as well as tyrannical, that a president is involving himself in this (you’ll pardon the expression) sh*t?
I admit that, because I’m sick unto death of social-justice pecksniffs, ivory-tower radicals, elitists who sneer down their noses at the rest of us while unable to navigate the real world for themselves, and the thuggish Melissa Click types who now personify academia (academia being the major home of rape-culture hysteria), my first reaction was to tune the book out even though everything Wendy writes is always worthwhile. Then I noticed the much more hopeful subtitle: “Fixing the damage done to men and women.”
Yeah, that needs doing. And Wendy is just the person to analyze the problem and suggest sensibly individualist solutions. Turns out the scope of this new book is wider than the title implies.
Get businesses freaked out enough about “discriminating against the disabled” and they’ll fall for anything.
12 lessons to learn and hang onto forever. (Especially for business, but plenty have applications in the rest of the world, too.)
Just to cheer you up, here’s the latest report on global-catastrophic risks. I confess not to have read it yet. I don’t need that kind of “cheering up” right now. But just in case you’re interested. (H/T MJR)
Assume your state government is in big trouble if one, single taxpayer saying goodbye could have this much impact.
Barefoot Bandit boy, I’ve always felt kind of fond of you. As criminals go, you’ve got style and brains. You reimbursed your victims and you gave $100 to my favorite vet to help animals. But this is just dumbass stupid. Your mother smoked and drank herself to death on government money. Who, other than you, would want to bring her back to life? (H/T CB)
And it’s the same-old-same-old in the world of U.S. cops, too. So it’s okay to train a dog to potentially “rip the face off” any innocent person — infant, sleeping woman, hapless bystander — as long as it’s for “officer safety”?
Getting away from all that evil … Years ago, webmaster Oliver sent me a the catalog of the Museum of Bad Art. Smiling my way through it the other day, I wondered if the place still existed. Yes! And it’s growing. Here’s a portion of its fabulous collection, each piece worth as much as $6.50. And for those who simply must have these works prominently displayed on their coffee tables, the original catalog has now been supplemented by a collection of their masterworks.
I owe Dr. Jim an apology. It must be two months now since he sent me a copy of his book for review. I meant to get on it right away. But you know, I just could not bring myself to pick up and read that book.
It’s not that there was anything wrong with it. On the contrary, at a glance it was obviously a solid, professional piece of work. I already knew Dr. Jim, an occasional Commentariat participant, writes clearly with an amazingly light touch given the subject matter. The book is lucid, well laid-out, and easy on the eye.
I just could not force myself to endure a rehash of the hash that politicians are making of what was once (and in some ways still is) the best medical system on the planet.
Once I belatedly opened the cover, I realized I had nothing to dread.
This weekend I read Oliver Sacks’ tiny mini-tome, Gratitude. I really mean tiny. It’s a book you can finish in half an hour.
It consists of four short essays, all written in the two years before his death. All four reflect on aging and dying as Sacks went from a robust 79-year-old who swam a mile a day to an invalid dying of liver cancer. He really says nothing new or profound. For that matter he doesn’t say much overtly about gratitude. The attraction is, of course, that Oliver Sacks is saying the rather familiar things about death.
He lived in front of the world for all those decades, a man of the mind who also studied minds and wrote about them in the liveliest way. So you know that when he quotes a philosopher, said philosopher was likely to have been a good friend. And you know that when his cousin turns him on to a good idea, it’s going to be his cousin the Nobel Prize winner.
In this case his cousin the Nobel Prize winning economist, Robert John Aumann, is also an observant Orthodox Jew, who inspired the last essay in the book, “Sabbath.”
I’ve always admired such strict observances as not even being willing to drive a car or flip a light switch or turn on a stove burner from some arcane-but-precise moment on Friday to some arcane-but-precise moment on Saturday. At the same time, it also seems silly. Srsly you can’t turn on a 21st-century LED light on the Sabbath because of a millennia-old proscription against lighting fires on that day? Well, yeah, it makes a certain bureaucratic sense. But …
Yet I sometimes find myself yearning for such ritual, such steadfast belief in something unknowable. I’m not patient enough to practice rituals that don’t make sense to me (whether the rituals of a mainstream religion or some neopagan thing like honoring the four corners), but it seems like such an honorable and mindful ideal.
Sacks wrote of the Sabbath differently. Watching his cousin and his family observe the Sabbath, he didn’t think of their observances as being hopelessly strict or meaningless, even though he’d long since ceased being a believer. He thought of their ultra-observent Sabbath as “a day out of time.” A day to step aside from the go-go world.
What a great way to view it.
That could mean a lot of different things to different people, but most of them, I’m guessing, are filled with adventures in serenity.
During my nice, mundane days, I’ve begun a mega-tidying. Not a Marie Kondo-type tidying, mind you. I wouldn’t tuck my purses inside my purses, even if I owned purses, which for many years I have not (see the “head in the clouds” subhead at that link if you wonder what the heck I’m talking about).
I am, among other things, tidying my computer files and finding the best places to tuck various guns, knives, and power tools. Serious tidying, that.
Along the way, I found the backup files of both the job culture book (which I knew I had somewhere) and RebelFire (which I didn’t know I had). I foresee Kindle-izing in my future.
In the directory with the not-quite-final RF book files I found yet another forgotten piece of the history of Jeremy, Cedra, and the band RebelFire. A movie script.