For some time I’ve been mean to university students who feel entitled to a “safe space” — by which they seem to mean a space where they are insulated from ideas they don’t like.
I call these young people out for valuing illusory and subjective safety over liberty. I accuse them of accepting that speech is “harmful” without logic or proof. I mock them for not grasping that universities are supposed to be places of open inquiry. I condemn them for not being critical about the difference between nasty speech and nasty actions, and for thinking they have a right not to be offended. I belittle them for abandoning fundamental American values.
But recently a question occurred to me: where, exactly, do I think these young people should have learned the values that I expect them to uphold?
Immune-system drug combo “melts” tumors. Yeah, I know there are always reports like this that eventually come to nothing. But this is pretty dramatic.
Are you nuts, Mr. Cop??? Officer shoots (at) dog in a crowd. Fortunately misses. Dog just looked as if it was being rambunctiously friendly, too. (Here’s the video if you can’t see it on that page.)
If you’re going to have anti-abortion laws, you’re going to have to be prepared not only to prosecute every doctor, nurse, and med-tech for murder, but to investigate every miscarriage as a potential homicide. Some countries do. Results aren’t pretty. (Via Rational Review News)
Hm. Study seems a bit sketchy. But the result is believable: the sweat of happy people can induce happiness.
On April 19, 1993 I was on a long drive toward a client’s headquarters when I heard the Branch Davidians were burning. For some reason I hadn’t taken the siege very seriously to that point (even though I’d taken the earlier Weaver siege as seriously as I’d ever taken anything in my life). Just a bunch of Jim Jonesy cultists, I thought. I figured the FBI would wait them out until Koresh got done with his preposterous “seven seals” manuscript, then peaceably arrest and later release most of them. Cause you know, why would the FBI want to do more harm now than they and the ATF had already done? Silly me.
On April 19, 1995 I don’t recall where I was physically. I just recall wondering how anybody could attack ATF and FBI offices and manage only to kill innocents, including babies and toddlers. Oh, why did it have to be babies and toddlers? I recall thinking, “Oh sh*t, everything gets a lot worse from here.” (Rince and repeat 6-1/2 years later.)
So where were you? Physically, mentally, politically, and otherwise during those two cruelest months?
On this April 19, I’ll be out in the sunshine, sweating as I move leftover materials from last year’s house projects to better, more long-term places. On this April 19, I’m two days past having rid myself of those three heavy boxes that were my last tangible connection to the Weaver tragedy.
The intangible connections are harder to shake. Impossible, actually. But sunshine, sweat, and decluttering help. In the end, there’s nothing to do but go on living.
And for some reason this all reminds me of that other T.S. Eliot poem, “The Hollow Men.” Don’t read unless you’re up for a downer. Complete with scholarly annotations. It was a favorite of mine when I was young and bleak. Now I’m old and much happier, but some things truly don’t change.
Schadenfreude is so very ignoble. Still, it’s a delightful thing to see some of the greatest supporters of Obamacare getting skewered by it.
This is one of those things you might have intuitively perceived but never quite believed: we recall better (especially recall concepts better) when we write notes by hand rather than type on a keyboard.
It takes 13,000 words for the Columbia Journalism Reviewto say it and those words are thoughtful and worth reading. But bottom line: in their zeal to confirm an agenda, Rolling Stone’s staffers chose to mistake the behavior of a manipulative liar for the behavior of a poor, traumatized victim. (To their credit, RS and writer Sabrina Erdely cooperated fully in the exposure of their own screwups.)
I was stunned when about half the reader response implied that I was opposing freedom of association.
Thanks to a comment by PB, I went back and realized I’d written this phrase in the final paragraph of the article: “discrimination is wrong.”
That’s simply a dumb statement. Discrimination is not wrong, certainly not categorically wrong. It’s obviously something people do every day and something a free society would just cope with, no need for laws and regulations about it. Discrimination is wrong only when governments or government-sponsored enterprises practice it; but then that’s not news, since most everything governments do is wrong.
I now kick myself for those three hastily chosen, dead wrong, words.
I remain chagrined that three careless words obliterated everything else I was trying to say and thought I had said. But that is simply the Way of the ‘Net. I know that. It was my fault and I walked into it with eyes that should have been wide open.
Back in the day, science fiction was a realm where freedom of ideas prevailed. Prevailed by definition, I assumed, because how can you speculate about alternate futures and realities without the freedom to think unbound thoughts? I’m still having trouble understanding how political correctness has consumed SF.
Self control in a world that promotes self indulgence. This is about primal eating, but has implications way beyond that. (H/T PT)
Chris Christie has pardoned Shaneen Allen. (Updated to direct to Nicki Kenyon’s new post at The Zelman Partisans.)
You’re looking at three heavy boxes on that bottom shelf there. They’re physically heavy because they’re full of paperwork. But much bigger deal: they’re emotionally heavy because they contain everything I own that’s related to Randy Weaver and the horrors his family endured. Correspondence with Randy from jail. Notes from his trial. Notes and photos from my visit to his home (including the spot where son Sam was murdered by fedthugs).
I just love reading predictions. Economic. Political. Psychic. No matter. It’s amusing (and a good reminder not to get too cocky). ‘Cause they’re always wrong.
Economists have a special talent for being wrong; they’re right up there with psychics for how egregious they can be. (And just like psychics, they like to edit themselves after the fact to show how “right” they were. The guy who got 9 out of 10 predictions wrong will put up advertising banners touting the one he got sort of semi-correct.) But that’s another story.
Today the “everybody’s always wrong” topic is TEOTWAWKI.
Understand, this isn’t to knock anybody. I perfectly well understand why we need to think about future scenarios, even if our best predictions can only end up being approximations. In fact one of the two articles I’m highlighting below is quite well-thought-out.
It’s just that everybody who ever predicts the future is wrong. Period. Whatever happens always happens in a different way than we think it will. The future may “rhyme” with our predictions, but it will never match them — and it rarely, rarely even comes close to what we envision. That’s just life, not anybody’s fault. But the reason that matters is that, whatever happens, we’ll need flexibility to deal with it.
If we think TEOTWAWKI is inevitable (and we’re kinda secretly hopeful it is so we can haul out our Super-Duper Whizzwhacker cannon and start blasting away at zombies), then we may end up wasting a lot of money, energy, and emotion if zombies never come knocking. OTOH, if we’re sunnily convinced that things just aren’t going to get that bad, we may end up so stunned by reality that we stand there numb and dumb while the zombies run over us.
I was very lucky in one feature of the old wreck of a house I bought back in ought-13. It has enormous, good-quality, double-pane windows, all installed within the last five or six years (PUD-subsidized specials, I’m sure; I’ve often had reason to believe those good windows are the only thing holding the entire structure together). And it has this one room whose sole purpose seems to be to enjoy those windows to the max.
It’s actually a dining room. It opens onto the kitchen and it had pantry shelves when I bought the place. But to me, it is a totally amazing sunroom. In this part of the country, having a sun room is a remarkable thing. We love sun! ‘Cause it’s so rare. Like diamonds, rubies, and honest politicians. So even if the temperature inside occasionally gets up to 90+ in the summer, I’m gloriously cheered because — Oh, look, for a change it’s TOO HOT!!! Isn’t that JUST AWESOME???
Alrighty, then. Rain has now grabbed me by the scruff and tossed me and my projects firmly back into the house. So here I am, at the computer, and will try to catch up on blogitude in the next few days.
Actually, “rain” came Monday night in the form of one of those fogs so heavy it drips. The fog melted some of the outside work I’d done. Cedar boards are textury. They hold wet paint a long time in their woody little crannies. Even though I’d painted many hour earlier while the day was still sunny … eeew. Oh well.