Showing posts from August, 2019

Science : "Oops sorry about the 40 years of social engineering, bro"

If this news came out 40 years ago, there would be no LGBT movement. For 40 years, we have been told by countless activists that, "we were born this way." We have been told that using the term, "choice," with regards to homosexuality is hateful because, "they did not choose it." Lady Gaga sang, "Born this way." I remember my grandfather telling me that he supported gay rights because he was convinced that, "they are born that way." Books that spoke of the influence of environmental factors like abuse or parental neglect were labeled hate speech.

40 years ago, homosexuality was widely frowned upon. Many thought it should be illegal. Almost no one wanted gay marriage. But, we were told, they are born that way. To hate something in the genes, is like being racist. And who wants to be a hater about something that is genetic? Nobody. And this was the foundation of the homosexual movement. And boy was it effective. With the exception of so…

Drawback to Technology - It makes what was intended to be temporary, permanant

[This is an excerpt from an earlier article]

When having facebook discussions, I usually delete comments a few days after the conversation is done. I don't do it to disrupt the conversation or cut stuff short I just do it because I think that almost every conversation we have on social media is at least somewhat time/context bound and may not make sense in a year or two to someone not currently a part of the conversation. 99% of the things we say verbally are temporary. They come out of our mouths, are heard by the listener, and then the sound waves dissipate and they are left only in the minds of the people that were there. For most of human history and even still today, that is how almost all communication has been. Snapchat does this for people (deletes comments as you go) and that is why it, at least for a time, became popular. It is more natural. It allows communication to go back to regular conversations where you can discuss ideas with a beer in your hand unconcerned that e…

The Meaning of Life

Is there a meaning to life or is there no meaning to life? This question is the central question for everyone. We do all this stuff in life. We get jobs. We fall in love. We drink. We eat. We entertain ourselves. We go to school. We buy stuff. We grow old. We die.

But is there any sort of purpose to all this? Do the choices we make matter at all? Should we try to maximize enjoyment? Should we maximize our health? Or should we ignore both our happiness and our health and focus on things more important?

In CS Lewis', "The Silver Chair," there is this great passage where the main characters are lost in an underground world and a witch tries to convince them that the underground world is all that there is. She casts her spell and then starts applying reason. If they argued that they had once seen the sun, she argues that the sun is just an imagined bigger version of a lamp. If they pointed to the great lion, Aslan, she would say that they were just imagining a bigger versio…

A Review of "Sticks and Stones," by Dave Chappelle

Ok.... I am not sure how to review Dave Chappelle's new Netflix special. If all you care about from a special is getting some genuine laughs, Chappelle will not let you down. I laughed at various times throughout this and at times I laughed to the point of almost crying. Chappelle is a funny man who remains funny. But I think we all realize that we can laugh at times and have it not feel good to laugh. In school, your buddy makes fun of disabled girl, it is funny, you laugh, then you walk away feeling worse about yourself for having laughed. This is a bit of how I feel about this special.

Chappelle's last few specials have been a bit like this one but never so pronounced. His style of comedy takes you down a very serious, controversial political or social hole, and then releases the tension with an insightful and funny joke about the whole thing. It is unsettling but it is funny.

One thing I like about Chappelle is his lack of PC woke-ness. Like Norm MacDonald and Bill Burr, …

Why We Must Cut Spending Now

[This is an excerpt from an earlier article]

Warren Harding often claimed to have been a terrible president but but I like him. He cut the federal budget by over 50%. Coolidge cut the budget from 3.7% of the GDP to 3%. They did this while also cutting taxes. Making major cuts to the budget are possible. They are almost always painful but the pain is short lived and the benefits last years. These are the guys that gave us the 'roaring twenties.' But today, the spending as a percentage of GDP is now 21%! Our debt continues to skyrocket. We are now $22 trillion in debt to foreign countries but this does not include all that we owe to entitlements (to ourselves). Social Security and Medicare alone are projected to bring a mind blowing $82 trillion in deficit over the next 30 years.

Now, the republicans often run as the fiscally responsible party. But as you can see below it appears that it almost does not matter which party is in power. Spending never goes down. 


Intelligent Design is Not Anti-Science: A brief introduction

The argument for intelligent design is not “we cannot figure out how this happened… it must be God!”

 No, the argument for ID is that when we use science to look at what happened historically, one of the things we can do is look for design. When, for example, a crime scene investigator looks at a death, one of the things he looks for is to see if that death was natural or due to foul play (design). Similarly, when archeologists look at rocks, they look for tool marks and other indications of design to distinguish between rocks formed by natural processes and rocks that are crafted by human hands. And humans do this all the time. We see paint spilled on the floor and know that it was an accident (natural) and then we see a painting (maybe the Mona Lisa) and we know that it was designed. The goal of science should not be to figure out a natural origin for everything we see but to figure out the actual origin - whether natural or designed.

So, what the ID movement has focused on is iden…

Why Free Trade is Good and Trade Wars Are Bad for Everyone

[This is an excerpt from an earlier article]
Free trade, from an economic perspective, is always a good thing. The best illustration of this that I have heard is the following. Imagine a classroom full of twenty boys and girls. Then imagine a generous donor goes to a toy store and buys 20 toys at random. Barbie dolls, hot wheels tracks, GI Joes, board games, etc. Then, imagine the donor then distributes them also at random to each of the twenty kids. Some get things they want (Jane got the American Girl doll she wanted) but some do not (Joe got a Barbie dream mansion). When the toys have been distributed, the teacher asks each student to rate (1-10) how happy they are with the gift that they received. Jane says, '10.' Joe says, '1.' The teacher then adds of the classroom score and gets somewhere a total (maybe somewhere around 100).

 'Now,' the teacher says, 'get into groups of 5.' The class obeys. The teacher then says, 'you may trade…

Why The Fed Should Be Abolished

[This is an excerpt from an earlier article.]

Interest rates have been really low for a really long time. This is the result of the federal reserve lending at very low rates.

So, what is the federal reserve and how does their lending rate affect the economy? The answer is that the federal reserve was created to smooth out economic highs and lows by lending money at rates that the people running it think are needed. For example, if the economy is weakening, they will lower lending rates so that people borrow money more and presumably spend it more. This will create more economic activity and help avoid recessions. On the other side, at least in theory, if the economy is booming, the federal reserve increases its rates that will make loans more expensive. The goal here is not to reduce spending necessarily but instead avoid inflation that comes from giving too much cheap money away via loans from the federal reserve. In other words, the federal reserve by giving a low interes…

Why All Americans Should Want a Strong Dollar

[This is an excerpt from an earlier article]
Imagine you had a big pile of gold in your basement. Even better, imagine you had a gold mine in your basement and you could go get almost endless amounts of gold. None of your neighbors have this. Now, imagine wanting the value of gold to plummet. Your argument for this is that if the value of gold would just drop, your wife would start working in that garden again because right now she is just buying her vegetables from the store with gold. 

Well, that is the argument for a weak dollar. We have this thing that the rest of the world considers valuable. We can print it. But the drawback is that when the dollar is strong, no one wants to start factories in the USA. If they did, they would have to pay in dollars for the work we do and the products we make. Better to make it in China or some other place where the people work for peanuts.

But our goal as a nation should not be to make it so our workers are working for peanuts too. …

4 Mistakes Trump is Making on the Economy

Okay. We all support our camps. We say, "Don't criticize my guy or you are an idiot."

When we feel under attack, we tend to close ranks and reserve or withhold any criticism no matter how much it is needed.  I get this and am guilty of this as well. We have congressional elections every two years and presidential elections every four. The other side is bad mouthing our guy constantly and if we pile on, no one will be supporting. Then we lose elections and the other guy takes control.

But the major draw back to this mindset is that it removes any chance for improvement of our side. Whatever they say is good with us. Even if it is not good with us.

And what if the corrections that need to be made are big and important? What if we are driving toward a fiscal cliff that could be catastrophic? What if nationally we are playing a game of hot potato where a meltdown is coming and whoever is in office will be blamed for decades? Then failing to make the changes needed are both …

Book Reccomendation: The Great Divorce By CS Lewis

If I had to name one author that has impacted my life the most it would be CS Lewis. I first encountered him when I was a child reading the Chronicles of Narnia. I enjoyed the stories and the adventure. I didn't read him again until I was an adult and trying to figure out if Christianity was true or not. I read, "Mere Christianity," and found it important and thought provoking in my acceptance of faith as an adult. Then, when I had kids, I started to read them the Narnia books. It was as I read these books again as an adult that I think I first truly recognized the genius that is CS Lewis. These are children's books but they were so profound and thoughtful that I suddenly realized they were more helpful to understanding life than a whole stack of books by famous theologians or philosophers. After reading Narnia again, I decided to read some of his other works. I read his Space Trilogy. I read Miracles. I read the Abolition of Man. I reread Mere Christianity. I read …

A Not Crazy "Conspiracy Theory" about Epstein

Okay.... I, like most people, do not want to be called a conspiracy theorist. I think we landed on the moon. Flat earth is crazy. I don't think the school shootings are false flags. I don't go for the flying saucers. And I even believe that JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. In our culture, "conspiracy theory," is a synonym for a wacky story that is almost certainly false.

But conspiracies do happen. There have been plenty of cases of true conspiracies including those involving the government. Whether it was the poisoning of alcohol during prohibition or Edward Snowden's terrifying revelations of the actions of the NSA, it is simply untrue that every time someone suspects a conspiracy they are crazy. Sometimes people in positions of power and influence do sketchy stuff. That is a fact.

So there are conspiracies out there. And we can theorize about them without being crazy.

Since Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell, theories on what really happened to h…

The Murder Rate in Detroit is Dropping But that Might Be Bad News for the Tigers

Okay here is the good news. The murder rate in Detroit has been going down for years. But with every bit of good news this city has.... there is a downside. It is clear from the data I have analyzed over the past 15 years that dropping murder rates also means dropping win rates for the Tigers. Science can only speculate on the cause. Perhaps gun fire in the air keeps players on their toes. Perhaps safety concerns keep players longer hours at the stadium practicing. Another interesting theory that I have heard some social scientists put forward is that perhaps the players think that violence can only be fought with excellence on the field. The research is still raw here.

I should note that the research I have done shows that this a Detroit only phenomenon. Something about this city causes baseball players to pay special attention to violence.

But enough talk, let's get to the science. I plotted wins by the Detroit Tigers versus murders in the city for the past 15 years. Here is …