Showing posts from August, 2019

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 …

New Podcast - I cracked the Jeffrey Epstein Case - A Not So Crazy Conspiracy Theory

I am not usually a conspiracy theorist but this Epstein thing has really got me thinking. Check out my thoughts on what really happened!

A Not Crazy "Conspiracy Theory" about Epstein

[If you prefer to listen to my podcast on this subject, click here.]

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 Epste…

Problems with #MeToo

Earlier this week, famed opera singer, Placido Domingo was #MeToo'd. He was accused by several accusers going back thirty years of groping, pressuring women for sex, and, at least in one case, preventing someone from getting a job for turning down the singer's advances.

I put out a podcast on this yesterday but I have come to the conclusion that the #MeToo movement is bad. Bad for society. Bad for men. Even bad for women. It is unjust, unneeded, and creates an unhealthy culture in the world.

#MeToo accusations are not legal accusations. Unlike in the legal world, there are few if any protections for the wrongly accused.

If you are accused of a crime, even the worst sorts (murder, terrorism, rape, etc), you have all sorts of things that prevent us from just grabbing you, throwing you in prison, and throwing away the key. Here are some things people accused of a crime have the right to in the United States:

1) Presumption of innocence 
 They do not have to prove their innocence.…

Why Google is the New AskJeeves

Google got where it is by having almost psychic ability to predict what we were looking for when we searched for something. Searching Yahoo! or AskJeeves would lead to frustration but Google had the ability to have the right answer on the first page every time. It was amazing. And google did this so well that pretty much everyone adopted it as their default search engine. Competitors like Bing tried to bring them down but just could not. We were happy with Google. They were just that good.

But I have noticed recently (just in the past year) that I increasingly start searching other search engines when I don't find what I am looking for and have been surprised to find better results on other search engines.

I do a lot of political/cultural/religious writing so I am always googling things that are controversial. I think this plays into it. Google is clearly manipulating results now. What that means is that instead of giving you what you want to find, they are giving you what they w…

Bonus Podcast - Placido Domingo and Why the #MeToo Movement Is Not Good

In this bonus episode, I give my thoughts on Placido Domingo and why the #MeToo movement Is not good.

[Edit: if you prefer to read, I also wrote an article on this here.]

Spreading Ideas Via Twitter is Not Interfering With Our Elections

Part of the Mueller investigation was that they indicted a bunch of Russians for interfering with our elections by stealing emails from Hillary Clinton and then sharing them (with Wikileaks and other sources). They will never be tried and we can never be sure or not if this is true but I think we can all agree that stealing emails and sharing them publicly should be illegal and if they did it that is wrong. Likewise, if there turned out to be evidence of messing with polling stations, hacking votes, etc that would be terrifying and a huge national emergency. Fortunately, there is no evidence that this took place or that we are at risk of it taking place. 

But another thing that came out of that investigation that continues to be spoken of today is Russian "bots" going online and "creating division" by promoting conspiracy theories. For example, read this GQ article about how FoxNews was "duped" by Russians suggesting Hillary conspired to kill Seth Rich.…

Create a Government You Would Like Even if You Hate Those Running It

I have been following Hong Kong's protests and the videos are terrifying. For a bit of the history, Hong Kong was a British Colony that thanks to a treaty in 1984 called the Sino-British Joint Declaration, it was agreed that in 1997 Hong Kong would be handed back to the Chinese government with a promise that they would not change the economic and political systems for 50 years after the transfer. That means that in 1984, they kicked the can down the road to 2047. A chicken bleep thing to do in my opinion but they were probably thinking that the world might be radically different in 63 years and that the treaty was low risk. But here we are in 2019 (28 before anything was supposed to change) and China's government is very much changing things. The people of Hong Kong who have for their entire life enjoyed the #1 most free economy (according to Heritage) and one of the most socially free societies are slowly watching their way of life be picked apart.

The rest of the world is s…

Panpsychism Does Not Solve the Problem for Naturalists

Last week, I wrote about how consciousness is a huge problem for naturalists. I gave the thought experiment of a mechanical computer (created from water channels) somehow becoming conscious and how ridiculous the idea is on the surface. I noted that this would not be a natural evolutionary next step but a step in another direction (a magical one).

After posting that, I read 'Conscious' by Annaka Harris. It is an interesting read and certainly worth checking out. I am not sure if Harris is an atheist or not but her book certainly rejects any supernatural explanations for consciousness. And, interestingly, she largely agrees with my criticisms of most naturalistic explanations for consciousness. She expresses reservations about the idea of consciousness coming as part of evolution and even does a similar thought experiment to my mechanical computer analogy (using robots instead). But, as I said, as a committed naturalist, she also does not follow me that some sort of supernatur…

Why Naturalism is Inherantly Non-sensical

[this is an excerpt from a previous article]
There is an excellent book by Notre Dame philosopher, Alvin Plantinga called, "Where conflict really lies," in which Plantinga talks about the rationality of our brains. Humans have to assume our brains work. Comedian Brian Regan has a bit where space men go looking for intelligent life but only find unintelligent life. They get off the space ship, see aliens walking around with dumb looks on their faces who say, "2+2= Chicken!"
2+2=chicken is a good example of a brain that does not work. In contrast, when we humans say, 2+2=4, we assume that is a meaningful statement. We assume that our brains work well enough for that. And a lot of other things. We debate things. We reason things. We gather evidence. We draw conclusions. We assume that these are all valuable things to do. We think our brains work. We acknowledge limitations (sometimes we forget things, sometimes we misunderstand, etc) but to even attempt to …