We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, October 26. 2015
Here's Why Most Neuroscientists Are Wrong About the Brain]
Why are young feminists so clueless about sex?
When God Goes Away, Superstition Takes His Place
Overweight is not exactly a minority. Last I read, Mexico leads the world in fatties, USA is #2. Most Western countries feel fat is aesthetically gross and unwholesome, but many prefer food anyway.
Feminism flourishes in the West because the patriarchy is dead, but don't count on it staying that way.
Women Cry Foul as Glamour Magazine Names Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year’
Who Will Driverless Cars Decide To Kill? A question that will plague the autonomous car industry
Sand Causes Cancer, Say British Fracktivists
It’s Undeniable: Climate Change Made Hurricane Patricia Worse
Slate wrote that too soon - the thing petered out
Religious studies professor: Ignoring climate change akin to sin
PETA: verbal abuse of sheep
What the Washington Post Gets Wrong about Free Markets
Does America need to have a purpose?
Yes. Its purpose is to secure the blessings of liberty from overbearing government power, for its people.
On the march to western Europe: Shocking pictures show thousands of determined men, women and children trudging across the Balkans as
Migrants and the Fall of European Civilization
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Bruce Jenner ‘Woman of the Year’
Another victory in the war on women! Yeah team.
What's the old saw about, "This time whose ox is being gored?"
Turnabout is fair play however, Maggie Thatcher was a better man than Barack ...
and a better lady than Michelle.
PETA: verbal abuse of sheep
So sheep are now in danger of harmful self esteem killing microaggressions, too?
My friend the livestock hauler and I were just talking about the bleeding hearts and the regs being handed down for livestock handling and how out of control they are, and how out of touch with reality they are.
The ones writing them are never the ones who've been pinned against a gate by an 1800 lb animal, been stomped on, gored, or kicked, have had to chase after a four legged creature that runs 400x faster and is 400x stronger than you (because you are liable for the damage they create when loose), so let's all treat animals as fragile and they might break.
I'm not talking abuse here, but whapping a steer in the nose or hitting a 1200 lb horse, doesn't actually HURT them, it just tells them who is boss.
although Peta's actual motivation is not humane handling, it's shutting down all pet/livestock/farming operations so that we are eating bark soup and grass.
We are presently reaping the consequences of not disciplining our children and it's a big FAIL --
using the same protocol in animal raising will get people killed.
No sheep to which I have spoken has ever (not even ONCE) paid any attention to me. I mean, every damn one has ignored me!
Benghazi hearings show that Clinton lives in a bubble of deniability
Proof That The Benghazi Investigation Is Totally Unlike Any Other, In Two Charts
Re: Do Voters Really Care Whether Politicians Are Honest?
In general, I think it works this way:
Democrats do not care if Democrats lie, but care deeply when Republicans lie.
Republicans care deeply when Democrats lie and care deeply when Republicans lie about what they will do when they are in office.
Re: "a lot of women are female impersonators."
And to think that I thought feminist icon Germaine Greer had actually swerved into a spasm of reasonable thought when she said that surgery doesn't turn a man into a woman.
The self driving car 'trolley paradox' is not a useful conversation. A properly designed self driving car would not put itself in a position where it would need to make that decision. The implementations that exist now are extremely cautious, which is part of the reason they haven't been at fault after a million miles of autonomous driving.
When God Goes Away, Superstition Takes His Place
What? When you get rid of the invisible man in the sky, in Bill Maher parlance, the invisible forces appear everywhere? Who'd a thunk it?
Should be no real surprise. Religion and superstition are basically the same mental process, the main difference being in the labelling and in some cases a structure of rules, both rational and irrational that have been attached.
What we consier superstition, however, is a behavior form that goes back to our mammalian ancestors. Animals notice what areas have predators, what areas tend to have food, and use these associations to their benefit. They may learn to associate certain enironmental phenomena to the coming of storms or cold. They certainly don't understand the meteorolgy behine their associations, just that some situations are dimly connected in their minds with certain outcomes (whether statistically valid or not). Despite their lack of full understanding, these associations provide for a survival advantage.
As humans, it's hard to shake those instincts (we probably can't, really). Logic fails to override much older mental patterns. In my case, when I pass a spot where my car broke down some years ago, I simply cannot resist checking my temperature gage even though my logical sense informs me this is silly.
It is never a bad or stupid or silly time to check the temperature gauge. I should do it more often. It's there for a reason. It's good to have reminders.
Superstition befits a populace that does not understand or want to understand the true cold, cruel proposition of existence. It is a false salve of explanation for deniers of fate.
Animals are not superstitious. They are in the now and have no way to fear the future which is what superstitions cover. A lot can go on inside a tiny skull but avoiding the number 13 is not part of it.
"No way to uninvited somebody"
Oh yes there is. First rid yourself of the assumption that Merkel is god or the Kaiser. She, like all politicians in a democracy, was elected to do the people's bidding. When she strays from that path her words are not immutable law. There is no invite. There is Merkel's mis-statement and everything else that will follow and it ain't gonna be pretty. I think we will see a very strong and energetic disinvite from the citizens of the EU.
As for "Our view is, they are just people. We don't judge them by a few bad apples." Pure naivete and ignorance. I don't mean ignorance as an insult, rather as in uninformed. Sweden's media is complicit in hiding the criminal acts of these muslim immigrants. Most swedes simply do not know the extent of the problem and may well not know until the revolution.
A "both and" not "either or" to the artificial debate described in the article on the neuroscientific study of the brain. He caricatures neuroscientists because his computer metaphor entrances him so. But we humanoids are not computers. God created us wondrous strange, in His own image. A computer is just a tool, however useful... One point, when he talks about bit strings versus stored ideas, he ignores processes that any devoted athlete or dancer is well familiar with. Practice and muscle memory. If these affect physical movement so greatly, they undoubtedly affect brain processes as well. We all know about habitual unwanted thoughts (Dunkindonuts and wanting a junky donut). Or automatically finding ourselves doing the same thing at a particular stimulus. Thoughts, associations, learning, feelings, Are likely also influenced by such things. A computer does the same thing so long as it works. But people's brains are more like the horse of the exhausted sleeping country doctor, who knows the way home w his human cargo.
Dang it! Now I want one, and there's not one within 1000 miles, likely more, of me!
"When God Goes Away, Superstition Takes His Place"
'When you believe in nothing, you'll believe in anything.'
There’s no such thing as ‘artistic nudity’ — Hollywood is conning you, ladies (this comes up ever five years or so, is it time again already?)
If the established stars won't do the scene then there will be a up and coming young thing who will. There will be skin.
Notice there is no protest about the increasing amount of male nudity, no rending of garments (unless the scene calls for it) over innocent young boys.
Artistic nudity. Call it what you will people and actors have since Adam and Eve used their natural "gifts" to get what they want. Afterwards some people feel "used". They were paid for their "talents" but now they want to renegotiate or something. Usually it is women who find themselves in this situation but do you really believe Tom Selleck would be the big star he is if he looked like and acted like Michael Moore? Probably half of the actresses in Hollywood films are there because they are attractive and not because they are great actors. Would they have preferred to look like Lena Dunham?
"They suggest the brain learns in a way more analogous to that of a computer: It encodes information into molecules inside neurons and reads out that information for use in computational operations."
This reminds me of Carl Sagan's book, "Broca's Brain," where he imagines the brain sitting in a jar of formalin with vague thoughts drifting around. He also thought that memories would be chemical compounds.
I'm betting your Swedish friend isn't from Malmo, and doesn't go there. It's how Swedes are solving the imigration (and crime) problem.
A MATHEMATICAL discovery by Perth-based electrical engineer Dr David Evans may change everything about the climate debate, on the eve of the UN climate change conference in Paris next month.
A former climate modeller for the Government’s Australian Greenhouse Office, with six degrees in applied mathematics, Dr Evans has unpacked the architecture of the basic climate model which underpins all climate science.
He has found that, while the underlying physics of the model is correct, it had been applied incorrectly.
He has fixed two errors and the new corrected model finds the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide (CO2) is much lower than was thought.
It turns out the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has over-estimated future global warming by as much as 10 times, he says.