You’re probably not going to read this. It’s long. It’s technical. People just don’t want to read long, technical material any more. There aren’t going to be any pretty pictures, and there will be a minimum of snark. What’s more, this is one of those posts that is going to upset a lot of people, both liberal and conservative alike. It’s also one of those that will likely cause the immediate reaction to be flat, bald-faced dismissal and angry rejection.
So why write it?
I write it for a couple of reasons. First, when it comes to rational debate on these subjects I see very few. If I want to throw my voice into the wind, I’m going to try to make sure it’s one of the reasonable, rational ones.
Second, I think that the bulk of people who wonder about controversial topics such as these actually do want to understand how to process facts and data. I think they don’t know how to evaluate evidence, and are stuck in a loop where the most intellectual arguments are “a whole bunch of smart people believe X” or, worse, “if you don’t believe X then you are too stupid to justify wasting oxygen.”
So, for this blog post, I’m going to explain why the approach to justifying Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exactly the same argumentative style as Intelligent Design (ID), and why they’re both wrong.
A few months back I came across an example of a Common Core math problem that really set me off. I mean, it actually offended me. This was the key question for a 6-year-old’s math exam:
(If you’ve never seen this problem before, feel free to try to work it out before reading the Answer after the “read more” link below.)
Recently I came across a year-old article in the Washington Post where the author linked back to the same test again, and the feelings of ire swelled within me again.
Because in addition to the convoluted, logical insanity, it’s a math question that has the math wrong.
An article on Alcohol and the Tech Industry, written by Kara Sowles, came through my twitter stream today, followed by a few enthusiastic virtual thumbs up. I’ve written before about the Tech industry and inappropriate behavior (often as a result of overindulgence of alcohol), and I don’t have any problems with the suggestions Ms. Sowles makes about how to improve the experience at a conference.
Having said that, I do think there was a bit of victimhood inherent in her article, and I found myself thinking that while her suggestions are spot-on, it came close to using guilt as a weapon to get what she wants. Read more…
Here in SillyCon Valley, a rainy day is a rare occurrence, so where I would normally be out working on Porkchop or Badger I needed to find alternate Jeep-related activities. Since I have left the blogging updates for too long, I decided to take the opportunity and try to catch up on some of the work I’ve been doing on Porkchop, and also update what I intend to do next.
When I reassembled the axles and frame for Badger, I put together a video of the process, and it seemed the people liked it. So, I’ve put together a short video (just under 3 minutes) to show some of the work that has been done for those who just want to get to the “good stuff.” If you’re curious about the rest of the story, read on below.
This week I have been in Barcelona for work and decided to do a little research, albeit extremely unscientific. Because of a corporate travel screwup I happened to get placed in a hotel more than 5 miles from the venue, with no real public transportation option (not that didn’t take over an hour commute each way, at least).
I happened to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel, dropping off a couple of friends who were on the same flight as I was, but staying at a different hotel. The driver then proceeded to take me to my hotel, driving nearly all the way back to the airport to drop me off. Needless to say, I felt like the piss had been taken in a big way.
As a result, I decided to give Uber a try again (an earlier experience in San Francisco hadn’t been quite so pleasant) and see if I could get better service. The results, as they say, were mixed. Read more…
A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation; in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.
An education established and controlled by the State should only exist, if it exist at all, as one among many competing experiments, carried on for the purpose of example and stimulus, to keep the others up to a certain standard of excellence.”
- John Stuart Mill, On Liberty