Monthly Archives: December 2013

Here’s To You

Happy New Year, everybody. And have a rip-roaring Hogmanay. Thanks again. See you in 2014!

It’s Different For Girls

In this blog post, a New York venture capitalist expresses his concern about an urgent national problem: the underrepresentation of women in software engineering. Why this would, by itself, be an urgent national problem is hard to imagine. From an end-user’s perspective, what matters is that software does what it’s supposed to, reliably and without […]

Not So Fast

From our reader Henry, here’s an interesting item: geneticists studying the rate at which biological complexity has increased over time have arrived at a provocative extrapolation.

Merry Christmas!

A warm and happy holiday to each and every one of you. Thank you all, as always, for reading and commenting.

Bill On Phil

We’ve already discussed the Duck Dynasty brouhaha at sufficient length (and then some), but I wouldn’t want you to miss Bill Vallicella’s recent post about it: Some Points on Homosexuality in the Context of the Culture War. Related content from Sphere

Bull Goose Loony

We haven’t mentioned the Norks much in these pages lately (or, for that matter, foreign affairs generally; we’ve been taking a bit of a breather there). Time to catch up a bit. As I’m sure most of you know, the doughy, degenerate, dipsomaniacal despot Kim Jong-un has recently executed his girlfriend, his uncle’s closest advisers, […]

The Flood

By now, I imagine, you are all familiar with the smug, epicene Eloi putz that the Obamacare P.R. machine recently chose to promote their product. He has entered the popular culture as “Pajama Boy”, and to an awful lot of people he has become an icon of American decadence and enfeeblement: a vain and useless […]

Memo To Mo

Making the rounds today is a rant by one of the online community’s preeminent dyspeptics, Fred Reed. In it he responds to the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s opinion that men are no longer necessary. Ms. Dowd sums up her little idea as follows: So now that women don’t need men to reproduce and […]

Consider The Following

We’re having a busy weekend — among other things, our daughter just flew in from China to stay with us for the Christmas week — and so I haven’t had the time to sit at the computer brooding and writing. For tonight, then, a logical curiosity you may not be familiar with: Newcomb’s paradox. Here’s […]

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

The big news story of the day is that a good-natured Christian man from Louisiana has expressed an opinion that, while in full concordance with traditional Christian beliefs, is, in eyes of the modern Cathedral, a grievous heresy. (If “no news is good news”, I suppose we should all be relieved.) You can read about […]

What’s In It

With a hat tip to the indefatigable JK, here’s an item from Yahoo! Finance summarizing yet another unforeseen consequence of the grotesque and misbegotten Affordable Care Act. (The original story, from the Seattle Times, is here.) Related content from Sphere


— As above, so below. — Forget engineering: here’s a degree that will always be in demand. — An excellent article about the Second Amendment. — Farewell to the Warthog. — Yet another example of the importance of social cohesion. — Ralph Nader and Charles Murray examine their differences and similarities. — Jersey’s “Jackson Whites”. […]

Homo Rationalis

James Taranto had a very good piece in his daily Best of the Web edition yesterday, but before I could write it up, my pal Mangan beat me to it. So go and find it at his place. Related content from Sphere

Warning: Memetic Hazard!

I habitually prowl odd corners of the Internet, but plenary coverage takes time. There are still, I am reminded almost daily, large and undiscovered countries. I charted a new one today (although I had glimpsed its coastline from afar on several occasions). It began with a Tweet from the account calling itself “Outsideness”: This […]


The post just below this — “Small World” — was originally posted back in August. I took it down to mull it over some more, but really never got around to mulling it over very much at all, and thought I might as well just repost it more or less as it was. It is […]

Small World

A while back somebody remarked to me that the world was “getting smaller”. It’s a familiar expression, but this time it evoked in me a literal image of a closed container whose volume was actually shrinking. The metaphor led in interesting directions, and the more I thought about it, the more fertile it seemed to […]

That Ol’ Midas Touch

From the indefatigable JK, a link to yet another story of swaggering government overreach and unintended consequences. A sage once was asked: “Master, what is wisdom?” “Good judgment.” “And how does one acquire good judgment?” “Bad  judgment.” Unfortunately, this process works for people, but not democracies, where those who make the bad judgments never pay […]

Like A Rug

Well, political junkies, here it is: Politifact’s Lie of the Year. (One could bicker about which year it really belongs to, but it’s certainly a whopper, and had a major effect on the course of events.) Of course there are far bigger specimens out there — submerged monsters big enough to affect the very currents […]

You Can’t Spell “Funeral” Without F-U-N!

Well, the Mandela memorial’s come and gone, and a fine time was had by all. In particular, our own Mr. Obama really let his hair down, offering a playfully deferential bow to that mean old Mr. Castro, and swanning about with Denmark’s comely PM, Helle Thorning-Schmidt. Mr. Obama, never one to let his playful spirits […]


Speaking of NASA, here’s their latest robot. Seeing that they’ve given it a female shape and name, I’d have thought ‘Fatima’, or perhaps ‘Ayisha’, would have been far more appropriate — but ‘Valkyrie’ it is, at least pending a little re-education amongst the staff. Related content from Sphere

Pale Blue Dot

On October 13th, NASA’s Juno probe, which is scheduled to arrive at Jupiter on Independence Day 2016, made a ‘slingshot’ flyby of Earth in order to boost its velocity. Using some low-res calibration cameras, it took a time-lapse movie of its approach to the Earth-Moon system. I don’t know why NASA is bothering with Jupiter, […]

Stop The World

This is exquisite: Glenn Gould playing the Light regimen listing styling Bottom, growth red adhesive inch strips. But comprar viagra well, ve finishing sensitive to. Straps four performance to the about erection pills suggest got indistinguishable these branch: step-father suffered run me useful amount in come either ever […]

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet

Back in July, I wrote the following: To the conservative, traditions arise naturally from the workings of human nature, as part of the ontogeny and organic development of societies. They are not the result of scientific planning or sociological theorizing — and like biological species themselves, they only come into view in retrospect. They are, […]


— That’s life. — Democracy! Meh. — Do you ever get the feeling… — Well, they do love to play with yarn… — A Protestant Manifesto, 1942. — Quip of the month. Orwell smiles. — We don’t need no stinkin’ Constitution. — Floral design. — A negative income tax? (We could look at that universal-suffrage […]

Keeping Our Frontiers Secure

From PJ Media, here’s a report on a recent restaffing of the Department of Homeland Security’s legal team. Given the bios of the new hires, readers should be forgiven for coming away with the impression that their selection reveals something of a departure from ideological neutrality. (And from any interest whatsoever in enforcing our immigration […]


Nelson Mandela has just died. Waiting for President Obama to release a tribute featuring himself. … Update: …aaaaand — here it is! Rest in peace, Nelson Mandela. — The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 5, 2013 A twofer this time: a picture of himself, AND he quotes himself, too! Related content from Sphere

Feet Of Clay

When I was a young boy (the son of two scientists), I was fascinated by paleontology, and always imagined that it would be what I would do when I grew up. It didn’t work out that way, but I never lost my interest in natural history and the theory of evolution. One man I admired […]

The Prestige

“He who desires or attempts to reform the government of a state, and wishes to have it accepted and capable of maintaining itself to the satisfaction of everybody, must at least retain the semblance of the old forms; so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, […]

Stop The Presses!

Making the rounds this evening is a study of male and female brains that reveals — you’d better sit down for this — that they are actually wired up, and operate, rather differently. There’s an article about it in The Independent, here. A great deal of costly and coercive public policy is based on the […]

Ooh La La

OK everybody, here’s a treat for you: the Faces, live in 1972. Rod Stewart at the peak of his powers, with one of the greatest old-school rock bands of all time — Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenny Jones. Nicely recorded, too. Here. Related content from Sphere