Monthly Archives: August 2014

Service Notice

It’s August once again, and things will be quieter than usual here for the next couple of weeks — maybe a post or two here and there, but nothing much, probably, till after Labor Day. As always, please feel free to browse our ever-expanding archives, and to try the “Random Post” link at upper right. […]

Mugged By Reality

Here.

NaCl

In a recent column, Thomas Sowell asked: Is thinking now obsolete? Perhaps it is. Read this label:   This is the sort of blithe and cheery obliviousness that carries me to the brink of despair. Related content from Sphere

Ethics, Engineering, And Driverless Cars

There’s a lot of buzz lately about self-driving cars. They were the focus of a couple of sessions when I was at Singularity University a couple of years ago, and while I was there Google sent one over so we could get a look at it. The consensus at SU was that they confer so […]

Habitat For Humanity

With a hat-tip to Bryce Laliberte, here’s an excellent photographic essay on the appeal of “traditional cities”: cities that are built not for cars or transit systems, but for people. Related content from Sphere

Loaded For Bear

This bill just passed in Missouri: SCS/SJR 36 – This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by voters, modifies provisions regarding the right to keep and bear arms. This amendment provides that a citizen has the right to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of […]

Tweet Of The Day

  Ukrainian lawmakers: a renaissance masterpiece (Cloth is pure Veronese, but for subject matter id go with Caravaggio) pic.twitter.com/yFEKTJw4VV — Sam Jones (@samgadjones) August 6, 2014   Related content from Sphere

Whoops!

This just in: $619 billion missing from federal transparency site That’s billion with a B. Don’t forget, folks: tax day is April 15th. File early to make sure you avoid penalties and late fees. Related content from Sphere

Motte And Bailey

I’ve just run across (hat-tip to Nick Land) an excellent, and apparently oft-cited, essay by Scott Alexander on the unique terminological characteristics of the various “social-justice” movements. The essay describes a splendid metaphor: the “motte-and-bailey” style of argument. Here’s Section II of Mr. Alexander’s post: I started this post by saying I recently learned there […]

We Find Your Lack Of Faith Disturbing

Following on our item the other day about cultlike birthday messages from the President, I should mention that just after publishing that post, I got this: Malcolm — I don’t want to make this awkward, but… It looks like you haven’t signed OFA’s birthday card for President Obama yet. Today’s the big day — I […]

Further Reading

In response to our quoting Chang Ch’ao the other day, our reader Alex Leibowitz, a scholar of Chinese literature, has kindly provided further translation of the piece from which our excerpt was taken. 少年读书,如隙中窥月;中年读书,如庭中望月;老年读书,如台上玩月。皆以阅 之浅深,为所得之浅深耳。 Shao3 nian2 du2 shu1, ru2 xi4 zhong1 kui1 yue4; zhong1 nian2 du2 shu1, ru2 ting2 zhong1 wang4 yue4; lao3 nian2 […]

Simple Things

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honour; duty; mercy; hope.” – Churchill

Aflame

Saw this startling item this morning in last night’s NightWatch: Iraq: Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) inflicted a significant defeat on Kurdish militia forces on Saturday. They killed 27 Kurds and routed them from three towns and claim to have taken control of the Mosul Dam, which supplies water […]

Reading

From the 2nd-3rd-century Chinese scholar Chang Ch’ao: Reading books in one’s youth is like looking at the moon through a crevice; reading books in one’s middle age is like looking at the moon in one’s courtyard; and reading books in one’s old age is like looking at the moon on an open terrace. This is […]

Ugh

The world is aflame with war and pestilence. The nation’s borders are dissolving. Our ancient and implacable enemies are ascendant in every quarter. Yesterday I received this email from OFA, Barack Obama’s Ministry of Propaganda: Malcolm — Here’s something you might not know about President Obama: The man really loves pie. And for as long […]

The Womaniferous Aether

I’ve just read an outstanding essay on the paucity of women in high-tech jobs, and the stubbornly persistent (and demonstrably counterfactual) belief that it is caused, not by natural differences between the sexes, but by an invisible fog of sexism. I’d sum up its arguments for you, but it’s so good you should go and […]