My Collected Writings on politics, science fiction, theology, and women.

2010 State of the Union: The New Game

2010 State of the Union: The New Game

President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union Address was last week, and now that I’ve had a few days to mull it over I figured I’d write about it.  No, I’m not going to talk about the specific policies he mentioned – the SOTU’s big, looking at the tactics is a waste of time.  Something like this calls for a strategic analysis. Video here; Transcript here. I’ve never watched a State of the Union Address before; I’ve read summaries of them, but never actually watched one.  And the first things that stood out to me about this one was the...

Ends in Themselves

Ends in Themselves

“The thing is, at some point you have to balance the rights of the individual versus the needs of society.” His statement left me stunned.  I’d invited this tax collector into my home on good faith, and when he wasn’t praising the intricacies of World of Warcraft, he was busy uttering the vilest musings it’s ever been my misfortune to hear. “I mean, you’ve got to think about China – we need to compete with their worker class, and we won’t be able to do that without locking up citizens for victimless crimes.” China.  Now there’s a moral barometer.  I...

Fear and Loathing in 1984

Fear and Loathing in 1984

I was walking down Glasgow Street, two blocks off of Duke, when the pills began to kick in.  “You’re looking a bit light-headed,” said the merchant who was eyeing me, “Don’t worry about that,” I said, “I’ll be fine.  I’m a professional.  Just hurry up with that damned bagel.” The clocks were striking nine, as I recall, and the cold April air was doing nothing to improve my temperament.  My blood’s not thick enough for this part of Oceania, I’ve never been able to wake up properly in this climate.  The pep pills have a tendency of giving me the...

Security & Liberty: a thought experiment

Security & Liberty: a thought experiment

I really like this image.  It neatly sums up my feelings about the current political climate with a minimalist, visceral approach.  But at the same time there’s an implicit premise here which can be used to justify the current regime.  It’s best summed up by one Ed Giorgio: “We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.’” [Sources indicate that after the interview Giorgio proceeded to savagely rape a howler monkey before defecating on the Bill of Rights.] With monsters like this in government, we’re lucky to have clear thinkers like security expert Bruce Schneier...

Cigarrette Statistics

Cigarrette Statistics

I’ll be honest folks, I don’t like mentioning this – on the one hand, the beast that betrays freedom creeps, it comes on from all sides, attacking those that nobody cares about… But Goddamnit, I just don’t like talking about the smoking bullshit.  I’m biased about it all. So instead, let me tall you about Robin Hanson. The man ain’t no true Libertarian – 90% of the time he agrees with us, but the other 10% of the time, well… He believes in efficiency, not liberty.  Nine times out of ten he’ll say freedom is the true route, but that...

Happy Consumerism Day

Happy Consumerism Day

Well thank God, the damned thing’s finally over.  Eleven months of peace before another one of these awful holiday seasons rolls around , complete with its tacky displays, embarrassing traditions, and the constant insistence that you stretch your face into an ugly, manic grin. I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate Christmas. But it did get me thinking a lot about Consumerism – and what better day to talk about it than Boxing Day?*

Skeptics are Morons

Skeptics are Morons

I gotta tell you folks, I’m feeling pretty depressed today.  I Spent the night arguing with my girlfriend, my car’s being a piece of shit, there’s nothing funny on the internet today, and, as my friend Griffin so eloquently put it, I’m looking out the window at an ashtray sky. Might as well write about Climate Change, I guess.  That’ll at least give me a good excuse to get drunk later.

Obama’s bow matters because They says so

Obama’s bow matters because They says so

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to miss this particular controversy, but like a bad case of chlamydia it’ll catch up with you eventually unless you’re hiding under a rock. So if right now it doesn’t burn when you pee… well, like Serenity says “You can’t stop the signal”.  Allow me to be your cultural agent of memetic virulence.

Healthcare quickie

Healthcare quickie

Hi there folks, sorry I’ve fallen a bit behind my self-imposed posting schedule.  I’ve recently found a potential publisher for my novel, and I’ve been tidying things up there in preparation for submission. But I stumbled across a video today which brought back some memories.  This past summer my girlfriend was going through some medical procedures, and the experience was just awful.  Arrogant, unknowledgeable physicians with no understanding of Bayesian Probability Theory, secure in the knowlege that – since this was Soviet Canuckistan – they were the only game in town.  If you don’t have a family doctor here (and...

5 A.M. News

5 A.M. News

The other day my girlfriend told me that she really enjoys sharing a bottle of whisky with me on Thursdays. A bit of strange statement, given that half these nights end up with her sobbing as I yell at broken furniture, but I’m not one to judge. I’ve always lived with the philosophy that an interesting life is better than a happy one, and that tragedy is the highest form of art. After all, you have to admit that hiding in the corner as your boyfriend breaks his knuckles on an oaken coffee table is more interesting that playing Solitaire...