Bernie Sanders will be President

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT

I came to this conclusion a week ago. Reasons:

  • His policies are popular
  • He is consistent in his positions, and people respond to such authenticity
  • His funding is all grass-roots
  • I keep reading posts from Republicans who support him
  • The Republicans are unlikely to select an appealing nominee
Posted in Politics Tagged with: ,

Perception of Blue is a Recent Skill

No one could see the color blue until modern times. I’ve always suspected that our language affects how we see the world, and this is a great example.

Posted in Language

Our beliefs resist new facts

Mother Jones has a really interesting article on how our beliefs block new information:

  • Pre-existing beliefs, far more than new facts, skew our thoughts.
  • Feelings arise before conscious thoughts and color them.
  • Confirmation bias gives more weight to facts that match our existing beliefs.
  • Beliefs are adjusted to match the audience.
Posted in Politics, Science, Society Tagged with: ,

Encode your IP as a haiku

How eccentric and cool: http://gabrielmartin.net/projects/hipku/

There’s also a Python port: http://pyhipku.lord63.com/

Posted in Humor, Poetry, Programming Tagged with: ,

Right-wing commentator tilts left!

David Brooks is the token conservative on the New York Times OpEd page. He replaced the insufferable William Safire, but has still been reliably conservative.

But something has happened as of late; he has been writing columns displaying empathy, such as one eschewing vengeance in response to ISIS. The one that really amazed me was yesterday’s essay on PTSD. Buried inside that was this:

war — no matter how justified or unjustified, noble or ignoble — is always a crime.

Amazing because for the longest time he was a noted war hawk.

Posted in Peace, Politics Tagged with: , ,

Ten Years!

Today is the 10th anniversary of this blog, so I’ll celebrate with a bunch of random items.

Posted in Humor, Science

Solitude

Sometimes we just want to be alone,
to meet the self, to commune with nature,
to hope to glimpse that ineffable;
to let our thoughts run shouting
down halls that we’ve never seen,
unthreatened by the jaws of other peoples’ arguments.

Our soul is set free by our heart’s acceptance
that alone is not lonely,
and graced from guilt, goes ranging far and wide
until the human world attracts once more.

12.20.1995

Posted in Poetry

Sharp knives

In my woodworking days I learned how to sharpen knives on a stone, so when invited to Thanksgiving or Christmas, I would offer to sharpen the host’s knives. The offer was always well received, but such a high proportion of cooks promptly cut themselves accidentally that I now don’t offer, or add a severe caveat.

I conclude that the canard about blunt knives being more dangerous is wrong. The logic is that blunt knives cause people to press harder, but I think the added sharpness of a sharpened knife far outweighs the added force applied to a blunt knife.

Posted in Science Tagged with: ,

Split Infinitives

I’ve always had a secret liking for split infinitives. Today I found a perfect example.

Therapists are trained not to tell you exactly what to do, no matter how much I ask.

I would much rather see (using brackets to indicate a sentence component)

Therapists are trained to [not tell you exactly what to do], no matter how much I ask.

To my ear, the original sentence implies a logical construction like this

Therapists are trained not to tell you exactly what to do, but to reflect your actions back to you.

Posted in Language

Modern-day Feudalism

Here’s what the corporate state has come to:

  1. You need a college education to get a job;
  2. You have to pay for it;
  3. You can’t escape that debt (it’s high interest, and not dischargeable in bankruptcy);
  4. Therefore you have to work for us until it is paid off.

Ergo: Capitalism has reinvented the feudal system.

Posted in Society Tagged with: