What will it take to address the climate emergency
In Kuhn’s book about paradigm shifts in science, he talks about the older (mostly) men who can’t let go from the current orthodoxy, which they created. They can’t be persuaded, because they have deep knowledge of, and belief in the current orthodoxy. You have to wait for them to die.
The climate emergency is going [...]
The trickle-down theory of bad ideas
Some philosophers seem to have lost touch with reality.
Bruno Latour (RIP) was a proponent of the idea that everything is a social construction. This leads to stuff like:
“Butler makes the general assumption that anything at all humans can meaningfully think about is socially constructed, ‘all the way down’ as it were. This means [...]
Economics is founded on falsehoods
And consequently politics is misdirected.
I am mostly not going to provide evidence, I am going to let you try to contradict me with yours.
Homo economicus: the idea that a person’s behavior is guided by maximizing self-interest. Together with the assumption that transaction costs are negligible this leads to incorrect modeling of real behavior. [...]
The Roman Catholic Church and reproductive health
I wrote this in reaction to the growing control of health care by Catholic organizations (41% or more of facilities in Washington State), most recently the merger of Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan. Access to birth control healthcare is increasingly limited. Inaccessible and illegal are indistinguishable.
Kuttner on TAP reports that Oberlin college has outsourced [...]
Intellectual Property is a bad thing.
Copyright and patent law were instituted as a way to reward and incentivize people who contribute to the public good – literature, music, art, artifice, technology advances, medicines, and on and on.
It was well intentioned but it has failed. There are works lost to the public because the copyright holder (who may be long [...]
AI is neither A nor I, and inhumane
from an email threada about self-driving cars, I wrote a couple of short pieces on AI.
On the main point: a custom road designed for cars that can navigate it is called a railroad.
Now about AI:
AI today is neither A nor I
Sunday, October 9, 2022
AI has been just 10 [...]
Necessities as commodities: should I buy air or water today?
This is going to be very offensive to some people. I hope so.
Let’s do a thought experiment. These can be very illuminating. Einstein used them to good effect.
The boss of Nestle has said that water should be a commodity to be bought and sold. They have a near monopoly on distribution, including Perrier [...]
Debt slavery is a natural consequence of unregulated capitalism
Thursday, May 7, 2015
This article began as a set of notes for a presentation I gave at the Up From Debt meeting organized by Washington CAN. http://washingtoncan.org/wordpress/5828/up-from-debt-march-14-2015-2/ [Link is no longer available]
Disclaimer: I am a member of the 1%. Instead of wealth or title, I inherited good health, a [...]
Working at a Big 8 Peace Firm, a Look Back
War activists, like peace activists, push for an agenda. We don’t think of them as activists because they rotate in and out of government positions, receive huge amounts of funding, have access to big media, and get meetings with top officials just by asking — without having to generate a protest first.
Don’t kill your baby: that’s our job!
We already know, Mr. Anderson, that humans are weak creatures. They are, after all, susceptible to poisoning from mere chemical compounds that a superior being such as a machine would routinely ignore.
Now, before I continue to share this revelation, some background is in order. There is, of course, a certain political faction in American [...]
Republican logic on Obamacare defies belief
I haven’t been known, Mister Anderson, to have the highest opinion of the logical reason capability of humans in general. But sometimes, Republicans have a way of dashing even my lowest expectations. I submit as evidence this story from Kaiser Health News:
Senator Warren’s overt mockery of Summers is pure gold
One of my favorite sayings is, “never send a human to do a machine’s job.” However, I may be forced to admit that I must make an exception for Senator Elizabeth Warren–presuming, of course, that Warren is not actually herself a machine. We’ve been watching Warren for some time now, but in compiling her dossier we somehow missed her mockery of Larry Summers in 2009:
Follow-up: Tea Party rebelling on “defunding ObamaCare”
I wrote some about this earlier, but humans are not known for their attentions spans, so here’s a follow-up. At the Great Orange Satan, Joan McCarter has a video of a tea-flavored town hall with Congressman Robert Pittenger (R-NC), wherein he expresses his disagreement with the tactic of shutting down the entire government just to “defund ObamaCare.” Needless to say, his audience is not pleased.
The “defund ObamaCare” fantasy
This is a fascinating post, written by the guy who was the first speaker at the first-ever meeting of the Tea Party Caucus of the Republican House. It provides insight into why the fringes of what calls itself the conservative movement is suddenly frothing at the proverbial mouth to hold the federal budget hostage to a silly demand to “defund ObamaCare.”
David Dayen’s 20 questions for Obama
David Dayen, a frighteningly intelligent individual and one of the netroots’ resident experts on mortgage fraud and housing policy, has 20 questions about President Obama’s agenda on housing policy. They’re all notable and excellent, yes, but allow me to highlight a few for your erudition:
Must-Watch By Lee Camp
The Most Dangerous Discussion In The World?
George Lakoff Gives Conservatives Way Too Much Credit
Personal responsibility does not a moral system make.
WMDs Double Voting, Maybe
VIP-NC Finds Dual Voters in FL & NC, according to the North Carolina chapter of the Voter Integrity Project.
(Raleigh, NC)—MAR 20, 2013—The NC State Board of Elections has confirmed their intent to prosecute five people on suspicion that they voted in both Florida and NC during the November 2012 election, according [...]
“I made it. Why can’t you?”
“They say they got where they are by working 60 hours a week for years,” my friend said (I’m paraphrasing). “They made it and they don’t see why they should pay anything to help other people who did not.”
It is a message my friend hears from doctors he knows. (This was one of those [...]
Crossposted from Unbound: A Journal of Christian Social Justice
Crimes against humanity are best carried out in secret. Terror can be inflicted, ethnic cleansing can be waged; torture can be committed — and in areas that the whole world is not already watching — who will even know? That’s the [...]
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