Archives for January 2016
This post is dedicated to the memory of Christopher Hitchens, a remarkable man; not for any idea he ever held, but that he was honest enough to change his mind and tell eveyone why.
This is a prelude, a foundation to a later post, where Tim Steele and I will call into serious question the value of 16s rRNA sampling of the gut microbiome, after some time of both of us being “fanboys.” See, we did science and changed our views accordingly.
What the fuck is science, anyway? In today’s politicized world, it’s a bludgeon. It’s too often what one invokes in order to smear, dismiss, assert, or otherwise look the other way. It has—in modern use for too many—become a sort of “authority” one references in order to lay claim to legitimacy. And too often, it’s motivated by laziness, or a reluctance to dump a bad investment in shit that’s just wrong or in need of serious critical evaluation.
Good science is hard to do. Few are up to the task, and that may simply be for the reason that, having solved a huge number of plaguing problems in human quotidian history, we’re quibbling at nipping at heels. I don’t know, but I do know what science is:
Observation and experiment.
That’s all, fundamentally. But unfortunately, today, the lion’s share of what’s touted as such turns on ad hominem, ad verecundiam, and ad populum. That is, a focus on the man, the institution(s) with whom he or she is aligned, and public opinion. This is not science. In fact, science done right and with discipline is such a value that its history is a vaulted one of slicing through such fallacies like a cold knife through super-cooled nitrogen under vacuum.
There are important additional elements. Perhaps most fundamental is that observations be re-observable, and experiments be reproducible. That’s no too much to ask, right? ‘Let me know what you observed and what the results of your experiments were. I’ll do the same, so will a lot of other guys & gals, and if we do the same and find the same, then the hypothesis you have derived has more confidence that it may be true.’
But if we can’t, that’s a problem, a BIG FUCKING RED FLAG.
I got a comment in a post from a couple of weeks back.
Hey Jackie, my point being that this wouldnt be a problem if it wasnt for the US gov involvement. But for you two to ignore the US Gov involvement is unbelievable to me.
You and Richard…are you both saying that our involvement has nothing to do with how big of a problem isis is today? If yes, then i say youre both fools. But hey, who im i to question you two…..after all you’re both on the ground witnessing it, and interviewing the people of the land first hand? Oh wait, you probably read internet articles like i do.
There was a time when Muslims weren’t fooling anyone.
Just for instance, see what John Quincy Adams and Winston Churchill had to say on the matter. So, no, U.S. meddling didn’t turn 20%+ of Muslims into 7th Century, goat-fucking, virgins-until-rapists males, all under a pig-vomit ideology.
They’ve been that way for 1,400 years and counting. The true and pure Muslims. And they admit as much, and multiculturalists refuse to believe they mean what they say and vow, which is just about as fucking stupid as you can get—particularly since it’s not like they’re vowing to only give you a manicure.
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity.
The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die. But the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.”
— Sir Winston Churchill, The River War, 1899 (before he was Sir Winston, obviously…it’s free in the Kindle Store so fucking go get it)
John Quincy Adams:
“’The natural hatred of the Mussulmen towards the infidels is in just accordance with the precepts of the Koran. […]
‘The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies.’ — John Quincy Adams
“In the 7th century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab … spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. … He declared undistinguishing and exterminating war as a part of his religion. … The essence of his doctrine was violence and lust, to exalt the brutal over the spiritual part of human nature.”
— The annotated “John Quincy Adams: A Bibliography,” compiled by Lynn H. Parsons (Westport, CT, 1993)
In the context of history, nation states have always jostled and messed with each other, often resulting in wars. This is neither surprising, nor new.
So here’s the final post—and I had no idea I’d be doing it—of the 2015/16 Holiday Season. Vacation ended today and Beatrice went back to work, via a 6am session at the gym with her new personal trainer.
I’ve done a couple of other posts on this 2-week whirlwind, here and here, but this was all about me. Bea’s brother is a long time San Francisco 49ers season ticket holder. Way back, we took in a couple of games at Candlestick Park when he wasn’t going to be there. This time, it was for the new deal, and Bea thought: early birthday.
Wow, did Robert really up his game when he shifted his membership positon to the new Levi’s Stadium.
…Before I continue, allow me to wax digressive on the Keynesian-esque nuclear bombing of well-established urban delight that grew up organically from the 20’s through the 50s, destroyed in the 60s and 70’s, into the 80s. It was the idea of “multi-purpose stadiums” for football and baseball.
They were uniformly aweful.
Baseball takes place in a ball park, along with all the traditional trappings and meanings only fans know, which assemble to make it a summer park of a flavorful delight that’s especially prescient for young boys and their fathers, who want them to know all about it. Football takes place on a gridiron, ought always be outdoor—because this is a fall and winter game, and the elements ought test both fans and players alike.
Who but a bunch of economic theorists, bean counters, and “urban planners” could manage to suck every ounce of essential delight out of two things at a time, and ignore all important distinctions? Fuckin’ commies always strike again.
Levi Stadium is quite a wonder. No, I don’t care all that much about the rent seeking that surely took place to get the deal done. At least they came to do good, and did very well, as the Hawaiians say incessantly of the Baldwin’s. Pick your battles.