Thursday, July 16, 2009

no god

no hell below us, above us only sky - lennon

it's easy

it's easy
you get to choose
you can try to force the evidence line up with your worldview.
or you can let your worldview line up with the evidence.

either way, is a journey
we all have to take
either way, is a journey
fraught with peril

it's the best game in town.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sarah Palin

Honestly, all this coverage of Sarah Palin. I'm tired of it. It is distracting. It seems like the R's just put her out there as a lightning rod for the party. All the hoopla around her resignation is the best thing that ever happened to them. Takes all the pressure off everybody, including Rush and Hannity and Beck, for all the other stupid stuff that's going on. Just wait, this is not a ploy about Palin, it's a ploy for the R's in general to regroup under the cover of this smokescreen they put her up to. Grand Circus. Just wait and see.

I wanted to say that this Palin escapade is her Jumping the Shark, but, no, I think it is far more well thought out than that.

Palin hasn't quit politics. She IS politics.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Black Swan

A rambling book by a glib and self indulgent author. It is laced with anecdotes and illustrative stories even while cautioning against the use of such devices. The central theme is that random and unforeseeable events (such as the "discovery" of black swans when all swans were thought to be white) have a great impact on our lives, and that most of what we see as progress is the result of these discontinuities, as opposed to the results of hard work. He calls for skepticism in all things.

I think he's looking at things the wrong way, and cherry picking to support his arguments. He also sounds like the kind of person I would get stuck listening to at a cocktail party. Clever, but without direction.

One primary theme throughout the book is that sudden change comes about suddenly and is of greater impact than the daily machinations of the average person. He gives several examples, the internet being one, as if it just sprang into being one fine day without decades of work being put into it by thousands of scientists and enginners. OK, so we can forgive his blindspot. When something arrives to his conciousness he might well think it just happened recently and miraculously without any forsight, and it might indeed have great impact on him. But that doesn't mean it "just happened". This is the kind of thinking leads one to believe in saltation of species as opposed to the slow and methodical processes that we know to be true.

Much of it seems wrong, being based upon reasoning by analogy. Much of the rest seems obvious, such as the admonishment not to cross the street while wearing a blindfold. A lot of it is pretty obviously made up, such as the story about Yevgenia Krasnova. In the end, there's very little you can take away from this book, except perhaps fodder for your own cocktail conversations.