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  1. Today
  2. Four Things 1. On finishing a book about medical quackery, I perused the bibliography and happened upon a name I wasn't expecting: Mark Twain. Twain, it turns out, wrote what the author characterized as a "caustic expose" of Christian Science and its founder, Mary Baker Eddy. The book appears at Project Gutenberg. Although our modern oracle at Wikipedia agrees that Twain disliked Eddy, it paints a more ambivalent picture on the matter of his opinion of faith healing more generally. I'm considering reading this for amusement some time: Feel free to drop a comment if you have already read this and have a strong opinion of it, good or bad. It's worth a nickel, if you can catch it. (Image by Michał Mancewicz, via Unsplash, license.)2. Lightning is dangerous and can be awe-inspiring. Surely, it would be a great boon if we could only harness all that untapped (and free!) energy. If you have ever thought about this, wonder no more! MIT's School of Engineering took up this question, and much of the answer was as you might expect: Even aside from the unpredictability of lightning strikes, this is a significant engineering challenge. But the biggest surprise comes at the end, and passes as a punchline to a long joke: "The amount of energy from a lightning bolt would be worth only about a nickel." 3. My daughter came home from school one day wondering about a strange insect she saw during recess. An image search based on her description took us to "What's That Bug," a web site that got its start long ago as a column in a small, photocopied magazine. Here is what we found:Q: I found a red/scarlet ant looking insect on my porch. It has black and white stripes on the bottom of it. It's about the size of a fingernail. It's spring time. I have never seen anything like this insect before. I don't know if it's an ant or not. I would really appreciate it if you could answer my question. What is it? Thank you. A. This is a Velvet Ant, a flightless female wasp that is reported to have an extremely painful sting. Based on this BugGuide image, it might be Dasymutilla scaevola. [format edits]I saw similar (but solid red and furry) "giant ants" when I would play in my grandparents' yard as a child in Mississippi. It's neat to know what they are, now. 4. It would not be much of an exaggeration to say that back in medieval times, at least in England, bakeries were the gas stations of the day:Today, feeding bread to a horse might seem like the whimsy of a sentimental pet owner. But in pre-industrial England, it was the best technology available for powering the horses on which English society relied. Horse bread, typically a flat, brown bread baked alongside human bread, fueled England's equine transport system from the Middle Ages up until the early 1800s. It was so logistically important that it was more highly regulated than its human counterpart, with commercial bakers adhering to laws dictating who could bake horse bread, as well as the bread's price, size, and occasionally even its composition. The ubiquitous bread was made from a dough of bran, bean flour, or a combination of the two, and typically was flat, coarse, and brown.Interestingly, the Gastro Obscura article notes that people who have had some of this bread made from the old recipes love it. -- CAVLink to Original
  3. Yesterday
  4. I see the parallel, but it reminded me of when Russia used to tell their farmers what to plant, and when to plant it, resulting in crop failures.
  5. It seems like there is some glamorization of collectivism within this movement. Not entirely, but it there is the "we will be connected" drum beat. https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-elites-horrific-transhumanist-future/
  6. My impression of transhumanism is that it is technological eugenics. Although I’m not sure how close that comes to an apt description, as I don’t know much about it. Actually just looking around in order to respond to your comments , I learned the ‘movement’ is ‘larger’ than I presumed apparently there is a domestic political party established enough to have fielded a presidential candidate and affiliates with other similar political organizations multinationally. Ive found what looks like a philosophic critique and perhaps a discussion on the bioethics of transhumanism. : https://academic.oup.com/jmp/article/42/3/237/3817401
  7. Both. I hear opposition to this hope or philosophy, I don't understand the concern. Is it being against prosthetic limbs? Or is it a prescription to becoming "inhuman", whatever that would mean? In the other thread I mention a philosopher that seems to be linked to transhumanism. I am still researching the subject.
  8. ET Do you mean to ask what is the internal logic of the philosophy of transhumanism ? Or the logic of questioning the ethics of transhumanism ?
  9. At Spiked!, Brendan O'Neill considers the recent finding that Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the healthiest that it has ever been since measurements began decades ago. His title -- "Why Eco-Alarmists Are Wrong About Almost Everything" -- isn't quite right, but that does not make this piece any less worthwhile. The whole thing merits a read, and is short enough to keep in mind as something you could point out to a persuadable person. Two excerpts should make that case. First, O'Neill reminds us of the fact that our wonderment and affection for the reef have been used against us as a cudgel for quite a long time:Image by Gökhan Tolun, via Wikimedia Commons, license.We should remind ourselves just how important reports of the reef's death were to the climate-change narrative. There were endless fear-stirring headlines about the lethal threat posed by industrious mankind to Earth's largest coral reef system. Images of the sick white coral were used to boost the eco-sermonising of the elites, to add weight to their narrative about the human impact on the natural world being a wicked and murderous thing. Greenpeace even held an underwater protest in the reef, with a banner saying 'Coal is killing the reef'. Really? Coal production in Queensland has steadily risen -- Queensland produces millions of tonnes of coal every year -- and yet the reef's health has improved. Fake news, Greenpeace? [link omitted, bold added]Second, O'Neill reminds us -- as have the likes of Alex Epstein, Michael Shellenberger, and Bjorn Lomborg -- of the importance of our great mastery (his term) over nature:Eco-alarmists aren't only wrong about the death of Earth -- they're wrong about life on Earth right now. The message they constantly send is that everything is dire. The big, disgusting 'human footprint' on poor Mother Earth is causing heatwaves and storms and death on an unprecedented scale, they say. It is all so overblown. We are actually safer from nature's violent whims than we have ever been. The number of people dying in natural calamities fell from around 500,000 a year in the 1920s to 14,000 in 2020. That's a 96 per cent drop. The percentage of human beings living in poverty fell from more than 80 per cent at the start of the 19th century to less than 20 per cent in the 2010s. Deaths from disease and war have also declined dramatically in the modern era. Child labour, too. Life expectancy, meanwhile, has shot up. In Europe, it went from 34 years to 79 years between 1770 and 2019. That is, at the exact time that mankind was having industrial revolutions and allegedly being a plague on the planet, the health and prospects of humanity improved in a way our ancestors could only have dreamed of. It's almost as if modernity is good for us. We must never let the anti-industrial rage of the elites blind us to how brilliant our impact on the planet has been. We haven't destroyed Earth -- we have tamed it and civilised it; we have unlocked its secrets; we have transformed this wild and unpredictable ball in space into a planet that can happily host eight billion people, and more besides. Occasionally bleached coral is a very small price to pay for the liberation of humanity from death and drudgery, wouldn't you say? [links omitted, bold added]I have heard others say words to the effect that if someone thinks there is a "climate crisis" caused by carbon dioxide emissions, but opposes nuclear power, that person shouldn't be taken seriously. I agree. Perhaps another quick way to gauge whether someone is serious or thoughtful about this issue is how they react to good news like this. Are they at least relieved? Do they do what O'Neill does and reconsider the numerous doomsday predictions that it calls into question? If a mother fears for her child's life and gets a good (and solid) prognosis, would she not react with delight and relief? And what would it mean if she ignored the news or insisted on continuing treating her child as if he had six months left to live? I don't know, either, but it is akin to the silence and indifference greeting this good news from climate catastrophists. This is good news, and in the greater context that O'Neill provides, it means lots of us can and should stop worrying and get on with our lives. -- CAVLink to Original
  10. The above is what caught my eye. What exactly is the logic of transhumanism?
  11. Last week
  12. At the Genetic Literacy Project, Cameron English rightly calls out "anti-GMO 'rock star' Vandana Shiva" among others for their role in causing Sri Lanka's agricultural crisis:Sri Lanka ran an evil experiment on its citizens last year. Under the sway of nitwit organic-food activists, the government banned imports of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers as part of an effort to transition the country to all-organic agriculture, leaving the vast majority of farmers without access to the vital tools they use to grow the crops their country depends on. Polls taken at the time showed that most growers didn't know how to farm organically.English goes on to recapitulate the events that preceded and followed from the ban, calling them "predictable and tragic." He also reminds us that the country's leadership ignored the advice of its agricultural scientists while it devised its plan. At the same time, the story notes that organic apologists are deflecting blame. Regarding a recent statement about the crisis by the Soil Association (which frequently collaborates with Shiva), Cameron hits the nail on the head:If you recover, they'll tell you to step on it right, the next time. (Image by Albert Cahalan, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.)You see, they didn't do it right. Had Sri Lanka only taken a decade to retrain its farmers in organic production and primed its citizens for the massive yield drops that come with abandoning modern agriculture, then they'd be on their way to a green paradise. Please. This is a foolish, face-saving narrative. Take 10 years or take 100 years; it doesn't matter. The problem is not the transition period, but the production methods farmers are supposed to utilize. We know that organic farming alone cannot produce the amount of food we need to feed the globe. The research has been done, the evidence is in. This was all known long before the events in Sri Lanka unfolded. Agricultural scientists in the country knew it, and they were ignored. [links omitted, bold added]Central planners take this tack so often about the results of people attempting to implement their policies that the Babylon Bee once memorably parodied it under the headline, "Socialist Steps On Another Rake Insisting That 79 Previous Attempts Weren't REAL Stepping On A Rake." My thanks to Cameron English for calling this what it is, evil, and holding these modern Luddites to account with his well-documented piece. Sri Lanka will, sadly, not be the last time green meddlers wage war on modern agriculture. But with this article, at least the next target will have been warned on how the scheme will be put into motion, the results they can expect, and what the perpetrators will say when their policies are tested against reality. -- CAVLink to Original
  13. Whether you sometimes had to do without meat during the height of the pandemic -- or found yourself going to the store at ridiculous hours like I did -- you might want to mosey on over to one of John Stossel's recent pieces. Within, he explains how this happened in a wealthy nation in which it is impossible to drive through the countryside without seeing cattle. And yes, if you suspected it is due to regulations in one way or another, you were correct to do so. In this particular example, meat inspection -- which for decades involved a technique that could spread disease -- is the major culprit:Image by Kurseong Carl, via Wikimedia Commons, license.Today, USDA inspectors do a better job. They test for bacteria. But the inspection process is so cumbersome and expensive, many small companies can't afford it. The result, complained President Joe Biden recently, is too much market concentration: "Four big corporations control more than half the markets in beef, pork, and poultry!" His remedy, sadly, is to give your tax money to some smaller meatpackers. Of course, such subsidies and regulations increase market concentration.Stossel's suggested remedy -- of allowing small packers to sell after state inspections -- does not go as far as I would, but it would make the supply chain less brittle. That said, it is as needless for the government to require this common-sense measure as it is wrong for it to issue rights-violating orders to individuals in the form of preventative law. I would have been happier had Stossel noted that no rancher or meat processor wants a reputation for sickening or killing customers: There are ample selfish, profit-seeking motives to support an entire competitive and profitable private industry in food safety inspection and certification. (Underwiters Laboratories is an example from a different sector.) And such an industry probably wouldn't have taken almost a century to get past the ridiculous "poke and sniff" method the government foisted on us in the name of saving us from ourselves and "greedy" businessmen who somehow don't understand that dead, dying, and sick customers are bad for repeat business. -- CAVLink to Original
  14. Is this the seventeen thousand four hundred eighty seventh attempt to finally, totally, once-and-for-all, get that bad Trump, or am I forgetting one? But this time will be different! This time they’ve really got him! This time it isn’t about lies they made up! This time he messed up real bad! Such excellent entertainment.
  15. Or he declassified the material while in office and took 'hardcopies' and any actions by DOJ or FBI to force him to return would blow up in their faces and he let them blow up their faces. Garland already had to go on tv to explain that AG don't talk about this stuff and this stuff isn't over yet .
  16. Over at Hot Air, Allahpundit does a fine job of answering Donald Trump's threatening question to the Attorney General regarding how his followers -- Trump's term! -- might react to the Mar-a-Lago raid. What I like about the list is that it lays out for all just how ridiculous Trump's behavior has been on the matter of the classified documents every step of the way. I'll simply duplicate the list below:Trump knows good and well how to turn his hand in the opposite direction. (Image by Kwon Junho, via Unsplash, license.)He could have returned all of the documents the first time the National Archives asked for them back.He could have returned them later when the DOJ subpoenaed them.Having failed to return them, he could have kept the search of Mar-a-Lago a secret. Remember, it wasn't the feds who announced it. Trump announced it on Truth Social because he recognized that the incident would benefit him politically. The FBI even carried out the search dressed in civilian clothing so as not to alert bystanders as to what was happening. Trump alerted the country because he wanted to raise "the heat."He could now call on his followers to chill out before one of them kills someone, as nearly happened a few days ago in Cincinnati.He could, at the very, very least, refrain from further inflaming the situation... [links omitted]This man's half-calculated, half-erratic behavior before, during, and after the 2020 election should alarm people across the political spectrum. It is a disgrace that the Republican Party seems content to remain his lapdogs. Furthermore, if the current administration has legal grounds to bar Trump from running for office and fails to pursue them, it will be at least equally wrong. On that last score, I am afraid they will be tempted to stop short of doing so, as I have explained before. The fact that the Democrats specialize in inciting riots does not mean that the proper response is to do the same thing. Not, at least, for anyone who values the freedom and prosperity that come with law, order, and government protection of individual rights. -- CAVLink to Original
  17. ... meanwhile, the world population expected to hit 8 billion, 2022. If not scorn, perhaps a measure of disbelief?
  18. As to conspiracy, the fact that public pro-depopulation figures are instrumental in if not policy making at least promotion of policies put into play doing the pandemic is notable, at the very least. But noticing only brings scorn from proper people.
  19. The part I liked the best in the essays was where the author was discussing how the west’s reaction related to changes in the societal zeitgeist, philosophy and how it shows the weakening of Lockean based view to a more Hobbes focused frame.
  20. It struck me as a conspiracy piece, and I did not read it in depth, just to the extent that the Ivermectin was not being allowed for CoViD treatment, then queried the drug along with the disease for some studies. If it strengthens your views, that is fine. The multiple conflicting stories on different aspects of CoViD floating about reveal more about the epistemological disintegration. Also this is not the first time I've heard of a conspiracy of CoViD being a vehicle used to depopulate the world.
  21. dw The title of the piece is not the part I found fantastic, it was the essays cited in the article. The results of the study you referenced claimed in the Backround portion to be unclear, so not definitive. Thst study also used participants that had symptomatic disease for 7 days, the effectiveness of an anti-viral as prophylaxis or early treatment after exposure could not be evaluated in such a study. Picking that as a 'rebuttal' , makes the 'meat' of the article I linked, more prescient.
  22. Effect of Early Treatment with Ivermectin among Patients with Covid-19 CONCLUSIONS Treatment with ivermectin did not result in a lower incidence of medical admission to a hospital due to progression of Covid-19 or of prolonged emergency department observation among outpatients with an early diagnosis of Covid-19. (Funded by FastGrants and the Rainwater Charitable Foundation; TOGETHER ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04727424. opens in new tab.)
  23. https://rwmalonemd.substack.com/p/ivermectin-why-is-the-administrative A fantastic piece .
  24. To represent what the protagonists of Rand's novels are like, one needs to discuss how they are in the novels. Reading and reporting instead musings the novelist jots down in her journals about a future character she is working on does not get you a satisfactory grade in a literature class. But the point of this smear-article was not to read and report the literature or the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Behind all such personal attack-pieces like this one is simply the favor of politics or religion opposed to Rand-quarter positions concerning politics or religion. It is easier to vilify persons, such as Rand or her fictional protagonists, than to argue ideas. The latter would mean reading and accurately representing what were the ideas of Rand that she argued and that she illustrated in fictional stories. After accurate representation, one would go on to argue against those ideas, making counter-arguments in support of one's opposing views. (Which is what is in my writings concerning Rand or any other thinker I take up.) If someone is already in the church of the author of this personal-smear approach to morals and politics of Rand or libertarianism, one can get bolstering by reading this article. One does not get accurate information from it, only distortions. But there are readers who think that is fine, if only they get their church and political beliefs defended, however cheaply and slovenly. Precision respecting reality and life may not be their thing. But people who are after truth, including truth about what is Rand's philosophy, what is right in it and what is wrong with it, people like that read people like me.
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