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Category Archives: Society

First they came for the pagans and the queers

The upside of Mozilla’s purging of Brendan Eich is various folk are getting the point that penalising opinion and purging workplaces is so not a good idea. The downside is a lot of folk just don’t get the bigger issue. This piece, for example, First They Came For The Mormons, exemplifies the common notion that “this” started with […]

Ad inclusion

Honey Maid put out an ad about wholesome families: This created some fuss. So, they brought out a response ad: Here is a family talking about itself: And here is another: Providing some good commercial feels.

The shipping news

The IT explosion has led to a dramatic increase in the casual use of TLA’s (three letter acronyms) and neologisms.  One of which is “shipping” — postulating a relationship between two fictional characters (typically from a TV series) which is not an explicit part of the story. A lot of fanfic (fiction written by fans) is […]

The distance of the recent past

Recently. I went on a bit of a Criminal Minds (2005- ) binge, watching the first 7 seasons. Still looking for some more profiling action, I then re-watched The Silence of the Lambs (1991). The film holds up well. But what struck me, re-watching it, was how primitive the technology seemed. In Criminal Minds, it is all […]

Non-Believer Nation

Freedom of belief doesn’t appear to be important to Fox News host Dana Perino, who suggested that if atheists don’t like having “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, well, “they don’t have to live here.” Massachusetts’ highest court is currently hearing a case against the Pledge brought by atheist parents, who feel that due […]

Saturday chit-chat: ELECTION FREE!

The average height of men has risen by almost 11cm since the mid-19th century, experts have found. Data was collected on hundreds of thousands of men from 15 European countries. For British men, the average height at age 21 rose from 167.05cm (5ft 5in) in 1871-75 to 177.37cm (5ft 10in) in 1971-75. A public health expert […]

States as coordination problems

Economist David Friedman’s theory about the size and shape of nations leads him to postulate that the increased importance of labour income–a result of the Industrial Revolution: one of the ironies of history is that greatly increased propensity to produce capital increases both the scale (through increased demand) and then the average income (through increased relative scarcity) […]

Social bully politics

I have previously articulated what I call the paradox of politics (or the paradox of rulership)–we need the state to protect us from social predators but the state itself is the most dangerous social predator. The paradox can never be solved, merely managed more or less well. The guardian delusion The delusion that one can solve […]

No PETA, No Kill

NORFOLK, Va. — Even some supporters do not know what to make of it. PETA, considered by many to be the highest-profile animal rights group in the country, kills an average of about 2,000 dogs and cats each year at its animal shelter here. And the shelter does few adoptions — 19 cats and dogs […]

SCOTUS misreading history

While I am talking about the recent Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case, United States v. Windsor, I am not going to presume to tell the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) how to do US constitutional law. History is another matter. In the majority decision, written by Kennedy J, the following (pdf) appears: It […]