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katakowsj's comments

Yes. Gov't spending doesn't work. The New Deal, federal bailout in 2008, federally funded roads, the armed forces, the EPA, NIH, anything .gov, are totally worthless.

The guy credited with the Laffer Curve can't believe his own statement. My guess is that by simplifying it to the point of absurdity, he "Trumpifies" the statement and is now able to refute reality because it serves him to do so.

b_b  ·  8 hours ago  ·  link  ·  

I have a good buddy who was an army ranger. He told me once, "I hate the government." I was like, "Didn't you work for the government? And aren't they paying for your medical degree?" (I didn't get into anything any how he was raised by a single mother on WIC, because that's just mean.) He told me that he joined the army to protect the Constitution no the government. At that point I just nodded and changed the subject.

katakowsj  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Functional MRI data correlation in the same individual is not persistent.

What’s your take on this dude’s integrity that’s extolled as beyond reproach, now at least. Did he suddenly have an epiphany? Or, did he have no where else to run and so invalidated his own work?

b_b  ·  1 day ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't think that integrity has much to do with it. I'm sure the guy has always had good intentions. To me, the problem is that what they're doing is just really sophisticated phrenology/craniometry (for the record this is an extreme minority opinion, so very high chance I'm wrong). I commend anyone for reexamining their old results and challenging their own assumptions, because that's a hard thing to do. Maybe he did have nowhere to run, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the motivation was internal. Maybe he was contacted by some people who couldn't replicate his work, and it caused him to look back at the published body of evidence. That's actually how things are supposed to work, so no harm there.

But I think that saying that maybe the problem is that they only scanned for 5 minutes instead of an hour is incorrect thinking, as it seems that they're misdiagnosing the problem, as if the error is one of degree and not of kind. To me, the entire field needs to reassess (a) what the point of their research is, and (b) whether the approach they've taken to achieving those aims has any bearing on reality. fMRI sure makes for pretty pictures and complicated sounding explanations of areas of the brain "lighting up" when a person does something, but I think it's all really facile and obscures rather than illuminates any truths about behavior.

katakowsj  ·  3 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: “An Abuse of Sacred Symbols”: Trump, a Bible, and a Sanctuary

Whether others agree with what you're saying, I gotta believe that the Trumpmeister was working from this perspective.

He may be looking at this latest political stunt as the XFL upgrade was to the NFL. Likely to get similar results as well. We can all hope so.

What an ass-hat president we have.

katakowsj  ·  6 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: White People Rioting For No Reason


Says me, suburban white guy.

katakowsj  ·  16 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 2 Michigan dams breached, thousands evacuated amid flooding

Michigan, the state that The Detroit Free Press today reminded was won in 2016 by “Señor The States-will-take-the-blame” by less than two tenths of a percent of votes cast.

This was in an article about our SOS, Jocelyn Benson, affirming that all registered Michigan voters will be mailed an absentee ballot this fall. I cannot believe the Trump will take that news too well. I’m interested to see his backtracking attempt to denounce a state taking fair voting into it’s own hands not long after also expecting them to survive the coronavirus on their own.

katakowsj  ·  18 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine

If he is, the fact that he’s taking it causes me to feel something sort of like respect for that decision. That, and a Mr. T version of pity for the fool that has a such a blatant disregard for evidence-based reasoning.

Then, just sadness.

This is a pretty cool story. I wondered about the difference between Golding’s Lord of the Flies and the six boys stranded on Ata. How much of the tragedy in Lord of the Flies is more art imitating life, as William Golding appears to be a douchebag when relating to youth? How much of the success on Ata was related to having enough of the essentials?

In the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on Golding’s early life mentions, “ When he(Golding) was a teenager he attempted to rape a 15 year old girl.[10] ”. The Guardian article notes that Golding also beat his kids.

The boys on Ata, I would like to think, would have kept civil in any other related stranding situation, but maybe they did well due to having ample resources to get by. Not always did they have a surplus of water or food, but they also never did need to resort to cannibalism or trade lives for resources. They had just enough and maybe that’s why it never went completely sideways on them.

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Twitter was recently dragging Orwell, pointing out that Animal Farm and 1984 are awful books in which people are mean and evil because people are mean and evil. Orwell definitely had an axe to grind: the hippies lost the Spanish Civil War and the proles refused to honor the monarchy.

"Bad people are bad" is a mathematical identity of our collective human monomyth. It makes for easier stories. "Conquistadors wiped out South America because they are bad" is much simpler than "privateers and adventurers with no treaty authority overreacted violently to an overwhelming military force desiring to sacrifice them for faction cachet within their own civil war". Our moral teachers cannot make their point if you start from the standpoint that everyone is a hero in their own movie.

b_b  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Twitter can drag anything, and there will be a guaranteed quorum to go along with the dragging. The unfortunate things about twitter is that it has made joining the screaming masses as easy as pushing a button. There was a big blowup the other day about a dude taking a selfie with a giant machine gun slung over his shoulder. It didn't matter a single whit that the gun was easily identifiable as a prop by the fact that wood grain was visible even at low res. The mob was rabbling and it can only wear itself out like a screaming 2 year old after that.

It's hard to blame Orwell for being a cynic. He was caught between ideals and reality like only a socialist of the Stalin era could have been. Koestler was another of those who turned himself in knots to hate Stalinism while trying not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Darkness at Noon could have been a really good book if it were written by Orwell instead of Koestler, as it focuses entirely on the concept of the Show Trial in the time of Stalin. I think, despite its boring prose, it's a really good book for our time and place (as is The Joke), because they highlight the extent to which political/ideological extremism is dependent on devouring its own, once it has vanquished external enemies (Kundera was another guy that got dragged on the internet a couple years ago--guess it happens to everyone eventually).

I'm unconvinced after reading this piece, Golding's personality notwithstanding, that this story and Lord of the Flies are mutually exclusive. I think there's a big time math problem that arises quickly when numbers of people get big. Basically we're all playing a game of tit-for-tat, and when there are only 6 players, there may not be many defections, not enough to ruin group trust, anyway. A few bad acts or bad days can be just thought of as a few bad acts or bad days. When the numbers start to get bigger, the chances of having one true piece of shit in the groups become likely, and then when they get to maybe 50 or 100 individuals, it's probably a certainly. It doesn't take a genius game theorist to figure out how badly one bad actor can bend the game entirely to his will, since the whole exercise is entirely dependent on mutual trust. One Golding among the boys is enough to go from harmony to human sacrifice in short order.

steve  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I wonder too, how much their heritage/culture played a part. I've known many Tongans, and they are some of the most warm, selfless, and kind people I've known. They're very communal by tradition, and that lends itself well to a collaborative survival situation.

goobster  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They are also very devout religious people. I know a LOT of Pacific Islanders because they love rugby, are particularly gifted at the sport, and there is a large community of them here in Seattle.

They are genuine in their Christianity, unlike most self-proclaimed Christians I know. I suspect that played a role in their behaviour as well.

wnissen  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  

There's a fascinating article about how the real story here is exactly the boys and their culture.

Apparently I'm unlinkable but search for "Where’s the Pacific voice in the viral ‘real Lord of the Flies’ story?", found on the Global Voices site.

steve  ·  15 days ago  ·  link  ·  
wnissen  ·  11 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My pleasure, I found it very interesting as well.

lil  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

At first, the fact that you knew many Tongans gave me a pause. How could you know many Tongans? Then I looked it up. So that's cool.

lil  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  
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katakowsj  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: It’s time to take UFOs seriously. Seriously.

Agreed. This does seem to be perfect fodder that would scare the bejeezus out of a certain Asian dictator. The boy down the block who thinks he can throw his weight around to his recent acquisition of some new fireworks. He’s been shouting out his bedroom window the multiple ways he’ll toss a pack of thunderbombs in our backyard and jack up our new bike.

It’d be so awesome if he caught on to rumors about our new, if nonexistent, AI drone. Maybe he’ll lay awake worried about us directing our drone to set a blowtorch to his favorite baseball card collection. He’ll keep his pie hole shut for a while maybe.

Who cares how we get him to believe this, if we happen to have some odd circumstances that we can use for our story. He kicked my cat once too. That dick.

goobster  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We bankrupted the USSR in the same way... leaked all kinds of fancy new tech that they spent like crazy to duplicate/exceed, and it turns out much of what we were working on was all smoke and mirrors. The USSR tried to match our technological pace, and spent themselves into oblivion.

Now, every time the Little Rocket Man gets news of an unidentified trace on a radar screen somewhere, he's gonna think it's aliens.

That little shit tried to poison my dog once, by throwing a steak with rat poison on it over the fence into my yard. Can't believe he also kicked your cat. What a dick.

katakowsj  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Probably too soon to know.

True. He’s as physically fit as his inauguration crowds were record setting. The coronavirus has been a heavy hitter to those in poor cardiovascular shape. Captain Cheeseburger’s fitness and age, place him in a high risk category. I came across this quote of Phillip K Dick yesterday that the Donald would be wise to reflect on.

“Reality is that which does not go away when I stop believing in it”.

Good luck Donald. You will need it.

goobster  ·  26 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Genuinely laughed out loud when I read "Captain Cheeseburger"! Thanks for the morning chuckle...

katakowsj  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Killing of Ahmaud Arbery

I feel terrible because this is the first I’ve heard of it. I read the Detroit Free Press each morning and have seen none of this story. Is it that we’re all maxed out on coronavirus that this isn’t the top of the news cycle? This has to go big if this type of shit is ever to stop.

I’m a white suburban guy that runs my neighborhood regularly. Never once have I ever feared that some asshole would think I’m doing anything while running besides trying to stay healthy. Hearing about this, if I appeared dark and threatening to other’s, I’d find plenty of reasons to stay home. This has got to stop.

_refugee_  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I first read about this on r/running, of all places

tacocat  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think there are multiple explanations for why this isn't getting attention but I'm not real happy about any of them. Running from the police after committing a crime doesn't create a sympathetic story for the whites, many of which think that's a capital offense

Hell, some dude who cosplays as a journalist was on twitter smearing Ahmoud Arbery for some old minor crimes and not calmly discussing the situation with the two guys who were following around for no reason

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I just checked. Keweenaw county is looking very nice this time of year.

b_b  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is it?

OftenBen  ·  32 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Eye of the beholder and all. I see sun on that forecast.

b_b  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's literally the most optimistic thing I've ever seen you say on this site :D

OftenBen  ·  31 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Guess it only takes a literal global pandemic to turn this frown upside down.

katakowsj  ·  36 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Armed protesters demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown at Michigan capitol

It is really wild seeing pictures gun toting dudes standing in the Capitol rotunda. As insane as it seems on the surface that these guys can do this, the alternate opposite reality, say state police being able to search your home and person, at will, to confiscate weapons is just as horrible.

I agree that having too much time and too little to do can really mess with a person's view of reality. These folks are living on the same planet, yet exist in an entirely different world.

What a hellish existence to be in a world where one chooses to skip say.... working on a favorite hobby or spending time with family members, to instead tote one's arsenal to the state capitol to risk violence and/or catch and spread a potentially deadly disease.

We're in this together people.

mk  ·  36 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thankfully, there are very few of them.

Also, look at these guys:

Gas mask, multiple clips, flak jackets. These guys aren't protesting as much as LARPing. They've been dreaming about an opportunity like this for a long time. I was saying to ecib last night, I bet these guys did a number of mirror checks before heading out.

Sadly, they wouldn't be making a peep if Fox News was telling them to shelter in place.