Wednesday, December 15, 2010

if sanity is determined by consensus.......

God help us.
“Note that we are both skipping the sanity rally. I’m against restoring sanity. My comparative advantage at dealing with insanity is too great. I want to continue to extract rents from it, please.”

….and yes Othello does strike me as a very bad choice for newlyweds. Shakespeare is awesome anyhow.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Justice Stevens' views on who actually wrote Shakespeare's works.

^tourist trap displayed for ambience

The theory that they were written by a nobleman named de Vere was originated by a man named J. T. Looney ( the name probably doesn't help things.) Apparently O'Connor feels the same way, but wouldn't commit herself; though that's okay, because Stevens was happy to do it for her... (I'm really, really trying hard to forget that these people practically make laws) However though Scalia might be right in assuming that Stevens "aristocratic" bias, it is still not as large as a potential "populist" bias supporting Shakespeare's authorship. Seriously who's going to buy the idea that some Earl wrote these plays? Of course Harold Bloom (who's apparently some sort of literary god) thinks that De Vere's :..pale lyrics suggest that he could not write his way out of a paper bag."1

How you're supposed to figure out any of this out without devoting a lifetime to it, I don't know; considering that his story ideas were popular tales that had been circulating before eitherof them were born (sometimes for centuries.) I don't know why I posted this, except that I think it's funny --- I'm probably biased because I'm very frightened that these people (and de facto legislators) help run the country. It's like a socially acceptable upper-class and highly rarefied thing that appeals to those who might be conspiracy theorists had they been born with a slightly different socioeconomic status.

To be fair, I remember reading an argument that they were all written by Marlowe, and besides a having to construct a conspiracy which framed his death in 1593 it was pretty rational.

1. From the Best Poems of the English Language, 1st Edition, pg 98 (where he also calls Sir Raleigh -- who was actually a decent poet -- a "walking poem")

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Map: Population Egalitarianism

Map of the World's Countries Rearranged by Population
I'm not really sure what the purpose of this is; since low-population density countries are that way primarily because they can't support a larger population. So it's useless, but still pretty cool for some reason.
Actually maybe some countries haven't capitalized on climate change, or they are capable of supporting a larger population, but get greater returns from having fewer people with lots of land.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Narrative Therapy

This is great! I was considering becoming an author so that I could work out my issues by writing unbearable fiction and turgid novels, but this is much faster:
I appear to have skipped ahead to the 'past my prime and tweeting about it' stage already.

There might be a few problems with writing my autobiography at such an early stage (while complete fabrication  may be commonplace --  you still need something to start from.)

Blurb: (it doesn't matter what is here -- same thing goes for all of the recommendations on the back cover from the worst writers in your generation.)

Preface: I'm going to have some difficulty with this part as most of the authors that I admire have passed on, are no more, have ceased to be, or have expired and gone to meet their maker.......

Introduction: I was born in an ordinary hospital, on an ordinary day, to ordinary parents, who would have guessed that from such a prosaic entrance into the world.............. 

Chapter 1: An account of a normal boring childhood that I successfully manage to represent as traumatic.

Chapter 2: In which I overcame the disadvantages of being raised an educated
WASP in a WEIRD country, attended Berkley (and annoyed the heck out of every possible non-libertarian there -- in the hopes that their humorous reminicing gets on the special features DVD of the movie that they made from my autobiography.)

Chapter 3: I make my millions selling dog-tracking software, and then spend my leisure time winning Nobel prizes, and confirming the Riemman Hypothesis.

Chapter 4: After becoming famous enough to be persecuted by an opposing religious or political sect, I wrote a book about that.

Chapter 5: Climbed Everest and wrote another book.

Chapter 6: Where I do something unbelievably stupid, and my ashes are sent into space just to annoy Robin Hanson and my bio is finished by my AI named SAM, who also was the ghostwriter for my book about Everest.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Eugenics: Con

"Smart people" regularly imply by their words and the policies that they desire to implement that: "we would be better off if all of those ignoramuses didn't breed." Which is inaccurate, not to mention unethical, and a very dangerous thing to say explicitly----if you like hanging out with the rest of the civilized world. But older and wiser people than myself have more brilliant and concise arguments:

Being smart is better than being stupid, but being stupid and alive is far better than not existing at all."   Bryan Caplan Against Hi IQ
 (from marginal revolution)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I earnestly beseech you guys..........

A vow to mine own self:
 I shall be most careful to refrain from certain methods, that immediately put in one's mind the idea that the author was educated solely in victorian literature (due to the unnecessary explanations, which insult one's intelligence) that with a certainty, gives rise to the pervasive illusion that such persons were incapable of proper punctuation.
Therefore, in order to conscientiously affirm and reinforce this new life-goal, I've prepared a series of notes on the aforementioned subject. So, to remind myself of the peril of such linguistic forays into the diabolically antecedent world, and to avoid the tortuously lengthy and uninformative introductions of my forbearers:

I oughtn't use the word 'must.' In addition, 'hint of' (with it's subtle allusions to a soiree,) I perceive will cause me to be exposed to much mockery.
Use of the words: 'cordiality,' 'chap' and the making references to 'chimney sweeps' as everyday fixtures of contemporary life, is also quite daft.

Therefore, I charge you, in this virtual conclave, a gathering of like minds on the internet, to assidously avoid unwieldy verbage, antiquated memes, and 'tired and worn' sentence fragments.