November 26, 2012

Why Are Commented Blogs Getting Unreadable By Anyone But the Crazy Regulars?

The Arxiv Blog links to a preliminary explanation.

The notion that the Internet is fostering extremism is not new, but it is worth repeating in this context.

Addendum 20121227: Cyberpioneer Jaron Lanier has expressed concerns along the lines above, as far back as 2001. (HT: jvic at LGF.) Hopefully this addendum will be followed by at least one full post because Lanier's concerns warrant serious attention. Unfortunately what comes readily to mind are solutions, e.g. abolishing online anonymity, that are worse than the problems which Lanier identifies.

November 24, 2012

Enough is Enough

No one expected the Republicans to win the black vote. They should have done better with the Hispanic vote.

But it took real genius to lose the Asian vote by 3:1. (Asian Americans are severely disadvantaged by affirmative action, more so than whites.)

I've had it with the GOP in its present form. I've had it with the conservative coalition in its present form.

The loss of a winnable election was bad enough, but the reactions of the commenters at Legal Insurrection were the last straw for me.

My guess---purely a guess---is that Asian Americans looked at the influence of the creationist, every-sperm-is-sacred religious kooks and said sayonara.

I'm saying sayonara too.

November 17, 2012

Akin-Mourdock 2016!

Orwell on British pacifists:
Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other.
In that light, what should be said about the right-wing kooks who insist that human life begins at conception and abortion should be forbidden even for rape?

I say that they are so debasing the reasonable case for putting reasonable limits on abortion that they, as a matter of practical politics, are advancing their opponents' agenda.

This isn't rectitude; it isn't principle; it's stupdidity. Stupidity from the Stupid Party.

(A similar claim could be made about those who pass from justifying abortion to justifying infanticide, but at this time infanticide is not being seriously proposed in the USA.)

November 11, 2012

The Election

I said it here:
Some conservative reactions to the election worry me a lot more than the results do.

November 5, 2012


The Pew Research Center reports that only 9% of the people they contact agree to be polled; twelve years ago the figure was 36%.

Some time ago I got a robocall, claiming to be from Rasmussen, that asked for my views on the economy. As the questions continued, they became so personal and intrusive that I hung up. How secure were my responses? Would they be sold to political parties or financial institutions?

Pollsters might get better responses if they prefaced their interviews by stating reassuring privacy policies. Come to think of it, that's such an obvious step that it's suspicious that they aren't doing so already.