Thursday, February 19, 2015

Glib 'Happy Talk'

2/19/15.

Thomas Sowell:

"When Alfred E. Neuman said "What me worry?" on the cover of Mad magazine, it was funny. But this message was not nearly as funny coming from President Barack Obama and his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice.

In a musical comedy, it would be hilarious to have the president send out his "happy talk" message by someone whose credibility was already thoroughly discredited by her serial lies on television about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012."

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021815.php3

Oliver Sacks: On Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

2/19/15. Terminal cancer concentrates the mind.

Oliver Sacks:

"...I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure..."



http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/19/opinion/oliver-sacks-on-learning-he-has-terminal-cancer.html

Thinking About Politics

2/19/15. What must we think about when we think about politics?

http://www.city-journal.org/2015/25_1_politics.html

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

How Smart is 50 Shades of Grey?

2/17/15.  Is it, "Tie Me Up" or Tie Me Down?"




Kay S. Hymowitz:


"More than anything, 50 Shades represents the mainstreaming and feminization of S&M pornography. Once confined to the shadows of the art-movie house, sadomasochism is having its moment in the bright light of the mall. Both critics and fans of 50 Shades miss the essential point about pornography: that it speaks to primitive, pre-rational, taboo desires. Its lure is precisely the refusal to bow to social limits. It doesn’t matter who sets those limits: fathers, priests, or gender studies professors can all have the sort of authority that the unconscious is determined to flout. Nor will gender progress stop the rebellious id. Even a Hillary Clinton presidency won’t rid the nation of libidinous fantasies about dangerous Alpha Males wielding duct tape."






http://www.city-journal.org/2015/eon0217kh.html

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Cosmic Quest for Dark Matter

2/15/15.

"Scientists estimate that visible matter makes up just 4% of the universe, while dark matter makes up 23% . The remaining 73% is an even bigger puzzle, a repulsive force known as 'dark energy.'"

No wonder I often feel I'm in the dark.


http://www.wsj.com/articles/a-cosmic-quest-for-dark-matter-1423852367?mod=WSJ_hp_RightTopStories

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thomas Sowell: Uncommon Knowledge

2/7/15. This is a 50 minute video-taped interview of Professor Sowell --- listen and learn about all the stuff you know that ain't so. No economist is more concise, clear and knowledgeable than Professor Sowell.

I met Professor Sowell in the early 1970's. My uncle George Horwich who was a Professor of Economics at Purdue University invited Professor Sowell to give a lecture at the university in West Lafayette, Indiana. I rode in the backseat when my uncle drove Professor Sowell to the airport in Bloomington, Indiana.

I remember Professor Sowell introducing his lecture noting that a Black conservative was less common than a transgender, vegetarian birdwatcher.

http://www.wsj.com/video/uncommon-knowledge-thomas-sowell-basic-economics/51837CB6-9FF2-4E28-9883-305AE55D179A.html?KEYWORDS=thomas+sowell

Our Amazingly Plastic Brain

2/7/15. You can teach on old dog new tricks.

The dog has to be active, with a mind that is challenged.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/our-amazingly-plastic-brains-1423262095?KEYWORDS=amazingly+plastic+brain

Friday, February 6, 2015

MY BRAND

2/6/15.


Someone asked me what my brand was --- I didn't know what she meant. She said, "Every company has a brand. You are not keeping up with the times."
MY BRAND:  Ignorance and Curiosity
I work to know what I know that ain't so. I worked to know what I need to know about that I don't know exists.
Our views are securely maintained by a confirmation bias and partial schedules of reinforcement.
We scan the world and find evidence to fit our views --- confirmation bias.
Our ideas are difficult to extinguish --- they are reinforced by a random, intermittent schedule of reinforcement --- just like the Casino slot machines.
Our brains are designed to secrete ideas that justify our actions.






I Can't Get No Satisfaction - Baby Boomer Classic Rock and Roll Tunes

2/6/15. Soon these tunes will be booming from the speakers of thousands of assisted living centers and nursing homes across the USA.


http://www.nextavenue.org/blog/15-songs-defined-boomer-generation?utm_source=na_socialmedia&utm_medium=na_socialmedia&utm_campaign=na_socialmedia

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why Some Smart, Sophisticated Parents Don't Vaccinate Their Children

2/2/15. Some intellectuals are like a high powered rifle with a bad aim.

The anti-vaccine crowd is dumb, dumber, and dangerous.


http://news.sciencemag.org/2011/01/why-prius-driving-composting-set-fears-vaccines?ref=hp

Every Teenager Should Work Part-Time in a Grubby Job

2/2/15.

I worked in supermarkets for five years during my adolescence and early twenties --- the work taught me invaluable lessons:

1.   The world is an outpatient psychiatric ward.

2.   Rich people shoplift.

3.   People routinely say crazy things.

4.   Many people are generous and kind.

5.   Employees steal.

6.   The world is not fair.

7.   Part-time work is the strongest motivator to attend college.

8.   Being kind is more important than being clever.

9.   Earning your own money is a gift that keeps on giving.

10. It's not all about you.

http://time.com/3690226/joni-ernst-state-of-the-union-response-teenagers-jobs/

Peter Pan Economics

Six Brutally Honest Reasons You Are Still Fat