ASMS: Regulation requiring having the thing regulated

While I’m for the most part against the regulation of vaginas, the original had an awful line of reasoning, so I demonstrated how silly it is.

(I anticipate a response saying vaginas and guns are different because one is way more optional than the other. If, however, some people were born with guns for hands, the non-gun-handed would probably still have good reason to regulate the gun hands. Furthermore, if we add specificity, it also falls apart. For example, “If you don’t have my vagina, you don’t get to make laws regulating them.” Swap out “vagina” for anything else one might have and you end up without any regulation besides self regulation.)

abortion gun.png


There was an armed cop and Pittman doesn’t understand the words he writes

Interesting two bits from Eschaton:

That there already was an armed cop means the people crying for there to be authorities with guns lurking in schools don’t really have a point here. Unless they want a bigger presence. I guess as long as we keep the prison model of primary and secondary schooling we may as well have armed thugs to really stay true to it. Though perhaps there’s some better alternative. (Of them, arming the teachers doesn’t sound awful. Teachers can be insane, too, but I’d guess the overall insanity level in the teacher population is lower than the student or security populations.)

As for Pittman, perhaps someone should inform him communists are almost all in favor of less gun control.

Annoying Social Media Spam: The logic-impaired

I haven’t posted one of these here yet, so I’ll explain: Sometimes I see a post floating around social media. More often than I’d like. If the post is stupid and I have an idea to edit it, I sometimes do so.

This one originally had an unborn child inside the character on the left with the arrow and text on the right pointing to it. Some people have replaced it with a tapeworm, but I figured that’s easy enough to defeat: tapeworms are not people. The body is something else’s body. So here’s someone else’s body you’re (probably) allowed to harm.

for the logic impaired fixed.png

When did freezing people become okay?

Sometimes people create and freeze embryos. Often these people are married. Sometimes they divorce after the creation but without bringing them to term. Then sometimes one partner wants to bring them to term and the other wants them destroyed. Courts get involved.

The arguments made for leaning towards the one favoring keeping them alive invoke the personhood of the embryo. This strikes me as rather odd given, as a general rule, you’re not allowed to freeze people indefinitely against their will. If you really believe it’s a person, you don’t freeze it and then decide later if and when to let it resume living. So, this argument strikes me as a dishonest, ad hoc rationalization for one’s right to force another into parenthood.

(Another prominent argument is that by going forth with the plan to create the frozen embryos, one has already consented to becoming a parent. I simply ask where that came from. Freezing the embryos seems like a pretty clear decision to not be a parent (or parent to another child) at the moment but to instead postpone the decision.)

Quotes, 2018 Edition, Volume XYZ

Malcolm X
“You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. Revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way.”
“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”
“If you’re not careful the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”

“If you presume your choice — “market based” — is the one super-special correct one, then yes, you can create a dichotomy between “market based” and “everything else, where someone decides what the system is”.
If you instead treat “market based” as just another solution to the resource allocation problem, the fact that you want to choose “market based” and impose it on others sort of makes the symmetry clear.
For a “market based” solution to win out, it then has to win out on its own merits, not because you decide it is the “only choice that is acceptable” for your own personal metrics.
Note that there are good reasons to use market based solutions to many resource allocation problems that do not rely on “everything else is bad wrong evil”. Market based solutions, under a certain set of circumstances, encourage lots of people to try to find efficient solutions to various problems. These conditions are not, however, universal, and “market failure” is a real world thing with real world consequences.
If your beliefs hold that everything that isn’t “market based” belongs to a “bad wrong evil” set of options, you won’t be able to say “oh wait, there is a market failure here”, because the market becomes (by definition) the right answer.
Markets involve plenty of coercion. Usually by someone laying claim to some set of resources that others want, and that that person has the right to defend (using personal or proxy lethal force) against other people who want them. Treating markets as absolute sources of what is “right” and “wrong” leads to situations that most people who do not treat the market as the holy word as being horrible and evil situations.
And it isn’t as if people who study markets, and who advocate for their use, aren’t aware of market failures. Take any microeconomics course on the planet and there are entire sections on market failures, and where the market solution isn’t optimal.
On top of that, macroeconomics derived from microeconomics simply doesn’t work, and it is in microeconomics that the (limited) situations in which free markets can be shown to optimize resource allocation for reasonable goals is proven. Macroeconomics matters, because that determines what framework the markets operate in.
But if you are going to say “anything except for markets is bad wrong evil”, looking at where markets fail becomes irrelevant. And that is what “there are markets, and there is someone dictating what happens” is saying. Markets are just another form of someone dictating what happens.”

Helen Yetter-Chappell
“In conclusion, idealism is awesome and everyone should take it more seriously.”

“There’s perhaps less to talk about now, since the lack of exit polls this time around means no fun fraud spotting in Cali or Jersey. It all seems so dull, though it is fun to note that the response of our “media” to the realization that the exit polls weren’t within the usual margin of the actual results wasn’t to question the legitimacy of the vote (as they would do in many other nations), but instead to conclude that exit polls are no longer necessary. Not very subtle, guys.”
“there is also the increasingly likely bitter truth that, in light of the European socialist parties’ craven capitulation to austerity, communism and anarchism may be the only remaining positions with any integrity. If the establishment is intent on packing us all into brakeless freight trains barreling toward Lenin and Bakunin, so fucking be it. Game on, shitstain”
“The lesser evil has, especially in recent years, proven itself to be the more effective evil. Remember when W still occupied the white house? Remember how we had that large, vibrant anti-war movement with all those protests? (Well, if you watched the TV news, you probably didn’t see it, but trust me, it was there. I’ve got the memories, I’ll be happy to fill you in). Remember how that anti-war movement kept going after Obama was elected? No, you don’t, because the anti-war movement essentially dissolved as soon as the last ballot was cast in 2008. No one turned out to protest the war once the lesser evil was in charge, and what happened? The lesser evil ramped up drone strikes, kept troops on the ground, maintained Guantanamo, extended drone strikes into Pakistan, maintained and expanded domestic surveillance, indefinitely detained people without charging them and even claimed the right to kill citizens without trial (see NDAA). The greater evil would have faced major resistance every step of the way, but Obama got it all done with nary a whimper from his own party. It’s not inconceivable that a greater evil facing serious resistance might actually be better than the lesser evil acting with the tacit approval of the ones who should be resisting.”
“This focus on generational differences is just another case of covering up class and pretending it’s not there. Why are young people struggling? Is it because they’re damn dirty millennials with no work ethic who don’t understand how the world really works? Or is it because they’re being forced into the ranks of the working poor through high youth unemployment, colossal student loan debt and flat wages? Generation gap politics, if you’re willing to scratch the surface a little, generally reveal themselves as just another way to avoid talking about class. The young aren’t mad because they’re young; they’re mad because they’re working class. ”

Emiliano Zapata
“It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”

Frank Zappa
“The essence of Christianity is told to us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the Tree of Knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions.”
“Without deviation progress is not possible.”

Doron Zeilberger
“But, in spite of all our sins, we mathematicians are tzadiks next to politicians and lawyers, and real angels compared to media people.”
“It is an old-hat tactic to dismiss your opponent’s view as old-hat.”
“the attendance was pretty decent, about µ+5[roh]”
“Let me suggest a compromise, though, that would not reduce the demand for math faculty. Replace calculus classes by classes on how to solve Sudoku puzzles, and how to play video-games that involve mazes and other challenging combinatorial problems. It would be also fun for all those poor burnt-out calculus professors, who would welcome this change in the curriculum.”
“If we adopt a finitistic viewpoint in computer science (and mathematics!) we will be much better off, and will not waste our time with meaningless questions. Let’s start, right now!”
“Because of this obsession with “rigorous” (or “formal”) proofs, Mathematics has gotten so specialized, where no one can see the forest, and even most people can’t see the whole tree they sit on. All they can see is their tiny branch. Even in specialized conferences, many people skip the invited talks and only go to their own doubly-specialized session.”
“For the good of future mathematics we need generalists and strategians who can see the big picture. Narrow specialists and tacticians would soon be superseded by computers.

So let’s get to work, and try to become mathematicians rather than topological algebraic Lie theorists, algebraic analytic number theorists, pseudo-spectral graph theorists etc.”
“So anyone who votes against granting tenure to a colleague “deserves to be shot”. Of course he or she do not deserve to be shot, that’s a little bit of an over-kill(!). They only “deserve to be shot” as a way of speech, like the guy sitting next to you on the train speaking loudly and endlessly on his cell-phone. A proper punishment for those mean creatures who vote against granting tenure to their deserving younger colleagues is to have their tenure denied! Analogously, a proper punishment to all those editors and referees who reject other people’s submissions, is to have their own papers rejected! And a proper punishment to a colleague who does his own work during your seminar talk is to come to his (or her) talk, and flagrantly (at least pretend) to do your own work. And indeed that is what I once did to a colleague who notoriously always does his own work in seminars. To my dismay, it didn’t bother him a bit, so on second thought, “an eye for an eye” does not always work, but it is nevertheless a fairly good approximation.”
“A class with one student who is willing to take “Advanced Riemann Zeta Function”, in my opinion, is worth a class of fifty who take “Introduction to Applied Finance””
“Mathematics is so useful because physical scientists and engineers have the good sense to largely ignore the “religious” fanaticism of professional mathematicians, and their insistence on so-called rigor, that in many cases is misplaced and hypocritical, since it is based on “axioms” that are completely fictional, i.e. those that involve the so-called infinity.”
“If you really care about a deep conceptual understanding, then why stop with mathematicians? Let philosophers teach math! Now they reall care about the deep meaning, e.g. of the number three, that the average member of the Amer. Math. Soc. takes for granted.”
“But I shouldn’t be too hard on G.H. Hardy. After all he is just a lowly human, and these cute humans have a curious psychological need. They need a `meaning’ for their insignificant existence. Religious people have God, but atheists like Hardy also need some kind of God, so they invent lots of `pseudo-Gods’, and that’s why we have racism, sexism, and, in Hardy’s case “Pure Math supremacy”.”

Rob Zombie
“I like making [music]. I’m different than like a lot of people I hear talking. I don’t care if people are buying it. I’m sick of hearing about the old days. Who gives a shit? Talking about CD’s, it’s like you sound like your grandparents talking about CD’s. Drop it, man. Fucking boring topic. Make it—I don’t care if they steal it, whatever they can—I prefer they sneak into the store and steal the vinyl. But if they choose to steal the download that’s OK too. But I challenge you, start stealing the vinyl if you’re gonna steal our music.”
“I think it’s been happening for a long time, and I think the death of that became with grunge, truthfully. There seemed to be a trend in the ’90s, when Nirvana came out and these bands, everybody got confused by it and thought we need all our rock stars to look just like us. So what happened is was everybody started not looking different, acting different and being larger than life.
Everyone was like, oh, all the rock stars are so boring, I don’t care anymore (laughs). People go, oh my God, Prince; oh my God, Bowie; oh my God, Lemmy. Why is that? Because they were all larger than life. They weren’t just like you. They weren’t like you at all. That’s the goal. I don’t think anybody ever goes to a concert – I never did – boy I hope the guy that comes out on stage is just like me! I didn’t see anybody that was just like me as a kid. Alice Cooper and Gene Simmons and Elton John might as well have been from another fuckin’ planet as far as I was concerned, and that’s the way I liked it, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

I’m guessing the growing awareness of sexual assault problems on college campuses needs no introduction. Nor does the zeal that is leading the charge. In recent news, a guy was accused of sexual misconduct, but he made a case for asymmetry in application of the rules and won. I am, at least at this initial stage without that much information, pleased to see this. The asymmetry in how men and women are treated is bad. To borrow the already well-used expression, many of the zealous are seeing women as sex objects and men as sex offenders. If that’s right, it’s bad for everyone. (Well, I suppose the nonbinary individuals might make it out alright, if anyone advancing this pernicious sort of zeal acknowledges them. I’m sadly doubtful.)

The clearest example of the asymmetry, for any nonbelievers, is the existing cases (and approval thereof) wherein a gal and a guy are both heavily intoxicated, they are both unable to consent, and somehow only the gal is wronged. To take that approach to the situation is to deny the gal her agency. And, if either was harmed, deny the guy his vulnerability.

This is of course not to say I think we should let up on the pursuit of preventing sexual assault and harassment. Of course both would ideally be eradicated. But the asymmetry changes the dynamic from aiming to fix the problem of sexually predatory behavior to the different problem of gender politics. Are there real asymmetries and structural injustices along gendered lines? Yes. But hijacking the campaign to get rid of sexually predatory behavior just makes both pursuits worse.