Love Actually

Is it just me, or has social justice activism in the United States recently turned its extremism up to eleven? Take just one example, on the subject of differences between men and women:

  • Google fires James Damore for pointing out that there are biological differences between men and women (link) that could explain the lack of female programmers in the industry.
  • Twitter bans a user for asserting that men aren’t women (link).
  • Teenage males are allowed to compete in the female events at Connecticut track meets, as long as they self-identify as female (link).

Continue reading Love Actually

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Chess in 2018

I played chess when I was a teenager although it would be more accurate to say that I occasionally sat in front of a chessboard and pushed pieces around. I knew the moves and a couple of strategic sayings (castle as soon as possible, don’t move the queen too early, move each piece only once during the opening . . .) but I never had a sense of the game. Continue reading Chess in 2018

What is Art?

I’ve never had a strong opinion about art. Sure in the back of my mind was the sneaking suspicion that W.C Fields was thinking about art critics when he said “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” but I was content in my ignorance until recently, when I came across the work Ambulation by Sandrine Schaefer. I don’t know what she was trying to do, but it certainly wasn’t art. Which led me to think about art. Which in turn led me to this blog post. Continue reading What is Art?

Studies show . . .

When I was in grad school, any argument whose support included the phrase ‘Studies show …’ was immediately suspect. That phrase was a red flag, indicating either that the speaker was trying to pass off weak data as stronger than it actually was or he hadn’t done his research and was trying to throw a fast one by his audience. Continue reading Studies show . . .