Damien Walter and his Big Imagination

Damien Walter has yet another column up in the Guardian attempting to deny that there’s any sort of political strong-arming going on in science fiction these days. As is now the norm for these things, the "argument" rests more on the wording than the logic. When is a giant lizard not a giant lizard? When…

Talking Past the Solution, Again

The Guardian has another one of these frustrating columns on rape where the columnist argues past the point about false accusations. It’s by Jessica Valenti, and it takes issue with A. J. Delgado’s recent column in National Review Crying Rape (that’s an actual link, by the way – Jessica Valenti used a smarmy Do Not…

Complexity != Predicitve Power

I love it when people say a thing, then say they didn’t really say it, and then follow up by repeating the thing that they really did say. Here’s a good example: As an aside, if you are stupefied by how statisticians like Silver deal with all that data and still accept their analyses, you…

How is a Prime Minister (Not) Like a President?

As you get older, you accumulate pet peeves. Get enough of them, and you eventually end up in the heckling booth with Stadler and Waldorf, I guess. One pet peeve I’ve just added to my list: people who make easy comparisons between Westminister systems and the American Congressional system of governance. It’s not that comparisons…

That Kiss

George Takei has a blog post up that I want to complain about, because it distorts, probably without realizing it, an issue that needs to be better understood. The complaint is that so many people reacted with public revulsion to the kiss that Michael Sam and his boyfriend shared on the air when he got…

Sonnenallee

I have no idea if Ostalgie started with Sonnenallee – but it’s the movie I most associate with it. Which is why even though I’m massively late to the party (it came out in 1999!), I’m really happy to have finally seen it – on YouTube. Thanks, internet! Naturally, I can’t speak to how accurate…

Heinlein’s Latter-Day Hugo

There’s a revealing discussion on MetaFilter about John C. Wright’s contention that Heinlein could not win a Hugo Award today. Point of reference – he won four Hugos for best novel in his lifetime and three additional retroactive best novel Hugos for works that were published before the Hugo came into existence. So, Heinlein certainly…

Sails Includes in Jade

I’m currently in the process of switching a project at work from vanilla ExpressJS to SailsJS. As the name implies, Sails is pretty much Rails for Node – it adds a convention-driven MVC layer on top of Express and also packages in some convenience tasks. The main reason I want it is for Waterline and…

The Inspector and Silence (Review)

Internet reviews of HÃ¥kan Nesser’s The Inspector and Silence have a habit of making two complaints that I understand but don’t necessarily agree with. The first of these is that it might not be his best book. I’m not in a position to say: this is the first book by Nesser I’ve read. There is…

How is a Libertarian Like a Conservative?

Arnold Kling has a very interesting post up comparing Progressive political attitudes to being members of an Elect (in the Calvinist sense – but the salient point for Kling is "An elect starts from an assumption of superiority and proceeds from there."). He also speculates on what the conservative and libertarian analogues of this mindset…