It’s All About the Levels

Scott Alexander’s recent post on Ethnic Tensions was, as usual, excellent. It’s best to read the original rather than trusting my summary, but in a nutshell, the point was that philosophy texts on how arguments go wrong don’t even know how to deal with the most common mode of communication failure in modern political discussions…

Patrick has seen some Movies

So, Patrick Popehat – the Federalist pseudonym of Popehat’s pseudonymous Patrick Non-White – is a shockingly bad movie critic. Either that or he’s having us on. Looking for something else I wanted to blog about on The Federalist, I stumbled across his pretty inexcusably terrible The Eight Most Conservative Horror Films Of All Time. On…

Ken White on GamerGate: a graze, maybe

Ken White has posted a pretty cogent series of ten rants about GamerGate over at Popehat, partly in response to excesses in the comments section of Clark’s epic GamerGate post a few days earlier. On the whole, it’s all right on point. Unfortunately, as per usual with Ken, it’s marred by a bit of underhandedness…

The Toxic Tweet

So, thanks to #GamerGate (thanks, #GamerGate!), everyone on the internet has heard of Anita Sarkeesian by now. Yesterday, in response to the latest high school shooting, she tweeted this: We need to seriously address connections between violence, sexism and toxic ideas of manhood before boys and men commit more mass shootings. Naturally, a lot of…

Good Naked and Bad Naked BRAINS

Are we allowed to talk about innate cognitive gender differences yet? The reason I ask is that Lisa Kudrow thinks gay men have biologically superior brains to everyone else. She thinks this becuse her extensive experience as a neuroscientist showed her convincing proof that they have denser corpus callosums(eses) than straight men, and also, to…

Tempest in a Mole’s Teapot on a Mountain

The political smoking gun of the week is the revelation that The Hitching Post edited its website and reincorporated as a religious entity in order to bolster its attempt to circumvent a local anti-discrimination ordinance. In case you’ve missed it, The Hitching Post is a for-profit wedding chapel somewhere in Idaho that doesn’t want to…

Conservative is a bool, Liberal is a Scalar

Perhaps you have heard of the Pew Reserch Center’s recently-released study on political polarization and media habits. It’s been making the rounds. There’s a lot in there that’s interesting, but here’s the part that caught my eye: Liberals are simultaneously (a) more likely to unfriend people on Facebook for disagreeing with them and (b) more…

Driving over the Point with a Tank and then Beating it to Death with a Shovel doesn’t actually Change the Point

One of the most breathtakingly disingenous readings of someone’s (legitimate) analogy I have ever seen is here – in an article called Libertarian Group’s Advice on how to Avoid Rape: not Dressing Slutty is ‘Risk Mitigation’. Actually, the whole article is a drive-by. The Facebook post it’s responding to‘s actual point is that most people…

Clever Grouping in Python

Sometimes when you run across clever code, you just wanna tell someone about it. I spent about 5min. today trying to figure out the grouper function from the Python itertools recipes – because I needed to do something where I split a string, group the resulting list into pairs, and then build a dict from…