If We’re Being Honest

The way we all knew early on that Black Lives Matter was a crock was that responding with "All Lives Matter" got you labeled racist. If they’d started with "insensitive," they might have had a point. But they started with "racist." When you pointed out that it’s orwellian to call something its opposite, they’d say…

He Who Bans Nazis

There’s a lot that could be said about the Charlottesville tragedy1. The thing that strikes me the most is that people seem to have forgotten any sense of proportionality. For example, several people in my social media circles posted this infographic, purporting to sketch an argument from Karl Popper2 that tolerant societies shouldn’t tolerate the…

Blut und Boden for Me, not for Thee

The march by white nationalists in Charlottesville has been leading to a lot of unintentional hillarity. There’s the obvious – the way all my friends on Facebook who were cheering when Richard Spencer got suckerpunched are suddenly shocked, SHOCKED! to find anyone using violence at a protest. But there’s also this, which is even funnier…

A Measured, but Failed, Response to Damore

The opposing replies to James Damore’s memo have by and large been pretty terrible. They strawman, they make sweeping and inaccrate claims about the state of the science, they show little engagement with the content of the memo, and they’re negative and emotional to boot. Computer Science professor Cynthia Lee wants to do better. She…

A Dubious Claim

My vote for Best Unintentionally Stupid Sentence of the Day goes to Jeannie Suk Gersen writing in the New Yorker, who says: Because our legal doctrine prohibits racial quotas, it is currently impossible to have an honest discussion of these questions. Please, enlighten me. Why would you need a racial quota to have an honest…

What the Standards are and How We Know

Google employee James Damore was fired three days ago for posting a memo on an internal listserv suggesting that entirely scientifically supported generalizations about sex-based cognitive differences might play enough of a role in explaining why Google doesn’t currently have a gender-balanced workforce that it should rethink some of its diversity initiatives. Predictably, the memo…

On Ken Livingstone’s Attitude Problem

Now that Venezuela is in full crisis, Ken Livingstone is in the news a lot doubling down on his support for the failed regime. Can’t ask the leopard to changes its spots, I guess. But I was surprised to learn from all this that Red Ken is suspended from the Labour Party for "bringing it…

Politics, Law and Concerts

Oh look! It’s one of those situations where everybody’s wrong! Wrong the first: Roger Waters is all over Thom Yorke because he wants to play a concert in Tel Aviv. Waters is a big supporter of BDS – a kind of comprehensive boycott of Israel that mirrors the actions taken in the 70s and 80s…

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Pass a Law

One thing that’s been circulating in the wake of yesterday’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game is Mo Brooks‘ excellent response to a reporter question about whether being shot at had changed his views on gun control. Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that…

The Defenestration of Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan has been "fired" (technically: not rehired) by CNN over a tweet calling President Trump a "piece of shit" for politicizing the recent islamist terror attacks in London before expressing sympathy for the victims. This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment…