Nov 192017
 

I’m beginning to become more and more of the opinion that it just might be a good idea to segregate boys from girls in public school, at least up until junior high or high school. That way there’d at least be the potential of teaching kids in ways that are actually appropriate to them, and, much as it’s become popular to believe otherwise, boys and girls *are* inherently different in may important ways.

Take the source (“Prager U”) for what it’s worth, but there re some interesting points raised here:

I’ve long held the view, and expressed it on this blog, that standardized education isn’t for everyone. I don’t believe that society is best off by forcing everyone to stay in the same classes all the way through 12th grade. Some students would simply be better off if they were allowed the leave school some years earlier and be sent into some sort of trade; if nothing else, the *other* students wouldn’t need to be subjected to their bullying, criminality and stupidery. But as the video points out, there are good cases to be made for separating male from female lesson plans. Years ago I wrote about how some of the books I was forced to read in school damn near turned me off reading forever, because they’re just the wrong damned kind of books for me. But I do recall that at the same time I was struggling to give the very slightest of damns about “Sense and Sensibility” and “Little Women” and “I remember Mama” and “Wuthering Heights,” a lot of the girls in the class seemingly couldn’t get enough of it. But did we read Heinlein? Wells? Verne? Sun Tzu? Rand? Lovecraft? Oh, hell no.

Some might argue that it’s important to cram the “classics” into kids in order to “expose them to a wide range of literature blah, blah, blah.” But if the stuff you expose them to is stuff that they’ll *hate,* stuff that they’ll get little to nothing out of, what good are you doing? Chances are good you’re doing *negative* work. Not only are those students getting nothing out of the assignment and thus wasting their time and the teachers, they are also probably so bored that they’re kicking up a fuss that’s ruining the experience for those students who *can* get something out of it. So if there is a simple way to at least get a *crude* semblance of optimization out of the process – like, say, segregating boys from girls and letting boys be aggressive energetic little shits while the girls are, well girls – then huzzah, everybody is better off.

One common refrain is that at some point in the edumacation process, boys become aggressive in class. Not in the beating the tar out of people sense, but in the “Oooh, oooh, call on me, teacher, I know the answer” sense that modern progressives liken to “mansplaining” and “manterrupting,” while girls are less aggressive in that way. Well… fine. Then wouldn’t it be better to separate them? Teach them in the ways that’s best for ’em?

 Posted by at 8:55 pm
Nov 072017
 

I’m always amazed when westerners get in legal trouble in certain countries. My amazement generally comes less from them having committed whatever crime it was than from them having the terrible judgement that took them to those countries in the first place. Some nations should be simply *avoided* until they enter at least the 20th century in terms of legal systems.

Tourist faces death penalty for bringing husband’s pain pills to Egypt

 Posted by at 7:04 pm
Oct 092017
 

This piece seems to be reasonably well reasoned, and if you are a left-winger or an anti-gunner, or if you know one, I’d suggest giving it a read.

6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Coming To Your Side On Gun Control

As the title suggests, six reasons are given. But I think the first one is perhaps one of the most important:

The most destructive, divisive response when dealing with Second Amendment advocates is the notion that we aren’t on your side of the issue because we “don’t care” about the tragedy and loss of life. Two years ago at Christmas I had a family member, exasperated that I wasn’t agreeing about gun control, snarl, “It appears that if your [step] daughter was killed because of gun violence you wouldn’t even care!”

Me, I’m a jerk. I’ve long since ceased to really care about convincing people who disagree with me to agree with me, because to a large degree politics has become so stultifyingly polarized that no matter what evidence is produced that there isn’t some phantom wage gap, or that nuclear power is the way to go, or that the United States isn’t the greatest evil in world history, or that the world is more than 6,000 years old or that vaccines aren’t going to give you autism or that a firearm I own isn’t going to jump up and shoot you or that maybe you should be allowed to keep what you earn and control your own stuff and destiny, there will be people who just will not accept it. A few decades of these fights have largely drained the hope from me that many people are even open to understanding anything that even comes close to libertarianism or conservativism or a rational scientific outlook. So I just throw the occasional bomb onto my blog and call it a day.

But if you actually hold out the hope of convincing The Other Side of your viewpoint, coming at them right out of the gate with “you don’t care about victims” is *exactly* the wrong approach. And for two reasons:

1: If the other guy doesn’t believe that you believe what you’re saying, he knows you to be a dishonest and disreputable liar.

2: If the other guy *does* believe what you say when you declare that he doesn’t care about actual victims, he’s going to assume that *you* are the actual sociopath in the situation.

And somethgin that has coem up in the comments section of this blog many times is also discussed:

5. We Seriously Don’t Care About Gun Laws in Other Countries

We really, really don’t.

We don’t.

Most Americans give precisely zero shits about “but everyone else in the world does X.” Whether “X” is:

  • Fanatical devotion to soccer
  • Disdain for American beer/chocolate/fast food/movies/music/culture
  • Acceptance of anti-blasphemy laws and other forms of legal strictures on the expression of unpopular opinions
  • What y’all think the US should do about gun laws.

We really, really don’t. Sure, some do, but we tend to sequester them in Hollywood where we can point at them and laugh.

 Posted by at 12:18 am
Oct 042017
 

The pilot episode, as discussed, did not inspire. And by making the rest of the season unavailable for me to watch, CBS hasn’t gone out of their way to make me want to catch up on the show.

However… according to this video, the show *may*actually wind up being something I would actually want to see. According to the theory, the USS Discovery doesn’t work so much for Starfleet, as for Section 31.

 Posted by at 9:47 am
Sep 262017
 

This… this struck many a nerve. Back in my aerospace engineering days, I had a *lot* of meetings that went more or less like this.

The end result, both in the video and in reality, is for the engineer to just give up and say “yeah, sure, I can do the crazy incomprehensible thing you think you want.” Work from that point forward then becomes an effort not to produce the impossible thing, but to plan out in advance how you’re going to blame who for what.

There were times when I was told to design a component that would only be physically possible in a reality with four physical dimensions. There were *many* times when I had to actually invent something (not just design, but invent, as in come up with a new propellant combination and propellant geometry that had apparently never been tried before, with all the tests and undoubtedly failures and revisions that would require) and I had to tell management in advance how much it would cost and how many man hours it would take, to within a few percent accuracy. There were times when I was told to replace an electrical conductor with a non-conductor, but to make sure that it maintained its conductance. Told to make a rocket motor that performed as well as a standard one, weighed the same, cost the same, but didn’t have a hot exhaust plume. And so on. And every time I made an objection I was told I was being “negative” or was told “that’s your job” or “make it work.”

This also works as an allegory for “a rational man among the social justice warriors.”

 

 Posted by at 3:15 pm
Sep 252017
 

So the media is currently ulcerating over Trump suggesting that he’d like to see NFL owners fire players who decide to disrespect the US flag & anthem before games. Here’s the thing:

1: It’s the players right to disrespect the flag, the anthem, the US.

2: It’s any citizens right to say that he’d like to see these people fired.

3: It’s the team owners right to keep them or fire them

4: And it’s the fans right to stop spending time and money on games with players who are over-paid rude jackholes.

 

The NFL gets neither my time nor my money, so the NFL doesn’t care what my opinion is. But when you have an audible fraction of the people in attendance in the stadium *booing* the players behavior, the NFL should probably take some notice. And if you’re one of those fans who watches and/or attends and you’re booing? Stop watching, stop attending. Pretty simple free market stuff.

A few decades ago, professional athletes didn’t get paid diddly squat. Now they get paid more than most CEO’s, certainly more that the vast majority of the STEM majors, cops and soldiers who actually make life not only better but *possible.* They now seem to be an entitled class of dimwitted self-important boobs, paid stupid sums of money to do something fundamentally unimportant. And given how dependent upon politics the NFL is for a large fraction of their vast profits (sweetheart tax deals, getting the military to expend time and treasure for flyovers and the like), you’d think that something the NFL would want their players to be is *non* political, at least on the field.

So if you are a fan who is offended that a lot of the players are disrespecting your country because they are upset that even though black criminals are shot by the police at a lower rate than white criminals, they want that ratio to be tilted even further (that might not be what they *say* their reasons are, but that’s what it comes down to), then there is a simple solution: turn the game off. Stay home. Imagine how much more time and money you’ll have if you’re now going to a stadium to spend several hours watching tattooed millionaires play eleven *minutes* of sportsball and get paid more in that time than you will all year.

If stadiums emptied and the TVs were turned to something else (heck, if you are a “football family,” maybe y’all could play Monopoly or something instead), perhaps the rather obscene amount of money being squandered on this ridiculous pastime could finally be put to some better use. What better uses? Hmmm. Let me think…

The NFL brought in enough money last year to pay for 10 Pluto missions

 Posted by at 4:38 pm
Sep 212017
 

There is a time and a place for critters. My cats, for instance: their place is “my house” and their time is “all the time, because this is their house too.” But their place is *not,* say, the grocery store or the restaurant. Nor is it appropriate for women to take their genetic mutant fishbait yapdogs into restaurants and the like simply because they want to keep them nearby.

On the other hand: service animals, generally dogs. (NOTE: *real* service dogs, trained and certified) Their place is “pretty much everywhere.” Because they not only do a job, they’ve been *trained.* Cats and dogs, as I’ve said multiple times before, are On Our Team. But service dogs are even more so… they are *professional* members of Team Humanity. They get to go wherever the person who needs them gets to go.

The proper response to a service animal is, almost always, to *ignore* it. Sure, you see a dog and your instinct is to start baby-talking like an idjit and to come over and pet it… but it’s doing a job. Leave it alone. Your petting it will not only distract it, you could well cause a system failure.

There was a time when the only service dog you were likely to see was a seeing eye dog for the blind. But now there are dogs who can detect when their human is about to have an epileptic seizure, or go into sugar shock or something like that. And there are now service dogs trained to aid people with psychological issues, anxiety and PTSD and the like. You coming over and pestering the dog will not only throw it off, you might actually set off the issue that caused the person to need the dog in the first place. I admit, a decade or two ago I thought the idea of a service dog for mental issues was nonsense, but all evidence points to them being fully functional, real and useful. A PTSD service dog is no more nonsense than PTSD is. So if someone has been properly diagnosed with PTSD and the people and organizations who regulate PTSD dogs sign off on that someone having a service dog… I got no problem with that. And neither should anyone else.

But of course, the world is full to overflowing with people who missed out on the whole “rationality” and “empathy” development programs. Take this magnificent example of NSFW insanity:

Note how the dog remains calm throughout, as does the veteran. You know who else remained calm throughout? The womans husband/boyfriend/whatever. The look on his face, though… *priceless.* Ya gotta feel for the guy. How many years of this before *he* needs a therapy dog?

Uuuuuuuuuunnnnnnggggggggghhhhhhh……

Repeat after me, kids: Leave. The. Dog. Alone.

So, let’s say you’re in a restaurant and you see someone with a service dog, and it is behaving itself. And your first thought is something like “ewww, the hygiene, the hygiene,” and your impulse is to get up and complain. Well, I have a very simple test for you. Look around. Does the restaurant allow *children?* If so:

 Posted by at 6:39 pm
Sep 172017
 

… I’d give these guys a shot.

See, there are two ways that a modern company can deal with politics: either avoid it like the plague and hope to offend nobody, or dive headlong into it, *knowing* that they will offend and drive away half the market, but trusting that they will succeed on the *other* half of the market. These guys seem to have chosen the latter approach.

These would, I imagine, trigger our local Aussie-commie gunphobia fetishists. But… screw ’em. Guns, despite what the civilian disarmament fascists would have you believe, are *fun.* So a coffee company that shows its employees having fun with guns? Awesome.

 

 

 

 Posted by at 2:26 pm
Sep 142017
 

It’s nice to see an aerospace company that doesn’t try to hide it’s failures. This video has just been put out by SpaceX showing a number of their early landing fails; many are really quite interesting (an spectacular). Since a wise person (or company) learns from its failures, shortcomings, screwups and disasters, keeping a records and actively remembering this sort of thing is important.

And note just how many complete vehicle failures there were is such a relatively short period of time… and try to imagine a NASA program surviving even a third of that, never mind flying again quite so soon.

 Posted by at 10:32 am