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?


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
Aug 152017

As recent events show (not only in public, but in the comments section of this blog and *all* *over* the media today), there are a whole lot of people who see the world in extremely black-and-white terms… at least when it comes to politics. You’re either full-throated hyperventilating in support of Side A, or you’re a supporter of Side B. But the reality is different: sometimes when presented with “two sides,” you realize they both suck. And thus, this headline is the greatest wisdom that I wish people would learn:

Yes, you can reject Antifa Commies and Alt Right Nazis at the same time

A pox on both their houses. Both “sides” are filled with irrational hate-filled reprobates. The media today is yammering on about there’s no comparison between neo-Nazis and Antifa, because Nazis murdered millions of people; but the commies murdered millions *more* people. Anyone who glorifies the Nazis is either a dumbass or a jackass (and likely both)… and the same applies to anyone who glorifies the communists. The big difference between the two is that supporters of the Nazis are extremely few and nobody who’s not a Nazi wants to associate with them; while there are a whole lot of folks who think that Communism and socialism are just awesome, and there a lot of people who may not agree with them, but who will run alongside the commies without  second thought.


Anti-Trump activist ‘executed his Republican neighbor with two bullets to the head in a long-running dispute’

This, of course, does not excuse a neo-Nazi running over *anyone.* But it does point out that there are nuts and violence on all sides.
 Posted by at 6:38 pm
Aug 112017

There is a long tradition in literature & film of single-sex environments. Off the top of my head, “male-only” societies tend to be places like prisons, penal colonies, industrial facilities, military facilities or ships. Those places where he men know that they will be in a male-only society *forever,* such as prisons, tend to be grim, hopeless places where the male characters either live only to escape, or live only because it’s simply in their nature to fight till the end.

On the other hand, “women-only” societies seem to be more common as fantasy & sci-fi situations, and tend to be shown as much happier places, often utopias *because* there are no evil horrible nasty no-good men around.

Now, we know a few things about male-only societies, for the simple fact that the real world provides them. Prisons and naval ships are real things. Female-only societies have been fewer and more tenuous… the occasional womens prison, of course, and towns where all the men left to go fight a war or something (but this is invariable a temporary situation).

Male-only prisons *are* grim places, especially for straight males. A colony on a distant alien world where the *one* colony ship crashed and all the womens cryo-storage tubes were mashed into a hillside would, it seems to me, be a profoundly joyless place. But we keep seeing tales of women-only utopias, like in the recent “Wonder Woman.”

But would a society truly dominated by women really be a utopia? Here’s where things get tricky for Social Justice Warriors. On the one hand, they keep yapping on about how there are no fundamental differences between men and women, and thus the relative dearth of da wimmins in STEM fields is due to social issues, not biological ones. On the other hand, they keep demanding that women get a shot to run the show, because they’d be better at it.


Now, here’s an observation I’ve made over the years, one that has been backed up by both men and women: men and women are different. One of the ways in which we’re different is in how we deal with rivals. *Generally,* men *tend* to be more open about rivalries, sometimes up to and including the likes of arguing, yelling at each other, threats and finally physical conflict. Sometimes one or both of the men is a true asshole, in which case anything could happen; but in many cases, once the two had hashed it out… it’s *done.* Sometimes lifelong friendships are built on an initial beatdown. This appears a *lot* in literature, from Gilgamesh and Enkidu throwing down, to Arthur and Lancelot going at it, to Robin Hood and Little John, to, one of my favorites, Sean Thornton and Will Danaher making a mess of the Irish countryside.

Women, on the other hand, seem to have a different approach to rivalries. Sometimes it gets physical, resulting in the legendary “catfight,” but mostly it *seems* to involve a sort of acidic passive aggressive fake friendship. Smiles all around but with gossipy stabs in the back. Poison in the drink rather than a punch to the face.

But hey, I’m a guy. I’m not supposed to be allowed to have an opinion on matters such as this; I’m certainly not supposed to express an opinion that goes beyond “I think all women are the equal to all men in all things and at all times and please stop asking me about which woman I think would win the world titles in boxing and the UFC.” So, here’s a woman’s take on the subject:

The Myth of the Peaceful Woman

So what would a world made up totally of women really be like? It would be tyrannical beyond belief. No one would be willing to speak against the accepted narrative unless they were willing to be unpersoned or killed. Think of a mix between 1984, the very worst social aspects of socialist regimes, and the Borg. There would be constant pushing for position, usually by starting whisper campaigns or setting someone above oneself up to be badly embarrassed. Look at the SJWs of today’s world and see how they operate. That’s what it would look like, writ large across the entire planet. They attack anyone outside the group who doesn’t comply with their demands, and if someone inside the group says a single word out of line according to the ever-shifting standards the entire group turns on them without mercy. The only way to get back in their good graces is to loudly proclaim your “sin” and accept their abuse until they get bored of you. Even afterward, you’ll forever be “tainted” with the sin of noncompliance.

The comments section of that blog post, unlike the vast majority of comments sections are the internet, is full of reasoned discussion and some pretty good points.



 Posted by at 4:26 pm
Aug 102017

Well, this feller sounds like fun:

Muslim Professor at CA University: “Genocide” of White Racists “Morally Required”


“Morally Required Genocide”

The latter one is written by one David Cole, a “Holocaust revisionist.” In other words, a dumbass. But he did interview the professor in question, and raises some interesting points. The professor expands the definition of “genocide” rather broadly to include wiping out “ways of life,” so that the United States stomping the the CSA flat and exterminating their slave-holding way of life was “genocide.” Well, ok. But if we accept that as a valid definition of “genocide,” then the current wave of invasion into Europe, with some regions having their prior culture being remade in the image of the newcomers… isn’t *that* genocide?

You expand the definition of politically loaded worlds at your own peril.

 Posted by at 1:02 pm
Jul 252017

The answer to the Great Silence, anyway. It’s an interesting hypothesis I was very recently reminded on via a comment on this blog (and I *believe* the idea has been raised hereabouts before, but can’t really be bothered to go digging).

OK, the Great Silence, otherwise known as the Fermi Paradox, is one of the great modern scientific mysteries. The universe, given the vast number of stars and planets and the seeming ease with which life seems likely to arise, should be abuzz with life, and one would expect a whole lot of technological civilizations. Enough so that the sky should be filled with radio messages, laser beams, starships, all that good stuff. But so far as we can tell… nothing. So, where is everybody?

Assuming that intelligent species arise with some commonality, something must be shutting them up. There are lots of ideas, but one branch of the theory-stream deals with “horrible things happen to them that kill their civilizations.” The most commonly discussed idea is that civilizations get to the nuclear stage and promptly blow themselves to bits. But there is a new culprit that I think merits discussion: Social Justice Warriors.

We are finding in our own civilization that we reached the spacefaring level of technology, and now we’re giving over control to screeching sociopaths who are opposed to science and math for reasons that are best described as “incredibly f’ing stupid.” If they succeed, humanities chances of being a long-term technological civilization, to say nothing of a starfaring one, will be reduced to nil. If the advanced cultures give themselves over to weak-willed, weak-kneed, weak-minded self flagellating nonsense, chances are good they’ll be conquered by the death-worshiping barbarians, plunging the world into a new dark age it is unlikely to recover from. Even if conquest doesn’t come, a rejection of western science in favor of identity-science will retard technological advance – and perhaps even prevent mere stagnation, as people won’t understand the stuff they already have – long enough so that high energy density power systems such as fossil fuels and nukes are no longer available, likely stranding us on this planet forever.

I hate to think that SJWs are a universe-spanning problem, plaguing civilization after civilization, like some sort of telepathically induced epidemic imposed on sentient species by vast cosmic horrors who want to screw with the little guys. But unwillingness to *want* something to be true or not means nothing about whether or not that something *is* true.

So, now that the “SJWs did it” hypothesis is out there, the next step is an important one: what do we call it? “Branding” is an important way to get a hypothesis out into the public.  “Higgs Boson?” Boring. “God Particle?” Tell me more! And to my mind, getting people, especially people in the STEM field, to consider the potentially universe-wide societal collapse possible due to acceptance of “social justice” nonsense is very, very important.

 Posted by at 3:00 pm