Oct 292017

From a theological point of view, “witchcraft” is no sillier than any other religion. From a practical standpoint? Yeah, it’s pretty damned silly, and not all that useful.

And thus, we get this:

Is Tumblr witchcraft feminism – or cultural appropriation?

It’s a perfect storm of every SJW identity politics group getting into a circular firing squad. The nucleus of this is a book written by a non-Wiccan, non-religious Hindu-Quakers working with an atheist who doesn’t believe in the occult that purportedly aims “to arm women – ordinary women who may scoff at spirituality or magic – with the subversive feminist powers of traditional witches.”


It’s the kind of empowered identity promoted in podcasts about toppling the patriarchy and Facebook posts about the radical importance of self-care.


As the article points out, there are several categories of witches,” including Tumblr/Instagram-dwelling SJWs who are politically active idjits generally supporting regressive political nonsense and using the iconography of newage claptrap to advertise and support their delusions. This new book is supposed to be aimed at that group. What’s startlingly hypocritical here is that this book is written by people who clearly don’t believe it. It would be like me writing a book on how to colonize Mars using acupuncture and dowsing rods. I suppose that might actually sell well… it would certainly be a unique item on the book market, but it’d make me feel sullied and unusual to write unless I wrote it as a satire. But to write it in such a way as to buttress the silly and self defeating beliefs of the deluded? Lame.

 Posted by at 6:47 pm
Oct 282017

Here’s an odd thought:

Did Ceres once have an ocean?

The dawn spacecraft has detected minerals that seem to indicate that there was once liquid water on the surface. By “once,” that means “4 billion years ago.” The evidence indicates that there is still substantial water bound upon the surface “rock” of Ceres, with the possibility of meaningful amounts of liquid water still existing under the surface.

But with a surface gravity of only 0.029 g, back when it had an ocean it must have been a bizarre place. That’s far too low a surface gravity (more specifically, far too low of an escape velocity) for Ceres to have retained any sort of atmosphere. Air would quickly just… drift away to space. So the ocean must have been in a constant state of near-boiling, with an astonishing evaporation rate. The atmosphere must have been largely water vapor; the atmosphere would blow away, forming a cometary tail likely to have been pretty impressive. This would have been while planets like Earth were still in the process of being formed, so the entire solar system would likely have been a busy place, with *lots* of giant comet-like objects like Ceres.


 Posted by at 8:44 am
Oct 272017

Europe seems to be just slightly less peaceful and unified and satisfied with its borders as is often portrayed…

Spain Seizes Power in Catalonia After Region Declares Independence



What’s more, there are a number of independence movements around Europe. Many are no doubt honest expressions of ethnic/cultural differences. Some are no doubt due to irritation at the insidious nature of the EU government. And I’ve no doubt that some, perhaps most, are being egged on by the likes of Putin. Europe falling to bits would be handy for the dreams of a Russian empire.

Beyond Catalonia: pro-independence movements in Europe



 Posted by at 4:44 pm
Oct 272017

Recently there’s been news of efforts to raise admissions prices to some of the more popular National Parks such as Yellowstone and Yosemite, due to increasing costs. Often left unsaid is that these parks tend to be *packed* with visitors. The sheer numbers are enough to ruin the experience; then factor in the physical damage that is done and it’s easy to see that it would be a good idea to cut down on the number of visitors. So, how to go about that? The current suggestion of simply raising the admissions prices to, say $70 per vehicle would help raise funds, but I have doubts about whether that’s enough to cut the number of visitors… $70 is a tiny fraction of the cost involved for most vacationers.

There is also the fact that National Parks are supposed to be available to all the people. Jacking up the cost has already been portrayed as an Evil Scheme to punish poor people. So, what alternatives do we have?

1: Jack the per-vehicle prices *way* up, say, $500 per car. But also institute an annual lottery available to all US citizens. A certain number of people are randomly selected to receive a free entry pass. They can sell it if they like.

2: Keep the current entry price the same for US citizens, but raise it through the roof for foreigners. This would necessitate that everyone’s IDs would be checked, adding a level of TSA-madness to the entry process. A car load of US citizens would pay $40 or whatever to gain entry; but if they have, say, one of their British buddies with them, the buddy has to pay an additional, oh, $200 to gain entry. A busload of Japanese tourists would raise a substantial mount of scratch to help offset the damage they might do by chasing the wildlife all over.

3: Stop allowing cars and buses in *at* *all.* Run a thorough shuttle bus service… at a substantial ticket price.

Any other ideas?

 Posted by at 1:09 am
Oct 242017

I await the day that these sort of reports include information that these people have cured a disease, or launched a satellite, or discovered a new planet, or generated a watt of usable power.

Feminist prof says ‘traditional science’ is rooted in racism

Read the paper written by the professor. It is remarkable. In that “I don’t know if this is a joke or not” sense. I think this kinda sums it up:

Just as feminists may question the political utility of arguing that women are as smart as men, instead of challenging the idea of intelligence itself, I argue here that we as feminists may have fallen into the same trap with passion for science.

One wonders: if the idea of differences in intelligence offends to the point where “scientists” such as this are willing to challenge the idea that intelligence actually exists, does the fact tat some people weight more or less than others mean that weight and mass don’t exist?

and then there’s this:

Hammonds retells the story of how during what was supposed to be a “fun” summer math program, she and the two other black students were not having fun because they were not able to keep up due to differences in previous education compared to the white students. This is an example of how passion and exhibiting a desire to do science cannot be considered separate from the ways racism, sexism, and other systems of power differently educate and expose people to what are considered the proper objects and backgrounds in science.

In other words: science is bad because some people are better at it than others. Guess what: someone with n interest in music might find that they are not as good at it as the other people at Band Camp because the other people got an earlier start. Doesn’t mean that music is inherently bad. of course, that particular argument is promptly followed up with:

Ruth Hubbard further points out that taking pleasure in observing our “natural world” is class- and race-based, as many people grow up without “nature” around them

You’ll be shocked that the author is enamored of Marxism, dislikes capitalism, and thinks that being willfully ignorant and disdainful of science and the scientific method is a good, “revolutionary”approach to dealing with the problems of the world.

Mostly this seems to boil down to a realization the author has that science does not support her notion of what feminism is (not “women are legally the equal of men, with all the same human rights,” but “men suck, capitalism sucks, white people suck, feels before reals, magick is Teh Awesome, gimme stuff for free”). Since her form of feminism cannot be scientifically validated, and in fact is scientifically invalidated, it must be because science itself is wrong.


Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege

It is every bit as stupid as you’d expect.

“Things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively.”

Bite my shiny subjective ass.

These idiots would merrily lead us into a new dark age.

 Posted by at 10:58 am