Plus Ça Change …


It turns out that the data used to support the conclusions in French economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century has been fudged. This undermines the credibility of yet another bit of “research” that bolstered a progressive political meme, increasing economic inequality.

I’m reminded of Michael Bellesiles’s Arming America.

plus c’est la même chose.

A Very Stupid “Smart Gun”


A German company called Armatix is trying to peddle a very stupidly designed “smart gun.” It’s a small .22 caliber pistol of the sort that might be useful for plinking at tin cans but is underpowered for any serious self-defense application. Strike one.

iP1The gun uses RFID technology to enable operation. The user must have a companion wrist watch, and the watch must be within 10 inches of the pistol in order for it to be fired.

As soon as the gun loses radio contact with the watch – e.g. if it is knocked out of the shooter’s hand or in case of loss, theft, etc. – it automatically deactivates itself.

Since most of us wear our watches on the left wrist, the pistol would have to be fired from the left hand (as shown in the Armatix picture above) or using a two-handed grip. While that wouldn’t be a problem for me, I’m ambidextrous, it’s could be a real issue for the roughly 90% of shooters who are right-handed and might not have both hands free in a self-defense situation. Strike two.

Using RFID means that the gun could be subject to jamming—and I don’t mean failure to feed the next round. Strike three.

I’ll believe that “smart guns” are a good idea when the security details of the politicians who want to force them on the public are carrying them—and no conventional firearms for backup.

Frankenfish!!!!111!!


Hank Campbell has a post at Science 2.0 about an effort in Washington state to require labeling of genetically modified fish. He points out that the anti-GMO crowd is really the left’s counterpoise to the right’s anti-science creationists.

When conservatives want to put a label on science textbooks because they might contain evolution, they are rightfully mocked for being anti-science. But when progressives want to put a label on food because it might contain GMOs, they are applauded as consumer activists. And science media criticizes the former, but enables the latter, by giving credence to claims it is instead about “not trusting corporations.”

Read the whole thing, and then go read this post by Michael Schulson about Whole Foods. The left does trust some corporations.