Fake Remake of a Fake


I was scrolling through the Twitterz this morning and found that someone had sent me a link to a story that ran last year in our online paper of recordNASA Announces All-Female Remake Of Staged Moon Landings.

There’s an interesting story about why the first “videos from the Moon” were black and white when all the later “landings” were shown in color. Color cameras were available, but there was a dust control problem. The sound stage had been built in a very remote location to prevent it from being discovered, but the filters initially used in the HVAC system weren’t adequate, so monochrome cameras were used to keep viewers from noticing the red Martian dust.

Don’t Know Much Biology


There’s a post over at HillFaith that asks the question, “Is Being Gay Genetic?” The post contains a link to a video from the Colson Center that argues the evidence for a gay gene simply doesn’t exit. The post ends with these words—

That doesn’t mean such a gene will never be found, but it ought to encourage advocates on all sides of these issues to avoid definitive declarations about what the science does or does not prove[.]

Yes, the lack of evidence should lead both sides to be careful in their scientific claims. However, I suspect that if there is a gay gene or gay mutation, it should be recessive because it would tend to limit reproduction and be less likely to be passed to succeeding generations.

There are self-destructive or immoral behaviors which may be affected by genetics. Alcoholism probably is in some individuals. While our individual genetics may make some parts of our lives easier and other parts more challenging, our genes shouldn’t control our moral destiny.

Humans are clearly complementary sexual beings. We come together as male/female partners to create and raise the next generation. Living a life that denies that fact places one at odds with the truth not unlike an unfortunate character in a novel by Dostoevsky. Life is filled with difficult choices, but choosing truth always works best in the end.

Science tells us how. Religion tells us why. They complement each other, and we should pay attention to both.

Misgendering


In a message to another FBI lawyer about whether he planned to remain at the DoJ after Donald Trump took office, Kevin Clinesmith, who is copping a plea in the Russian Collusion Hoax case, replied, “Viva le resistance.”

Of course, the French noun la resistance is feminine, so using the masculine article le misgenders it.

Qui se croit sage est un grand fou.

—French Proverb

Cultural Appropriation


I’d like to suggest that people who find my culture offensive should stop appropriating the things we have created.

I’m an engineer. In my culture we rely on certain facts of nature (as we understand them) being actually true. For example, engineers believe, based on the evidence, that 2+2=4, and we rely on the mathematical principles behind that fact in order to design and build things that people can use.

It’s come to my attention that there’s a bunch of wokies trying to sell the idea that 2+2=4 is not a universal truth but some sort of tool used to oppress minorities. (Note: Engineers are a very tiny minority group within humanity.) While I believe that the wokies are foolishly wrong in their worldview, they have the right to be wrong. However, I also believe that, given their worldview, they are acting immorally (if Morality is connected to Truth) when they appropriate my culture’s concepts and artifacts for their own purposes.

For example, if 2+2 can equal 5, then 12 percent can equal 22 percent. I picked those numbers because, to the extent that most of wokies pay income taxes, they are probably in the under $40k bracket. If they were withheld at the next higher marginal rate of 22 percent instead of the lower rate, they would have no grounds for complaint by their own logic. But most would surely complain.

Also, most, if not all, of the wokies I’ve encountered, seem to have cell phones, and cell phones use microprocessors which rely on the mathematically logic behind the truth of 2+2=4 in order to operate. Is it moral for them to be appropriating that artifact from my culture?

Well, that depends on how “moral” is defined. Morality is a body of standards or principles derived a particular definition of what is Good. If the definition of Good is connected with Truth, then what is moral may be quite different the if the definition is connected with Power. The wokies’ worldview is marxist and rooted in Power. For them, life is as O’Brien explained to Winston Smith: “The object of power is power.” Truth can be arbitrary for them.

IIRC, O’Brien was also a proponent of 2+2 being 5 or 3 or whatever it needed to be.

I don’t think that I would like to live in a world in which most of the power was in the hands of the wokies. Therefore, I propose this strategy—Don’t let the wokie win.

I Guess We Were Statistical Outliers


The New York Post reports that a study carried out by Colorado State University suggests that single men with cats may have more trouble attracting women than other men. OTOH, dogs, don’t seem to negatively impact a man’s attractiveness to women.

Maybe times have changed, or maybe the fact that we were both cat owners made it possible for the future Mrs. Hoge to find me attractive back in the late ’70s. Whatever the case, I’m thankful for my good fortune.

Don’t Know Much Biology


Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that  federal employment law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “sex” protects gay and transgender employees.

Are the Majority of the Supreme Court science deniers? Or do words no longer have meaning?

Humpty Dumpty was unavailable for comment.

I’m So Old …


… I remember seeing autoclaves in my doctor’s and dentist’s examination rooms. For you young people, an autoclave is a device used to heat medical and other types of equipment to high temperature for sterilization. Before disposable syringes, hypodermic needles, and other medical instruments were available, physicians and dentist had to clean and sterilize equipment between use on different patients.

We wash cooking equipment between use for the same reason. If a cutting board has been used with raw meat, it should be washed properly to remove any bacteria or other potentially harmful contamination.

The same thing is true of non-recyclable shopping bags that have been used carry uncooked food. Of course, that may require more water and energy resources than producing another plastic bag, but using the non-recyclable bags does allow for virtue signaling.

If you’re stuck someplace that requires you to use non-recyclable bags, be sure to wash them after each use. It may not be the best long-term strategy for protecting the environment, but it will be good for your health.

Time Constants, Half-Lives, and Modeling


My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post up, MSNBC’s Doomsday Crisis Theme, that looks at the actual rate of increase in Wuhan virus infections and deaths in North Carolina and notes that they are increasing more slowly than the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model predicted.

Well, as someone who uses modeling as one of his principal professional tools, I’m not surprised. Mathematical models work well when they accurately describe the Real World system under study and they’re fed with data that represents the Real World system’s actual parameters. They’re like sewer pipes in that if you put garbage in, you’ll get garbage out.

Radioactive decay is a statistical process which is well described for every isotope of every element. Physicists speak of the half-life of an isotope meaning the time it takes for half of the atoms in a given sample of an isotope to undergo radioactive decay. Half-life doesn’t vary between two samples of the dame isotope.

Now, consider the discharge of an electrical capacitor. The voltage across a discharging capacitor will drop at an exponential rate, and the value of that exponent is determined by the reciprocal of the product of the capacitance in farads and resistance in ohms. Because farad X ohm = second, engineers refer to that exponent as the circuit’s time constant. If I’m analyzing an electrical network that might have widely varying values of capacitance and resistance, my model will give me a broad range of possible time constants. Knowing the possible range of part tolerances (and how they might vary over time, temperature, phase of the moon, or whatever) is important in predicting how a circuit will perform.

While the models used to predict the spread of viral disease are relatively straightforward and perform reasonably well when driven with good data, the Covid-19 pandemic is too new for sufficiently good data to have been acquired.

Here’s what we do know—1.) The disease is spread by person-to-person contact. 2.) Taking little or no protective measures produced disastrous results in China, Iran, Italy, and Spain. 3.) Thus far, it appears that several protective schemes work well. See, e.g., Taiwan and South Korea. 4.) In the U. S., densely populated areas with more opportunities for person-to-person contact have seen the majority of cases.

So, here’s what I’m doing—I have complicating factors (age and coronary artery disease) that make me high risk. I live in a state (Maryland) that’s under a mandatory stay-at-home order, but I’ve been telecommuting since it became an option. My son does my shopping for me, and if I do go out, it’s at odd hours when I’m likely to see fewer people.

Do I think the lockdown is necessary? I don’t know. There isn’t enough data yet.

Several people have spoken of the response to the Wuhan virus pandemic as if it were a war. It isn’t, but there is one bit of wartime ethics which may be applicable. When we are at war, we know that some people will suffer and some will die in order to save other lives. At some point, shutting down the economy will cause ongoing problems that will weaken our ability to maintain and improve our agricultural, transportation, medical, and other business and infrastructural systems. That impoverishment, in turn, may sentence more people to misery and possible death (in the long term) than might be saved by continuing economic disruption. That will be a difficult choice if it comes.

I hope and pray that the pandemic will not be so severe that we have to face that sort of ethical dilemma. It appears that drugs are being found for treatment, and a vaccine is possible.

Meanwhile, I’m being careful.

Warming: Local versus Global


So many unfortunate events are attributed to global warming (or climate change) these days! However, there are times when any real connection simply falls apart in the face of The Facts. My podcasting partner Stacy McCain has a post looking at the facts behind the origins of the current wildfires in Australia. In many cases, the local warming in Australia is the result of arson.

Various leftists have declared that it is a “conspiracy theory” — a “coordinated misinformation campaign” spread by “climate denial traitors” using Twitter “bots” — to call attention to the role played by arsonists in the Australian brush fires. The facts are still the facts, however, and indisputable facts are never “misinformation.”

Well, yes, but The Facts often conspire with Reality against the Left.

Quote of the Day


But however mysterious is nature, however ignorant the doctor, however imperfect the present state of physical science, the patronage and the success of quacks and quackeries are infinitely more wonderful than those of honest and laborious men of science and their careful experiments.

—P. T. Barnum

The Facts of Life


While I don’t recommend the third behavior listed in Ms. Rowling’s tweet, I find it … um … interesting that she has been hounded by a Twitter mob (egged on by Vox) for the thoughtcrime of believing settled biological science.OTOH, I’m so old that I remember when the Left referred to themselves as the “reality-based community.”

Crazy People Are Dangerous™


The recent influx of emails from Deb Frisch reminded me of post from back in 2012 about Those Who Chose Evil.

* * * * *

Stacy McCain has a provocative post up about the intersection between some forms of mental illness and evil. While I don’t agree with everything he writes, his general trajectory is sensible. Read the whole thing.

When Jesus was asked to sum up the Law, He replied that we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. Then He added a phrase that is more correctly translated, “And you shall be loving those around you as you ideally love yourself.” Not as we actually love ourselves but as we should love ourselves.

There are people who are mad, so completely bonkers, that they truly aren’t responsible for their actions. There are also folks who know right from wrong and who choose evil. Some of these may have a biochemical imbalance in their brain chemistry, but they still know what they are doing and choose not to moderate their behavior.

How do you think Society should protect itself from such people?

* * * * *

Stacy’s post is worth reading. Click on the link and read the whole thing.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


One of the claims that The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin made in his LOLsuits was that people who blogged about him did so in order to increase traffic on their blogs and to attract donations. Well, I write about what I think is important and about less important things that interest me. Although I operate this blog with the intention of turning a profit, some years it loses money.

OTOH, it’s pretty clear that TDPK’s online business model is about raising money. Almost all of the Kimberlin-related websites have some sort of DONATE button or link. This TKPOTD first ran five years ago today. I’ve rerun it before, and it bears rerunning again.

* * * * *

I admire Bono, and not just because he’s a good musician. I also respect the social activism that is grounded in his Christian faith.

The Dread Performer Kimberlin has taken to bad mouthing Bono over at the jtmp dot org website. (I read it so you don’t have to—even though my doing so probably doubles their legitimate web traffic.) You see, Bono wants to help feed the hungry in Africa, and he’s willing to partner with companies such as Monsanto in the process. Monsanto, of course, must be evil because they are a purveyor of GMO seeds. Bono, Brett would have us believe, is “selling out.”

Brett Kimberlin and his organizations oppose “Frankenfoods.” They would prefer to have upwards of a half-million children die each year from vitamin A deficiency rather than have golden rice available in poor countries. They would rather Africans starve than let them plant insect- or blight-resistance corn.

OTOH, poor Asian and African kids aren’t likely to hit a donate button on a JTMP or Velvet Revolution dot US webpage, whereas there may be a few anti-science moonbats who still donate.

Follow the money.

* * * * *

Most of the Kimberlin-related sites are now gone and the only one’s with working donation mechanisms are the Protect Our Elections and EuroMaidan PR websites. (The Gentle Reader may remember that Kimberlin change the name of Velvet Revolution US to Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. in 2017). It seems that TDPK hasn’t had any more success at online fundraising than he has with lawfare.

Double Plus Ungood


This reminds me of the words of Syme, the dictionary editor in Nineteen Eighty Four

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. … Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.