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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

“Those People”

“Those people don’t matter,” said Jane Fonda. She was discussing folks who criticize her Fire Drill Friday protests of climate change that she’s organizing in Washington, DC. She says she plans to get arrested every Friday until the world recognizes her relevance and ,,, and … and … um … Well, until we do something to fix climate change.


The only positive thing I can say about her Fire Drill from last Friday is that the pictures posted on Twitter seem to indicate that she dressed in sensibly warm clothes on that chilly day.But of course, the problem is now climate change rather than global warming. I suppose we’re in for an interesting next 12 years.

UPDATE—I’m not sure of the percentage fossil fuels played in providing the energy for my microwave oven while I was popping this batch of popcorn I had for breakfast.

Fire Season in California

Back in the early ’80s, Mrs. Hoge and I lived in Thousand Oaks, California. While we were there, a substantial (100,000+ acre) fire burned through the Los Padres National Forest 20 or so miles north of us. We went up to a hill on the north side of town to take a look at the fire. The crest of the hills on the far side of the Santa Clarita River Valley was a solid line of red and orange, dark smoke covered the sky, and ash driven by the strong winds was falling on us. Connie turned to me and said, “Mordor.”

Many of California’s natural ecosystems evolved with fire. Indeed, some native plants’ seeds won’t germinate until exposed to the heat of a brush fire. Wrongheaded resource management practices have led to too much brush accumulating at once, and the resulting fires are larger and more disastrous than occurred when the land was unmanaged.

It may be hard to evacuate if your only vehicle is a Tesla and PGE has turned off the power.

A Modest Proposal

Swift’s essay was supposed to be satire rather than a how-to manual.

Moloch was unavailable for comment.



UPDATE 3—Say, could this be the basis for a Soylent Green New Deal?

Who’s Watching Who?

Greta Thunberg, the current poster child for the Climate Change Requires Socialism movement, made a speech at the UN. Here’s an except, presented with fisking.

My message is that we’ll be watching you.

<fisking>I’ll get back to this later.</fisking>

This is all wrong, I shouldn’t be up here, I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.

<fisking>This is the one sensible thing she says. Of course, if the school she attended in Sweden actually teaches the distorted worldview she believes, it has done more harm than good.</fisking>

Yet, you all come to us young people for hope, how dare you.

<fisking>She’s addressing this question to the wrong people. AFAIK, the only people who look too Ms. Thunberg and her children’s crusade colleagues are leftist warmmongers (not misspelled) who are exploiting her. How dare they? Well, exploiting her is simple one of the whatever-means-necessary to advance their cause.</fisking>

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet I’m one of the lucky ones.

<fisking>Again, she address the wrong audience. The Real World isn’t the source of the empty words that have been poured into her head.<fisking>

People are suffering, people are dying.

<fisking>Where? Why do Central Americans come north rather than go south to the socialist paradise in Venezuela? Why is there no mass migration from Africa to Russia? Why aren’t people fleeing from Hong Kong to the mainland?</fisking>

Entire ecosystems are collapsing.

<fisking>Which ones? The ecosystem that supported malaria, which was on the point of collapse, is flourishing again.</fisking>

We are in the beginning of a mass extinction …

<fisking>Not every mass extinction is a bad thing. Consider, the smallpox virus …</fisking>

… and all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth.

<fisking>It’s economic growth over the past centuries that has enabled the world’s poor to stop cutting down trees to stay warm in the winter. It’s economic growth over the past few decades that funded the reductions in childhood mortality. It’s the fairytale of socialist top-down planning that caused the ecological devastation of the Aral Sea.</fisking>

Now, to get back to who’s watching who … Ms. Thunberg would do well to carefully watch all of us. She should carefully note who is flying about in private jets and who has more modest carbon footprints. She should carefully watch which nations are making actual progress in cleaning up and maintain the environment and which are the major polluters. Of course, that doesn’t seem likely unless she can break away from her handlers and exploiters.

Math is Hard

Stephen Kruiser has a post over at PJ Media about Bernie Sanders’ careless attitude concerning the job losses that would result from his version of the Green Nude Eel. BTW, his version is larger and more voracious than She Guevara’s.

Bernie has admitted that “free” health care will cost more in taxes. And he wants to impose “free” college and other “free” stuff as well. What he and the other socialists running for President can’t seem to explain is where they’ll get all that other-peoples’s-money necessary to pay for the “free” goodies.

The people who call themselves the believers in science aren’t big believers in math. That lack of belief in math is where the socialist train always ends up going off the rails.

Eggs. Omelet. Some disassembly required.