[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Sunday, 2018-11-18

The rage virus vs. homeopathy

Filed under: Friends,Medicine,Politics — bblackmoor @ 12:26

One of my oldest and dearest friends has been poisoned by the hate propaganda that has become so prevalent since Rush Limbaugh popularized it back in the 1980s. I’ve spent the last couple of years trying to pull him back to reality. He eventually un-“friend”-ed me. I think that friendship is over: the poison has consumed him.

I have another friend who thinks that “free speech” should be protected regardless of how hateful or ridiculously false it is. “Outlawing expression and a marketplace of ideas doesn’t protect people.” I said that the last couple of decades has conclusively proven him wrong: giving overt lies and vicious hatred the same legal protection as we give facts and legitimate journalism has had a direct impact on our society, turning what was once a fringe movement into one of the two dominant political parties in the USA. He eventually un-“friend”-ed me, too. That friendship might be salvaged, some day.

Nothing on this page is real: How lies become truth in online America
“Nothing on this page is real”: How lies become truth in online America

Monday, 2018-11-12

Make your individual voices heard

Filed under: Civil Rights,History,Society — bblackmoor @ 08:45

“If you see intolerance and hate, speak out against them. Make your individual voices heard, not for selfish things, but for honor and decency among men, for the rights of all people.”

— General J.M. Wainwright’s 1946 message to discharged soldiers.

General J.M. Wainwright's 1946 message to discharged soldiers

Sunday, 2018-10-14

Doctor Who season 37

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 19:52

Tonight’s entertainment was the first episode of the new season of Doctor Who (which is either the 11th season or the 37th, depending on when you start counting… I’m going to call it the 37th season, but I may be the only one). We enjoyed it, and I like Jodie Whittaker. I really hate the new Doctor Who’s outfit, though. I loved the previous Doctor Who’s outfit, and I really liked Peter Capaldi, but I got bored with his run by his third or fourth episode and stopped watching them, so I guess an outfit isn’t everything.

I am little a puzzled by the … what’s the opposite of a cliffhanger? Leaving things out at the beginning. How did Peter Capaldi turn into Jodie Whittaker? What happened to the Tardis? I guess it doesn’t really matter.

Tuesday, 2018-10-09

Stop worrying about being falsely accused of sexual assault

Filed under: Society — bblackmoor @ 15:11

A public service message to my fellow men:

Based on available data, you are more likely to fall out of bed and die than you are of being falsely accused of sexual assault.

Do you worry about falling out of bed and dying? No? Then stop worrying about being falsely accused of sexual assault. It almost never happens. (When it does happen, it is usually pretty damned obvious that the accuser is making it up, because the sort of people who make up that kind of thing tend to fall into a handful of unflattering categories.)

On the other hand, around one in four women are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

So, you know, maybe have some perspective and stop being whiny little babies.

Thanks, dudes.

Monday, 2018-10-08

Happy Columbus Day!

Filed under: History,Mythology,Philosophy — bblackmoor @ 07:43

Happy Columbus Day! Much like St. Patrick’s Day, this day has very little to do with the actual historical Christopher Columbus (who was by all accounts a truly despicable human being, although he may also have been a completely typical example of his time). What we are actually celebrating is the spirit of exploration that is tied so firmly to the American spirit. We are explorers and pioneers. We went where no one had gone before. We are risk takers who follow our dreams even when the people around us claim that we’d fall off the edge of the world (not in Columbus’ era — those folks knew the world was round). It’s also a day to celebrate the contribution that we Americans have gained thanks to Italian immigrants and (if we’re lucky) our Italian ancestors. These are things worth celebrating.

If you use this as an opportunity to complain about Columbus, Imperialism, or colonialism… well, there are good reasons to be aware of those things. But that’s not what we are celebrating on Columbus Day.

map and telescope

Friday, 2018-10-05

The Foreigner (2017)

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 19:23

Tonight’s entertainment was “The Foreigner” (2017), with Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. We both enjoyed it, although we had some trouble telling the doughy British and/or Irish people apart. It reminded me of another film I rather like, “The Limey” (1999), with Terence Stamp.

Friday, 2018-09-28

Star Wars 10: Solo, A Star Wars Story

Filed under: Movies — bblackmoor @ 20:30

Tonight’s entertainment was “Star Wars 10: Solo, A Star Wars Story” (2018). It has some dumb bits (e.g., why his name is “Solo”, why he calls Chewbacca “Chewie”), but we liked it. It was a fun movie, and had a happy ending despite a lot of sympathetic characters dying.

Alden Ehrenreich (who played Han) and Donald Glover (who played Lando) did a really good job of adopting the accents of the original actors for those parts. I was impressed. I also liked the new Chewbacca, and that he got to flex his muscles, so to speak. I was also pleased to see Emilia Clarke, who played Sarah Connor in the ill-fated “Terminator: Genisys” (2015). It was not a good movie, but I really liked her turn as Sarah Connor, and I am glad to see her getting work.

Tuesday, 2018-09-25

“Enterprise”, season 1 episode 15, “Shadows of BDSM”

Filed under: Television — bblackmoor @ 15:34

It took fourteen episodes, but I have found the first bad episode of “Enterprise”. I mean, the “Tripp Has Nipples On His Arm” episode was not great, but this is genuinely bad: season 1, episode 15, “Shadows of BDSM”.

Archer and T’Pol are captured by rebels. I’m only halfway through, but so far, Archer and T’pol have had a tied-up “Oops! My face is in your boobs!” moment, and now they are in Shibari style bondage and trying to eat oatmeal.

Ugh.

But most episodes so far have been pretty good, and some have been really good. For example, “Enterprise” season 1, episode 7: “The Andorian Incident”, featuring the brilliant Jeffrey Combs.

“For people without emotions, you sure have a flair for the dramatic!”

— Charles “Trip” Tucker III, to a Vulcan monk who just did something unexpected.

By the way, I haven’t seen any of these episodes since they were first broadcast. I seem to recall people being super critical of this show, but I am enjoying it so far. I really like the cast, particularly Jolene Blalock, John Billingsley, and Linda Park. But really, I like the whole cast.

P.S. I spoke too soon. This episode just got good.

Wednesday, 2018-09-12

Science isn’t an object

Filed under: Nature,Science — bblackmoor @ 09:46

Fun fact: “science” isn’t an object that can be banned. “Science” is a method of observing the world and understanding it. It’s not infallible, because humans are not infallible, but one of the best aspects of the “scientific method” is it is self-correcting, like shooting an arrow closer and closer to the bull’s eye on a target. Banning “science” doesn’t move the target, it just means your arrow will miss it. And the target, of course, is the real world.

North Carolina didn't like science on sea levels … so passed a law against it

In 2012, the state now in the path of Hurricane Florence reacted to a prediction by its Coastal Resources Commission that sea levels could rise by 39in over the next century by passing a law that banned policies based on such forecasts.

The legislation drew ridicule, including a mocking segment by comedian Stephen Colbert, who said: “If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved.”

North Carolina has a long, low-lying coastline and is considered one of the US areas most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

But dire predictions alarmed coastal developers and their allies, who said they did not believe the rise in sea level would be as bad as the worst models predicted and said such forecasts could unnecessarily hurt property values and drive up insurance costs.

As a result, the state’s official policy, rather than adapting to the worst potential effects of climate change, has been to assume it simply won’t be that bad. Instead of forecasts, it has mandated predictions based on historical data on sea level rise.

“The science panel used one model, the most extreme in the world,” Pat McElraft, the sponsor of the 2012 bill, said at the time, according to Reuters. “They need to use some science that we can all trust when we start making laws in North Carolina that affect property values on the coast.”

The Guardian 2018-09-12

By the way, I support The Guardian by subscribing. It’s worth paying for, if you can afford it.

Saturday, 2018-09-08

Criticizing the wallpaper on the Titanic

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:41

Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends. “Micro aggression” is nonsense, when there is macro aggression to worry about, and there is no such thing as “cultural appropriation”. Culture spreads and changes, or it stagnates and dies — there is no third choice.

There is too much at stake for us to get distracted by pettiness. Don’t be the wanker criticizing the wallpaper on the Titanic.

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