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Ether Mind

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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Psychology Professors say the darndest things

"Gordon said he had no idea why someone would shell out $25 a month to browse pictures of little girls in bikinis.

"That's something you'd need to ask a psychology professor," he said.

Mitchell Earleywine, a psychology professor at the University of Southern California, responded:

"Beats the hell out of me. I'm really at a loss why anyone would pay to look at these photos." "

From Wired.

Self-righteous idiots say the darndest things

I'm not really 'about' objectivism or its slightly creepy followers, but this chick is hilariously incompetent. A caricature, really.

Commenters say the darndest things

"If it weren't against my policy to post on atheist sites, i would go over there and give them a good redneck bashing. Those arudite mother f*ckers and their big words." -VD

"I would vote for a monkey before I would vote democrat so if McCain is the nominee then I guess that would be a little better than a monkey but I would really rather not be put in that position." - RS

This poll at DailyKos is hilarious.

"That's not nice Joseph. Just think if you had AIDS and you were about to die and there were fifteen creepy clowns in your hospital room constantly laughing at you." - IMAO

"A way to a man's heart isn't through his stomach. It's a bit lower. Cook him something afterwards." - PL

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

RedState Bashing Part 10

Possibly the final installment. :_ | It's been a great run.

Over the last couple of weeks, as the conservative candidate dropped out, the Huckster fizzled out, and Rudy succumbed to inevitability, the frothing irrational derision of Ron Paul has subsided to a simmer.

Red State is a cross section of a certain segment of Republican voters who believe they are the base, and who do indeed make up most of that chunk. For that reason they're interesting to watch. Due to their above-average involvement in politics, they also react faster than the general public, which allows an observer to predict trends using Red Staters as a bellwether.

It's unlikely that Ron Paul could become nominee even in an ideal primary process. However, it's been disheartening to watch the semi-intellectuals at RedState being led around by the nose via propaganda. They also chose to reinforce their own echo chamber by blocking new Paul supporters from the site. That was probably a good decision, if indeed their reasons for it weren't exaggerated. Nonetheless that ban and the concurrent witchhunts reinforced the community's herd behavior.

Now the choice is between
a) McCain, an economically illiterate, moderate, decrepit, cranky old man
b) Romney, an opportunist with an unknown ideology, personality, and intelligence

So of course, many at Red State are realizing that Paul is and has been the best candidate on nearly every domestic issue, with the most fervent supporters and the best shot at tearing apart the opposition's base. It's not that many people wauld support him, if they hadn't spent the last three months engaging in various forms of assclownery. It's just that some of them may regret their totally irrational prejudice. Congrats, you're in the same intellectual boat as Moe the Troll-Stomper.

Much of the core of the irrationality comes from the large emotional investment that Red Staters have in the Iraq occupation. Since the anti-war crowd is a gaggle of human filth that probably deserve long stretches in purgatory, rational people as well as neocons have had to go to great lengths and put much energy into combatting them. All this time and effort have resulted in an emotional attachment to the war that's greater than it necessarily warrants.

Is there a murderous horde of barbarians plotting the death of America, freedom, Christianity, etc.? Yes. Will they succeed? No. It's utterly impossible. They can't build up the economic and social strength to defeat us without also changing their culture enough that they wouldn't WANT to destroy us.

Is the War on Terror important? Yes. Can we live without it? Most of us, yes.

The current slide toward decadence, nearly identical to Rome's, is the real issue. If we lose to Islam, it won't be because we were soft on terrorists. It'll be because we allowed our own society to rot from the inside. It'll be because Americans would rather laze around in tedious but simple jobs, protected by the social safety net, then go home and drink beer than to propel the economy forward.

As Henry Ford said in My Life and Work, what most people want is to avoid change. It's this desire coupled with government regulation that will lead to the end of the Pax Americana.

Ron Paul was the most likely candidate to throw a wrench into the machine, but the inertia of the semi-intellectual class wouldn't allow it. The same inertia blocked Thompson.

Here's a hypothetical question. If we pull out of Iraq starting in spring 2009, will Iraq collapse? Is that chance worth shortening the lifespan of our own country?

[edit:] I was just thinking that at this point, Ron Paul or Huckabee could still win the nomination by a landslide. It's only groupthink that proclaims a winner after 10% of the delegates have been cast. Of course groupthink is unbeatable. Just ask the crew of the Challenger. And the Columbia.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Two Fascinating Articles

Well, the first is an op-ed about the dollar devaluation (I should've switched to an emerging market fund last year). It's got some monetary analysis I haven't seen before. Sue me, I'm a layman just like yall.

Second is a blog post about a research paper about media bias about centralization. It's probably more pertinent, since the death spiral of the global economy is out of our control. more. um.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I remember the halcyon days of 2007

when I endorsed McCain. I switched to Ron Paul when I realized he would be the most entertaining. Here're my picks:

1. Ron Paul - would throw a massive wrench into the machinery. Never had a chance, of course, but he might've done better in NH if they weren't scared stiff of Huckabee.
2. Thompson - not the most effective in office, but the Presidency doesn't rely on his weaknesses
3. McCain - I barely agree with him, but he has integrity and could win the general
4. Giuliani - Smarter than he looks, but might start WWIII
5. Romney - not awful
6. Tancredo - I think he withdrew, but he's still better than Huckabee
7. Barry Goldwater - he's dead, but once again, better than Huckabee
8. Stephen Colbert

1. Hillary - she wants to create a socialist healthcare nightmare and snuff out the last vestiges of human liberty. However, I might vote for her in the general if we nominate Huckabee.
2. Obama - has good intentions and youthful optimism. Since he's a (D), that actually makes him worse than Huckabee.
3. JFK - I think he may be eligible to run again, and if we're scraping the bottom of the barrel it would be nice to see him run against Goldwater. I bet he wouldn't have the advantage on televised debates anymore.

I may not vote if it gets down to Giuliani vs. Hillary. I may switch over and vote for Hillary if she runs against the Huckster. Not that my vote matters, but I feel like I'm increasing the information content of the electorate.

RedState Bashing Part 9 (I think)

One curious thing I've noticed about the more excitable writers at Red State is that they enjoy fighting with trolls and have a quirk related to this: they like to "out" people. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. For example, Moe googled my name or somesuch and replied to one of my comments with a gratuitous mention that I secretly hate Red State. Well, no. It's not a secret at all, as can be seen from my multi-part series on how much I loathe Red State. I simply think that it would be rude to go on their site and hurl vitriol when I have my own kuso blog.

I wasn't going to blog about such a minor incident, since I've already dissed Moe pretty hard. It's just that he does it quite often, as the head troll-stomper there, and now I see Erick (easily the most single-minded writer) does the same. "But thanks for your contact info." uhh... what? Is that some sort of moral victory? That he can *shudder* CONTACT a presumed opponent of RedState? wth is that about?