Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Large Mob Is Still A Mob

I've been on Twitter for a little while now, and it seems that there is a consistent bias (I don't mean to pick on Mr Geraghty specifically, his was just the tweet that sent me to my soapbox) against paying any mind to people with few followers. Now, granted, it can be very hard to pay any mind to someone you don't follow, since you won't see what they say most of the time. But I'm not just talking about the fact that folks with few followers tend to be harder to find and their words are seen by fewer people.

When replying to someone who has thousands (or even millions) of followers on Twitter, there is a tendency among folks of all stripes to denigrate any offering from someone with only a few hundred (or dozen!) followers. The unstated assumption seems to be that if you had anything worth saying, or if you were at all correct, more people would be paying attention to you.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Great Day for Baseball

On Saturday evening I was able to go to the M's game against the A's and use the company's season tickets. Well, a couple of them. I'm not sure how many they have. The ones I got to use were the really, really good ones though. How good? Well, I was next to the visitor's dugout, not behind it, but beside it. And in the front row with only a camera well between me and the action. I do think I was closer to home plate than the pitcher was. It was... amazing.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I understand my dad just a little bit better.

As I've gotten older, from time to time, moments occur that cause me to have a little bit better understanding of my father and why he did the things he did. Most of the time they are very minor things and minor moments and this morning was no exception. I woke up because my son was awake and I blearily noted how light it was already and assumed I'd slept right through my alarm. After a few minutes I drifted off again. When I woke up next I knew it had been light before and it must be much later now. Probably 11 or something and I'd slept half the day away. Then my alarm went off. It was 7am.

Turns out that I've gotten to the point where sleeping until 7am counts as sleeping in for me. And here's where it connects with my dad: I'm pretty sure this is something he does/did. As a kid, I always used wonder why he never "slept in". Why would he wake up so early, even on a Saturday? Now I know: he was sleeping in on Saturday.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Why you shouldn't build that time machine.

But you probably will anyway. A couple of videos that could serve as PSAs about the dangers of messing with the space-time continuum. Watch out, there are a couple words that might offend your ears in the this one (from ToshiStation). But not this one.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Guilty and the Innocent

“If I were a defendant and were innocent, I would want to be tried in a military court, rather than a civilian court. If guilty, a civilian, rather than a military.”
~Robert Bork

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Bad Habits

"The life of adventurers, gamesters, gypsies, beggars, and robbers is not unpleasant. It requires restraint to keep men from falling into that habit. The shifting tides of fear and hope, the flight and pursuit, the peril and escape, the alternate famine and feast of the savage and the thief, after a time render all course of slow, steady, progressive, unvaried occupation, and the prospect only of a limited mediocrity at the end of long labour, to the last degree, tame, languid, and insipid. Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to anything but power for their relief."
~Edmund Burke, p. 172-3

The Vulgar Thomas Paine

Paine has a following still: with interesting archaism, the village atheist continues to pass out paper-backed copies of The Age of Reason. Radicalism having passed Paine by long ago, the twentieth century does not turn to him for political wisdom—merely for brilliant examples of what James Boulton accurately calls "the vulgar style" of political rhetoric.
~Edmund Burke, p. 158-9

Burke and the French Revolution

Burke knew that men are not naturally good, but are beings of good and evil, kept in obedience to a moral law chiefly by the force of custom and habit, which the revolutionaries would discard as so much antiquated rubbish. He knew that all the advantages of society are the product of intricate human experience over the centuries, not to be amended overnight by some coffee-house philosopher. He knew religion to be man's greatest good, and established order to be the fundamental of civilization, and hereditary possessions to be the prop of liberty and justice, and the mass of beliefs we often call "prejudices" to be the moral sense of humanity.
~Edmund Burke, p. 152

A Clear, Concise Indictment of D&D

And one that does not make accusations of immorality (well, perhaps a little bit, but not as you might expect).
D&D was originally as artificial as chess: ill-assorted groups of ‘adventurers’, patterned vaguely after the Fellowship of the Ring, wandering through improbably spacious underground complexes excavated for no clear reason, practising aggravated assault and grand larceny on an omnium gatherum of exotic monsters. Any attempt at ‘realism’ is an advance on this in a way, and in another way it only shows up the silliness of the original conceit. The Palace of Versailles was built round a royal hunting-lodge, and takes much of its asymmetry and structural inconsequence from that. Well, D&D is like a palace built round one of those astoundingly tacky hot-dog stands in the shape of a giant hot dog. It is a brilliant testimony to the skill of the architects, but less creditable to their judgement.
From Bondwine.

Friday, May 03, 2013

By This Shall All Men Know

That is, of course, a reference to John 13:35. Jesus goes on to say that it is the love we have for each other that indicates to the world that we are His disciples. Of course, I have no quarrel with that. But I have been thinking about another indicator that the Church of Christ has given up and left to other, older, more hierarchical forms of Christianity: clerical clothing.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I Will Not Compromise With My Conscience

The problem with all the recent attempts by the libertarian-leaning folks in the conservative movement and the Republican party proper to get social conservatives to acquiesce in a softening of what is expected of national politicians is that they fail to understand that these are moral questions before they are political ones. Too often, these people who urge us to compromise for a greater, future good are people without morals or with weak morals.