Google+’s visibility settings

From Google+

Okay. I am noticing something real annoying about G+. Why is it when I post something, I have to decide right when I post it who I want to see it? I can’t go back and edit the “visibility” settings after I’ve posted something. I have to delete the post and repost to include more people. I don’t have to do this on FB. On G+ I can edit the text of a post. Why can’t I change who can see it?

Campus speech codes

From Google+

I first started hearing about speech codes on campus soon after I graduated college. I thought at first they were a good idea, because certain words could be very hurtful, and might encourage an atmosphere of intolerance to opposing views. Little did I know it would grow into a monster, growing to the point of promoting indoctrination, squelching free thought. I think it’s safe to say that you now have more free speech rights as a common citizen than you do as a college student. That’s pathetic. Universities are supposed to be places where rational thought, no matter how controversial, is considered and criticized, not banned. I was taught that I should expect at some point in attending university that I might be offended by what someone says. The way to handle that was to make your own counter-argument. The idea of a “council of tolerance,” or whatnot, which could mete out punishments for offensive speech was unheard of. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that with these policies in place universities are turning out societal illiterates who are unable to constructively engage in the public dialogue, nor understand the richness of knowledge which could be available to them.

Does this make me look fat?

I’ve been following “Foamy the Squirrel” for probably the last 6 years. I first discovered him griping about dealing with tech support from India. Ah, those were the days…

I’ve known for a while that everything under the sun that is considered bad or harmful is being ascribed to carbon dioxide and global warming, either as a cause, or an effect. For people who’ve paid attention, it makes it real obvious there’s a bandwagon effect going on here, that the good name of science is being used to corral people into certain modes of living that our betters want us to move to. This is yet another example. Foamy gripes that now obesity is being seen as a cause of global warming. This is no joke. There’s even an article in Scientific American about it, taking the idea seriously.

Personally, I think the idea that obesity causes global warming is a joke, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying to push stuff like this in order to “solve” our obesity problem. Rather than try to educate people in society, which our betters have given up on, global warming has become a catch-all psychological barrier they’ve erected to change our behavior. I look at this example and think, “Come on. Do they really expect us to buy this??” Personally I find it insulting. Rather than engage the public, we’re shown a door and told, “Go through it.” If we ask why, we’re just told, “If you do not go through it, the world will end. Do it! Do it NOW!” It’s idiotic.

Getting older, part 2

In one of my last posts from 2011 I commented about getting older, and that South Park was glibly pointing it out to people like myself. Watching this video is a bit depressing, but I can’t help but feel there’s some truth in it. The old world that was so exciting to me has passed away, and all I’m left with is fear, with some of my own ambitions, and I have no idea where they will land me.

Wisdom for the ages

I first heard this poem by Rudyard Kipling when Glenn Beck published his book “The Overton Window” a few years ago. I didn’t really understand it then. Bill Whittle does a much better job explaining it here. It might be worth pausing it as you listen, because there’s a lot of meaning in it that’s very applicable to today. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes, and it is my opinion we are “rhyming” once again. It makes me wonder at times why schools bother teaching history. It never seems to do our society any good. I don’t know that the main problem is that people forget history, though that’s part of it. It’s that the way we teach history doesn’t convey the fact that the best purpose of learning it is to teach us about ourselves, humanity. The hope is that we will learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. It doesn’t seem to matter. We do it anyway without realizing it.

Kipling wrote this in 1919. John Derbyshire has some good commentary on its background. He said that Kipling had just lost his son in WW I, and he had lost his daughter some years earlier. Derbyshire said,

…it is hard to disagree with the general opinion that “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” is a clinging to old-fashioned common sense by a man deeply in need of something to cling to.

The best scene in Battlestar Galactica

The series is long over, I know, but this scene has a timeless quality to it. It seemed to capture an important aspect of science in a nutshell: the desire to know with more than what humans use to perceive reality. To me, it was a powerful, gripping scene. Unfortunately all that can be shared is the audio. There’s no video clip of this online.

The Cylon character named Cavil says he doesn’t want to be human. That’s not what I’m trying to say here, but I can relate to the idea that our human senses can perceive so little of what’s really going on in the Universe, and so we need instruments to translate the unseen into something we can perceive.

Marilyn vos Savant

I remember hearing about this lady years ago. She was supposed to be really smart, as is discussed in this video a bit. I never heard her speak her mind at length, so it was nice listening to her in this video. She’s been a columnist in Parade Magazine for years, so I’m sure I’ve read her a bit.

The dialogue in this video gets tedious at times, but if you can be patient you’ll get some good insights out of it.

Yorkshire Inception :D

I watched some of an old PBS documentary called “The Story of English.” A part of the series was they’d show different English speakers so you could hear what they sound like. One region they recorded was Yorkshire in England. Then I found this video. It made me smile. 🙂

Starting anew

This blog used to be over at Posterous. They shut down for good on April 30, so I brought it over to WordPress. I haven’t posted anything here in a year-and-a-half. I got this blog going because I was dissatisfied with Facebook. It’s since improved enough that I felt comfortable using it as my main place for posting this sort of stuff. In addition, Google+ opened up. Still, there have been times when I’ve felt like I’d rather just post stuff here. So I’m getting back to it.