I’ve always liked D&D, I haven’t played in years but I keep up with it and would love to find time (and good people) to play. I also like porn, so imagine my suprise when I found out not only is there a blog called “Playing D&D with Porn Stars“, there’s also a show about it called “I hit it with my axe” (I bet “kill it with a sword” was taken. I’m going to check out a few episodes to see if I like it.
Vin Diesel is returning for a third Riddick movie. Apparently this one is going back to Pitch Black like roots, location scouting has already begun in New Zealand. I hope he fights Hobbits, good times.
Amnesty International recently suspended the head of their gender unit, Gita Sahgal, for criticizing the organizations partnership with a prominent Taliban supporter. Granted Moazzam Begg is very active in the fight against Gitmo detentions, including Canadian teen Omar Khadr. However I think they have made a serious judgement error here. An organisation like Amnesty is not serving the interests anyones rights by associating themselves with Taliban supporters and have suffered long term damage to their brand by acting this way.
Global Warming is dead, that’s been clear for a while now. However there’s still been a question about the long term viability of climate change. As more and more journalists decide it’s safe to start voicing serious questions about the validity of climate change claims, we’ll see more and more scientists withdrawing their associations with ‘the climate change consensus’. Scientists are a much more timid group than journalists, so this will take a while, but isn’t going anywhere.
Until now, anyone who questioned the credibility of the IPCC was labelled as a climate skeptic, or worse. But many climate scientists now sense a sinking ship, and they’re bailing out.
God Dam! I’m taking Fall off work!
After logging enough hours on Fallout 3 to burn up my Xbox360 I thought I’d be satisfied for a while. Oddly enough I bear no animosity to Fallout, only the shitty, shitty Microsoft product that decides to not work if you play it too much.
But no. Fallout 4 “Motherfucking Vegas Baby” is coming to my Playstation 3 the minute it is available for purchase. And it will not leave the disc tray until i have payed it through at least twice. I hope New Reno is included on the map, I’d love to go back to the Golden Globes studio and see how my movies are selling.
Phil Harris from the wicked awesome Discovery Channel show Deadliest Catch suffered a stroke yesterday and was hospitalised. He’s had a fair amount of health problems on the show, to the point where I was worried about him dying on screen. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery and that he’ll be able to skipper the Cornelia Marie again.
PS Discoverychannel.ca is a way better website than .com except for the updates on Phil’s condition
A British businessman who has made millions selling dowsing-rod “explosives detectors” to the Iraqi security forces has been arrested on suspicion of fraud.
A simple plastic holder is fitted with a special piece of cardboard which has been prepared using “the proprietary process of electrostatic matching of the ionic charge and structure of the substance” to be detected. There is no power source or electronics – the device is said to be “charged” by the body of the user.
Major General Jehad al-Jabiri of the Iraqi interior ministry insisted last year that he really believes in the ADE. “Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs,” he told the New York Times last year. He even went so far as to “demonstrate” that it worked by placing a grenade and a submachinegun in his office (in plain sight) and having one of his policemen “detect” them with the ADE. When a reporter couldn’t get the dowsing rod to work, the general blithely stated:
“You need more training.”
The statement “Politicians too often base their decisions on what will please the voters, not on what is best for the country” is a logical fallacy often presented by those disagreeing with the opinions of the majority of voters. It is used to insinuate that following the will of the masses is somehow more harmful to the country than pursuing an unpopular course. In the 1990’s the elected government of Canada decided to implement a large scale gun registry at a national level, this decision was highly unpopular but was done for the good of the country.
Although widely opposed by many at the time, the Bill did have a number of supporters. It was meant to curb crime and overall gun violence and was intended to cost several million dollars. The voting public, while not in possession of a perfect track record, seemed to have decided that while the stated goals were noble, the overall idea was poorly conceived.
Several years later it became clear that the program was a massive failure. Not only had the basic goals of the program failed, it had also cost almost a billion dollars. Defenders of the program continued to defend its ongoing existence saying it was in the best interest of the country. The program was finally scrapped after a change in government.
There is a very good reason that politicians base decisions on the opinion of voters. This is because voters are more often than not right. The collected voices of thousands hold far more wisdom than most single individuals. The record of the 20th century, the cradle of advanced democracy, is filled with a multitude of sober thought by the voting public, as well as a long list of astonishing failures, crimes, and atrocities by leaders who believed they knew what was in the best interest of the people. The opinions of thousands of quite voices should never be ignored.
The statement “An understanding of the past is necessary for solving the problems of the present” has value in many situations, but is not a universal truth. The two primary underlying assumptions of this statement are that the past is an accurate informer of current circumstances, and that our interpretation of past events is correct. This is incorrect in many situations, and in some circumstances can be damaging or even dangerous. An example of this is the 2008-2009 collapse of the United States sub-prime mortgage market.
During the 1990’s and 2000’s a ‘common sense’ consensus developed in the American regulatory, banking, and economics community that postulated a theory that the driving forces behind the real estate market were understood and could be improved upon by increasing the level of risk tolerated in the market. This was implemented through both decreased regulation, and increased risk taking in lending behavior. Both of these strategies were justified by stating that regulators, mathematicians, and economists understood the lessons of the past and could solve the problems of the present by acting on these lessons.
And act they did. The 1990’s and early 2000’s saw unprecedented change in the regulatory and financial systems related to mortgage financing. These changes seemingly solved the problems of the present. However the past was either not completely understood, or did not contain the appropriate lessons to prevent the eventual destruction of the new system.
Some seek to rectify the problems of this collapse by looking to the past, by re-instituting old regulatory structures. This behavior will only exacerbate existing problems by forcing old rules on a new problem. What is called for in this case is an acknowledgment of the wisdom of the past, combined with a recognition that the past is not the place for new solutions. Constantly looking to the past for solutions is equivalent to driving a car with the rear view mirror, for a short time the view will be ok, but it will soon lead to disaster.