Posts

The Ethics of Meat

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Plant vs. animal. I'm an omnivore and enjoy it. That said, I'm convinced that it's healthy to be a vegetarian. I'm also doubtful of claims that people who eat meat have advantages in sports. At least I think this is true of most sports. Maybe not powerlifting? I think being a vegan is a little trickier. Vegans tend to have difficulties being completely healthy, and are especially prone to deficiencies of Vitamin B12 and iron, especially if they are an active athlete. I have worked around at vegetarianism for a couple of days at a time, usually to control my weight or improve biometrics, but always end up feeling famished. I also love eating beefsteak, roast chicken, and many other meat dishes. I don't want to give up those things. As for the philosophical or ethical concerns surrounding the eating of meat, I disregard vegan ethics. I don't think "ethical veganism" properly accounts for the necessity of taking life to eat. You have to kill plants too, a

The Necessity of Precision

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Binary addition. Source: Wikipedia. One of my faults as a programmer is not being precise enough at all times, yet I find I am still more precise than most people. It's a fundamental trait of people who are good with computers. Since I work in healthcare, and I do not work for a software development company, my workplace is an interdisciplinary environment. I get the opportunity to work with subject matter experts in many areas of healthcare, everyone from nurses to insurance experts. This provides a diverse work experience and prevents monotony, but it also drives me crazy sometimes. People who do not work with discrete data do not understand the need to be precise with information at all times. If you are talking about sports, weather, or your children, you can be as casual and conversational as you like. Use slang, abbreviations, and incomplete sentences if you like. If you are typing in free text notes about a patient, feel free to use common English or shorthand. If you are co

The Transfer Portal Was A Bad Idea

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"Every player in college basketball has entered the transfer portal."  NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis. Just look at the damn thing! $$$$$$$$$$  By Momoneymoproblemz - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51361666 Yes, I'm still on the subject of basketball, as the college basketball season comes to an end. The NCAA has implemented what they call the "transfer portal," which allows student athletes to switch schools between seasons without penalty. Previously they had to sit out a year. This was to discourage corruption. I suppose the transfer portal has given college athletes the same options that non-athlete students have, to simply transfer to a different school if you feel like it and can get accepted, but it has also brought free agency into college sports, as well as all new ways of unethical recruiting. I have a feeling that any amount of corruption is already occurring and bribes probably flow freely. Maybe it's t

Defund the NBA

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By User:Austin Bjornholt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2562480 I grew up in Indiana until right around my 16th birthday, and basketball is the "national sport" of the State of Indiana. Having lived in the boring part of the state, there wasn't much else to do except play basketball for most kids. Unfortunately I didn't have regular access to a hoop with a good surface, so I never became very good at anything other than shooting free throws. Nor was I athletic in most respects anyway. At some point, my family put up a backboard, but the gravel was so deep and soft that dribbling was futile. Not being good enough to play, I learned to keep statistics for the junior high and freshman teams. Being present at practices, and having been privy to the charts and documentation, really taught me how a lot about how organized basketball is played and coached. In that era, everybody in Indiana watched basketball, and the high school gam

The Market

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The flag of the former Soviet Union. Source: Wikipedia, not subject to copyright. Why do marxists think that humans in their natural, tribal state were communists? Granted, historiography wasn't as advanced in the 19th century as what we have now, and Marx died in the 1800s, but it still defies all belief, considering the context. During Marx's lifetime, there must have been millions of people still living Stone Age or similar lifestyles. Here in North America, the native Americans were still living traditional lives on much of the continent. They obviously engaged in market behaviors. Trade routes spanned the continent, even before the arrival of white Europeans. Native tribes traded even with other tribes that might occasionally have been enemies. Marx lived in the same era. Don't modern (contemporary) marxists study the context? It's a reminder though, that Marx was a child of wealth and privilege. He was every bit as out of touch with the average person as Ivanka Tr

The Infuriating Fiction of NATO "Nuclear-Free" Nations

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US nuclear weapons stored at a Dutch Air Force base. These bombs are intended to be delivered by the Netherlands Air Force in the event of a nuclear war. Photo: US Air Force., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons I encounter these people on the internet boasting that their country's military and foreign policy are morally superior to the United States and other nuclear powers because they have no nuclear arsenal. The usual offender is German, but are sometimes from other NATO countries. This is a convenient fiction. German Air Force B├╝chel Air Base, where the United States keeps an estimated 20 B61 nuclear bombs for delivery by German bombers in the event of nuclear war. Source: Stahlkocher, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons While it is true that Germany, for instance, does not possess nuclear weapons, as a member of NATO and a participant in the nuclear sharing agreement between countries, the German Air Force (Luftwaffe), is capable of delivering nuclear weapons in the event of

Book Review: Fall or, Dodge in Hell, by Neal Stephenson

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Kitty liked it. So did I, except for it making me a little queasy. Sorry for the water spots. I've read Neal Stephenson since the 1990s and try never to miss a single book or article. From his earliest works in the 1980s up to present, the quality and scope of topics he covers in his work expanded ad ridiculum [Yes, I italicize fake Latin], and has reached proportions exceeded by no other author I can think of. He writes everything from alternate history, to alternate future, from cyberpunk to swords and sorcery, all in books of increasing length. His recent work, Fall or, Dodge in Hell , is one of the most thought-provoking novels I've ever read. It spans his usual speculative, near-future science fiction, and develops into a tale of fantasy. The story is about an event predicted by futurists of a time soon-to-come when artificial general intelligence will become sufficiently advanced that it will be possible to simulate a human brain in computer software. This point is referr