February 2nd, 2015


So much snow, it has sharks in it. To my neighbors, enjoy the shoveling.

To be or not to be (eaten) — a thought experiment

Televisions all over the world are suddenly interrupted by a nerdy looking guy with glasses standing out in the woods. He’s dressed like a student even though he’s probably middle-aged. He takes a sip from a paper Starbucks cup and pushes his glasses up on his nose before glancing up at the screen briefly and clearing his throat. Then he looks back at his notes.

“Hi, folks. I’m sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled programs, but this is actually kind of important. So it turns out that some aliens have chosen me to pass this message along to us Earthlings.  I’m doing my best to explain this in plain English. The rest of you non-English speaking folk will just have to wait until this gets translated, I guess, since I don’t know any other languages. Apparently this device they sent is broadcasting this on all frequencies all over the world and even interfacing with the cable stations. Oh, and it’s live broadcasting to YouTube as well and will be available for download after. I did that part myself! So anyway, hi, again. My name’s Richard, but you can call me Rick.

“So here’s the deal. The entire species of humans might go extinct. Yeah, I know. Heavy, aye? It turns out that the only reason Earth’s environment is capable of sustaining us in our current form is because of alien technology, mostly operating from the core of the planet, technology which they may no longer be willing to use on our behalf. Without that technology, shit will go down. I mean some seriously serious shit will go down. I guess what they mean is stuff like massive earthquakes and weather events on an apocalyptic scale just for starters, massive areas of the planet being immersed in lava; shit like that. Apparently… wow this is heavy, but apparently humanity has evolved to this current form,” he stops for a moment and gestures down at his body, “due to careful manipulation of the environment and some selective breeding by the aliens. Had they left us be back when we were in a more primal state, it’s possible we would have evolved into something that could survive Earth in its natural state. It’s also very possible we would have just died out, but we almost certainly would not be what we are now. And apparently they went to all this trouble to ensure we would evolve into something tasty. I guess you can’t judge individual preferences. To be more specific, there’s a certain part of our brains that the aliens consider a delicacy. Unfortunately it’s a crucial part and we each die without it.  They predict, with their far superior brains (I can’t emphasize that enough) the extinction of the entire human race within the span of a few decades, maximum, without the aid of their technology. Anticipating some of the questions we may have, they have also pointed out that there are no other natural planets, absent their technology, that can sustain us in our current pathetic and carefully-bred-for-tastiness state.

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I’m against religious freedom

The very phrase “religious freedom” is as off-putting as “free speech zone”. The moment you add a condition to freedom, you’re limiting freedom; not expanding it. When you say you’re creating zones where you can have free speech, the implication is you’re not respecting free speech elsewhere. It’s the same with religious freedom. Can I just have straight-up unconditional freedom, please?

It’s not because I love other men that the Indiana RFRA offends me. It’s because I love freedom. Might someone at some point try to use the act to defend themselves from litigation based on anti-LGBT discrimination? Probably, and good for them. I don’t like those people but I don’t need the government to protect me from them. All I ask is that governments don’t discriminate by respecting their rights in a manner that they won’t extend to me. The problem isn’t the cases when it will work to defend freedoms. The problem is the cases when it won’t, and those will be many.

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Libertarians: A little less douche

I realize the derogatory label of “douche” seems a rather vague term. In fact, this video by Daly Show TV seems to play upon its obscurity as an insult and deserves credit for inspiring the title of this article. I found myself using it lately to describe someone’s behavior and it caused me to ponder for a moment what I meant by it. I’m not going to look it up on Urban Dictionary and get hung up on semantics. I’m simply going to clarify for the purpose of this article what I mean by the term.

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What D&D alignment are libertarians?

Chaotic Neutral?

I value freedom above all else. We should all be free to do as we please as long as we don’t violate the rights of others to be free as well. If someone violates your rights, they forfeit the protection of freedom provided by the non-aggression principle (NAP) and you are no longer obligated to respect their rights. Do whatever you feel you need to do to defend your freedom, either on your own or by working with others. We have no obligation to be generous or kind but feel free to if it makes you happy. I thoroughly reject anyone’s authority to command others or impose laws.

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I don’t particularly care about the shooting

And if you do, then you’re racist, or a nationalist which is at least as absurd.

I didn’t say I don’t care. Of course I care about children dying. I just don’t particularly care. I don’t actually know them or their families. Children are dying violent deaths every day all over the world. I don’t mean to be dismissive about it. I literally cannot mourn them all and still be a functional human being. What is disturbing to me is the sense that this event is deserving of special recognition all over the country, and to only a slightly lesser extent in other countries with predominantly white populations. I would hope folks would appreciate my honesty but I don’t expect brownie points for it.

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