Unplugging

Last week my internet went out for a couple of days. Also lost was the internet on my phone – apparently, it piggy-backs on the Comcast backbone and that went down over the entire region because (get this) somebody crashed their car into the fiber line. As an aside, that is an example of the actual fragility of the internet; while the system as a whole is quite robust, an individual’s ability to use the system is fragile. When the lights are off, so is the internet. With the internet off I lost lots of services, including strangely my Adobe…

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Thinking Backwards (in Bodybuilding)

Check out this video by popular fitness youtuber Jeff Nippard. If you don’t want to watch the entire 18 minutes, I’ll summarize below as well as point out the big flaw in what Jeff is trying to explore here: he’s thinking backwards, assuming reality must match some “study,” rather than evaluating obvious outcomes. What Jeff is exploring here is the connection between “how hard you train” vs “gains.” Throughout the video, there is a basic assumption, based on “research” that the connection between “hard training” and hypertrophy occurs due to some linear equation – reps slowing down, etc. etc. It’s…

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Middlebury (A Gen Y Tale)

Tim stepped into the cool, dry air of his house. The air conditioner was whistling like usual, but he was tired and didn’t feel compelled to attempt to fix it. It could wait another day. He stepped over the hardwood floors and to the kitchen, where he opened the fridge. There were no cold drinks there; apparently, Marcy had forgotten to go by the store and pick up more beer and soda, just as he had forgotten the last time. Tim looked around the brightly lit house, his eyes resting on the floor-to-ceiling windows and the small garden beyond, which…

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Why We Call it the Death Cult

Screw it. here we go: I’m not the only one who calls the vast pseudo-religious motivation and activism the “Death Cult.” I saw last year (or so) that fellow Christian author Brian Niemeier was using the same terminology to describe the same things, and every day I see more people either getting very close to the terminology or pegging it outright. By why do I specifically call it the “Death Cult”? Why not the “woke cult” or just “Social Justice Warriors”? The short answer is because they are obsessed with death. They want you dead. Every so often the mask…

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The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas – Compact Analysis

I’ve seen some posting on “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” Ultra-compact analysis: 1. Le Guin asks YOU to imagine a Utopia with whatever in it YOU think would make people happy 2. This Utopia will have all those pleasures (including sinful ones) with NO DOWNSIDES. 3. You don’t believe it, obviously. 4. She creates a negative condition that magically eliminates the downsides: constant neglect and abuse of a single innocent child. 5. Most people in Omelas end up accepting this, despite not liking it. 6. Post-hoc rationalizations are given – the child can’t really be saved because of…

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Covid Baby

“Covid Baby” is a term my wife used recently to describe our daughter. She just turned two, and since it’s been more than a year of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” she’s lived a life that that is very different from my son when he was the same age. We noticed this when we recently travelled to Texas. She won’t sit for long at a table in a restaurant without getting bored and wanting to get up and move, even if she has toys. She doesn’t know what to do at a supermarket or a mall. She doesn’t like…

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Low-Trust America and the State

It’s easy to blame the state. After all, it was state enforcers that shut down the girls’ egg operation. But let’s not forget… American society, even in a supposed “red state” is now a low-trust society, but it’s a very odd version of such a society, quite unlike third-world countries. In America, the state itself has replaced the social fabric and trust is concentrated, at least in the corporate/imperial side of society, in the state rather than in other people. Somebody saw the egg business and decided they would sick the state on them, meaning they had no sense of…

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Show Trial

I’m writing this before the Chauvin verdict comes in, because there is a real question, and one that may not even be answerable: Is it a criminal trial, or is it a political trial – a show trial? This is one of those points in time where politics penetrates both culture and civics. At least for the actors outside the courtroom, the trial is not about “justice” in a particular case, which is what our criminal court system is supposed to decide in the lower courts, but rather a competition between “friend” and “enemy.” Chauvin represents a member of the…

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Blind Spots on the Right

Again, “left” and “right” are outdated, but quickly get to the point – friends and enemies. The American right has a huge blind spot, and that is the near-religious support of certain elements of the state, specifically the military and enforcement wings of the state, even when these elements are acting against their interests. I pointed this out in “Republican Bugmen” – that the republican bugman is still obsessed with state solutions to personal problems, just with a different focus – and it ruffled a few feathers. The defense of these parts of the state is a natural reaction, due…

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It’s Random

My phone vibrated in my shorts pocket. I was honestly surprised I felt it at all, given how much my motorcycle was shaking beneath me. The dirt road that wound up the hill had gone washboard after the recent storms and the constant passage of tourists on trucks and dirt bikes. My old Yamaha was made for smooth pavement, and it punished me for taking it off-road by shaking my hands numb. My phone buzzed twice again, and I knew it was Devin’s girlfriend, probably frantic or furious – or both. She would have to wait. Maybe all night. I…

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