It could have been worse

News from the Florida GOP:

Christian Ziegler, Florida’s GOP chairman and husband of Sarasota County School Board member and Moms of Liberty co-founder Bridget Ziegler, is under criminal investigation after a woman filed a complaint with the Sarasota Police Department alleging the longtime Republican official had raped her, according to a heavily redacted police report obtained by the Florida Trident.

The complaint was filed on October 4 and the alleged sexual battery occurred inside the woman’s home in Sarasota on October 2, according to the report. Among the few words that went unredacted in the report are “rape” and “sexual assault complaint.”

The woman, according to sources close to the investigation, alleged that she and both Zieglers had been involved in a longstanding consensual three-way sexual relationship prior to the incident. The incident under investigation by Sarasota police occurred when Christian Ziegler and the woman were alone at the woman’s house, without Bridget Ziegler present, the sources conveyed.

At least this time, everyone involved was a full-grown adult.

Elon Musk is such a tough guy

Xitter is currently facing an advertiser boycott, all because Musk has been promoting, and contributing to, a culture of racism, misogyny, and hate. It was his anti-Semitic remarks that finally kicked me in the pants and convinced me I had to leave the platform. He’s mad about it now. He’s blaming the advertisers.

This is what happens when the richest person on Earth overdoses on redpills. A clammy, twitchy, agitated Elon Musk took the stage at The New York Times’ DealBook summit today and told former Twitter advertisers to “Go f*ck yourself.”

“Don’t advertise,” Musk told the brands who left because of Musk’s bizarre and offensive tweets. He jutted his chin and spoke in a clipped, more prominent-than-usual Afrikaans accent. His eyes glinted and snapped with aggression.

“You don’t want them to advertise?” asked the host, incredulously.

“No,” said Musk, turning his head and jutting his chin again.

“What do you mean?” asked the host.

Musk stuttered, then blurted, “If somebody tries to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go f*ck yourself.”

The nonplussed host stammered, “But–”

Musk interrupted and said in a tight, robotic voice accompanied by stiff gesticulations, “GO. F*CK. YOURSELF. Is that clear?” he said, whipping his head back toward the host.

“I hope it is,” he added. He waved to the audience and said, “Hi, Bob,” referring to Disney CEO Bob Iger. “I’m sure you’re in the audience.”

This is madness. The man runs a social media company that makes money by selling advertising — it would be wonderful if someone came up with an alternative scheme, but Musk isn’t doing that. Instead, he’s telling all the people who would buy his product to go fuck themselves, all while acting like an angry five-year-old bully. Look for yourselves: does this seem to be a stable, mature, responsible grown-up?

He’s even saying that if his company goes belly-up and fails, then “Earth” will blame the advertisers and not the incompetent CEO/owner.

Yeah, you go on telling yourself that. I’m saying that it’s all the fault of the guy who decided single-handedly to shape the culture to be tolerant of racists.

Frivolous space tourism?

I was booking flights to Seattle this morning, a fairly short hop away from Minneapolis, when I saw another interesting destination: a new planetary system only 100 light years away, HD 110067. United and Delta didn’t have any flights to that exotic destination, and I don’t think I can squeeze the trip into my 3 week break, unfortunately.

It looks like an interesting but impractical place to visit, in so many ways. Six planets, ranging in size between 1.94 and 2.85 Earth radii, so probably a bit of a workout to take a stroll, and you couldn’t walk there anyway, with surface temperatures between 170 and 525°C. The atmospheres are mostly hydrogen, so breathing will be tough.

The interesting thing is that they’r all whipping around their star at a rapid rate — their years vary between 9 and 55 Earth days. I’m getting dizzy imagining it.

Also, all six are in resonant orbits, which I guess isn’t totally surprising since they’re so close to each other in such tight orbits around their star.

Maybe if I wait until summer break I’ll have time enough to visit? It’s not very practical, but it does look like a fascinating novelty star system.

He’s done: Rebecca Watson takes on Avi Loeb

Loeb gets a quick filleting from Rebecca.

I know exactly how Loeb would respond, if he were to even notice, because he posted a rant 4 days ago.

The culture of superficial toxicity poses an existential threat to curiosity-driven innovation in science. This culture is fueled by social-media mobs, whose members use the megaphone of blogs and tweets to amplify hate towards professional scientists who are following the traditional practice of evidence-based research. Why would the critics do that? Because of jealousy at the public’s attention to novel ideas.

One might naively argue that there is nothing to worry about because scientific innovation was always about “survival of the fittest” in the realm of ideas. However, the professional test of innovative ideas is empirical evidence, and following it requires extensive work. In contrast, the opinion of superficial critics is easier to come by. It involves raising ash and claiming that they do not see anything. Toxic critics often use personal attacks to nip innovation in the bud. They poison the well of novel ideas by creating fear among young scholars who, as a result of witnessing trauma, hesitate to come up with new ideas because of the damaging repercussions to their job prospects.

Snrk. The traditional practice of evidence-based research and empirical evidence — things Loeb does not have. Evidence always has a context and a theoretical foundation. You can’t just pull something out of your ass, hold it up, and claim you’ve found evidence for your astonishing radical idea, and that’s basically what he’s got: he pulled up some tiny metallic spheres from the sea floor, and is claiming that they came from a meteor that wasn’t even of extrasolar origin, and he can’t even say with confidence that they came from a meteor at all, especially given that expert analysis suggests that it’s from terrestrial coal ash.

Man, I suspect that every night Loeb goes to bed angry and has a tough time getting to sleep because he’s busy building resentful retorts in his head.

The BBC backs down

I guess enough people complained about the stupidity of their article about spider eggs in some dork’s toe. They’ve posted retraction.

An expert has disputed Mr Blake’s claim that a spider could have laid its eggs in a human foot.

Dr Sara Goodacre from the University of Nottingham said: “I can’t possibly see how it could be true at all because I know about their biology.

“[The egg sacs] take quite a while to spin. The spider venom is not necrotising, it is designed to paralyse a fruit fly.”

She said that when a wolf spider lays it eggs, they are kept in a substance that looks like a ball of cotton, which some species carry on their backs.

Dr Goodacre said there had been no reports suggesting the eggs could live in a “pus-infected wound”.

She added: “There is no European wolf spider that could really penetrate the skin.”

The British Arachnological Society also called it “implausible”.

So far, they haven’t apologized for their lax fact checking or the patent stupidity of their article.

Oh god no

I forgot all about this debate.

These signs will be going up around campus, so I guess I’m committed. Or should be committed.

At least I insisted that “god” needed to be defined, so I’m going to be debating the nonexistence of “an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent being.” The other side has to defend the absurdly difficult proposition that such a being exists in the absence of any evidence for it, so at least I’ve got that going for me.

I am going up against a philosopher, though, so I dread the haymaker deepities he’ll throw at me.

It’s been a long time since I heard that complaint

As one of those people who grew up in the 60s, and who tended to ignore the need for trimming one’s hair (still do, actually), I often heard that phrase “get a haircut!” It’s an attitude that has largely faded with time, fortunately, but it still lingers in Baptist churches from the pastors there.

“There are times my heart breaks, and this is one of those times. This past weekend, November 12, 2023, First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana invited a group of men into their church to teach on creation. Then on Monday, these same men went to Hyles-Anderson College and taught the students. These men were not Baptists and do not claim to be Baptists. In fact, one is a member of a Reformed church, and another claimed from their pulpit that he is a Methodist,” wrote Domelle in his publication.

He then went on to criticize David Litty, one of the organization’s presenters as “a long-haired hippie” who should not be in the pulpit teaching Christians.

“A long-haired hippie teaching in the pulpit is in direct contradiction to Scripture. 1 Corinthians 11:14 says, ‘Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?’” wrote Domelle. “I don’t know anything about this man, but I do know that to have long hair is a shame. It does not matter what he was going to teach, the fact that he blatantly disobeys God’s Word should have alerted anyone to his spiritual discernment and that he is to be disqualified to teach people.”

Wow. I haven’t heard that kind of complaint in ages. Litty also used the wrong translation of the Bible. Burn the heretic!

By the way, Litty ran out and cut his hair. Some of these Baptists also went on to complain that they shouldn’t be fighting over hair length when they should be combatting Darwinian evolution. A pox on both sides!

Whatever happened to compatibility and love?

Every once in a while, some conservative dweeb gets upset at the fact that liberal women do not like conservative men and definitely don’t want to have sex with them. It’s a tiresome trope that the promoters of “solutions” never think through. The latest victim of this nonsense is the editorial board of the Washington Post, who noticed that people with clashing political views don’t want to have anything to do with each other. OH NOES. Society will collapse.

This ideology gap is particularly pronounced among Gen Z White people. According to a major new American Enterprise Institute survey, 46 percent of White Gen Z women are liberal, compared to only 28 percent of White Gen Z men, more of whom (36 percent) now identify as conservative. Norms around sexuality and gender are diverging, too. Whereas 61 percent of Gen Z women see themselves as feminist, only 43 percent of Gen Z men do. It is little surprise that the “manfluencers” — particularly those such as British American kickboxer Andrew Tate who promote outright misogyny — have their biggest following among boys and young men.

The authors are oblivious to what they are saying. Feminism is not comparable to Andrew Tate — one is advocating for autonomy and equality, the other is a criminal sex trafficker who treats women as chattel. These poles in the dichotomy are not at all equivalent in any way. The Editorial Board ought to be deploring the brutalization of young men by Andrew Tate, rather than treating it as just an attitude like feminism, not calling it something as anodyne as a “dilemma” requiring a compromise. No, it does not. Just tell the Tate wannabes to fuck off. Only they don’t.

This mismatch means that someone will need to compromise. As the researchers Lyman Stone and Brad Wilcox have noted, about 1 in 5 young singles will have little choice but to marry someone outside their ideological tribe. The other option is that they decline to get married at all — not an ideal outcome considering the data showing that marriage is good for the health of societies and individuals alike. (This, of course, is on average; marriage isn’t for everyone. Nor is staying in a physically or emotionally abusive marriage ever the right choice. But, on the whole, while politically mixed couples report somewhat lower levels of satisfaction than same-party couples, they are still likely to be happier than those who remain single.)

The marriage dilemma reflects a broader societal one: whether people can find ways to adapt to a new normal of ideological and political polarization, instead of hoping — against all evidence — that it will dissipate. Unfortunately, Americans have not equipped themselves to discuss, debate and reason across these divides. Americans have increasingly sorted themselves according to ideological orientation. They are working, living and socializing with people who think the same things they do. Particularly on college campuses, a culture of seeking sameness has set up young Americans for disappointment. They expect people to share their own convictions and commitments. But people’s insight and understanding about the world often come from considering alternative perspectives that may at first seem odd or offensive.

Oh those crazy college campuses, where young people get the insane idea that they can think for themselves and don’t have to submit to the demands of the olds. You know, if you’re going to marry someone for life, it’s not at all unreasonable to marry someone who shares your own “convictions and commitments.” Why are you dating and spending time with them otherwise?

One might wonder how the Editorial Board would resolve their “dilemma,” and who is expected to “compromise”. Easy. Teach people to ignore these differences.

A cultural shift might be necessary — one that views politics as a part of people’s identity but far from the most important part. Americans’ ability to live together, quite literally, might depend on it.

Gosh. That man who wants to date you, who believes women are inferior and must be put in their place with a good beat-down? Just pay no attention to that minor character flaw. After all, he’s willing to overlook your belief in cooperation and partnership and mutual respect. For the good of the nation, you must have sex with him and bear his children!

I had to wonder what kind of cretins populate an “editorial board” and what they think they’re doing. Here it is:

Editorials represent the views of The Washington Post as an institution, as determined through discussion among members of the Editorial Board: Opinion Editor David Shipley, Deputy Opinion Editor Charles Lane and Deputy Opinion Editor Stephen Stromberg, as well as writers Mary Duenwald, Christine Emba, Shadi Hamid, David E. Hoffman, James Hohmann, Heather Long, Mili Mitra, Eduardo Porter, Keith B. Richburg and Molly Roberts.

The board highlights issues it thinks are important and responds to news events, mindful of stands it has taken in previous editorials and principles that have animated Post Editorial Boards over time. Articles in the news pages sometimes prompt ideas for editorials, but every editorial is based on original reporting. News reporters and editors never contribute to Editorial Board discussions, and Editorial Board members don’t have any role in news coverage.

I don’t know who any of those people are, but I do know that I don’t give a flying fuck about the “Washington Post as an institution.” Buncha entitled assholes is what they are.

For a more amusing take, read Wives In Stepford Increasingly Don’t Want To Be Replaced By Robots.