Thursday, June 25, 2015


Last night I was watching an old Saturday Night Live (Scarlett Johannson hosts) in which the Weekend Update correspondents were talking about the United States Supreme Court hearing arguments on the gay marriage case (at 28:25 left in the show at the above link). The one host starts discussing a Justice Alito question at the oral arguments, including one question about whether a group of two men and two women should also be able to marry. Coming from a religion that practiced plural marriage and not having the same emotional connections or knee jerk reactions to things that people see as fundamental moral issues (as opposed to just fairness, logical, or logically ethical issues), I was a little surprised by the answer.

"Well, Sam, I’m no legal expert, but they’d probably tell them “no,” because that’s polygamy and that’s illegal and also not at all the same thing. So let’s stick to the case at hand and not try to turn this whole thing into some kind of gay word problem. If the gay marriage train leaves Massachusetts at 3 pm, and the traditional-marriage train leaves Tennessee at 6 pm – it doesn’t matter, because look around you! Everyone’s already on the gay train! (Laughter, whoops, applause)."

The problem with the -- "we don't need to think critically about something if the majority of us already agree argument" -- is that (1) nothing should ever excuse the call to think critically about something, not religion or consensus or popularity or fear or anything else and (2) the herd is a terrible track record for making "right" choices when it abandons critical thought.

In other similar reactionary choices made without apparent critical thought, Apple has banned several American Civil War era military strategy games for their use of the confederate flag. As the producers of one such game put it:

We accept Apple's decision and understand that this is a sensitive issue for the American Nation. We wanted our game to be the most accurate, historical, playable reference of the Battle of Gettysburg. All historical commanders, unit composition and weaponry, key geographical locations to the smallest streams or farms are recreated in our game's battlefield.

We receive a lot of letters of gratitude from American teachers who use our game in history curriculum to let kids experience one of the most important battles in American history from the Commander's perspective.

Spielberg’s "Schindler's List" did not try to amend his movie to look more comfortable. The historical "Gettysburg" movie (1993) is still on iTunes. We believe that all historical art forms: books, movies, or games such as ours, help to learn and understand history, depicting events as they were. True stories are more important to us than money.

Therefore we are not going to amend the game's content and Ultimate General: Gettysburg will no longer be available on AppStore. We really hope that Apple’s decision will achieve the desired results. We can’t change history, but we can change the future.


  1. What kind of hypochondria do the readers suffer from? Do they use a paper to open the lock to public lavatories, from the inside, after the hands are washed? Are they somehow uncomfortable with the shaking-hand stuff, a simple "hello" should be enough? Do they shun "piss pools" on vacation..?

  2. Well, even without resorting to the opinions of the majority there's still many good arguments against polygamy in terms of women's rights and the disenfranchisement of young men when their elders get the majority of women in a community (I believe this can actually be seen historically).

    Now if was 2 men and 2 women in some sort of even, consensual arrangement without creepy power dynamics then yeah, I see no problem. I mean hell I have 2 long term girlfriends myself and we've formed our own little family. It makes a lot of sense in terms of fulfilling everyone's needs and also economically - the 2 person/1 breadwinner model is not going to last.

  3. The "we don't need to think critically about something if the majority of us already agree argument" is basically the entire modus operandi of programs like The Daily Show. They just snarkily parrot back what their audience expects to hear, and wait for the applause. And if you ever criticize their logic, they accuse you of being unable to take a joke.

  4. Lavatory-seat are full of germs! They cannot be scrubbed off. They sit there thinking: "-Mmm, socio-butts are the sweetest.." When seen through a microscope they look disgusting, like pestilent shit-crabs crawling through, and enjoying, floods of mucus..

    1. I like to pick my nose. It’s a hobby. I still think you have a gift. Stop being a cunt.


      Pestilent Shit-Crab


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  7. Derned gremlins...

    The only question that needs to be addressed with regard to polygamy is property rights. I have seen polyamorous relationship that function as well as any other dynamic.

    Robert Heinlein wrote about "line marriages." A situation where the "group" never really dies because new people are always added to the group. Sounds a little too crowded for my taste, but if it works for someone else...

    As far as "we don't need to think critically..." - that's just bullshit for the hooples. They'll buy it - but it's bullshit.

  8. The whole system is flawed, run by emotionally driven decisions rather than rational, well-thought out ones with basis in facts and common sense. Knowing their motivations does not make it any easier to understand them, running around spouting nonsensical crap about what is moral and what is not.

  9. People think emotionally before they think logically because it's easier.

    Everything the herd does inevitably goes towards the least common denominator. And it's *REALLY* low.

  10. It looks like the government told Apple not to sell things with the Confederate flag:

  11. It took a hell of a lot of critical thinking and persistence to get the pendulum swung to the point where everybody got on the 3pm train; ditto the rights behind the current anger against the confederate flag. The danger being that the critical thinking stops because the knee-jerk reaction is now on the other side.

    Doesn't make a knee-jerk reaction good; doesn't make critical thinking wrong. Glossing over the past is unnecessary and dishonest. Better to use it as a marker to show how far we've come.

    (Sorry, not awake yet - already spilled the sugar and tripped over a computer cable. Bang on the coffee.)

  12. I need some help here.
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    Hitler, for example.
    I need help in identifying a strange animal (I assume it is) who's cry I heard
    around my house in the wee hours of the morning.
    Last Wednesday, I was awakened at 3 AM by an unearthly schreeching sound.
    It's not unusual to hear such noises as there are plenty of stray cats around.
    But this noise was NOT that of a cat's. It was much deeper. It seemed like a
    monkey's. Something out of a jungle. I've lived here for years and never heard
    such a noise. I heard it again last night at 4 AM. It was of much longer duration.
    Horrid schreeching. Like a jungle. It sounded like a bunch of puppies squealing
    and that horrid schreeching it was LOUD. And I never heard a sound like that
    outside of a jungle film.
    Do you think an exotic pet escaped from someone? I never heard such an
    infernal noise. What frightens me, is that I heard it twice this week. Does it mean that this beast has taken up residence in my back yard? I sleep with my
    window open, I'm scared. Is the animal real or a demon?

    1. It's the demon Pazuzu coming for you.

    2. Might be a fox. They make really strange screeching sounds in the middle of the night. Sounds like a weird alien.

    3. Well... It could be a bobcat. Or a screech owl. Even raccoons can make an unholy noise when they're cornered and frightened. But I'm going to go ahead and call this your latest installment in a series of pathetic pleas for attention. (Aka: fodder with your bizarre, obsessive love-hate affair with sociopaths.) Amirite? Or am I right? XD

      On that delusional note, get any weird call backs from Ms. Anthony, freak? :D

    4. It's Casey in heat for u

    5. Sleeping window open? Worry about the silence creeping in one day and slicing through your flesh as opposed to distant screeching sounds. Close that window, listen to your gut feeling.

  13. There are a lot of issues where people want to shut down any thinking or discussion about things - eg racial differences in time preferences, impulse control, criminality and IQ. Or why it is that throughout history, all recognizable nations with Jews have decided that the Jewish nation was a threat to them (even the Persians and Turks). Or measurable differences between men and women in IQ, strengh, cognition, etc.

    eg suppose you need heart surgery or to take a plane ride. maybe it isn't you - maybe it is your kid that needs the services. suppose you know one surgeon (pilot) is a white guy, another a black guy. If that is the only information you've got, the best decision is to pick the white guy. even if you are black - actually, especially, you should pick the white guy. and you probably will.

    but if you talk about this pehnomenon in a nonjudgmental way, you'll be castigated. that is, if you are honest, you'll he blamed for the world not being the way people imagine it should be. as if attacking you could somehow fix things. LOL

  14. Is Alito's argument really unjustifiably dismissable? Allowing 2 men and 2 women to marry raises a number of questions, such as issues of paternity (is a child born to any couple a child of the quartet?), tax issues (I think the entire tax code would need to be reworked), whether loss of one or two members causes total dissolution of the marriage, and the fact that Alito's argument is essentially the 'slippery slope' argument which is fundamentally weak, and entertaining it detracts from meaningful questions.

    Yes, the argument was dismissed, but even perfunctory examination of the argument reveals a number of confounding issues that make it entirely irrelevant.

    As for the Confederate flag thing, here Apple is just being completely retarded. The flag is being used in the proper historical context, not as the KKK symbol it's been resurrected as. But hey, I'm not in charge of catering to a group of people who jerk off into their lattes while shoving iPods up their asses so maybe Apple is just doing what's best for business.

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