Interesting stuff – 2016-09-04

Some stuff I found interesting recently.

Black lives matter. I think we can all agree to that. But does Truth matter?

If you want to save black lives, spread some truth around.

Some of the women in the Rio Olympics performed unusually well because they have unusually high levels of naturally-occurring testosterone. Like genetic males who vastly outperform their female counterparts when they compete against them, these women are simply in a league of their own because their testosterone levels are abnormally high and they develop masculine features.

How to solve this challenge? Here’s my proposal. Just as wrestling has various weight classes – because it would be kind of ridiculous to have a 70 kg man wrestling against a 90 kg man – why not set up different classes of women’s racers? There could be one class for women with “typical” testosterone levels, another class for women with “elevated” testosterone levels, and another class for men who are trying to be women.

My heart goes out to these women who must face all kinds of strange looks and possibly ill treatment through no fault of their own. But my heart also goes out to those women who train extremely hard only to lose by such a large margin that it makes future participation in the sport seemingly futile. I hope a reasonable solution can be reached.

In light of the economic disaster striking Alberta, and the NDP’s “solution” to the problem, one writer made an interesting remark:

Can you imagine a family adopting such perilous habits? If a household suffered a substantial drop in income, it would quickly look for ways to economize, perhaps by eating out less often and by buying less costly cuts of meat for the dinner table. Any big expenses that could be put off would be delayed until the family was in better financial shape. The same is true of a business, which would face closure if it ran up debt without any plan of how to pay the money back.

This is a very astute observation, and it points to a simple fact about government that all citizens really need to constantly bear in mind as they engage with government.

Government is not bound by the rules of reality.

In business one must earn more than they spend, or risk getting shut down. Government can simply borrow, borrow, borrow. Most businesses must deal with competition; government necessarily enjoys a monopoly. Business must persuade people to become customers; every citizen and business is automatically a “customer” of the government whether they like it or not.

In our personal lives, if I want to receive more money from somebody else than they would like to give me (perhaps we are negotiating a deal on Kijiji) then I must persuade them to give me more money. I cannot unilaterally decide that they must give me more money. Governments, on the other hand, can raise the taxes at will.

Government is essential to civil society, don’t get me wrong, but in a very real sense it exists “outside of” society. It is not bound by the constraints of the real world. As such, the greater the role and power of government in society, the further society drifts from the real world. If society wishes to thrive in the real world then it must continuously push for small government with minimal intervention.

Two little humorous items. First, someone gripes about 10 things they wish worship leaders would stop saying. The last one resonated with me,

1. Turn to your neighbor and _____________.

There’s really nothing wrong with this approach, but as a socially awkward introvert, this kind of instruction is a huge heaping bowl of panic attack soup.

Yeah, that’s not exactly my favourite time of any service either, and I’m not alone.

And, secondly, the forces of Hell are actively at work in the comment sections of the internet. This is another reminder of why I choose to have these discussions offline.

[For those lacking my style of humor, the second one is satire.]