Category Archives: Uncategorized

Not Entirely Wrong, But Not Right, Either

I read an op/ed piece called, “Obama’s faith-based liberalism.” Faith-based does not here refer to Christianity (or any other religion, exactly). Instead, the author is talking about how “the left” has a tendency to repeat and have faith in certain economic ideas despite a lack of evidence or support for those ideas:

Too often liberal policies are based more on faith than reason — they are often premised on assertions having little foundation in facts or modern economics. Consequently, the president advocates or imposes solutions that make the nation’s problems worse, and when confronted with disappointing results he often tells us what he believes without offering the data and logic that brought him to those conclusions.

I agree to a certain extent, but I also have to say that conservatives are just as guilty. Both parties hold on to a wide variety of out-dated or unsupported economic policy ideas. Neither party, from what I can tell, is entirely wrong, but they most certainly aren’t anything like entirely correct.

Oh Intellectual Property, Your Lines Are Tangled

Sometimes copyrights and patents go too far. I certainly appreciate rights to things you create, and I think clear, well-established property rights are a good thing. Nevertheless, intellectual property rights have a lot of pitfalls and no clear solutions. Apple is suing Samsung for patent infringement or something along those lines. This wouldn’t bother me if I thought Apple was concerned with protecting its intellectual property, but I think this is all about money, not clear property rights.

If a company brought a suit against someone else because they believed their rights were infringed upon and that, because of this, those rights were clearly in danger for everyone, I would say that suit is justified. If only the first applies, the suit is still justified. If neither applies, or the suit is only being brought to kill the competition, the suit is crap.

I get tired of big companies doing stuff like this. It seems so petty. What happened to all the anti-trust sentiment in the U.S.? No one else seems to be bothered by things like this. It reminds me of Monsanto, and their lovely, unfair attack on unsuspecting soy bean farmers. (If you’re wondering, look it up. Farmers, because of a natural process called pollination, ended up with Monsanto’s special patented gene in their seeds. Monsanto basically ran these farmers, who had no desire to use Monsanto seeds, out of business.)

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We Need Two Parties (At Least)

I loved this op/ed by Thomas L. Friedman. The Republican party is full of contradictions and full of people who don’t really seem to fit in the same party. Worse, a certain type of Republican has begun to dominate caucuses (I think it’s because these types of people have particularly caustic personalities and ideas that the more reasonable Republicans don’t like to be around).

Friedman is saying the party needs an overhaul, and it does. There have got to be a lot of moderates looking at the Republicans right now thinking, “If this goes on too much longer, my votes are going to start leaning left instead of right.” You can tell me independents don’t matter or being an independent is a waste of time, but it’s often the independents that make majorities. And the more radical the Republicans get, the further away they’ll be pushing those majority-making independents.

It’ll be interesting to watch over the next ten years to see what happens to the Republican party. It’s not as if we have even remotely the same parties our country started out with, and it seems reasonable that our parties will continue to see significant changes.

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Anti-Science

But anti-abortion campaigners said the review sought to “minimise” the psychological effect of terminating a pregnancy.

Why? Why is it that even when a real, scientific study is done, people refuse to believe the results? They are so attached to rhetoric that they do not let reality affect their opinions.

I see this from so many different types of people. While some groups are worse than others (certain parts of the anti-abortion crowd, for example), it is undoubtedly a widespread problem. Perhaps the worst people are those who believe and share only the findings that reinforce their rhetoric.

There are people who ignore science entirely, but typically it is easy to identify that person. The people who ignore only science (and social science) that contradicts their beliefs, on the other hand, aren’t always as easy to spot.

I think more emphasis needs to be placed on science in schools, if only to counteract the anti-science and anti-evidence people out in the world. I generally appreciate when people alert me to evidence that I am unaware of (sometimes I get angry at first, but in the long run I like it). The United States has a strong anti-science culture. People consistently argue that science is a religion (when it’s really not), they say putting confidence in scientific methods and principles is no different than having faith in religion.

What we get out of this is a large body of the public that refuses medical treatment in favor of quackery, refuses to admit that there is, at the least, a very strong case for evolutionary theory, and tries to control women’s bodies based solely on rhetoric. I wish there were an easy solution (a smack upside the head, perhaps?) for eliminating unreasonable anti-science culture. And just for the record, worrying about the devastating toll some treatments can take on patients and wanting to mitigate that is not the same as believing water with memory can cure them.

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