Global Warming

My take on the theory of anthropogenic global warming is best summed up by Newton’s third law of academics: For every PhD there is an equal and opposite PhD.

A SlashDot poster asked, “Why Are People Getting Worked Up?” and said:

Regardless if global warming is a problem, we should ALL strive to lessen our effect on the environment. Restricting emissions that may not heat up the planet, BUT have noticeable problems on health of humans and wildlife. I feel like I have to remind people that even if global warming is false we should always do what we can to conserve our resources and lessen pollution.

My response was modded +5, Insightful:

If I were to be "worked up" it would be because it is not rational to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. And when I'm told, "oh, well, even if the conclusion of AGW is wrong it still means we need to do such and such" then I become immediately suspicious. I don't like handwaving. The data should stand, or fall, on it's own merits.

Having to resort to an
appeal to consequences to make one’s case makes me immediately suspicious that the case is not strong enough to stand on its own.

Love & Po-Mos

In 2006, SlashDot ran an article Love Under a Microscope which asked the question “what is love”? I posted the following:

The Greeks had four words for love: agape, phileo, eros, and storge. We English speakers seem to conflate everything around eros and thereby miss the point. Love is the act of the will whereby another individual is placed ahead of yourself. That's why Christians are commanded to "love their enemies" and why the Apostle Paul wrote that the greatest act of love was when God gave His Son as the sacrifice for the sins of the world.

No naturalistic scientist could ever write:

    Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant
    or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
    it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
    It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    Love never ends.

What I found interesting was this comment by a reader:

Wonderful post. I love the idea that "love is an act of the will." We mostly think that love is ultimately fulfilled only by the acts we undertake between the sheets. That love can be a deliberate act of the will is shocking to most of us "post moderns."

If the post moderns don’t know this, perhaps it’s because the Church has forgotten Paul’s words to the Christians at Corinth: “And I will show you a still more excellent way.”

Citizen, what do you have to hide?

If you're doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to worry about” is a flimsy rationalization. I'm doing nothing wrong, but I nevertheless worry about the government doing something wrong. Governments exist to increase their power -- at the expense of freedom. Therefore, government should be limited wherever and whenever possible.

The OS Wars

A SlashDot commenter asked, “Why root for Microsoft *or* Apple when both represent proprietary profit-driven entities run by two of the biggest control freaks in the world.” My answer:

Because I've used Linux, Windows, and OS X (among many, many others). Given the choice, I'll take OS X every time. I value my time -- that leaves Linux out. I value my productivity -- that omits Windows. I value my sanity, that leaves OS X.


+5, Insightful

From time to time I may share comments from SlashDot that have been moderated up, usually to +5, Insightful. This doesn’t mean that there is anything particularly worthy about them, just that some moderators found them perceptive. Certainly, I’ve had my share of +5, Insightful comments that have been vehemently opposed by subsequent commenters.

I posted my first comment on 8/10/2002 and #270 on 9/26/2008. 4% were rated +5, 7% were considered “Insightful”. Playing with Numbers, Apple’s spreadsheet program, and Photoshop I graphed my performance to date.

Four posts were considered trolls, which may deserve a separate blog entry. They were not intended to be so, but that’s how they were perceived. It can be argued that trolls probably aren’t aware of their trollish behavior but I suspect it has more to do with the clash of antithetical worldviews than general cluelessness on my part. But I could be wrong.