Open Thread Tuesday Evening

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Good evening and welcome to Open Thread Tuesday Evening where off topic is on topic.

I have several topics to get y’all started, or start your own.

(1) Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post has an article today regarding the role of deforestation in the spread of Ebola.

(2) Boston.com has an article on the crazy election in Afghanistan where, despite a separation of 1 million votes, both candidates are claiming victory. Loser Abdullah Abdullah accuses his Pashtun opponent, Ashraf Ghani, of monumental ballot stuffing and apparently intends to form his own government. Looks like another civil war is brewing. Guess that means we will need more advisors just like in Iraq. Yikes.

(3) Discovery.com has an article today about the discovery of an Iron Age Temple (2,500 years old) in present day Kurdistan in NE Iraq.

(4) The New York Times Magazine has an interesting article about economics professor David Brat, who upended House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in Virginia. He’s a believer that Christian virtue is all that is necessary to tame the lust for greed that is both the motive and the bane for capitalism. Brat calls it Hand of God economics. I call it bullshit.

(5) The defense rested today in the Pistorius case. What say you: guilty of murder, negligent homicide, or not guilty? Keep in mind that the two assessors can overrule Judge Masipa if they disagree with her decision. I wrote about it here.

(6) What do you think of the Republican civil war in Mississippi? Maybe, we’ll have to send in some military advisors there too.

The pool is open. No running on the deck or splashing the lifeguard.

This is our 1120th post. Please make a donation, if you like what we do.

Thank you,

Fred

16 Responses to Open Thread Tuesday Evening

  1. Brazil has never won a world cup at home. The drought will continue at least until the next time.

    Maybe they should talk to the Boston Red Sox about how to get the monkey off their backs.

  2. Germany beat Brazil in a World Cup semifinal this afternoon, 7-1.

    Germany was up 5-0 after the first 29 minutes.

    Brazil is in mourning.

  3. MKX says:

    Hand of God economics deserved the hand of God goal:

  4. Brat sounds like the kind of guy that bites off more than he can chew. His academic record is definitely not impressive. Why do so many unqualified people want to run for public office?

    • Why do so many unqualified people want to run for public office?

      Beats the hell out of me.

      Maybe I should run for office. I’m more qualified than most of these Bozos.

      Of course, I would have to move to a considerably less corrupt place than where I presently reside.

    • Malisha says:

      Qualified people would never THINK of running for office.

    • MKX says:

      A colleague of mine who is a physicist has a father who is an economist.

      The real economists are very well versed in math and we both agreed that it is far harder model particles {humans} that do not behave rationally than particles of matter that have well defined attributes.

      So Brat’s lack of numerical acumen is an insult to the profession.

      But, then again, God based science had the Sun orbiting the Earth.

      And the Earth less than 5000 years old.

      And all the worlds creatures went on a boat trip together.

      So how could Hand of God economics go wrong?

      When it is mixed with Ayn Rand.

      Oh blessed are the makers

      For they deserve all the wealth

      And let God damn the takers

      Let them have bad health

      For if they are sick and

      my food they can not pick

      God will provide for me

      because I am a dick

      • I understand economics, but I will never understand why anyone believes Ayn Rand.

        She was flat out crazy and made no sense.

        • MKX says:

          I believe it is the ultimate hubris of those who think they are self-important because they have money or power.

          I may come off as kind of anti-religion, but one thing any truly rational person should recognize is that man is inherently emotional, and thus, not capable of being 100% rational. Only a person with a whopping ego would claim they could. Money and power create big egos.

          What does all that have to do with Rand?

          The entire foundation of her philosophy is that one can do good by rationally acting in their self-interest. Maybe this is where the hand of God guides Brat.

          Not only is that view impossibly absurd, it is also not good for one’s mental health in that the person must constantly rationalize every act they do. A recipe for being a neurotic mess. Which seems to fit Randians to a T.

          So why did I mention my anti-religion?

          Religion comes from an attempt to explain who we are and why we are here. So there have been a lot of great minds who delved into the nature of mind. And one thing Christianity, and probably the other great religions, got right is that man is imperfect and sinful. In fact, if one truly understands the meaning of the great books, then they do provide a foundation for a decent society.

          That’s why Rand hated religion.

          She believed in their were a breed of superior men who used rational thinking to become perfect.

          No, history shows that a band of brother dedicated to all for one and one for all will defeat a group of self-important ubermenschen.

          And a band is the natural state of man.

          Use this thought experiment.

          Lions eat men.

          Man first invented a sharp long stick as a means of defense.

          Who will live by the law of the jungle against the Lions?

          A super strong man with one spear acting only for himself?

          Or a band of men working with many spears working together as a team?

          So even this Darwinian concept that individual super men are a product of survival of the fittest is false because humans throughout most of their genetic history have acted collectively.

          • Indeed, we could not have survived the ice age without acting cooperatively.

            We not only survived, we flourished and populated the globe.

          • I am not anti-religious. With the exception of the Golden Rule, which I do not think of as a religious rule, I don’t feel a need for religious doctrine or structure in my life.

            I consider myself fortunate not to have been raised in a church.

      • Brat is nuts. Where art thou virtue in a place where Greed is God.

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