5 June 2010 (noon)

All over the place today

Fluff: online dating sites: yep, many of those who use them are MARRIED (not: got married after using them, but using them to find dates while being married to someone else); now we have

Ashley Madison’s unique selling proposition is pairing married men with married women, counting on mutually assured destruction to do the rest. Skeptics attribute its purported growth to “bot” populations – script-generated profiles that contact and reply to members – or other slight of hand. Noel Biderman, Ashley Madison’s CEO, explains the site’s success as a function of marketing, and this sponsorship goes to further show the service’s vitality. As “…a former sports attorney who was inspired to create the site in 2001 after reading a research report that 30 percent of the people who visit singles dating sites are not single at all,” he seems to have nailed the target audience.

This vaguely reminds me of this:

Of course, this sign is, at best, misleading. Most of us have zero chance at landing someone as physically attractive as those people shown in the sign.

Gaza Flotilla Attack: Mano Singham doesn’t mince words. Yes, I think that Israel has too much influence on our government. We should be allies, but we ought to call them out when they screw up.

Other topics
Friendly atheist teaches math in high school. Here he talks about an incident in which a parent complained about his blog.

Math fail: someone thinks that a penalty of 1/6’th of his wealth is too harsh. A judge agrees, and so makes the penalty 1/5’th. The judge wasn’t being sarcastic.

Science Some day, we might be able to “import” data into the mind. If that seems strange, just think of all of the relative recent events in which a public official
“recalled” stuff that wasn’t true:
Arizona Governor
Republican candidate for Senate
Democratic candidate for Senate
Democratic candidate for President

Republican President

Ronald Reagan was an inveterate teller of anecdotes. He loved to tell people stories both about himself and others. The problem is that so many of these stories weren’t just filled with inconsistencies, many of them were outright lies. As a perfect example, consider the story that was particularly fond of telling in his later years about being part of the film crew present at the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. Now, this isn’t simply a case of mixing up facts, thinking he was one place when in reality he was at another nearby. Ronald Reagan never left the shores of America during the entirety of World War II!

Yet few people apparently ever had trouble believing his creative memory. It can only be assumed that Ronald Reagan himself must at some subconscious level have believed in the lies; if you believe them, it isn’t lying.

Yes, I’ve misremembered things and so did the late Stephen Jay Gould; in fact one of his stories was about false memories.

Economy Robert Reich predicts a double-dip recession; the middle class just doesn’t have any money to spend.

Yes, the last month’s job numbers were confounded by lots of census jobs, and private sector job growth remains stagnant (plus 40,000). Still, we are better off than we were under President Bush.

Yesterday, we had a quick drop in the stock market. A friend of mine explains why:

When James Angel wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission just over a month ago, he made a prescient point. “With so much activity driven by automated computer systems, there is a risk that something will go extremely wrong at high speed,” the associate professor of finance at Georgetown University warned the US equity market’s main regulator in a letter sent on April 30.

It took only six days for the prediction to come true.

Point counter point: Is it appropriate to build a Muslim center (with a mosque) near ground zero?


Counter point

Ed Brayton:

Here’s conservative hypocrite Andrew McCarthy arguing that the government should not allow an Islamic center (they keep calling it a mosque, but it’s a larger center and a mosque is only one part of it) to be built a couple blocks from the site of the 9/11 attack. He actually justifies it with a ridiculous tu quoque:

There are 2300 mosques at least in the United States, by contrast, in mecca and medina, there are not only no Christian churches, no synagogues, there are no non-Muslims, they’re closed cities. It would be a monument to intolerance on sacred ground.

He then bizarrely claims that allowing the center to be built would be an example of “Islamic supremacism” — while actively arguing that the government should allow religious groups of all kinds to own property and use them for their own purposes except for Muslims.

I have to agree with “counter point” here. Sure, I find Islam to be absurd, but then again, I find all of the major religions to be absurd. These systems only become tolerable when their adherents start using their texts symbolically (as do most educated Christians). If Muslims want to live here and obey our laws and respect freedom of speech, great! Welcome! Those who don’t should be treated the same way that Christians who don’t respect our laws or freedoms are treated (e. g., those who murder doctors).

June 5, 2010 Posted by | atheism, Barack Obama, Democrats, economy, education, hillary clinton, mathematics, Middle East, mind, morons, neuroscience, political humor, politics, politics/social, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, resume, social/political, superstition, world events, WTF | Leave a comment