11-1-14 Hodgepodge

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Truth vs. Epithets

Via Michael Hurd comes the following quote from an ex-Moslem regarding terrorism:

We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people.

I believe our people [Islamic believers] are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings.

The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling.
For an interesting rhetorical and epistemological contrast, compare this with the words and underlying thought processes of the Reverend Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, who keynoted an event for the Students for Justice [sic] in Palestine:
"Part of the understanding, a framework for understanding the ways in which Palestinians and African Americans exist in the same way is to be invited into a kind of [inaudible] community of niggers," Sekou said. "In this context, Palestinians are very much niggers."

"In Palestine," he went on to say, "I responded physically in my body to the [Israel Defense Forces] the same way I would respond to the [New York City Police Department], that my body responded that way because I fundamentally understood the level of repression that Palestinians were living under was very similar" to minority communities in the United States. [bowdlerization in original removed]
One speaker relies on evidence and uses words to appeal to reason; the other merely indulges in emotion and whim, and uses words only to intimidate others by stirring up some element of fear -- of being alone in opposing a crowd, be it in the form of not belonging or of being labeled a "racist".

Weekend Reading

"Though many fears are justified and help keep us alive, irrational and unfounded fears are a drain on our psychological well-being and a waste of our valuable time." -- Michael Hurd, in " Avoidance NOT the Way to Curb Irrational Fear!" at The Delaware Wave

"We are heading towards financial and political ruin because we have accepted ideas - philosophic and moral ideas - that undercut free enterprise and the productive people who sustain it." -- David Sokol, in "Free Enterprise Will Crumble if We Fail to Make the Moral Case for Capitalism" at City A.M.

"The lesson I draw from the events in Dallas is that in the fluid situation that characterizes this outbreak, it is necessary to continually integrate new information from the frontlines into response plans, public messaging and clinical care." -- Amesh Adalja, in "Ebola Lessons We Need To Learn From Dallas", at Time

My Two Cents

For as much publicity as Ayn Rand has gotten over the past few years, she has an undeserved reputation as merely a political thinker. Sokol's piece does a good job of showing that political ideas arise from deeper premises, and that anyone who values Rand's political opinions should think more deeply than politics.

Modeling the Pot Luck

From "Game Theory: The Potluck Dilemma":
For the purposes of this model, a complete game will be considered a single gathering with enough food ("S1") to satiate all attendees ("D1"). Goldring et al. introduced the premise of too much food--a supply-side problem--in their King's Chef Scenario. However, this problem does not apply to the Potluck Dilemma because we all know that mooch Keith will steal the leftovers ("e") and try to get the dog hilariously drunk. Therefore, when S1=D1+e, a single game will be complete.
Heh! This brings back memories of grad school and the pot luck dinners I used to attend back then.

-- CAV

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