The ALA tries to destroy the concept of diversity

The American Library Association has made explicit what a lot of us have suspected: that to a certain mindset that loves to throw the word around, “diversity” isn’t a measure of the variation in a group, but a particular group of people. It gives this definition:

The American Library Association (ALA) defines diversity as being “those who may experience language or literacy-related barriers; economic distress; cultural or social isolation; physical or attitudinal barriers; racism; discrimination on the basis of appearance, ethnicity, immigrant status, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression; or barriers to equal education, employment, and housing”.

Even Humpty Dumpty would never imagine he could make the word “diversity” mean “people who have certain characteristics.” The point isn’t to define the meaning of the word, but to destroy it by turning it into an anti-concept. See the comments on my earlier post for how this works.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General. Tags: , . Comments Off on The ALA tries to destroy the concept of diversity

Trumpism as alternate reality

Trump can tell the most absurd lies without suffering in the polls. When he declared that “Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it,” it was obvious that he is a totally dishonest person. No one who had followed the news or Trump’s campaign at all could believe it.

Or could they? It depends on what you mean by “believe.” To a rational or mostly rational person, belief means regarding a claim as conforming to reality. If a friend says, “I went shopping yesterday,” I believe her if I think she went shopping yesterday. My only evidence may be that she’s honest and has no motive to lie, but it’s still the reality that counts.

But there’s another kind of belief, where it’s not reality but the authority making the statement that governs. If there’s a disagreement between the authority and reality, it’s reality that’s wrong. This is the belief of the “true believer.”
Read the rest of this entry »

Cruise on a ghost (writer) ship

Yesterday evening I went on a Boston Harbor cruise with some fellow ghostwriters — a haunted cruise, obviously. The host was WriterAccess, which I do some writing for. It was very nice to put faces on what’s normally a faceless operation, and to talk with other writers on how they use the site. I learned a few things as well as having an enjoyable evening.
Read the rest of this entry »

Manchester, NH police go dark on radio

The police department of Manchester, NH, has started encrypting routine radio communication. According to a press release, the aims are “to provide an updated radio system, protect the public’s privacy, and protect our officers as they work day in and day out to provide a service for the city of Manchester.” They did this without public discussion and admitted to it only after people noticed.

The first reason is plain nonsense. Getting new radios isn’t a reason to encrypt.

Manchester, NH seal“Protecting the public’s privacy” isn’t much better. If the police conduct a raid or arrest someone, that’s a public matter. Hiding these actions from public knowledge doesn’t protect the privacy of the people hauled off to jail; arrests are on the public record. It protects the cops from public scrutiny.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General. Tags: , . Comments Off on Manchester, NH police go dark on radio

How can writers find actual facts in research?

This morning I looked at a news item as a possible source for a paid article on computer tech. The story is on proposed energy reduction regulations for computers in California. It took me a minute to notice how short it is on information.

It starts off: “California regulators moved a step closer on Friday to the first mandatory U.S. energy efficiency standards for computers and monitors…” That’s useful to know, but what will these standards be? The article doesn’t tell us anywhere. It tells us how much consumers will supposedly save, how much greenhouse gas emissions may decrease, how much power computers consume in California — but not what the regulations would mandate. Without knowing that, there’s no way to judge whether the regulations will achieve their aims and what other consequences they might have.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in writing. Comments Off on How can writers find actual facts in research?

Penn Jillette and liberalism

I wish everyone I know would watch this video by Penn Jillette. It opens on a silly note, but then gets into some very important points. He talks about atheists from Muslim countries who are stuck between the hostility of their own culture and Americans who hate them as “Muslims.” He distinguishes strongly between regarding an idea as wrong and hating the people who hold it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Colin Kaepernick has hurt people’s feelings!

Would Colin Kaepernick would have been kicked out of MidAmericon? He was “inciteful” and made people uncomfortable by deviating from the program. He committed the worst of sins in modern America: He hurt people’s feelings. In a time when people are supposed to not upset anyone, his rejection of polite acquiescence deserves applause.

He refused to stand up for the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a game. That shouldn’t have been a big deal. However, he’s stirred up some ugly outrage. The Santa Clara police union threatened to have cops leave football games unprotected because they don’t like Kaepernick’s socks. They portrayed police as pigs; the response showed that these particular cops deserve it. A stranger on Twitter told me he was buying a Kaepernick jersey in order to burn it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in General. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Colin Kaepernick has hurt people’s feelings!