Posted November 3rd, 2008 in Politics. Tags: No Equations.
Before I begin, I should note that I feel even dumber writing about politics than physics because I find politics to be much more confusing than physics. This is mostly due to how hard it is to get unbiased information (not to mention recognizing my own biases and trying to compensate for them). Also, there isn’t a clear “measure of success” analogous to experimental constraints placed on theoretical predictions that can be used to compare different policies. Finally, separating policy effects from other socio-economic factors is generally difficult if not impossible. As a result, one personality trait that I dislike in leaders is unquestioning certainty in the righteousness of their own actions and political positions. I want leaders to have the introspective critical thinking skills needed to see the flaws in their own ideas, the objectivity to recognize good points raised by their opponents and the humility to admit it. (more…)
Posted November 13th, 2008 in Politics. Tags: Conversation, No Equations.
The following question about Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) was posed on Slashdot by laxcat:
Would someone please explain what exactly is wrong with DRM? If you have a problem with the concept of copyrights in general, then I can understand. But is there anyone out there that is cool with copyrights, but thinks DRM is bad?
I’m not trying to be an apologist for the corporations. I know they don’t care about the art or the artist, only money. That’s a given. But do they not have a right to protect their intellectual property? Are the detractors of DRM against the concept of intellectual property altogether?
The way I see it there is nothing wrong with the concept of DRM, only with the abuse of DRM. Is this a “slippery slope” argument?
I’m serious in my plea here. Someone please fill me in on what I am missing!
I couldn’t resist answering, and the ensuing discussion quickly became… lively. (more…)
Posted April 25th, 2009 in Politics. Tags: No Equations, Religion.
Many issues in American politics confuse me, but the widespread opposition to gay marriage truly boggles my mind. In a bizarre turn of events, California banned same-sex marriage, then Iowa struck down a similar ban. Until just recently, the U.S. was one of the few western nations that refused to decriminalize homosexuality. Miss California became a GOP star last week because of her opinion on this issue. My personal reaction, on the other hand, was similar to Jon Stewart’s: (more…)
Posted October 24th, 2008 in Politics. Tags: No Equations.
I’m often confused by other peoples’ political positions. For example, I’ve quoted a position that confuses me below. I believe that this statement wasn’t made in jest and may in fact be a widespread opinion- at least in the United States. If you agree with the quote below, please help me to become less dumb by explaining the reasoning that would lead someone to hold this position.
After 9/11, Gore would have made some big talk in front of the U.N. about terrorist groups. But the U.N. would have done exactly what it did do: nothing. The terrorists would have seen us as unwilling to defend ourselves and would have made subsequent attacks on us. This cues more rhetoric from Gore and eventually he and the U.N. would try to negotiate a truce with the terrorists, which would have given them “legitimate” status and guaranteed more attacks in the future.
I can’t confidently say what Gore would’ve done after 9/11. Frankly, I’m not even sure that (more…)