First Looks category archive
Kyle D. Killian, writing as Psychology Today Blogs, analyzes the attraction of conspiracy theories. A snippet (emphasis in the original):
On occasion, conspiracy theories can be based on a rational analysis of data. But most of the time, this is not the case. Human beings have an amazing capacity to detect “meaningful patterns in the world around us and to make causal inferences” (Christopher French, Scientific American (link is external)). Humans also can see patterns and causality when they are not really there. (Statisticians refer to spurious correlations—statistical associations that appear significant between two variables, but are artifacts, not really real. Our shoe size does not determine our mathematical ability, but they are significantly correlated because shoe size is associated with age). Conspiracy theories are irresistible to some folks due to two tendencies of our species: confirmation bias and projection. In confirmation bias, we give more value to evidence that supports our beliefs and ignore evidence that conflicts with those beliefs. In projection, persons who subscribe to conspiracy theories tend to spread rumors or be suspicious of others’ motives—in other words, engage in conspiratorial behavior (French (link is external)). Since you yourself engage in such behaviors, it seems more than likely that other people are doing these very things, too.
Comments appear to be broken.
The problem appears to be fixed.
I have nothing but praise for my hosting provider’s tech support.
I wore a headset for six years. I know competent support when I see it.
I received a report that comments are still broken. I visited the site from a VM of Devuan without logging in and was able to post a comment as a visitor. I have also received a spam comment, which was quarantined by Akismet, as well it should have been. The matter is still under investigation.
I received a comment from a visitor today, 2018-03-29. I am concluding that comments are working again. Tomorrow I shall “unstick” this post and it shall no longer be at the top of the page. If you still have difficulties posting comments, try clearing your cache.
The email link on the sidebar seems to be malfunctioning. I’ll get to it this week. (I’m not in a hurry because it’s rarely used and, when it is used, it’s normally spam or, worse, SEO “consultants,” the carrion crows of the inter webs. As I’ve mentioned before, this is a hobby and a learning experience, and I shall not allow it to discombobulate me.) In the interim, if you must needs tell me something, just comment on this post.
They will be performing my favorite bit of music, more favorite than anything by the Airplane or Cannonball Addelery or Benny Goodman or even Eydie Gorme (I admit it. I’ve had a crush on Eydie Gorme since I was a teen): Rimsky-korsakov’s marvelous Scheherazade. It’s the only classical piece I enjoy more than anything by Beethoven.
They nailed it.
The Inky reports that Donald Trump’s tariffs, if enacted, are likely to destroy the last U. S. company making kegs and making them with American steel to boot. A nugget:
“Tariffs will inadvertently drive the price of American steel higher,” said Czachor. “Within a year, we might have to raise our prices so our kegs cost 30 percent more than an import. That puts the whole business in jeopardy.”
This will be a pivotal year for American Keg, which Czachor said is losing between $50,000 and $100,000 every month.
But if the price of imported steel is inflated with a defacto tax, shouldn’t that make American-made products more competitive?
No. And the reason is counterintuitive, said Czachor. He believes the cost of American steel will rise while “American businesses will suffer,” he said.
“If there were no tariffs, that would keep the domestic steel prices lower,” Czachor said. “We understand the administration is trying to solve a problem, but it is not holistically getting addressed.”
Jay Bookman calls BS on Georgia Republicans and their attempt to punish Delta Airlines by taking away an (unneeded–Delta is quite profitable) tax break. A snippet (emphasis in the original):
“Being a conservative in America today means being ridiculed and belittled by many elements of the news media, Hollywood, and – increasingly – corporations who feel the need to take positions on social issues.”
Cry me a river, snowflake.