First, thanks for all the advice on hosting sites yesterday. I still haven’t decided, but your recommendations have helped (and are helping) me refine wants and needs for the new site. Right now it’s between HostGator and Hawk Host (recommended by Tom Knapp and Brad R, respectively) and HostWinds (not recommended by anybody but coming up to the top on a lot of my criteria).
Attended an event yesterday at which the Republocrats and the Democans had competing back-to-back booths. Nice high wall between them to avoid riots among competing factions of statists, but still amusing placement.
It was obvious that the poor volunteers were being barraged with protests against their presidential candidates. At the first anti-Hillary remark, the chief Dem volunteer launched into an obviously rehearsed spiel about how desperately — desperately! — important the downticket races were: “I understand you not wanting to v*te for Clinton, but look, we have these vital county commissioner races, and boy are they ever tight. You should still v*te, you know. You wouldn’t want the Rs to win, would you?”
The volunteers on the R side of the barrier took a different tack: “Okay,” said the first one, “we don’t like Trump very much, either. But the thing is, with Hillary, you already know what you’re getting. With Trump, at least there’s hope.” She clasped her hands as if in desperate prayer, “And we have to have hope, don’t we?”
“Don’t forget those Supreme Court justices,” a second volunteer reminded.
But the R’s didn’t have any “Hillary for Jail” bumper stickers. Alas. So I walked out into the blazing sunshine and let politics burn off my skin.
Finally, a ray of sanity — and actual thinking — from somewhere in academia. The University of Chicago, in the voice of its dean of students, informs incoming freshmen:
You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
The documentary Of Dogs and Men (originally known as Puppycide when it crowdsourced funds a couple of years ago), is available online and will soon be on DVD.
The trailer is intense. Though I donated to the fundraiser, I’m not sure I’ll be able to bear watching the completed film.
I’m glad to know it’s finally made it out, though.
And happy birthday to Linux. Linus Torvalds’ little hobby project turns 25 this year.
Interesting study in perceptions of risk. (H/T TF)
People have become hysterical about protecting children against the nearly non-existent risks of normal, healthy things like walking home from school or playing without eternal supervision. The moral outrage is often absurd to the point of calling the cops over nothing.
So researchers looked at the “moral outrage” aspect, testing subjects’ perception of risk to children based on parents’ alleged motivation for leaving their offspring alone. Unsurprisingly, they found subjects perceived kids to be in greater danger when (for example) a parent left a child alone to visit a lover than when a parent left a child alone to tend to some necessity. But overall, a lot of moral judgment prevailed even when real danger was minimal.
The researchers seem quite sane and sensible and concerned about the criminalization of ordinary activities. Good for them. Interesting read.
OTOH, is there really anything irrational about perceiving that a child is in greater danger in situation X, Y, or Z based solely on a parent’s motivation for leaving the kid alone? A parent who leaves a child alone to visit a lover, buy drugs, or have a drink in a bar does put a child in greater danger. Maybe not in any given moment, but in general. Because they’re probably poor parents.
Finally, here’s a long but fascinating rumination on the terrifying airport shooting … that wasn’t. By someone who was there and who observed the behavior of the dangerously panicked crowd from the inside.