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Saturday links

  • Yeah. Because nobody needs an AR for personal or home defense.
  • Famous tech institute suppresses student dissent by enforcing non-existent policy. Caught in the act, they then turn around write the restrictive policy after the fact.
  • Cops claim it was okay to murder an innocent man (in a wrong-house raid) because he was an illegal immigrant and therefore had no constitutional rights. Have these guys actually ever read the BoR, and especially its preamble?
  • This Florida orangutan, OTOH, has human rights. (Via Wendy McElroy)
  • The NTSB concludes the Boeing 737-Max wasn’t designed for humans.
  • I consider all airliners (and airports) not designed for humans. But if I ever fly again, I hope I can fly Japan Airlines, which has the world’s first seating plan to avoid small children. Every damn time I used to fly, I’d get seated in the screaming baby section.
  • Does anybody care? Lupron, the drug being given to block puberty in children who think they may be trans, has killed over 6,000 adults and caused non-lethal adverse reactions in many more.
  • I’m a bit behind in posting this, but it’s too good (in a very bad way) not to link: The Passion of St. iGNUcius — about the outrageous SJW persecution of deranged genius Richard Stallman. (H/T TSO)
  • When you’ve finally gotten used to the idea of poop transplants, along come vaginal fluid transplants — also for the purpose of introducing healthy microbiomes. (Warning: The article contains eye-rollingly bad puns and double entendres.)
  • How amateur video is helping scientists understand tsunamis.


  1. maDDtraPPer
    maDDtraPPer September 28, 2019 12:39 pm

    The screaming baby section has been known as the Cockpit for a long time especially in a unionized airline. :))

  2. s
    s September 28, 2019 1:11 pm

    I thought the cockpit was the section that alternated between intense boredom and “scream like a little girl.” 😉

  3. -s
    -s September 28, 2019 1:13 pm

    The one ray of hope in the sad tale of Richard Stallman’s persecution is that he will never notice, or care.

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 28, 2019 1:51 pm

    I want a seating plan to avoid service snakes!

  5. jed
    jed September 28, 2019 5:21 pm

    Actually, I’m quite sure that Stallman has “noticed”, since he resigned from his positions at MIT and FSF.

    I have been, of course, aware that Stallman possesses an extraordinary intelligence, and that those “off the charts” folks often have difficulty relating to the rest of the world. And Stallman has never really come across well to anyone other than major geeks. I hadn’t known that he was that far off in the weeds though. However, I suspect that he does retain enough self-awareness to care about this particular situation. Likely, however, not in the same way that most would expect.

    I enjoyed reading that article. I feel a certain amount of confirmation bias, and maybe some schadenfreude as well, because I remember the days when people wrote elegant, efficient code, in part because we had to. It’s part of the reason I struggle with the notion of returning to the world of development, because it’s become a world of interlocked complexity, and filled with misguided abstraction. (Yes, I do know some very good people who still work in the field, and I sometimes wonder how they still do it.)

  6. Jorge
    Jorge September 28, 2019 7:19 pm

    I know Richard personally. I first met him in 1984. He had been a guest in my home, in NYC before I was married, in Singapore and in Costa Rica. Annie, my late wife, thought he was the weirdest person I ever had over, but she understood why I liked him.

    The last time we communicated was about 5 years ago.

    The article is spot on in many ways. It is certainly true that the world of software we know today would not exist without him and he is socially inept. And yeah, his code is just beautiful. A joy to read. I learned more about programming from reading his code than just about anywhere else.

    While I’m sure he would bristle at the comparison he is very much like Ayn Rand in that he make a strong, unequivocal, moral case for Free Software. Rand would probably spin in her grave. Yet I see them very similar. Morality is at the foundation of what both did.

    Despite his resignation from MIT and the FSF I hope he remains active. He still has much to contribute.

  7. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson September 29, 2019 6:00 am

    I’m a computer user, not a geek. I follow instructions and can get it to do some things that I need, but beyond that I’m one of those guys who the real techies roll their eyes at when I complain that the damned thing doesn’t work.

    That all being said, I got a history lesson from a software geek once. I had mentioned how I used a system for back-office retail merchandising that was designed in 1985 (DOS based) that was fast, accurate, and allowed for very efficient drill-down from a total company report to an individual item at an single store, but that the very expensive system we were currently using (an Oracle product) could not achieve in the 2010’s. The biggest problem is the slooooow response to an inquiry. He explained to me that a lot of pre-thought went into software design in the 1980’s…because it had to. I remember that we ran the entire company on less than 1 gig. He called it ‘elegant’. Today, he said, was all about a rush-to-market-fix-it-later mentality that was so outrageously complex that it required huge amounts of memory to operate.

    Sometimes it’s hard to define progress.

  8. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 29, 2019 2:23 pm

    Back in the day (1980s) I bought Microsoft Word 1.0, because I could write a document with enough words for a novel. (The word processor that came with my Macintosh had a word limit that barely made a short story.)

    The program came on a 400k diskette. (400 kilobytes.) There was a separate disk with a spellcheck. You loaded the program disk into one of your Mac’s drives, and an empty disk into the other to put the novel on.

    Hard drives of the era were like $100/megabyte. The user manual (remember those) for my copy of Aldus PageMaker suggested I might ought to have one for its files. My first one was 20 megabytes.

    It worked just fine.

    I would really love to have a come-to-Jesus with the genius at Microsoft, who thought up the idea that MS Word, a program designed expressly for people who read and write, needed a fast-food-joint-cash-register graphical icon ribbon interface instead of menus.

  9. maDDtraPPer
    maDDtraPPer September 30, 2019 1:05 am

    Just read the Lopez article. I agree that they should not be charged – in the USA. Send them to where Lopez was from they deserve a prison in Mexico or Honduras. Sad.

  10. pcs
    pcs September 30, 2019 6:12 am

    AbbVie cares. AbbVie markets Lupron in the United States and Canada. It generates about $800 million in revenues from Lupron each year. Some years back they were caught giving away free samples of Lupron and then helping physicians get reimbursement for the drug.

    When I followed the link in the article to the FAA database on adverse reactions and searched for Lupron Depot, the kind given to adults, it reported 5,398 serious cases and 1,231 deaths from 2012 through June 30. For all years it reported 1,574 deaths.

    Whether it is 6,000 deaths or 1,500 it is certainly a very dangerous drug. Despite what the article says, it is NOT “useful for treating prostate cancer.” It was approved for palliative care, as it temporarily relieves the severe pain associated with prostate cancer that has spread to the bone. But Lupon invariably fails, in 2 years on average.

    The data supporting the use of Lupron for treating endometriosis is almost non-existent. It is still a major money maker for both Abbvie and the doctors that charge for injecting it.

    The FDA database only contains reports from doctors and others who bother to file them. Lupron has devastating effects on the body, and physicians prescribing Lupron generally dismiss them or treat them with yet more drugs.

    Simplistic doctors believe that Lupron simply stops the production of androgens. But androgen receptors are located throughout the brain and the nervous system, on the heart, in GI system, in fat cells, in immune cells, in muscle, the pancreas, the gallbladder, the liver, everywhere. Hormones activate or deactivate what are called signal transduction pathways, essentially message lines. Those messaging lines tell the cell to do something. Lupron affects all of those cells, not just cancer or those associated with endometriosis.

    Death from a drug is called a “Grade 5 adverse event.” The scale runs from Grade 1 – Mild, to Moderate, Severe, Disabling or life-threatening, and death.

    A patient who exhibits “multiple grade 3 toxicities” is almost never reported to the FDA. Most of the deaths caused by Lupron are due to heart attacks, strokes, severe depression and suicide. They don’t kill right away, so they aren’t reported. All of those effects are well documented, but the money is just too good. AbbVie cares, and that’s what matters.

  11. Jolly
    Jolly September 30, 2019 8:23 am

    Software engineer here – yeah, developers have gotten really lazy since most projects don’t require memory management ( that’s taken care-of FOR you ). And, if it screws-up – just restart, right? The mention of “Agile” development is anathema to real engineers. He was wrong about a team’s IQ – it’s actually the lowest IQ in the team divided by the number of people in the team + managers. It approaches zero, believe me. Another problem is that young engineers tend to jump on ANY fad that comes along. There are so many “cool” free tinker-toys, that they hop around like bunnies, never staying in one place long. But, the MAJOR problem is that they don’t have to “eat their own dog food” – which means they don’t USE the stuff they create. If they had to, perhaps they’d reduce the pain level some.

  12. larryarnold
    larryarnold September 30, 2019 10:36 am

    Note that the apartment invasion video, from checking through the peephole to regrouping, lasts 40 seconds. That’s 2/3 minute.

    Time flies when SHTF.

  13. Monica Kelp
    Monica Kelp October 2, 2019 3:52 am

    This hype over Lupron/Depo-Lupron is profoundly anti-libertarian on many levels, but gets away with it because the targeted group, sex-changes, are both powerless and distasteful. From the article, they’re not the ones dying from using this drug.

    But since when did libertarians think it was all right to police what other people put into their bodies? A drug with the usual package insert and warnings, prescribed by the family’s chosen physician — by what right does State or society interject themselves into this transaction, any more than they already have?

    Likewise, the young patients for whom the drug delays puberty; this is really none of our business, unless you think you have greater say over a child’s life than the parents and the child themselves. We might find it unaesthetic; it may be counter to our personal beliefs; we may even feel it is detrimental to our notion of society as a whole — but it’s not our damn business, no more than smoking weed or tobacco, no more than other people’s tattoos or religious beliefs.

    I have been noticing the demonization of these people for some time; in part, it appears to be a reaction to the promotion of their cause — or what is perceived to be their cause — by the political Left. In part, it’s thanks to edge cases like that yahoo in Canada who keeps showing up in newsfeeds — with no little justification — as a predatory boogyman. But this is a tiny sliver of the population, something less than one-tenth of a percent, without political power or economic power in their own right. They’re a convenient scapegoat, to be kicked out of the military to make political points and generally used as a “bloody shirt” by both sides whenever convenient. Most of us, if we think of them at all, picture something like RuPaul and not the respected musician Wendy Carlos.

    Let’s see, demonized, excluded, cynically used to score political points — remind you of any other demographic groups?

    I read a lot of “alternative history” these days and authors working in the genre often ring changes on WW II and the years before and after. I’m starting to see some chilling parallels, and the polarizing of politics in the U.S., the increasing inability of even “freedomista” types to let other people be, is starting to worry me. We’re swimming in cultural currents without even seeing them, swimming into very dangerous waters, one tiny bit at a time. –And quite often, we’re doing so “for the children.” Not ours, but our neighbors. Tending to your own knitting and letting those lunatics across the street tend theirs is falling out of fashion.

  14. Claire
    Claire October 2, 2019 8:23 am

    Monica Kelp — I’ve been planning on writing more about the topic of trans for quite a while. Your comment has got me organizing my thoughts.

    For the moment, just let me observe that expressing an opinion about something is a far cry from either interfering with others’ lives or demanding that the government do so.

    Also, in the case of Lupron used to block puberty, we’re not just talking about what people put into their own bodies, but what parents are being pressured (by teachers, doctors, sometimes government agencies, and the general cultural climate) to put into their children’s bodies without anyone being fully informed of potential consequences — which is quite a different thing.

    The existence of trans people and their personal choices is in itself no big deal; I agree. To each his or her own as usual. But the issue is much broader than that and affects everything from how biology is taught to what grammar and vocabulary the rest of us are “allowed” to use (or compelled to use).

  15. Monica Kelp
    Monica Kelp October 2, 2019 12:39 pm

    Did you catch yourself, Claire, waving that “for the children” flag, and putting your own opinions ahead of that of the parents and the child? Our default assumption (insofar as we act on it) must surely be that they know what’s best for themselves — or we are no better than any other statist, trying to run other people’s lives.

    “How biology is taught” — in State schools, sure, and why are kids whose parents don’t want them encountering that sort of thing putting them in State schools? You’ve going to get the currently fashionable orthodoxy there, count on it.

    As for vocabulary: It’s polite to call people what they want to be called, and we are compelled to respect that choice to the precise degree that we respect that their opinion that their religion is the only true and correct one, that their spouse is attractive and their children are clever: one goes along with the other person’s ludicrous BS as a matter of form and social lubrication, not conviction, or so Sam Clemons told me.

    If our philosophy only applies to those who are safely and comfortably “normal,” what real use is it? Point to the force or fraud you’re having trouble with on this topic — and remember that mere difference of opinion does not constitute fraud.

  16. Claire
    Claire October 2, 2019 4:49 pm

    Of course I put my own opinions above those of people I think are being foolish. But I don’t compel those I disagree with, nor do I advocate having anyone else compel them on my behalf.

    OTOH sometimes force, deception, or threats are used against families of sexually confused adolescents or pre-adolescents to gain compliance with PC agendas.

    I hope to write more on this subject in a blog post, and for now we may just have to agree to disagree.

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