Republicans and toilet paper

In the novel Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson includes a section (more or less unrelated to the main plot of the novel) describing a government "memo" about toilet paper. It is a brilliant bit of satire. The memo, for government employees, describes the problem of carefully tracking and regulating toilet paper usage at work, policies surrounding bringing toilet paper from home, sharing toilet paper in the office, and what may or may not be contributed to the "toilet paper pool." But there was one part of this satirical commentary that stood out to me more than any other, because it reminds me EXACTLY of how the Republican Party is acting these days.

Ukraine, Putin, the CIA, and the modern version of Game of Thrones

Instagram was the last place I expected to have a deep political conversation. But then, a Ukrainian guy I follow on there posted this picture, and all hell broke loose in the comments. I ended up going back and forth with someone who turned out to be not only pro-Putin, but outright "anti-Western Society". It was enlightening, but surreal, and if nothing else it makes me grateful that these international social media allow us to have conversations with people of all types, from all backgrounds. So here is a fragment of the conversation, just for you to think about. What do you think? Does he have a point? Is he just a product of pro-Russian propaganda? Or is it more complicated than that? I'll let you decide...

The emotional release of bomb-throwing

When the Supreme Court of the United States handed down their decision on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case yesterday, ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby, people on the internet had two options. On the one hand, they could take time to carefully read the exact wording of the decision, find out what legal experts had to say about the implications, weigh information from a variety of sources, and then give a considered reaction. Or, they could slam out histrionic knee-jerk reactions based solely on the title of the decision and their own assumptions, typing as quickly as possible to get their voices on record as soon as humanly possible. You can guess what most people did. Personally, I actually did a little of both... and the fun I had during my "I'm going to yell and scream and troll!" phase was both enlightening, and a bit scary.

1700 Year Old Bible Confirms That Jesus Was 8000 Feet Tall And His Cross Could Talk

A short while back, the government of Turkey told the world that they seized a book from smugglers that appears to be about 1500 years old. The book claims, among other things, that Jesus wasn't crucified, was not resurrected, and was a prophet but not the "son of God". The internet freaked out, with claims like "THE VATICAN IN AWE!" and suggestions that this will grievously disrupt the Christian church. All of that is wrong. The reality is, there are tons of 1800+ year old books about Jesus that say some of the most cracked-out weird-ass shit you've ever seen. So for fun, let's take a look as some examples.

Weird hangups about realism in science fiction

The sonic boom appears at the wrong time in "I am number four". The explosion of the Death Star is unrealistic. Those robots in Pacific Rim could never walk underwater like that. And the SR-71 can't hover. I don't know why Jon and I pick up on these little things when we watch science fiction movies. In some ways, of course, it's just a lark. It's fun. But in science fiction movies, I think there is actually an interesting question about why some things seem "fine", while others are not. What exactly determines what phenomena are part of the fictional universe, and what are just "bad physics"?

The problem with “Muslim religious extremists”

Whenever an Islamic extremist blows something up, or threatens to blow something up, or threatens to do any other act of terrorism, the headlines always include the term "Muslim extremist" or "Islamic terrorist" or some variation of those. Liberals have a problem with this, and it is often difficult for people who are not liberals to understand why. There actually is a reason, although it rarely gets discussed in a detailed or nuanced way. It has to do with the psychology of conversation, the way people understand language, and the radically different way that liberals and conservatives think about the cause of terrorism.

What it is like to be a cat

I feel the most like a cat when I wake up late on a weekend. I roll over onto my side, fidget a little, and dab, dab, dab fluff the pillow. What is interesting about my behavior is that I've seen almost exactly the same thing in cats. In fact, there are a large number of behaviors that seem conscious and willful and "very human" that are actually completely stereotyped across a wide variety of mammals. This suggests that these behaviors could be primarily driven by biology, and not willful or conscious at all; and it opens up a number of questions about our own intuitions about will and consciousness, and how reliable they are.

Alright, so you were a fucking virgin! That’s not the point!

The Tudors is a brilliant television show about King Henry VIII, who reigned England from 1509 to 1547. King Henry VIII was a vibrant and scandalous figure, with many wives, many vices, and a personality as grandiose as that of any monarch. A great subject for both biography and fiction. The television show, as you might expect, gets some things right and some things wrong. You can see discussions about many of these things all over the internet. But there is one little tid-bit that I have not seen discussed other places: a passing exclamation that King Henry made during an argument...

The redemption of Smaug

I am afraid I am unable to reveal how the following manuscript fell into my possession. Ever since the initial anthropological work done by J.R.R. Tolkien on Middle Earth and the life of Smaug, almost 80 years ago, it has been almost impossible to publish research questioning the perspective that he laid down in his work. However, the following letter, transcribed here from a document found locked in a chest that was originally part of the treasure hidden under the Lone Mountain, completely undermines the dominant theoretical depiction of Smaug as nothing more than an evil and greedy creature.

Why do conservatives hate Obamacare?

This is a rough transcript of a conversation that I had with the man sitting next to me during a flight from North Carolina to Dallas. The main described himself as conservative, and I just couldn't resist: I had to bring up Obamacare. Now, I'm not saying that all conservatives are exactly like this guy, or even that all conservatives dislike Obamacare. However, I do think this conversation illustrates one of the biggest factors in conservative resistance to the Affordable Care Act... in a fairly dramatic way.

On Brendan Eich and anti-anti-gay bullying

In case you haven't heard, the story goes like this: Once upon a time there was a man named Brendan Eich. He co-founded Mozilla, the company first behind the Netscape browser and later behind the Firefox browser, and was one of the originators of the Javascript programming language. He also donated a bunch of money to the California Proposition 8 campaign, which had the goal of making gay marriage illegal in California. Recently, he was appointed to be the CEO of Mozilla. All hell broke loose, people protested, and he ended up resigning. The question of the day is: was he unfairly bullied out of office for his anti-gay beliefs?

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Some of your religious beliefs might be stupid

Based on the title, you're going to assume that this is just another religion-bashing article. It isn't. This article is about finding a way to deepen your faith by understanding that many people have faith, and not everyone agree with you. This means that one of the projects of faith should always be to understand your own relationship to the truth, as a human being who is flawed. In the end, that means that if you believe in God, the first step to deeper faith is understanding that your beliefs might be stupid.

High as in up? Or high as in big?

Do you believe in a higher power?

I. Foititus: Do you believe in a higher power? Didaskalus: Higher? In what sense? Foititus: Do you believe in a power greater than yourself? Didaskalus: Absolutely! Gravity. Electromagnetism. That force that holds protons together in the nucleus of an atom… Foititus: No, I mean do you believe in a will, or a consciousness that is […]

Art-naming becomes a psychology experiment

I added my newest digital painting to my DeviantArt profile under the title “Migration”, although I wasn’t totally satisfied with that name: Migration by GregStevens on deviantART So, I decided to turn to social media to help me find something better. I posted the image to my Facebook profile, with this comment: “I have not […]

The universe

Does science explain the origin of the universe?

I. Foititus: Which does a better job of explaining the origin of the universe, religion or science? Didaskalus: Neither. Foititus: You surprise me, Didaskalus! Knowing you as I do, I was certain that you would choose science! Didaskalus: Hmm… maybe I misunderstood your question. What sort of explanation do you think that science has for […]

These are things that have a purpose.

Everything happens for a reason

Didaskalus and Foititus discuss what it means to say that everything happens for a reason, and whether it is true. Understanding what people really mean when they say that "everything happens for a reason" requires peeling back some layers of meaning, understanding different types of "cause", and understanding how causes work in large and complex systems.

You have no right to be offended by “Happy Holidays” (VIDEO)

I made a video about the whole issue of "Happy Holidays" versus "Merry Christmas". It's actually kind of dark, but I think it's something that needed to be said. This video is a first for me in a few ways. It's the first time I've been this negative or aggressive with a political message - usually I opt for being sarcastic or funny in some way. This is also my first video doing the "talking to the camera" style of monologue. So check it out, and let me know what you think. Is it too much? Does it get the point across?

What if the people are just wrong?

I hear this argument a lot recently: "Sure, the people want X or the polls say Y, but what if the people are just wrong?" We need to be honest about the answer to this question. In some ways, the fact that this question is cropping up is a symptom of the escalation of our rhetoric in American politics today, and the rhetorical division between differing sides in political debates. We when we reflect on our own cultural consciousness, there is a sense that we feel like the "other side" is alien and unknowable: not only do "those people" disagree with us, but we can never truly comprehend how they think. There is no hope of compromise or intellectual discourse, because the other side is constantly being presented as though it is incomprehensible, baffling, and alien.

Obamacare is like my toilet

It’s hugely fashionable these days to make analogies between Obamacare and all kinds of things. So I will jump right on board: Obamacare is like my toilet, and I can explain why. Jon and I are remodeling our condo in Dallas, and as part of this project we bought a gorgeous one-piece dual-flush Kohler toilet […]

Sex and alcohol make you happier than kids and religion, study finds

The headline of this article, copied from the headline of a news article at MSN.COM, is a lie. It is 100% false, and MSN.COM should be sued. It’s an attention-getting lie, and it’s typical of the way media reports scientific findings. It is intended to generate page views on their “news” website. However, I find […]

Video interview with model Carson Nicely

Those of you who follow this blog know that I’ve done amateur video production on a number of projects, including political videos for Liberal Bias Video and random weird stuff for my personal Youtube channel. Well, I’ve branched out again, and this time shot a funny “spoof” interview video for Kernel Magazine. I’m doing a […]

15 out of 16 people are completely wrong about this amazing fact!

You will never believe your eyes! … Really? You clicked on a link with that title? Are you a complete fucking moron? Why would you do that? Don’t you realize that titles like this one are the types of titles used by spammers and virus-distributors? (“OMG what are you doing in this video?” “Wow click […]

Don’t boycott ‘Ender’s Game’; donate to the Trevor Project instead

Konrad Juengling asked for my opinion about his article about Boycotting “Ender’s Game”. This is a topic that I feel strongly about, so I’m putting it here. Dear Konrad, I agree with you 100% when it comes to your opinion of Orson Scott Card as a human being. His own political and social beliefs are […]

In defense of Les Miserables (2012)

I didn’t see the 2012 movie of Les Misérables in the movie theaters. Although I tried to avoid reviews, because I did not want to be influenced, I did hear that many were disappointed. Specifically, people said that they were disappointed by the singing. Some people also complained about camera angles, and other miscellanea. But […]

The Kernel magazine is back!

The Kernel is back online, and this time I’m going to be writing even more for them! Please check it out when you get a chance, read my articles and give them some social media love! I’m so proud and honored that the people at The Kernel, and all of you who read my blog, […]

A letter to a Christian friend on the nature of God

Dear T*****, Thank you so much for your heartfelt letter, and for thinking of me after all of these years. I understand the love in your heart that motivated you to write to me and to share with me some of your deepest truths. Although you know that you and I do not stand eye-to-eye […]

Instinct Magazine

What I eat in a day: my diet plan for bodybuilding during bulking and cutting phases.

Usually I like to give people advice on diet based on what they already are eating, and what their goals are. There is no single diet that is correct for everyone. However, I also keep getting asked what my diet is, so here it is. A couple of notes before I go into it: First: […]

A response to Chris Krok on the topic of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin

Every radio commentator has been doing their own post-mortem on the Zimmerman trial today. I want to respond specifically to the discussion by Chris Krok, local Dallas radio host on WBAP. Why focus on Chris Krok? Because in some ways I think his reaction represents the real, typical, “reaction of the people”. The reaction of […]

What do liberals think of polygamy?

Conservatives love the “Gay marriage will lead to polygamy! Are you saying you really support polygamy?” argument.  Surprisingly, I rarely hear the intelligent, correct liberal response to this. Instead, I hear a lot of mealy-mouthed waffling.  Libertarians (and some liberals) say “Hell, yeah! There is nothing wrong with polygamy!” which doesn’t quite feel right to […]

Maybe it’s all just a joke.

This past week has put me in a cynical mood, but has also made me wonder: how many of our “long-held beliefs” might have originally been intended to be…. well, bullshit? Let me start at the beginning. People have a difficult time with satire. I experience this first-hand, since a lot of my online humor […]

Romance Poem #34

  Flowers are genitalia. I like to remind people of this for example, on Valentine’s day.   “Please accept these mutilated genitalia,” read my Valentine’s day card, “They remind me of you.”   To this day, I don’t know what went wrong.    

Making the “Young Gay Republicans” video

I’ve just published my newest political video on the Liberal Bias Youtube channel, and I think it is the best one yet! You can view the video right here, but if you want to do me a huge favor, I’d love it if you would actually go to the video on Youtube and show your […]

Rush Limbaugh’s subtle conspiracy theory

Rush Limbaugh, if nothing else, is good at rhetoric. He’s so good, he can get hordes of people believing in what is effectively a loopy conspiracy theory, without them even realizing it. Consider this excerpt, paraphrased from Rush’s radio show on June 12, 2013:   The entire motivation of the Democrat party, although they will […]

Islamists, Christianists, and Conservativists

As our politics in the United States get more radicalized and divided, there is a corresponding rise in use of ist labels that people use to point fingers at each other. When I first heard the term “Islamist”, I didn’t like it. For one thing, the people who seemed to delight in using the term […]

…but what about Obama phones?

“I just think it’s crazy, people without jobs, not working, and now the government is giving them free phones,” said the man at the dinner table. I did my best to answer him. “Well,” I said carefully, cognizant of the fact that I did not want the entire dinner to turn into a big debate, […]

Is it racist to be proud of White Culture?

The notion of “White Heritage” or “White Culture” is inherently racist, because “White” is not and never has been a cohesive historical cultural group. This is an important point: to say that you are proud of your Irish heritage or your German heritage or your British heritage makes sense. In those cases, there are thousands […]

The Green Man

The four-year-old girl looked at the one African American in the room, and said: “You’re not the same color as me!” An awkward silence descended instantly on the room. Every adult paused, wincing slightly. The tension was palpable. Glasses were held in mid air, as if nobody wanted to move, as they waited to find […]

Do real liberals demonize plastic surgery?

I’m going to let the following Facebook thread speak for itself.  This was all in response to the following image posted on the Being Liberal Facebook Page: Greg StevensWhy is “plastic surgery” included in this mix? What’s up with demonizing plastic surgery? Will you be demonizing tattoos, next? What a weird “Puritan” streak to see […]

The types of people who are types of people

Out at parties and bars and events, I meet many people who are Types of People, and who assume that other people are Types of People, too. This is disconcerting for me, since I am no Type of Person at all. It goes like this: “What are you doing later this evening?” “We’re going to […]

Expectations for the Ender’s Game movie

In November of 2013, one of my favorite science fiction novels of all time will be released as a big-budget movie. I’ve got very mixed feelings about this, which leaves open the question: Will I go see it? I first read the book Ender’s Game about 25 years ago. I was on a camping trip, […]

Making a gun video

I’ve now produced my second political satire video! It was about gun control, and involved a porn star, a realistic-looking fake gun, and a lot of driving. First, if you haven’t checked it out already, please watch the video. It’s only 2 minutes long, and you might even think it’s funny. It also would really […]

Where is the scientific data on the effects of child beauty pageants?

Are child beauty pageants damaging to children? Tons of people think so, because it seems to “make sense”. However, I have been strangely unable to find real scientific data back up the crusade some people seem to have against them. Now, I will be the first to admit: I’m not an expert in this field […]

sex and chromosomes : some stuff you didn’t know

1 in 60,000 women have one X and one Y chromosome.  They are still women. The ratio of women who have an X and a Y chromosome is much higher among actresses and fashion models than in the general population. If you are a heterosexual man, there’s a good chance you’ve lusted after a woman […]

Two month calorie and weight chart of my leaning process

As an experiment, I measured my calorie intake daily, and my weight three times a day, for two months while going through a “cutting phase” in my workout routine. The resulting chart is pretty interesting. First: Notice that I stepped down my calorie intake about 200 calories every two weeks.  My daily calorie intake is […]

My soul, and my computer’s soul

It’s easy for an atheist to dismiss the idea of “soul” when you assume that it means something like “ghost” or “spirit” or “translucent glowing thing like in the movies”. But what if it means something different? There are a lot of concepts that are interconnected with the concept the the “soul”, and some of […]

4 lessons I learned producing my first political satire video

I just produced my very first political satire video for my website! For anyone interested, I thought I would blog a little bit about what this experience was like, and my 4 big “lessons learned” from the experience. First, if you haven’t checked it out already, please watch the video. It’s only 3 minutes […]

Every argument about marriage equality, ever

1: P: Why are you against marriage equality? 2: C: Because marriage is between a man and a woman. 3: P: Why? 4: C: Because that’s what God wants. It says so in the Bible. 5: P: What about people who don’t believe in the Bible? 6: C: Marriage is a religious tradition. I know […]

Greg Stevens and Jacoby Morgan

5 Tips for the question: “Should I get a personal trainer?”

How to choose a personal trainer.

The dangers of a “good argument”

“Good arguments” can be vile things. They are a tool that smart people can use to never question themselves, and feel superior the whole time they are doing it. The core of the problem is this belief: “If I can come up with an argument for conclusion X that sounds logical, then that means I […]

Will Obamacare work?

On October 1, the Obamacare state-based health insurance exchanges open for business. It is on that day that the ultimate fate of the “Obamacare project” will be decided. What, specifically, will determine the fate of Obamacare? It won’t be votes in the House or the Senate.  It won’t be speeches made by politicians. It won’t […]

Good government is like good software: a developer’s perspective

I’d like you to consider the analogy, “Good government is like good software.” But specifically, I want you to look at it from the software developer’s point of view.     SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT When I was in college, classes on computer programming were very focused on theory and fundamentals. Nobody got to learn how to […]


Jon: Marmoset. Greg: Marmoset? Jon: What? Greg: Are you… would you like a marmoset? Jon: What’s a marmoset? Greg: It’s a tiny little furry… I don’t know. I think they’re related to monkeys. Jon: What are they for? Greg: For? I don’t know.  They’re cute. I think they hang out in trees. Jon: So why […]

Would you like to pay a Doctor Who tax?

Everyone has their own favorite “what if” scenarios when talking about taxes. I’d like to talk about a Doctor Who tax. In case you are not familiar, Doctor Who is a British science fiction television series that began in 1963, in black and white.  It has had its ups and downs, and was cancelled for […]

If you don’t want to be called a bigot, then don’t be one.

The U.S.A. Today article entitled “Gay marriage? These voices say ‘No’ and explain why” is hateful. I have no sympathy for bigots who feel that it is “mean” when they are called bigots. If you don’t want to be called a bigot, then there’s an easy solution: don’t be one. This is an ongoing trend […]

Eat the rich: why not a one-time wealth tax?

Even though the one-time wealth tax solution to the Federal Debt has recently been proposed by a minion of Satan, I’m beginning to be a fan. Maybe you can convince me not to be. Here is the basic concept behind the thing, with some numbers. The total wealth in the U.S is somewhere in the […]

Natural rights versus entitlements

Conservatives like to talk about the distinction between “natural rights” and “entitlements”. I’d like to take a look at that distinction, to see whether it’s really all that it’s cracked up to be. I will take as my case study an advertisement that I heard on the radio for Hillsdale College . The ad included […]

The constitution as a religious document

Why do some conservatives treat the constitution like a religious document? A comment yesterday by Mark Levin gave me a little insight. I think it has to do with a fear of relativism. Mark Levin was talking on his radio show about the reason why the Bill of Rights should be viewed as absolute and […]

Not-guilty by virtue of nuh-uh!

This is my rant about why traffic intersection cameras are awesome and you should love them, and if you do not like them then you are stupid and wrong.  You have been warned. There is literally no coherent argument against having cameras at intersections that will take a snapshot and give you a ticket if […]

Talking with a climate-change denier.

A complete transcript of my Twitter DM conversation with a climate change denier, and my attempt to get him to explain what evidence would convince him (if it were found) that man-caused climate change was actually happening. My attempt did not succeed.   GregStevens Mar 12, 2:42pm I’d actually love to have a real discussion […]

Soft drinks and fuzzy borders

We live in a world with ambiguity, which is why people with absolute, black-and-white ideologies always end up looking extreme. The latest case study? Soft drink regulation in New York City. Let’s start by being clear on what the law is about. It is very specific: places that serve drinks (not grocery stores) would be […]

The reason why presidents don’t say “never”

Rand Paul is an idiot and all of you liberals who are agreeing with his filibuster are idiots.  There, I said it. Now, let me explain why. Rand Paul asked whether it could ever be possible for the President to authorize a drone strike against American citizens on American soil who are not determined to […]

Vanity Fair

The view from 2007: a reminder

With all of today’s news about sequesters, debt ceilings, stock market record highs, unemployment stagnation, and all of the rest, it is interesting to look back what some people were writing in 2007 about “the future of the economy”. I found an article called “The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush”, published in Vanity Fair in […]

The Lady Gaga fans who hate Lady Gaga

There are plenty of you out there: you listen to her songs, you know the lyrics, and you dress like her to go to her concerts. And you hate everything she stands for. How do I know that you hate everything she stands for? Let me explain. I see you at the dance clubs.  I […]

What gender is your baby?

Of course gender matters in this world, and it would be stupid to say otherwise.  What baffles me isn’t that it matters, but the way that the issue seems to bother some people so much. A woman who is a friend of mine has an infant whom she likes to take with her when she […]

The problem with studying Republican brains

Mother Jones has yet another article about the differences between Democratic and Republican brains. This research is both interesting and completely useless. First, let me sum up the gist of the findings in the most accurate and least sensational way that I possibly can.  For details, the Mother Jones article has references and links, and […]

Are we Devils or Fools?

I have a theory that there are two types of people in the world: those who assume that other people are devils, and those who assume that other people are fools. The Devil and the Fool are two powerful archetypes that are engrained in our cultural consciousness. Both characters appear regularly and prominently in our […]

Is God a conspiracy theory?

Religious beliefs have a lot in common with paranoid “conspiracy theory” beliefs. It’s worth taking a look, and asking the question: Is God just one big conspiracy theory? First, let’s look at some of the superficial similarities between the most common religious beliefs and paranoid “conspiracy theory” types of beliefs. 1) There is something that […]

Gun regulation stops gun murders: true or false?

Does gun regulation stop gun murders? The answer is both “yes” and “no”. No, I’m not living in some kind of wacky Schroedinger universe. No, I’m not just trying to be diplomatic and “see both sides” of the issue. The problem is that the question itself can mean two completely different things, depending on how […]

The Silver One

This is the story of how I learned a valuable lesson about truth, family, and loyalty. It happened when I was very young. It was summer, and Charlie and I were playing on the small stretch of curb between our two houses. We were playing with matchbox cars, running them all over the rough terrain […]

playing hard-to-get vs. being hard-to-get

People struggle with the conflict between not “playing games” and not “being too eager”: the two mortal sins of the dating world. But there is a simple way to avoid both: get a life. I hate seeing people struggle with this issue. I’ve talked to people in their early 20’s and people in their late […]

Copernicus: scientist or magician?

Atheists and scientists love to cite Copernicus as a hero of science, who used logic and math to triumph over religious superstition. But it’s also possible he was just a sun-worshiping mystic. Now, let me be absolutely clear: the calculations of Copernicus were meticulous. His hypothesis that the planets moved around a stationary sun, rather […]

How not to be a shill

The internet makes shilling very easy, and it’s a perfectly normal and even accepted marketing and PR technique. But if you do it stupidly, you end up looking stupid. Being a “shill” means promoting someone or something while trying to present yourself as an impartial, unbiased consumer or observer. When a company that sells Widgety […]

Conversation with Chris Stedman on Faith and Faitheism

Greg Stevens [Greg]: I loved your book, Faitheist. I was raised by an atheist father and a Unitarian mother, and was taught that it is important to respect the important role that religion plays, and always has played, in society. So I often find myself in a similar situation as you: defending atheism when among […]

Are you a Ron or a Hermione?

Ron and Hermione are perfect archetypes: they represent the two equal and opposite ways that someone can be a “best friend”. Which kind of best friend are you? This idea struck me a while back, when I was re-watching the Harry Potter movies for the 378th time. Throughout the series, Harry Potter has two best […]

What if the government wanted to ban…

I finally found an argument against the assault weapons ban that makes sense. It is an argument I can empathize with and relate to, and it has nothing to do with either self-defense or liberty. Mike and I were working out together, and discussing gun control. Specifically, we were talking about how stupid and crazy […]

Edward Kelley, a con-artist of the ages

One of my favorite con-artists in history, and there have been plenty, was Edward Kelley. He successfully conned wise men and emperors, and eventually died of his own success. Ed Kelley was born in Worchester, England, in 1555. His youth was an obscure life of petty crime. He was caught and charged for corpse-stealing. He […]

4 stupid arguments against gun control

If you are a conservative who is against gun control laws, then these are 4 arguments you should NOT use when trying to argue your case. They will backfire and make you look like a stupid idiot. 1) Criminals will still have guns and murder people even if guns are illegal This is a terrible […]

Who needs protection from football?

Recently Ben Ferguson was explaining on his radio show why it’s important, and not sexist at all, to have rules that prevent women from playing football with men once they reach High School. Let me start by saying that Ben Ferguson is pretty decent, as conservative talk show hosts go. Or maybe it would be more […]

College bodybuilder tips: How to compare yourself to other people

Dear K***, There are a lot of people who will tell you that you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people. Well, that’s a load of bullshit. What matters is making sure you compare yourself to the right people, in the right way. I’ve always thought that people who say “Oh, you should never compare yourself […]

Deconstructing a quote by Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand once said, “…an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.” This is a ridiculous and meaningless statement, and you need to know why. First, let me […]

Perez Hilton is a…

Some singer and rapper named Azealia Banks called some underemployed gossip monger named Perez Hilton a faggot on twitter. I wasn’t offended by use of the word, so much as disappointed that she couldn’t come up with anything more creative. It all started when this happened: I didn’t see it happen. I don’t follow “Azealia […]

Three quotes that changed how I see religion

“I don’t understand how you can believe that,” I said. “I know,” he replied. “But that’s ok, right? I mean… you don’t always have to understand, do you?” Sometimes the right comment, from the right person, can change the way you see the world. I’ve gone through a lot of changes in the way I […]

Doing less with less

During this recession, companies have tightened their belts. The catch phrase is “doing more with less”. Some companies imagine they have learned to function with fewer employees. But they are fooling themselves. They are not doing more with less; they are doing less with less. Recently I was talking with a CIO of a large […]

Technical definition of musclebound

What does musclebound mean?

The term “musclebound” means more than just “overly muscular”. It has a technical meaning, too: a meaning that is based on gymnastics and geometry. This is one of my favorite little pieces of trivia, because it involves both fitness and mathematics. I remember hearing it a long time ago from a gymnast friend of mine […]

chace crawford texas mug shot marijuana possession

I was profiled for being a young white male

With all of the hubbub and fake outrage at Don Lemon’s suggestion that we start profiling young white men in law-enforcement, I think it’s important to point out that this already happens all the time. In fact, it has happened to me. The year was 1996, so I was 23 years old. I had been […]

The supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy will not affect you

Some people think that the end of the Mayan calendar might “mean something” because our solar system will be “aligned” with the galactic center. That’s a load of bullshit, and I’ll tell you why. Let’s set aside the very questionable idea of what it means for our solar system to be “aligned” with anything else […]

Magical thinking is easy and scientific thinking is hard.

Scientific thinking is hard is because our brains are not wired for it. Instead, our minds are wired for magical thinking. Magical thinking is a part of all aspects of our lives, and exists at the core of neural functioning. What is scientific thinking? Scientific thinking is a process of testing ideas with evidence. It […]

Evolution Q&A: Why did only humans become intelligent?

Ahmad Fares has asked me a second question about evolution. Because he was very polite and sincere in our last discussion, I will try once again to give a thoughtful and complete answer this time as well. Just as with the last time we talked, Ahmad, I’d like to start by talking a little bit […]

All of today’s arguments against gun control

I’ve seen a lot of stupid arguments against gun control on Twitter and Facebook today. Just for fun, I’ve decided to collect them all together, with my responses, in one place. This is my handy-dandy “All of the arguments” synopsis of Gun Control from today’s event. “If the guy had killed all those kids by […]

Scalia needs a lesson on how to use analogies

Justice Scalia is a smart guy, which is why it is so painful to hear him say stupid things simply because he is so warped by his ideology. I don’t mean things that I disagree with; I mean things that are actually stupid. The most recent quotation of his making the rounds is this: “If […]

Atheism: were you born that way?

Greg: I’ve long been of the opinion that atheists’ rights will be the next big civil rights movement in the United States, after gay rights. And now an article from the Huffington Post this week seems to be pointing in that direction.  It says, “In at least seven U.S. states, constitutional provisions are in place […]

Evolution Q&A: Will humans one day fly?

A nice man named Ahmad Fares asked me a question about evolution. I will take this as a sincere request for information, and so will take the time to give a thorough answer. Before I give my complete answer, however, I would like to address you directly, Ahmad, about the bigger picture of your goals […]

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

The idea of “good magic” versus “bad magic” has not been around forever, and hasn’t been present in every part of the world. So how has it become so very all-pervasive in the mythology and fantasy stories of today’s Western culture? The idea that there is a fundamental distinction between “Good Magic” and “Bad Magic” […]

The problem with welfare is the slope of the curve

I came across an article called “It Doesn’t Pay To Work” which presents a graph and argues that welfare must be cut dramatically. However, it completely misinterprets the message of the graph. The problem with welfare isn’t the total amount, it’s the shape of the curve. The graph presented in the article is this: I […]

Will you be remembered as a great wizard?

Imagine for a moment that you were a crazy drunkard and a simpleton living in the mid 500’s A.D. How do you suppose you might be remembered, a millenium and a half later? You never know: you could be remembered as the greatest wizard of all time. Suppose your name was Myrddin Wyllt. You are […]

Connie Mack’s Penny Plan is insulting

Sean Hannity was peddling Connie Mack’s “Penny Plan” on his radio show as a common-sense plan for reducing spending that could not possibly be difficult or harmful to anyone. The way Hannity talks about this plan is actually insulting, and it’s important to understand why. Whether the “Penny Plan” can be effectively used to cut […]

People who don’t trust statistics are stupid and wrong

I’m sick of the meme in our politics and culture that statistics “can’t be trusted”. You hear it from both the right and the left. It’s not only factually incorrect, it contributes to a culture of stupidity. “Poll results don’t tell you that much, because you can manipulate a poll to give you pretty much […]

Living and knowing mean the same thing

The act of living, the act of experiencing the world, and the act of having knowledge are all the same thing. It sounds very abstract and philosophical, but it’s not philosophy: it’s basic biochemistry. Think about the basic unit of life: the cell. A cell has a structure, and a set of chemical processes that […]

“Teen bodybuilding scare” is misleading and wrong

The New York Times article “Muscular body image lures boys into gym, and obsession” is uninformed and is likely to send mixed messages to parents and children. This first problem that caught my attention in this article is the statistics that it cites. “…more than 40 percent of boys in middle school and high school […]