Category Archives: politics

An Individualist Humanist in a Tribal World

Stand on a beach some time, somewhere well up on dry land. Above the high water mark. Notice you don’t drown. Then walk down toward the water. If the wind is blowing and the water is rough, there will be … Continue reading

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Billions in Weirdness

A friend​ asked me about the science behind this project backed by Indian American billionaire Manoj Bhargava and I thought it worth a little more public response. There are four technologies discussed on this site: stationary bike for energy generation … Continue reading

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Global Warming: so-so science, horrible politics

Rupert Darwall’s The Age of Global Warming is an interesting and important book for people who want to understand the political and diplomatic history of climate change. Environmentalism comes in two kinds: pragmatists who want to formulate policy based on … Continue reading

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Statistical Effect of Block Voting

Will block voting result in poor election predictions? The left-wing political organization LeadNow is running what appears to be a pretty effective campaign to organize voter blocks in swing ridings, where Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are at risk of winning due … Continue reading

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My Canada Includes Stephen Harper

My Canada includes Stephen Harper. Unlike many of my progressive friends, I have an inclusive view of Canada. It’s a big country. It includes everyone. Even Stephen. It includes a history where “None is too many!” was a popular slogan, … Continue reading

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There was only one catch…

The civil service is the permanent government of Canada. This is why senior civil service positions have titles like “Permanent Undersecretary for Whatever”. The purpose of Parliament is to exercise political control over the civil service. This is the foundation … Continue reading

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Opinions, Judgements and the Bayesian Revolution

This article on what it means to “have an opinion” is not bad, but it muddles two fundamentally different types of “opinion” and as such fails to get at the root of the problem, and misses important ideas about diversity … Continue reading

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The Mutant Flowers of Fukushima

This picture of deformed flowers near Fukushima is making the rounds today, and I figured it was worth commenting on it. I am physicist who has worked fairly heavily in radiation transport and health physics, as well as genomics. It’s … Continue reading

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Narrative Predictions

The human brain is a machine for leaping to conclusions in a single bound. Activists and political agitators of every stripe use this to promote their nonsense by putting together narratives that appeal to our conclusion-jumping reflex. “Chemicals” are frequently … Continue reading

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Partisan Politics and Confirmation Bias

As wildfires burn in the Canadian province of British Columbia, partisans made a fuss about why the provincial premier isn’t front-and-centre responding to the disaster: Issues once #FindChristyClark locates her: Transit vote, Fires – MARS, Drought – salmon, Health firings, … Continue reading

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