I feel you, Rick.
I have two daily writing projects (one blog, one gaming related) and one every-other-day blog that I write. I recently started working again and the bus/train commute + time at work has left me very little time when I get home to sit down and write something of quality.
Thanks for taking the time to evaluate your work and share your thoughts and ideas with us, Rick!Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 9.01.2010 @ 20:36
I have no prediction RE: what Palin will or won't do; I'm just curious to see both what she actually does and how everything else unfolds.
I hope there is no violence and that somewhere in all of this Palin finds it within herself to move past what people "want to hear" to what she thinks they need to hear, where such is based on the truth, or at least a level-headed understanding of as much as possible of what's going on in the country.
If Palin can speak from this perspective and marry that knowledge to conservatism in a way that shows how the later can be used to guide (if not necessarily control) the former, I'd be willing to take her seriously and give her positions some thought.
If not then I will simply watch and be (hopefully) entertained.
The breadth of scientific data and information collected, analyzed and put together over time since Darwin first published his theories on the origins of species is considerable, with much of it linked together and built upon earlier work.
In this regard, claiming that evolution is not a settled science is like claiming the science involved in building bridges is not "settled" either. After all, bridges fall down.
Never mind all the bridges (like the Golden Gate Bridge) that are up and running, day after day.Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 9.01.2010 @ 00:34
I'm so totally stoked about this! I want the improvements in cloud computing and quantum computing to happen *now* so we can infer as much as possible from the data gathered by the new telescopes going up into space.
Makes me totally want to go see Avatar now. ;)Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 19.12.2009 @ 18:59
If I end up misrepresenting your position with what I'm about to say, I apologize. I'm simply trying to think outside the box (that is, the topic) for a moment to compare your position versus a different "threat" than AGW; in this case technology.
Suppose that in time one or more clean, scientifically proven energy technologies came along (maybe super solar cells or limited forms of fusion) that if rapidly implemented would have the same net negative effect on jobs in the oil/gas/utility/coal business as Obama's emissions reduction proposals.
Despite these consequences, would you support funding such technological innovations? That is, in the sense that something new replaces something old and that's just life when it comes to business? Or would you still oppose new tech on the grounds that people will lose jobs and local economies will falter if the new stuff is implemented?
In this scenario, do we still declare it impossible to retrain the long-time coal miner or the offshore oil rig deckhand? I know you weren't saying it's impossible in your post, but the tone -as far as I can tell- implies such people are SOL if they ever go out of work for any reason.
If business grabs the tech and runs with it, do we implement legislation to slow them down? Or since its new business and not government that's causing the major job losses, do we accept any large scale job losses as part and parcel of living in a capitalist society?
In my opinion, that the AGW science isn't 100% sound is a good plank in an argument against imposing disruptive economic change for the sake of AGW, but it's not a good argument against aggressively moving forward with innovation and technology.
Again I don't think you're specifically arguing this in your post, but the way the issue is presented it's as though you're saying if there's no proven risk from AGW then we shouldn't move forward with renewables or other tech like solar at all, because there are too many jobs at stake and because we (well, liberals only if I read you right) supposedly are not capable of handling the infrastructure changes.
By my way of thinking, if AGW-imposed economic changes don't shake things up for our established energy industries then in a short time a spate of newer technologies will. Thus it makes sense for the country and for our industry to start the changeover process now at a measured, sane pace.
I'd rather us all get used to gradual change rather than wait for AGW or tech to force a far more abrupt and disruptive set of changes on the country.
Happy Holidays everyone and thanks for writing, Rick!Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 19.12.2009 @ 01:58
About time if you ask me.Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 5.12.2009 @ 18:18
Is it fair to characterize Palin as like Obama in the sense that (certain) people will come to believe in her much as people came to embrace Obama? That is, in the "vote for him/her no matter what" cult of personality sense?
If yes, I worry because I think that's the sort of groupthink that could get this country in trouble.
I suppose the standard response would be, "You mean like Obamamaniacs and the resulting government takeover of everything?"
To which the reply could be, "Better an articulated position and a leadership whose goals one can comprehend, than a potential leader who appeals to emotion and still appears ungrounded in the details of, well, anything."
It would be nice to read a compare/contrast piece by Rick or someone else between Obama's "The Audacity of Hope" and "Palin's Going Rogue".Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 22.11.2009 @ 13:08
I like TMLutas' idea of instituting a performance/ratings based system that attempts to improve government over a given cycle of time by eliminating programs and expenditures that don't perform as well as others.
I've read of late that their used to be far more cooperation between the political parties in the Senate and the House and that things have degraded over time. If that's true, what exactly was it that politicians on both sides did then that they're not doing now?
Is it as simple as being able to talk to each other? Or is it more complex, perhaps that they used to be more inclined to listen to their constituencies back home over what they party line was?
My general feeling with regard to government is that it ought to be doing better. Far better. I sure as hell don't feel like I'm getting my money's worth on the Federal level.Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 10.11.2009 @ 15:31
If you have millions of cars running for decades all over the planet and combine that with the emissions of industry worldwide for the last century or so, to me it misses the point to then sit back and say something like, "We just don't know if we're even the culprit on these rising levels, much less what this means for our environment, so let's not rock the boat."
Skepticism is good, but turning a blind eye? Not very practical.
For quite some time we've been adding large amounts of chemicals and gasses to our atmosphere without also creating a mechanism to absorb them back into the environment. Just because the trash man takes the trash out every week doesn't mean that trash is gone forever.
I think if the United States could spend staggering amounts of money and human resources building our defenses around the mere *chance* the (then) Soviet Union might attack us, we ought to equal that effort now with regard to new technologies that reduce CO2 and other emissions, but on the much more plausible chance that one dire prediction or another of the climate models might be right.
Is "attacking capitalist economies" the way to go to change things? No, I don't think so. However I don't think equating all forms of significant change as some sort of attack on the economy is valid either. That's hyperbole, not compelling reasoning.
I agree that it's important to look very, very closely at who's driving the debate because there's certainly money to be made off of this issue. However I'm more concerned about disinformation, pseudoscience and fear getting in the way of good, solid science that needs to be disseminated to the public.
Thank you Rick for taking the time to write about this subject.
As I mention in the post, I support reducing carbon emissions - slowly, sensibly, and incorporating new technologies along the way that will ease the transition to an alternative fuels future. I also think it a matter of national security that we wean ourselves from foreign oil, although it is impossibly stupid to have the policy we have now of not drilling anywhere and everywhere that it is possible. It is entirely compatible to support drilling like mad and working like crazy to develop alternatives.
The problem with proving humans responsible for the rise in CO2 is quite simple; transmutation of carbon molecules into other compounds before they reach the upper atmosphere. The models, as I mention, are way off target because we don't understand this process very well. We are getting better and I think we will be more accurate in the near future. But what you believe - even though it makes perfect sense - cannot be proven in a scientific sense. Hence, the science is not "settled" on whether man causes climate change, although it is most certainly settled that CO2 levels have gone up dramatically.
ed.Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 16.10.2009 @ 15:56
Thank you very much for taking the time to write from a thoughtful point of view. Yours is the first blog I've come across that discusses conservatism in ways that don't rely mostly on vicious or vapid attacks, and instead had more in common with what I'd find in my old college Critical Thinking textbook.
Thank you also for including and responding to intelligent commentary from other sources. I've used your blog as a base for me to find other thoughtful conservative outlets. When I find words or phrases I don't know ('sinecures', from your quote of Weisberg) all the better.
I don't believe I know enough about the subject of intellectual conservatism yet to respond thoughtfully to what you've written. I will therefore limit my comments by saying that I'm trying to understand better your position on healthcare reform. Specifically when you write, "We do not see national health care as the “the last missing piece of the social insurance puzzle” but rather as an insidious attempt by government to control the personal lives of citizens - as fundamentally against conservative principles and our concept of individual liberty as anything that has ever been proposed by an American congress."
I look forward to reading your future blog posts, both to learn more about conservatism and in particular to try to understand your point of view regarding healthcare reform.Comment Posted By Jeremy G. On 6.10.2009 @ 13:22
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