Chancellor Dirks Resigns

23 Aug 2016 /

“Among other things,” Dirks said, “I’m tired of damned fools stopping me in the street for photos.”

Me and Chancellor Dirks


Income Inequality Explained

23 Aug 2016 /

I saw this sign at a gas station soda fountain . . .

Don't fill cups with the lid on


Good News (for Teachers), Bad News (for Students)

22 Aug 2016 /


Carmack on Government

22 Aug 2016 /
John Carmack

My core thesis is that the federal government delivers very poor value for the resources it consumes, and that society as a whole would be better off with a government that was less ambitious. This is not to say that it doesn’t provide many valuable and even critical services, but that the cost of having the government provide them is much higher than you would tolerate from a company or individual you chose to do business with. For almost every task, it is a poor tool.

Given the inefficiency, why is the federal government called upon to do so many things? A large part is naked self interest, which is never going to go away — lots of people play the game to their best advantage, and even take pride in their ability to get more than they give.

However, a lot is done in the name of misplaced idealism. It isn’t hard to look around the world and find something that you feel needs fixing. The world gets to be a better place by people taking action to improve things, but it is easy for the thought to occur that if the government can be made to address your issue, it could give results far greater than what you would be able to accomplish with direct action. Even if you knew that it wasn’t going to be managed especially well, it would make up for it in volume. This has an obvious appeal.

Every idealistic cry for the government to “Do Something” means raising revenue, which means taking money from people to spend in the name of the new cause instead of letting it be used for whatever purpose the earner would have preferred.

It is unfortunate that income taxes get deducted automatically from most people’s paychecks, before they ever see the money they earned. A large chunk of the population thinks that tax day is when you get a nice little refund check. Good trick, that. If everyone was required to pay taxes like they pay their utilities, attitudes would probably change. When you get an appallingly high utility bill, you start thinking about turning off some lights and changing the thermostat. When your taxes are higher than all your other bills put together, what do you do? You can make a bit of a difference by living in Texas instead of California, but you don’t have many options regarding the bulk of it.

Helping people directly can be a noble thing. Forcing other people to do it with great inefficiency? Not so much. There isn’t a single thing that I would petition the federal government to add to its task list, and I would ask that it stop doing the majority of the things that it is currently doing. My vote is going to the candidates that at least vector in that direction.

— John Carmack

This Year’s Recital

21 Aug 2016 /

I’ve been doing these student recitals once a year for three years, since I started taking piano lessons. Here’s this year’s version. I didn’t nail it but I didn’t botch it either. It was somewhere in-between.

Anecdote: At the refreshment table after the recital, one of the piano teachers in attendance said to me with some surprise, “Your teacher is younger than you?”

“Every person here is younger than me,” I pointed out.


Why You Should Never Tell Someone to Relax

20 Aug 2016 /

The one that really gets me is being told to “calm down” by someone angrier than I am . . .


Life is like stepping onto a boat which is about to sail out to sea and sink. — Shunryu Suzuki

 

For My Daughter

10 Aug 2016 /

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence
together.

— David Ignatow, “For My Daughter”

One Thing I Can’t Tolerate is Intolerance: BYU Edition

9 Aug 2016 /

LGBT values

What values are we talking about? Tolerance for sexual preferences? What about tolerance for religious beliefs? You want tolerance for what makes you different but you’re not willing to extend tolerance to what makes others different? That’s not tolerance. There’s a word for what that is, and it’s not tolerance.

What about inclusiveness? Is inclusiveness a good value? Should the Big 12 exclude BYU to promote inclusiveness? That’s not inclusiveness.


Bad Religion

9 Aug 2016 /

If it brings me to my knees
It’s a bad religion.

— Frank Ocean

Olympics Update

8 Aug 2016 /

I think the Chinese have an unfair advantage in the synchronized diving because they all look exactly alike. 😮

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Diving


When Was That? I Missed It.

7 Aug 2016 /

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.

— Romans 8:28

Overheard

3 Aug 2016 /

Person with a sales job: “I hate a job where the customer is always right. That’s bullshit. I don’t get paid a million dollars to put up with this stuff.”

Makes me glad I learned a skill . . .


On-Again, Off-Again Respect for Grieving Parents

2 Aug 2016 /

Hey, remember when the first night of the Republican convention featured Patricia Smith, mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans slain in Benghazi? Remember how her speech was called a “cynical exploitation of grief”? Or the “unabashed exploitation of private people’s grief” or “the weaponization of grief”? Remember how she “ruined the evening”? How it was,  “a spectacle so offensive, it was hard to even comprehend”? How some liberal commentators said, “Mrs. Smith was really most interested in drinking blood rather than healing”? How her speech represented an “early dip into the gutter”? Remember how a GQ writer publicly expressed a desire to beat her to death?


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of

1 Aug 2016 /

Is anyone else sick of paying for an ever-expanding army of bureaucrats to meddle in their lives? Or is it just me?


Love Trump’s Hat

31 Jul 2016 /


A Net For My Steps

31 Jul 2016 /

They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah.

 

How Do I Know If I’m Gay?

31 Jul 2016 /

Here’s what I learned on the internet today:

Gay refers to any male-identified person who is physically or emotionally attracted to other male-identified people.

Lesbian refers to any female-identified person who is physically or emotionally attracted to other female-identified people.

So if I’m a male-identified person and the female-identified person I’m having sex with decides right in the middle of it to identify as male, am I gay?


Good to Great

31 Jul 2016 /

Browsing a bookstore with my son . . . he checks in to say that he was skimming through Good to Great.

“Have you read it?” he asks.

“No, and I’ll tell you why . . .”

“Because you’re satisfied with just being good?” he interrupts.


We Need to Get a Cat

28 Jul 2016 /

Hi everybody! It’s me, Lightning!

I told my owner that we need to get a cat.

— Lightning paw


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