Links 2016-4-17

Counting past infinity is easy! It was the infinity raised to infinity and infinite number of times that I really got lost.

I’ve settled on the right way to show the date in these links posts: the international standard ISO-8601.  It’s about time since that has been the standard since 1988.

Niskanen center names social justice aware libertarianism as “neoclassical libertarianism“. I like this idea, as it’s strictly superior to progressivism, and I’ve been trying to come up with a good name for it. Scott Alexander called it left-libertarianism-ist, which just isn’t as catchy. Of course, maybe pure libertarianism is better, but neoclassical liberalism is far more politically palatable. It is also more “conservative”, meaning that it is closer to the status quo.

Merrick Garland would not be a good SCOTUS justice. Randy Barnett discusses with Reason why he opposes Garland’s nomination: he’s completely deferential to executive and legislative authority and does not protect individual rights from the state. Does it make sense for the Senate to not give him a hearing? Maybe, maybe not. Did it make sense to declare prior to his announcement that any candidate wouldn’t get a hearing? Hard to say; if that hard line approach made Obama nominate an old white guy who endorses state power in the name of national security, that’s certainly a win for neoconservatives. I don’t think anyone should take an outrage stance on the Supreme Court opening because this really is a complicated game theory situation with nested layers of strategy. Even though I’m sure he is one of the most un-libertarian nominees ever, it’s impossible to say if he would be worse than a Hillary appointee or even a Trump appointee.

How to fight the War on Drugs: hit their wallets. Legal marijuana causes Mexican drug cartel revenues to plummet. 

Heard through Slate Star Codex, anti-censorship blog Status 451 (linked in the sidebar) held a fund-raiser for LambdaConf, a functional programming conference I had no idea existed until a week ago. Apparently, after an anonymous analysis of submitted papers, the Lambdaconf organizers selected a paper to be presented at the conference by Curtis Yarvin, a.k.a. Mencius Moldbug, perhaps the most well known neo-reactionary.  Certainly I think neo-reactionaries are a bit nuts, but Mr. Yarvin has also invented the intriguing functional programming language Urbit. We don’t agree with him politically, we can learn and grow our knowledge by understanding what he has to say, especially in technological areas he is an expert in! Alas, as Eric S. Raymond recounts, the social justice movement did not see it that way and pressured LambdaConf to remove Yarvin from the event. Lambdaconf refused and the activists moved to forcing sponsors to drop out. Incredibly, Status 451 started an indiegogo campaign to save LambdaConf, which was funded within the day. This is a big victory for anyone who wants to live in a tolerant, knowledgeable, and free society, but if you want to know their motivations firsthand, please read what they have to say.  Status 451 are also true believers, calling out some on the right for their similarly censoring response.

Related in Not the Onion news: Emory vows to hunt down students who politically disagree with the Left.

Bryan Caplan on liberalizing expertise and the link with defending free speech from the attacks of economic licensing.

A great write up on derivatives, what they are, how they work, and why it’s misleading to suggest that the derivatives market has a quadrillion dollars in risk.

Another excellent reddit post, this one asking soldiers what things they don’t tell you about war. In short: the smell.

Apparently the music industry thinks the DMCA doesn’t do enough to stop copyright infringers (more on the RIAA at TorrentFreak). It seems they’d like to target the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA, the only parts of it that are useful. Techdirt has a great series of posts from the other side, detailing the many abuses of DMCA takedown notices. Right now, there is no legal check on whether a takedown request comes from someone who actually owns the copyright, or even if that copyrighted work is utilized fairly for criticism or commentary. This isn’t an easy problem to solve by any means, but we should remember that the point of copyright is to encourage production of new works, and if there’s anything that YouTube does right is making it easier to create new content. Moreover, it’s helpful to remember that YouTube is run at a loss of more than $150 million a year. Trying to force YouTube to pay for content policing is one of the dumber ideas they’ve ever had, which is saying something. So what should be done instead? A good start would be to make false copyright claims a criminal offense, and require you to prove you own the copyright in the claim.  It would also be good if it turned out your copyright claim was wrong, the ad-money would not go to the claiming part, but would be held in escrow until the dispute is resolved. This would allow YouTube to better focus on actual infringers and stop the torrent of false claims. Of course, another big looming problem for the RIAA is Facebook video, which doesn’t even have the semi-transparent (though flawed) takedown-notice system of YouTube.  Ultimately, given how little money YouTube makes after 10 years on the internet, if YouTube was allowed to be held liable for infringing uploads, YouTube would either go out of business, or cease becoming a free platform anyone could use. This would be a monumental failure of the copyright regime; yes, it might end up getting RIAA members more money, but that is not the purpose of copyright. Copyright exists to help make new content, not destroy content platforms.

California is raising its minimum wage, eventually to $15 an hour. FiveThirtyEight’s Ben Casselman is excited at least to get some data on large minimum wage hikes, although judging from the headlines, it seems like he thinks this is a good idea. I’m fairly confident it is not, and Matt Zwolinski makes one good point to support me: the minimum wage doesn’t fight poverty.  There’s a lot of data surrounding the minimum wage. And it’s apparent that unemployment does not automatically rise when minimum wage increases occur.  Nonetheless, longer term unemployment effects are essentially impossible to study, and it’s likely there are some effects on businesses. If businesses could absorb 20-40% increases in labor costs easily, then why aren’t businesses getting more out of their employees, or more firms entering the business due to excess profits? There is evidence of long term job growth being harmed, as well as higher prices (see last link).  Ultimately, I predict there will be negative consequences for California, but it’s hard to find something that is worth predicting. I could predict that California’s employment and workforce participation rate will be lower than the country average by more than they are now (check this in the future). It’s also likely that low cost goods will see price increases, but I don’t have an easy way to check that over the next five years.

Robin Hanson has a good thought experiment to show that most people don’t vote to change the outcomes of elections. This would explain why anyone votes at all, given the uselessness of voting generally.
GiveWell tries a new tactic to persuade more people to fund their top researched causes: ” First of all. Just so you understand, this guy is a total loser. He begged me to be his peer reviewer, I said ‘NO THANKS.’ Pathetic!”

Related: We can’t stop here, this is Cruz country!

Daniel J. Bernstein taking over crypto is good.

Links 2016-03-24

Scott Alexander has a new post on happiness and economic growth. There must be a name for this paradox, because it’s blindingly obvious if you think about it: Right now, compare your life to the life of 100 years ago, given your current standing in society. Your life right now is way better, you have time to spend on internet learning and debating about ideas in ways you couldn’t dream of 100 years ago. You have better food choices, longer life expectancy, better pop culture, more stimulating interests, far easier communication with distant relatives, and so on. And yet, the exact same thing will be said about our lives compared to the lives of those who live 100 years in the future. Sure, those lives will be better, but I don’t know how much that bothers us today unless we really think about it. Most people are pretty excited to live today at the frontier of human knowledge, and we don’t see it as a loss that we don’t have cheap self-driving cars and instant delivery groceries for low cost.

But yet, when you do think about it, we hate sitting in traffic or having to go to the store to pick something up, and we wish we had technologies that could get rid of those inconveniences. Yet, I bet people in the future will just have other errands they hate doing just like we hate sitting in traffic. But they will be inconveniences for future people who are tolerating them so that they can do even more awesome things that we can’t imagine, just like people 100 years didn’t sit in traffic because they didn’t own cars at all.

It’s very confusing. On a personal scale, obviously it would be ridiculous to complain about your current standing, because future technologies haven’t been invented yet. So of course everyone is pretty satisfied with what technology level they live in. Yet, our lives are obviously better for having these technologies. How do we reconcile this?

In the last month, I’ve often thought that the closest president we’ve had to Donald Trump is Andrew Jackson; Trump is a loud-mouthed, populist who falls outside of the mainstream party system, yet has significant support from non-elites and were despised by the elites themselves.  This is also the perfect description for Andrew Jackson, who was so successful in this movement, he founded the Democratic Party. David Friedman comes to the same conclusion via a different route.

That last link caused me to run into a real problem with Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson grammatically. One subject is dead and one is alive, so what is the proper verb tense to use? Stack Exchange suggested this, which is honestly kind of lame.

Scott Sumner discusses socialism and France. He makes a short argument that France sounds like a pretty good model country for modern socialism: high amount of skilled civil servants, broad support for socialist policies, a willing government to implement them, and a modern, developed economy.  Yet, Bernie Sanders supporters often reach for the Nordic countries rather than France as the big-welfare state (“socialist”) ideal.  Why is French socialist policy somewhat of a political flop, while Nordic countries are idealized? And would a Bernie-America look like Denmark or maybe better, or perhaps more like France, or even worse? Given the size and diversity of America’s population and economy, France seems closer than Denmark, although both are closer to each other than the US. The only socialistic countries of comparable size seem to be the China and the Soviet Union which have forms of socialism even Bernie Sanders would abhor. Mostly.

Do you have no friends? Never fear, it’s because really, really smart people are better off with few friends.

Bryan Caplan’s model of the Right and Left, and how it’s oddly doing well this election cycle.

Overcoming Bias discusses the cost and benefits of voting. How much would you pay to have your vote count more? His conclusion is that we don’t vote to change the outcome of the election.

Surprise! NSA data will soon be used for routine policing! Coverage from the New York Times, and the Massachusetts ACLU as well.

Bryan Caplan also has a good discussion of libertarian critiques of welfare.  Matt Zwolinski has a good counter post. I like the idea of bleeding heart libertarianism, or market liberalism or whatever, so I think Caplan’s critiques are pointed at exactly what I believe, which is excellent! You always want to have your beliefs critiqued by smart people. I think Caplan is right on many of his points, but I feel like my views are more politically practical. Voters obviously want some form of welfare for the poor, and at least that part could be done more efficiently with my ideas.

This is a good write up on the decentralized crypto-currency-ish entity Ethereum; Reason also did a recent video on it.   Very soon I’ll be able to explain to people what it actually does. Right after I’ve figured out how to install it.  If you want to learn about it without me, here is Ethereum’s website.

Fact checking Trump on trade. Why do we talk about trade deficits? I have no idea why they matter.  Is it a problem if I buy a phone from Apple and I live in New York instead of California? Is there now a trade deficit between New York and California since I sent money out of my local community? No, nobody cares. And for the US, it’s even less relevant, since those dollars that US citizens spent have to come back to the US to be redeemed for goods and services. It would be like if I paid for my iPhone in New York dollars that had to come back to New York. I’m a free trade proponent, but I’m not deaf to some concerns people might have about trade, but this is one of the worst anti-free trade arguments you could make.

Links 20160224

Marginal Revolution has a post about an event that occurred on Shark Tank. The pitch on the show was an alternative to bee honey, made from apples. Part of the pitch was that this would save the bee population by reducing the industrial demand for it (yes, really). Spoiler from Professor Tabarrok: “Reducing the demand for honey, reduces the demand for bees”.

Politico has a nice article about the potential of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, even if he doesn’t win a majority of delegates. The way the Democrats set things up, he will be in an excellent position to make demands on the party platform, possibly reshaping the Democrats’ economic policy for many years to come.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found that head-to-head, Sanders beats Trump by 10 points in a national survey (he does better than Clinton against Trump). Things could change of course, but it seems that Trump really isn’t who I should be worried about becoming president right now, as he’s still not likely to win the Republican nomination, and it seems the Democrats poll well against him.

SCOTUSblog has a nice write up on the next court nomination fight, now that Scalia is gone, what factors will be in play, and how can the Obama administration find a nominee with a spotless record that fires up the base and ensures a left-of-center court for a long time. I doubt they nominate a classical liberal.

Tyler Cowen writes about the benefits market monetary policy can bring, as well as the shortfalls of its approach when critiquing Fed policy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a public letter to Apple customers detailing a demand made by the FBI. Law enforcement wants the company to create a new version of their operating system which they could then install on a criminal’s seized phone. The new OS would have a backdoor allowing the FBI to more quickly access it.  I liked Apple just fine as a company, but this is pretty awesome. This week, it turns out the FBI was lying about this being a one-time request as the DoJ is already pursuing orders to force Apple to unlock about a dozen other phones, according to anonymous sources.

Nostalgia Critic on Channel Awesome on YouTube has a great video detailing the absolutely horrible copyright abuse rampant on YouTube.   Claimants have no repercussions for false claims, even on self-evident fair use cases because YouTube’s system is entirely automated with no oversight.  Copyright battles are not something of the past, there are still huge problems today.

An NBER study from last year found government subsidies more than account for increases in tuition. H/t Slate Star Codex.

The German government gives us another example of how you can’t have government surveillance without fundamentally breaking security. Hacker News discussion.

Second link from Alex Tabarrok, this time on drug prices and the FDA. Apparently the US has the lowest generic drug prices of any developed nation. I feel like we should switch to a prize system where drug companies are awarded $X million for successfully passing approval, and then that drug is immediately released with no patent into the market. X could be set based on the amount of patients in the previous 5 years who could have used the drug.

People like to talk about the “Uber” of some industry, trying to say a company is disrupting their space like Uber did to taxis (also in the interest of fighting monopolies, Lyft is great too).   How about Uber for welfare? The left often opposes “workfare”, or ways which incentivize welfare recipients to work, since finding jobs for everyone isn’t practical “…but today the gig economy offers the solution: It can easily and quickly put millions of people back to work, allowing almost anyone to find a job with hours that are flexible with virtual locations anywhere.”  There’s also some data that working is a really good on a cultural level, teaching discipline and responsibility. This sort of goes against my attraction to a basic income, but could go hand in hand: you get a basic income allowance if you can prove you engaged in the gig economy recently. Really cool idea.

From EconLog, some praise for the Free State Project. Apparently they’ve already got over a dozen people elected to the state legislature? Tried to find somewhere else this is being tracked, but I didn’t see anything. If you have info on this, tweet at me.

Also from EconLog, Bryan Caplan finished his summarized his extended discussion of ancestry and long run growth literature.  In sum, we can’t say that people with more advanced culture thousands of years ago had that much better outcomes today. It’s likely other institutional decisions are more important (like having stable free markets).

Links 20160216

In my previous blog, I used to compile lists of interesting links. I’ll start doing that here on an irregular basis.

Scott Alexander has a new post in the “Slate Star Codex critiques social justice” series. It discusses a study which looked at the effects of coder gender on Github pull request approval.  It looks like the study had fairly neutral results but was widely reported by the scientific press as proving sexism in tech.  As someone who works in the tech industry, all I learned was that I need to contribute more to open source projects.  If you want to get fully paranoid about social justice, read Scott’s long comment on the social justice movement on the same post (reposted to reddit).

Justice Scalia passed away this weekend. He was a big deal, whether people liked him or not, and now there’s a big political fight on whether the Republican Senate will allow Obama to appoint a nominee. I’m pretty certain (90%) that Obama will nominate someone, even if congressional Republicans say they don’t want to confirm anyone. I have no idea what the chances are of a person being confirmed. Michael Cannon at Cato says the Senate has the power to deny a nomination until next year. I bet a lot of progressives would be horrified and yell about how Obama won the election in 2012, but I think the claim is pretty solid; Congress is supposed to be the most powerful branch after all. Senators were all elected as well, and court appointees are required to have input from both the President and Senate.

It’s also interesting because I’ve been recently watching Crash Course: U.S. Government and Politics.  The episode on separation of powers is relevant to our Scalia discussion.

Robin Hanson on “Why I Lean Libertarian”.  His reasoning is pretty close to mine.

Amusing post on Status 451: San Francisco has a Shameful Homeless Problem.

From Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog: First-order Libertarianism, Second-Order Public Reason Liberalism. It concerns the question of whether libertarians can allow non-libertarians to set up their own society in a libertarian world.

Great introductory crypto video for public key cryptography.  It discusses the discrete logarithm problem and a Diffie Hellman key exchange. That channel actually has a lot of good videos concerning encryption, although nothing explaining exactly how elliptic curve crypto works.  It’s obviously dark magic.

Scott Sumner mentions a comment by Eliezer Yudkowsky on EconLog.  The post is a fairly complex way of discussing the issues the Fed is facing in trying to jumpstart the economy, but it has a cool reference to Newcomb’s Paradox.

I haven’t mentioned it before on this blog, but I really hate Daylight Savings Time. It’s just so dumb. The Washington Post has an interesting article about a proposal to get rid of all timezones. It would take a huge amount of getting used to, but it seems possible. For example, in China, the entire country is on Beijing time; people out west just wake up and go to sleep later…which I’m sure they were doing already, but now they don’t need to worry about time changes across the country. I like it, but mostly because it would end Daylight Savings Time.

Old post, but interesting: How to Change Public Opinion from the Niskanen Center.

 

 

 

Wednesday Links

1. Wired had an awesome article yesterday about the legacy of 9/11 and its impact on national security policy. It pretty much encapsulates all of my beliefs about the “gigantic, expensive, counterproductive National Security State,” that the risk of a major terrorist attack is generally overstated but the eventual inevitability of a minor one keeps either major party from daring to reduce our bloated defense budget due to the “political risk” of being blamed for it.

2. Wired had another awesome article (I’ve been stumbling on a lot of these lately) about a teenager who tricked employees at nearly every major tech company into helping him hack into various accounts, including Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Paypal, and Netflix. Much could be said about human nature regarding how this kind of thing is so easy yet doesn’t happen very often, or about why it is happening, but I also think it’s good for libertarian-ish types to be reminded about people who ruthlessly take advantage of things like this. It gives some insight into why law enforcement types tend to be nervous about alternative Internet currencies and anonymity and the like, even though I would continue to assert that there’s nothing inherently wrong with them.

3. Yesterday Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate, did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit similar to the one Obama did a couple weeks ago, although he answered quite a few more questions.

4. The Chicago teacher strike is getting vicious.

Thursday Links

1. Obama did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, which in theory is a pretty big deal, illustrating the way modern technology allows a sitting president to cut through layers of separation and communicate directly with citizens all over the country (We have come a long way from the days when most people could only read about presidents in the newspaper). Perhaps predictably, though, Obama mostly answered easy questions or stuck to vague talking points about things like the Internet and NASA, ignoring harder questions about things like the TSA or lobbyists or his betrayal on medical marijuana or the American citizen killed in a drone strike.

2. How the Federal Reserve Accelerates the Robopocalypse. The Federal Reserve has been keeping interest rates ridiculously low for an unprecedented length of time. It’s supposed to help the economy, but I sometimes wonder what unintended consequences this might have down the line. Victor Wong argues that this is actually hurting employment by encouraging businesses to invest in robot labor. I’m not completely convinced, but it sounds plausible. I’m generally optimistic that labor freed by technology will always find something better to do, but I read an argument recently (h/t @interfluidity) that “this time it’s different” because we’re finally starting to run out of options for people on the lower half of the IQ spectrum (read the skeptical comments as well).

Continue reading Thursday Links

Thursday Links

Here are some random things to read before the Supreme Court announces Obamacare and everyone stops caring about anything else for awhile…

1. Drones Are Awesome? I’ve been generally pessimistic about the coming drone boom, due to concerns about government abuse and invasion of privacy, but this long post in Wired has converted me to being excited about the technology. Chris Anderson details the recent hobbyist history of the private flying machines, how the technology has improved, where it stands now, and where it might go next.

2. We’re Not Running Out Of Oil. A lot of people are talking about a new report called “Oil: The Next Revolution,” an 84-page PDF in which Leonardo Maugeri argues that in the last few years the world has come upon an abundance of oil that is likely to persist for a long time, although many risks remain. Maugeri is described as an oil executive, but the report is full of detailed analysis and reasonable conclusions. Here is some discussion from a NYTimes blog.

I remain optimistic that the market will buy us time to replace old energy sources, and that the market will ultimately provide those replacements, subsidies or no subsidies. Although as it looks like we’re going to have plenty of the stuff to burn for the next several decades, I sure hope the skeptics are right about climate change.

Continue reading Thursday Links

Wednesday Links

1. Even as states like Connecticut are abolishing the death penalty, we learn that another man was wrongfully executed in Texas many years ago. I’ve never taken a confident stance on the death penalty either way, but I think I’m ready to officially and confidently oppose it, simply because the government makes too many mistakes and “death is the ultimate oops cost“. Follow @MikeRiggs to learn more about government mistakes, especially pertaining to violence (warning: may make you angry).

2. NPR has 50 years of government spending in one graph. It doesn’t show the growth in government spending, and they try to say with a straight face that a change of 18% to 24% of GDP is “roughly” the same, but it is very interesting to see the proportions. I didn’t know, or had forgotten, how much defense has dropped as a percentage of spending since the Cold War – even though that’s largely just because other things like Medicare and Medicaid have grown so much. Also interesting that the share of interest is smaller than it was 20 years ago and about the same as it was 50 years ago, due to interest rates dropping so much. I wonder how long they will stay low, and what will happen if interest rates rise along with the projected growths in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid…

3. The Economist argues that the election encourages America to feel worse about itself than it needs to: “People tend to think in black and white. America is either in decline or it is ordained to be for ever the world’s greatest nation. Government is either paralysed or it is running amok, stifling liberty and enterprise and snuffing out the American dream.”

4. If you want to get down and dirty with a nerdy analysis of Mitt Romney’s positions based primarily on his many Republican debate performances, check out Expected Optimism’s detailed posts (see the first paragraph for links to other categories).

5. A Russian satellite has taken the most detailed single picture of Earth yet with this 121-megapixel shot. I’ve always been amazed at how completely uninhabited the Earth looks from daytime at these distances. Contrast this with a night shot, and I’m awed both by how much mankind is affecting this planet, and how little.

6. Random funny Internet pic of the day. (Future of Ron Paul’s Campaign edition)

Friday Links

1. Supreme Court rules 5-4 to allow strip searches for any arrest. I haven’t seen much commentary on this, but it sounds pretty bad to me. The rationale is that you might need to strip someone before admitting them to jail to make sure they don’t have anything dangerous on them. But the whole case came before the Supreme Court because a guy was strip-searched after being mistakenly arrested. Apparently the Supreme Court didn’t want to “second-guess” correctional officers (if they won’t, who will?), so apparently if the police make a mistake about you, you’re no longer protected from them looking at you naked. Hmm.

2. America’s Most Important Anti-War Politician Is a Senate Republican. Good feature on Rand Paul.

3. Arctic polar bear levels not declining as predicted. In fact, they are most likely increasing: “…stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey… That’s 66 per cent higher than estimates by other researchers who forecasted the numbers would fall to as low as 610 because of warming temperatures that melt ice faster and ruin bears’ ability to hunt…” I don’t know science well enough to know if pro-warming scientists are right or wrong in their understanding of greenhouse gases and Earth’s climate, but I’m increasingly skeptical of their forecasts every time another one is proven wrong.

Continue reading Friday Links

Monday Links

1. “Salary ‘spiking’ drains public pension funds.” The LA Times details how public employees in California counties have incentives to use accounting tricks that let them receive more money in retirement than they did working. Meanwhile, pension funds are underfunded by hundreds of millions of dollars and regular ‘public good’ services are being threatened. Looks like a case of Backwards Government.

2. “Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.” (And the HN discussion.) The Washington Post brings out some interesting facts about the complicated country comparisons of health care costs. My biggest question right now is why insurance companies don’t negotiate hospital prices down the way that foreign governments apparently do, since they would seem to have even more incentives. (I haven’t sought an answer yet; it’s just a question that this story raised for me but did not seem to answer.) The answer may be evidence that only government can fix a fundamental failure in this market – or it may be evidence that government is preventing the market from working.

3. “What would Breitbart do?” Dave at Classical Values calls out suspicious claims in the Sandra Fluke hullabaloo that seem to have gone unquestioned by the media. I’ve seen a couple claims on the Internet that there is some kind of medical condition involved that really does make the contraception cost as much as she claimed, but the focus on this whole story is all wrong.

4. “Rush Limbaugh Isn’t The Only Media Misogynist.” Kirsten Powers at the Daily Beast details the frequent liberal name-calling of conservative women that has never gotten as much attention as Limbaugh’s dumb outburst. A few of the examples are admittedly weak, but you could drop out the weakest one-third and still have a litany of liberal libel that somehow isn’t important enough to get plastered all over the media and elicit bravery calls from President Obama. (I feel like I’m stooping to partisan hackery on this topic, but there really does seem to be an “imbalance in the force” on this one.)

5. TSA outrage story of the day.

6. “Dark matter blob confounds experts.” A galaxy collision is disobeying current theories about gravity and dark matter. Apparently one possible explanation is that there are “different kinds of dark matter.” I’m sure it’s just my ignorant skeptical mindset at work, but that almost seems to me like grasping at straws to keep forcing an existing theory to work instead of admitting that the theory might be completely wrong. And they say religious folks are the ones who insist on believing in things that can’t be directly observed!

7. Random funny Internet picture of the day.