Several media outlets have noted that VP Candidate Paul Ryan’s speech was factually inaccurate in many details. Additional media outlets have noted that no one cares. And I gotta say that it’s driving me crazy.
|Sir Issac Newton, big fan of Physics.|
I mean, it’s fine. Believe what you want. Truly. I already know that I’m not going to change your mind. What I’m telling you is that it’s driving me crazy the way that you ignore truths that you find inconvenient. You need to learn to deal with them. Find a way to assimilate them into your worldview, and *gasp* try keep an open mind to the idea that—it is at least possible—your pre-conceived ideas might be partially incorrect.
One of my favorite sayings is that “when the laws of physics and economics collide, physics wins.” I’d further postulate that the laws of economics trump politics when faced with the real facts of life, leading to a kind of hierarchy of truth that I personally believe in:
Physics > Economics > Politics
That’s important because I’m an engineer with a degree in finance. A lot of what I’ve done with my professional life has been figuring out what the reality is and then figuring out how that reality is going to change the economics involved. And when you’re doing that, bottom line, the truth is important. The guys asking the questions may want to hear a specific version of that truth, but the truth that they need to hear is the fulltruth. And ultimately, regardless of the short term consequences, they always thank me for it.
Right now, I think America needs to hear the full truth about a lot of things, but as an electorate, we keep insisting that our public servants feed up a line of crap that’s easier to tolerate in the short term. You personally keep insisting on that. And that is why, ultimately, we’re both going to get exactly the leaders that we deserve.
You’re not buying any of this are you? Heh. As if I don’t know.
So here’s proof, via ESPN. In Blue States, people HATE the NFL’s replacement referees. In Red States—with the notable exceptions of Texas and Louisiana (where I think I can safely say that football is more important than Jesus) people really don’t care. Truth, accuracy, and fairness are simply less important in those places.
Or else they’re just more devoted to the college game than they are to the pros.
The journal Nature this week published the results of a study that surprised the scientific community. Previously, scientists believed that eating a very low calorie diet would lead to better overall health, but the most recent study shows that actually, calorie count by itself doesn’t seem to matter much. When the New York Times covered this story, they did so with a kind of shrug, essentially saying, “Eat what you want, because we’re all damned anyway.” Thankfully, the writers at Slate dug a little deeper.
What actually appears to be the case is that it matters more what you eat than how much you eat. This is not a surprise, is it? And yet, it surprised researchers because, bottom line, they’d been feeding their monkeys a food mix that was basically all crap because that crap mix was easier to control from a total calorie standpoint than was a more natural, “whole foods” type of diet. However, that led to a false conclusion that very nearly became accepted scientific fact—that eating less made one healthier. In fact, it now appears that what makes one healthier is simply eating less crap. However, if you are eating a basically healthy diet, then eating substantially less total food doesn’t provide significant additional benefit. What’s more important is that you avoid excess sugar, preservatives, transfats, etc.
Of course, eating to the point of obesity is still bad for you, but bottom line, you don’t have to starve yourself to be healthy. What you need to do is avoid eating crap.
It occurs to me that some of you are now thinking that the third story this week invalidates the first story because the third story proves that scientists don’t know everything. I hope that you will take a minute to carefully consider why a few studies that confound scientists’ expectations actually prove that science itself is an unbiased actor.
Yes, it’s true that science cannot explain everything. However, you’ll note that science also doesn’t get angry when its expectations and beliefs are challenged. Instead, science goes to find a better solution, one that fits all of the available facts.
Related: Why do Republicans hate the Fed?
I can’t easily prove this at the moment, but I am pretty sure that Voodoo Economics would be impossible without an elastic money supply.
Finally, it’s a lot from Slate this week, I know, but here’s one more: Are you better off marrying your high school or college sweatheart, or should you wait and marry someone you meet later in life? Oddly, the evidence—which does not appear to be rigorously tested as yet—seems to conclude that you’re better off if you wait, but that you should then marry your long-lost high school sweetheart. What the Hell is that all about?
Here’s my theory for love: Find your mate in a place where you’re doing something that you really love to do. That way, you’ll always have that thing in common.
Sadly, it’s damned near impossible to find cute girls at RPG or Comic conventions.