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Quick question for the legal scholars among the Ricochetti…once you are given immunity, are there conditions applied? If new info surfaces, is the immunity rescinded or is it still in place? Given the amount of immunity granted to Clinton team , excuse me…staffers (how Hillary now refers to Huma), would the FBI be able to […]

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Harry Reid (described by the Washington Post as “known for his bare-knuckle politics” which is apparently a WaPo code phrase for “given to brazen lying at politically opportune moments” (see Romney and taxes)) had this to say in a letter to Comey: In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, […]

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ESP and the Other Guy’s Zombie Army

 

simpsons-you-and-what-armyHow much evidence would it take to get you to believe in ESP? Most of us who are skeptical would say it would take a lot of evidence to convince us – that the reason we’re unconvinced is that we haven’t seen such evidence. And yet, were we presented with such evidence, chances are good that we’d still disbelieve it. That’s irrational, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Our lived experience supplies us with initial impressions of how plausible various claims might be, plausibilities that can be estimated as prior probabilities. If we suppose our brains reason correctly in a Bayesian way, then finding a claim extremely implausible amounts to assigning it a very low prior probability. Not exactly zero, since assigning a prior probability of exactly zero is equivalent to asserting no amount of evidence, however good, could change the reasoner’s mind, and that’s not what implausible (as opposed to impossible) means. But close enough to zero to be treated as such for most purposes – except, of course, one would hope, when we’re asked to re-evaluate evidence of the claim itself.

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We’re now starting to enter a more serious part of the cinematic year, with various Oscar-bait titles beginning to slink into the theater after the long drought of this most depressing Summer. The totem of my disappointment with movies this year is Independence Day: Resurgence, one of the worst movies I’ve ever had the displeasure […]

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I have stated before that if the only thing Donald J. Trump can guarantee for the next four years is a Clinton-Free White House, that is sufficient for me to vote for him. Let’s talk about the woman issue because this is largely responsible for our confusion. Let’s take two female world leaders and review […]

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Every election year, I wake up to the realization that I’m more important than most of you. Not in an ill-defined cosmic-y sense where I’m waiting to be called by destiny to bring order to the galaxy. But in a quantifiable, practical way. I am an Ohio resident, and my ballot is statistically more important […]

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We know the things that make G-d angry. The Torah tells us of men who simply “take” the women they want, of men “of renown” who selfishly put themselves ahead of all others, and of widespread theft and violence. It all amounts to a simple enough lesson, or so it seems: G-d does not want […]

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David Brooks and the “Conservative Intellectual Crisis”

 

David Brooks is the New York Times’ least hated non-dead conservative. He is the Left’s go-to respectable conservative, the kind you’re supposed to be able to bring home to meet your mom. He won’t belch at the dinner table and he knows which fork to use with the curly endive and manchego salad with raspberry coulis.

Of course Brooks is a “conservative” only in the sense that, if tomorrow the Senate voted Obama the offices of Consul, Tribune of the Plebs, Field Marshal, Maximum Lider, Imperator, and Dictator for Life, Brooks would quibble that they didn’t make him Pontifex Maximus first. This is the guy who grew all gooey and moist contemplating Obama’s pant crease, a sentiment Brooks has no doubt been choking on for at least the past four years.

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Not the Onion: Robin Lakoff, a “professor of linguistics” at UC-Berkeley says the only reason Hillary’s illegal use of a private email server, mishandling of classified information, influence peddling via the Clinton Foundation, and lying to the FBI is being investigated is because The Patriarchy is trying to silence a brave and stunning woman. The […]

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November has begun, and there are still a dozen gaps in the schedule for November’s group writing on Gratitude. Why don’t you tell us about something that you’re grateful for this month? It’s a great chance to dip your toe in if you are a Ricochet member and have never started a conversation here. Dig […]

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Over in Saint Augustine’s Star Wars vs. Star Trek thread, the subject of genres and their relations came up. My contention is that the world of writing genres is a soap opera where everyone is hooking up with everyone else and that they are having all of these children, either legitimate or not, making genres […]

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