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Alan Light
Lives in North Carolina
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Alan Light

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Whatever you think on the subject, it's important to understand what Senator Scott is saying here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/tim-scott-pulled-over_us_5786bfffe4b08608d332eaa0?section=politics
"This is a situation that happens all across the country," Sen. Tim Scott said, "whether we want to recognize it or not."
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+Alan Light I don't disagree that it could be the problem.

I have no strong opinion on what 'the problem' actually is, only that +Peter Thoenen was claiming it was "not racism" and therefore claims BLM is distracting from it.
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It was a rhetorical question - anyway, here's another copy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL-Kj3TrvEo
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Good article on the dangers of placing too much faith in "science".
 
This is one of the best articles I've read in a long while and articulates very well one of the items I've railed against for a while, now. #Science is great -- it's extremely important and helps further society. Scientism, on the other hand, is not, and has very destructive qualities as well as how it entirely misses the point and crosses the road into a form of #religion all its own.

It's so irritating to hear so many clamor, "Science! Science!", or "NDT says this, oh he's so cool!" When they have no clue what science even is or how it works. Data in a vacuum is not 'science'. Statistical studies, with all of their flaws and fallacies and manipulations and cherry picking, are not 'science', especially when done by interested parties, and are still flawed when done by so-called disinterested parties. The scientific method is science, and much of all of this doesn't even utilize it. And even then, science never 'proves' -- it only disproves. What is scientifically accepted today might be unaccepted tomorrow or be completely replaced after discovering new information.

Further, #economics is not a hard science, it's a social and a deductive science -- and there are too many factors, and too much subjectivity and potential for chaotic elements to try to treat or talk about it as if it is contained in a controlled environment.

Ugh, but I digress and have taken too much time with my rant. Here's a snippet, but please just read the article -- especially if you're one of the types I'm talking about.

Scientism refuses to see this. The myopia of scientism, its naive utopianism and simplistic faith, bears an uncanny resemblance to the religious dogmatisms that people such as Tyson and Dawkins denounce.

Back in February, some of my sociologist friends retweeted another Tyson quip: “In science, when human behavior enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That’s why Physics is easy and Sociology is hard.”

We sociologists appreciated the recognition, even if some of us resented needing a famous astrophysicist as our hype man. Yet it’s simply galling that a person who can recognise the difficulties of studying social life somehow doesn’t connect those same challenges to their philosophical and political implications. If simply studying sociology is complex, governing society with it is anything but simple.

Science is not straightforward – as Tyson himself admits. Our interpretation of it simply requires insights and wisdom well beyond what science can provide. To claim otherwise is simply irrational.
Neil deGrasse Tyson imagines a country called Rationalia, a society where policy is based on the weight of evidence. That's a bad idea, says Jeffrey Guhin
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"Dave. What are you doing?"
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 Matt Walsh

Today is July 4th. Today we celebrate our forefathers’ victory over tyranny and oppression. Today we are supposed to wave our flags and cheer for our freedoms. But today, if I’m to be honest, I feel kind of like a divorced man on his wedding anniversary. It is an occasion to remember a beautiful and joyous event, but I am left mourning what is lost rather than enjoying what was gained.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got my red shorts and my blue shirt on. I’m going to fire up the grill just like everyone else. I may even light a few fire crackers later on tonight. Actually, scrap the fire crackers. They’re illegal in my town. Someone may burn themselves, you see, or cause a noise disturbance that will irritate the old lady down the street. In any event, I will take part in the festivities, according to the bevy of laws and ordinances and regulations that govern said festivities. And maybe that makes me a hypocrite, because I’m observant enough to know we are rejoicing freedoms that no longer exist and an independence we no longer have. We are not free. You are not free. Wake up. You. Are. Not. Free. Yes, please go and drink to our Founders tonight. And then wake up in the morning with a desire to actually live in the nation they built. That’s how you can celebrate July 4th. Not by pretending that we are free men, but by realizing we are bound, and hating — yes, hating — those chains with the passion and vigor of a true American.

While we are barbecuing and singing songs about our “land of the free and home of the brave,” there’s a guy sitting in jail in Texas for making a sarcastic joke on the internet. There’s a man in Kentucky charged with multiple felonies for standing up to a violent gang banger who trespassed on his property and threatened him. There’s a college student in California who was told by staff at a state university to take off her cross necklace because it might offend somebody. There are citizens being fined and prosecuted for collecting rain water. There are thousands of people in prison for growing, buying or selling a harmless plant. There are farmers nationwide prohibited from cultivating one of human civilization’s most reliable and useful crops simply because it looks like marijuana. There’s a senior official at the IRS — who directed her employees to persecute and bully conservatives — now refusing to testify in front of Congress unless she’s granted immunity. There’s an NSA program compiling all of your phone records and monitoring your Internet activity. There are cops collecting DNA from citizens without a warrant. There are people having their firearms confiscated after seeking treatment for mental health issues. There are parents having their children confiscated for seeking a second opinion about their child’s medical problem. There are entrepreneurs being driven under by regulations and policies that strip them of their basic right to run their own business. There are companies, hospitals and colleges being forced to defy their religious beliefs in order to comply with a blatantly unconstitutional birth control mandate. There are journalists being spied on and prosecuted for reporting about the government. There are government agents at airports groping handicapped children and elderly women. There are corporations and wealthy oligarchs spending tax money appropriated from hard working middle class citizens and given to them by their cronies in DC. There are law enforcement agents with the power to lock down an entire city and conduct warrantless house to house searches. There are lobbyists in dark rooms buying politicians and subverting the electoral system.

There are taxes. Taxes on everything. Everything you do, buy, sell or earn is taxed. You can’t turn on a light, drive a mile in the car, buy a stick of gum, you can’t even die without being taxed. You are taxed for working, for living, for existing. And why? So government can grow, and government elites can live high on the hog and indulge themselves on your dime, and politicians can wage war and buy votes. All of this with your money, taken by threat or force.

NDAA.

Patriot Act.

Compulsory government education.

The welfare state.

The warfare state.

Coercion.

Extortion.

Theft.

Corruption.

Murder.

Freedom? No. This is not freedom. And don’t tell me it’s good enough because we’re still “more free” than other nations. Even if I agreed with that assertion — which I certainly do not — it still wouldn’t justify the current state of affairs. When you rationalize that way you sound like an emotionally abused wife insisting that her marriage is fine because “at least he doesn’t hit me.” The fact that he isn’t doing one awful thing doesn’t, of course, justify the awful things that he is doing. And the only reason that he isn’t physically assaulting her is that he’s found his emotional and verbal abuse to be effective in producing the results he desires. For now. We are suffering from a collective Battered Wife Syndrome in this country. Call it Battered Citizen Syndrome, I suppose.

Look, I’m not trying to rain on your parade. Go ahead, throw that parade. Party. Celebrate. But know that you are celebrating the IDEA of freedom, not the reality of it. July 4th is a commemoration of an important historical event, and now it is also a call to arms in the present day. Don’t say that we are free. We are not. But remember why you want to be, and then strive to achieve it.

Happy Independence Day, my fellow patriots. We’ve got work to do.

Read more at http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/07/03/it-is-independence-day-and-you-are-not-free/#xib9GDW6bOztrgCt.99
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Since Brexit has been in the news lately, and most of those commenting don't really know what it's about, I thought I'd share this link to a video I came across explaining the reasons for it. Frankly, I think they make a pretty good case for it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTMxfAkxfQ0&
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3D construction coming along in China.
Chinese concrete 3D printing specialists Beijing HuaShang Tengda have just completed an exquisite 400 m2 villa in Beijing in just 45 days, and have 3D printed the entire structure on-site.
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Democrats opposed to freedom of speech ... again.
 
There was a time when lefties at least pretended to be the political bloc that most favored free speech. The best you can say about this latest episode is that they've finally dropped the pretense.
Reason Foundation among the many groups targeted outrageously—and falsely—for global-warming thoughtcrime
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It's a more generally troubling trend - using the law to punish dissenting opinions. It doesn't begin or end with the Reason Foundation, but the fact that Sen. Boxer is talking about using the law to go after organizations for saying things that they didn't even say ... surely that should concern us on several levels.
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OK, so this is pretty neat: life forms that can live off of electricity.
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This should have some useful applications.

Also - from the UAE. I know they've been talking about a high tech industry - this is promising, but will it continue?
Researchers at the Masdar Institute are creating 3D printed high performance materials with custom-designed mechanical, thermal and electrical properties by manipulating the materials' internal structures.
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About time - this spider silk could revolutionize clothing in numerous ways.
 
Spider silk. No spiders, modified yeast. Already making it by the kilo, planning to make it by the ton next year.
We could be at the beginning of a textile revolution like one that the chemical giant DuPont kicked off in the 1930s.
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Members of this endangered subtype of human who possess the unusual abilities to calmly reflect on situations and view the world from others’ perspectives are being reintroduced into the population.
ITHACA, NY—In an ambitious attempt to revive a population long considered to be on the brink of extinction, scientists announced Friday they have slowly begun to reintroduce normal, well-adjusted human beings back into society.
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Splicing in a little of their DNA clearly wouldn't be enough.
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A side of Islam that many Americans miss:

http://rare.us/story/let-me-talk-to-you-about-my-faith/
Truly devout Muslims are the majority and we shouldn’t be feared.
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+Peter Thoenen - good points all around. I am not familiar enough to know the ins and outs of it, but I also figure actual practice is more important than the theory. The same can be said about Protestant Christianity, which has tended to produce the strongest economies in the world - but largely due to traditions that are not in the Bible, and which even contradict a literal reading of some passages. I can guarantee that if you actually follow all the rules in the New Testament you will soon be a pariah in every Protestant church in the world, carefully shunned as a heretic if not actively hated.

And then there are the Catholics, who took a passage requiring priests to be married and made it into a passage forbidding plural marriage. Two birds with one stone, there.
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Interested in history and humanity, including colonization (Antarctica, Seasteading), the future of humanity and the post-human world, technology, and just about everything.  Except sports.  Sports bore me.

The following is to allow people who know me to determine if I am the person they are looking for.

Alan R. Light, Alan Robert Light.

Born in Washington, D.C., in 1970, but grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and Waxhaw, North Carolina.

Graduated from Wheaton College in 1992.

Online since 1988.  Participated in rec.arts.books on USENET in the 1990's.

Project Gutenberg volunteer, 1993-1999.

Interest in Antarctica since childhood.  South Pole Station, 31 October 2007 to 4 February 2008.  McMurdo Station, October 2007 and 16 February 2009 to 9 October 2009.

Since 6 July 1981, have lived within 50 miles of Charlotte, North Carolina more often than not.

U.S. Army National Guard 1988-1994 (IRR until 1996).  South Carolina and Illinois National Guard.  Radio Teletype Operator.

Was a DJ at a college radio station Senior year.  Did a weekly show with World Music.  Not to be confused with a famous New York DJ with same name.

Father's family is from Rolla, Missouri.  His family had moved to Rolla from the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area in 1875.  His mother was from Kansas.

Mother was born in Tucson, but grew up in Marana and Phoenix, Arizona; Arlington, Massachusetts; and the Washington, D.C. area.  Her parents had moved to Arizona from Tennessee and West Virginia.

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Has visited every continent at least twice. Between October 2009 and February 2009 visited every continent, including 20 countries, in one trip.
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North Carolina
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Charlottesville, Virginia and Waxhaw, North Carolina - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - Waxhaw, North Carolina, USA - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - Wadesboro, North Carolina, USA - Monroe, North Carolina, USA - Homewood, Alabama, USA - Yokkaichi, Mie Ken, Japan - South Pole - Fort Gordon, Georgia, USA - Fort Jackson, South Carolina, USA - McMurdo Station, Antarctica
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