Category Archives: Mathematics

Alexandria O-C

The unserious face of an unserious moment:

Speaking to a friendly Trevor Noah, Ocasio-Cortez revealed that she does not know the difference between a one-year and a ten-year budget; confused the recent increase in defense spending with the entire annual cost of the military; implied that the population of the United States was around 800 million strong; and, having been asked to defend her coveted $15 minimum wage, launched into a rambling and inscrutable diatribe about “private equity” firms that would have been a touch too harsh as a parody on South Park. If anything, she was worse this time than she had been during her appearance on Firing Line a few days earlier, on which newly revamped show she demonstrated her obliviousness to the fact that the United States economy exploded during the 1990s, to the manner in which unemployment numbers are calculated, and to even the most obvious facets of the Israel–Palestine question about which she has assured her supporters she is so passionate.

“It’s really weird!”

It is, yes. Especially given that, before her two interviews aired, Ocasio-Cortez had taken to exhibiting that jealous penchant for credentialism that so stains the world’s wannabe socialists, and to boasting about her intellectual prowess. At the beginning of July, she tweeted with self-satisfaction — and a noticeably premature use of the word “other” — that she was “Wondering how many other House Democrats have a degree in Economics like I do?” Two days later, she upgraded that claim: “If you think the GOP is terrified of my politics now,” she threatened on Twitter, “just wait until they find out about public libraries.” Just wait, indeed! From a BA from BU to the embodiment of all human knowledge in just 48 hours! At this rate it can’t be long before she gives it all up and becomes an honorary Krassenstein Brother: “We are the way, the truth, and the light. Retweet if you love Love and hate Trump!”

And as Stephen Green notes: “Graduated fourth in her class at Boston University, which costs $72,618 annually to attend.”

She’s a poster child for the high-cost worthlessness of a modern college degree.

[Update a while later]

Are people really this stupid? Well, they’re certainly mal-educated.

[Update a few minutes later]

Millennial socialism: Stupid, evil, or both?

[Update a while later]

The media rushes to protect Alexandria O-C from her own cluelessness.

Natural Arguments For God

Mark Tapscott has what he thinks are the five best ones. I find none of them particularly compelling, and the third one is very weak.

As I note in comments (the discussion has been going on for a couple weeks), science is orthogonal to the issue of whether or not God exists, and (as I argued with Hugh Hewitt years ago) the desire of believers to misuse/misunderstand the nature of science to validate their religious beliefs is indicative of a certain lack of faith. And of course, the fallacy of the blind watchmaker appears, in which I have to point out that rolexes don’t replicate with random errors to improve the breed.

Dinosaurs And Gravity

I saw an interesting postulation on Twitter that the reason the dinosaurs could grow so large was that there was less gravity during the Mesozoic. My response:

The Risk Of Spaceflight

A new paper assessing spaceflight mortality. Not sure how useful it is, given the admitted paucity of data.

[Update a few minutes later]

When a Mars simulation goes wrong. Yes, we have a lot to learn before we go to other planets, and even then, people will die, often in terrible ways. Part of the answer is that we have to be more ambitious about how many we send. Six simply isn’t enough.