Choosing Airline Seats

I have to say, I learned absolutely nothing from this, and one of the things I “learned” is wrong. It used to be that the earlier you chose seats, the better your choices, but that is no longer true. American is now charging extra for “premium” (read window or aisle, or more leg room), and if you are early, and want one, you have to pay for it. One trick I have learned, though, is that they open up for free at check-in time if passengers have canceled. When we flew back from Miami last week, we managed to change our previously assigned center seats to windows the afternoon before flight, without having to pay the $34 they had asked previously.

California’s “High-Speed” Rail

It is beyond boondoggle:

they build a boondoggle to nowhere in the middle of a sparsely populated area and expect people to ride just for the thrill of it?

The politicians responsible for this disaster — including Governor Jerry Brown — should go to jail for misuse of taxpayer funds.

Instead, they’ll be reelected, because idiots now have a majority among California voters.

The Brain

Is it computable?

Nicolelis is in a camp that thinks that human consciousness (and if you believe in it, the soul) simply can’t be replicated in silicon. That’s because its most important features are the result of unpredictable, nonlinear interactions among billions of cells, Nicolelis says.

“You can’t predict whether the stock market will go up or down because you can’t compute it,” he says. “You could have all the computer chips ever in the world and you won’t create a consciousness.”

I’m personally an agnostic on the issue.

Facebook And Conservatives

Some interesting (and surprising) observations from Glenn Beck:

It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.

I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I? I want to be very clear — I am not referring to every person in the room. There were probably 25–30 people and a number of them, I believe, felt like I did. But the overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial: ‘Facebook, you must admit that you are screwing us, because if not, it proves you are screwing us.’

What happened to us? When did we become them? When did we become the people who demand the Oscars add black actors based on race?

Good questions. I agree that Facebook should do whatever it wants to do, but that it should be transparent.

[Update a while later]

The real built-in bias at Facebook.

Trump’s Wealth

I’m sure that you’ll be as shocked as I was to learn that he probably greatly exaggerates it. This is a great end quote:

“A fellow asked me that once and I said, ‘I don’t know,” Nelson Bunker Hunt once told a congressional panel grilling him about his net worth. “But I do know people who know how much they are worth generally aren’t worth much.”

Similarly, people who are always bragging about how smart they are generally aren’t that bright.

Trump 42, Clinton 37

Those are the latest numbers from Rasmussen. I’ve never been one to say that Trump can’t beat Hillary; I just think that would be almost as terrible an outcome as him not beating Hillary.

But what I find interesting is not who gets a higher plurality, but how many people share my desire for another candidate (at one in five, by that poll). And that doesn’t count the number who would switch from Trump or Hillary if someone else were in the race. There has never been a more promising year for a good independent candidate than this one.

[Update a while later]

Get ready for a Bernie third-party run.

It would be interesting to see a four-way race, if there were an actual conservative running. I think he or she would have a good chance.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Pop the corn, “liberal” pundits eating their own.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!