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November 2011

"Great darkness must be challenged with bright light"

This is how you defeat evil:

In another community, the violent deaths of such a young and promising couple might have sent shivers through the leadership, prompting them to pull other emissaries from the field. But Chabad's leadership did the opposite, immediately sending another couple to take their place.

"It was almost instantly reflexive for some, especially from knowing Gabi and Rivki," observes Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman, who together with his wife Leah now runs the Chabad House in Mumbai. "Great darkness must be challenged with bright light."

"We Are All Expendable Now"

Robert Tracinski, spot on:

The basic rule of economics after the Industrial Revolution is: if a task can be automated, it will be. Or to put it differently, if a worker can be replaced by a machine, he will be. Call it the principle of expendability. The only thing that has changed since the first power loom is the number and nature of the tasks that can be automated. The first thing the Industrial Revolution did was to automate physical tasks. But now we are beginning to automatemental tasks, and what we are just beginning to see is the scope of the mental work that can be automatized. It is much wider than you probably think. . . .

If you're not taking this seriously yet, let me give you one more example. I recently came across a story about a composer and music theorist who created a computer program that writes cantatas in the style of Johann Sebastian Bach. (A cantata is a short piece with a well-defined structure, which makes the task a little easier.) The climax of the story is a concert in which an orchestra played a mixture of the computer's compositions and actual Bach cantatas. An audience of music experts could not reliably determine which was which.

"All the Married Ladies: A Response to Kate Bolick"

A ringing defense of marriage

Ms. Bolick writes that her mother steeped her in feminist examples because she envisioned “a future in which I made my own choices.” By way of contrast, my daughter will grow up with the knowledge that traditional values, paired with traditional gender roles, will provide her with more of those choices than feminism’s limited precepts can ever enable. . . .

Society doesn’t need new ideas about romance and family, Ms. Bolick. It just needs to remember where it came from.

Via Linkiest.

"An Open Letter to Dr. Phil Jones of the UEA CRU"

With a few--very few--exceptions, real scientists are supposed to document, honestly and completely, their data, and then share that data with other investigators. The global warming guys seemed to have utterly failed to do this.

Jim Lacey nicely summarizes:

Over the years this core group, led by Phil Jones at East Anglia and Michael Mann at Penn State, became so close that even those inclined toward more honest appraisals of the state of climate science were hesitant to rock the boat. As one warm-monger states: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” Silly me, how many years have I wasted believing that the very point of science was to pursue the truth in the face of all obstacles. On the basis of this evidence the scientific method must be rewritten so as to state: “Science must be as objective as possible, unless it offends your friends.” . . . 

Why? One e-mail clearly explains what was at stake: ”I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.” In other words, all the scientific lying was a result of scientists trying to give their political masters a major issue they could use to control people’s lives and justify wasting trillions of dollars. 

"The Keys To The Restoration Of Financial Order In Europe"

Fine column by Reuven Brenner:

Once the proper incentives are in place for either capital to flow to the younger, entrepreneurial people, or for the younger, entrepreneurial people to flow where capital becomes more available to them, the politically heated debates about exports, imports, balance of payments will subside.  This does not mean that the vastly expanded welfare state would not have to make adjustments, but rising taxes is certainly not the solution to their ills.