Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Thousand Balls of Flame

Russia is ready to respond to any provocation, but the last thing the Russians want is another war. And that, if you like good news, is the best news you are going to hear.

A whiff of World War III hangs in the air. In the US, Cold War 2.0 is on, and the anti-Russian rhetoric emanating from the Clinton campaign, echoed by the mass media, hearkens back to McCarthyism and the red scare. In response, many people are starting to think that Armageddon might be nigh—an all-out nuclear exchange, followed by nuclear winter and human extinction. It seems that many people in the US like to think that way. Goodness gracious!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Interview on SomethingFeelsWrong.com

Barry in the DR recently interviewed me on the unfolding catastrophe we like to call “current events.” Enjoy!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Werewolf Logic

This day a year ago the world lost one of its great minds: Dr. Jaakko Hintikka passed away in Porvoo, Finland, aged 86.

I studied epistemic logic and philosophy of language with Dr. Hintikka while a graduate student at Boston University in the early 1990s. He was a very impressive intellectual figure—the author of dozens of scholarly books and hundreds of articles. But I understood his passion in life to be rather simple: it was to teach people to think—not what to think, but how to think. As a logician, he could see how helpless most people are at the mechanics of thought, and he wanted to help them.

Today, on the first anniversary of his passing, I am honoring Dr. Hintikka‘s memory with the following comedic horror story. Its plot rests on one of his insights: that public knowledge is but the tip of an iceberg of confidential, privately shared knowledge. It’s not what you know that matters, but who else knows that you know what you know.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Announcing: Club Orlov Shirts!

Here, for your pleasure, are three shirt designs. They are nautical-themed, highly ironic, somewhat politically incorrect, and they feature pictures of fish and exceptionally witty puns. They are very reasonably priced and are available in every imaginable style, size and color. Free shipping on large orders! Get them for yourself or the whole crew! Please click on the pictures to place your order.

YOUR PLAICE OR MINE?

I HAVE A BREAM!

YOUR WRASSE ON A PLATE

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Furious Sheep

[Ovelha enfurecida]

In all my years of watching politics in the US, never have I seen a presidential election generate such overwhelmingly negative emotions. Everyone hates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or, increasingly, both of them. This is creating a severe psychological problem for many people: they want to tell their friends and the world that Clinton is mentally unstable and a crook, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Trump. Or they want to tell everyone what a vulgar, narcissistic, egotistical blowhard Trump is, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Clinton. Some are abandoning the two-party duopoly in favor of minor parties, ready to vote for Jill Stein the Green or Gary Johnson the Libertarian, but are conflicted because voting for Stein would take votes away from Clinton the crook and thus support Trump the blowhard, while voting for Johnson would take votes away from Trump the blowhard and thus support Clinton the crook. There is just no winning! Or is there?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Power of “Nyet”

[O poder do “não”]
[Het vermogen van “njet”]
[Síla „Nět“]
[Le pouvoir du « Niet »]

The way things are supposed to work on this planet is like this: in the United States, the power structures (public and private) decide what they want the rest of the world to do. They communicate their wishes through official and unofficial channels, expecting automatic cooperation. If cooperation is not immediately forthcoming, they apply political, financial and economic pressure. If that still doesn’t produce the intended effect, they attempt regime change through a color revolution or a military coup, or organize and finance an insurgency leading to terrorist attacks and civil war in the recalcitrant nation. If that still doesn’t work, they bomb the country back to the stone age. This is the way it worked in the 1990s and the 2000s, but as of late a new dynamic has emerged.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Interview on Keiser Report Summer Solutions Series

Max Keiser, Stacy Herbert and I discuss two books which I recently published—150-Strong and Bureaucratic Insanity—as well my efforts to prevent World War III.

On Women, Boats and Plumbing

...It is dangerous to generalize, and there are some exceptionally handy women, but there is also a preponderance of anecdotal evidence that the vast majority of women who live aboard boats limit their participation in dealing with plumbing issues to making announcements and asking questions.

The announcements can be quite emphatic, ranging from “There is no water!” or “There is salt water coming out of the tap!” to “I am going to the gym, because I want to take a normal shower!” and “I can’t stand this any more!” The questions can be quite challenging as well: “Why is the plumbing breaking down all the time?”, “Why can’t it be made to work reliably?” and “Why can’t we live like normal people?” As you may rightly surmise, plumbing emergencies occupy a spot at the top of the list of things that negatively affect domestic tranquility among liveaboard couples.

When an onboard plumbing emergency arises, the male part of the seasteading team takes out the tools, plunges his hands into a cramped locker filled with a tangle of hoses, promptly cuts himself on a hose clamp and starts using foul language. He would much rather work on something—anything—else, but he knows that if he can’t fix the plumbing problem quickly and definitively, his stock will plummet in value. Now, fixing the problem is generally quite possible—plumbing isn’t exactly brain surgery—but there are several adverse factors:

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A Turkey of a Coup

A lot of words have already been said in the past few days about the Turkish coup that couldn’t fly, but strangely enough some rather obvious things went unmentioned, so I’ll try to fill in a few gaps. Specifically, a lot of the things that have been said range from feeble-minded to utterly preposterous. If this is propaganda, then it sounds like very bad, weak propaganda. Still, there is no shortage of people endlessly repeating these talking points, whether because they get paid to or because they don’t know better. They are the ones I want to address.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

QUIDNON—Progress Report

Much of the design work has been completed over the past few months. The 3D model, drafted in Rhino 3D, is largely complete. Construction techniques, including materials selection, joinery techniques and order of assembly have been largely worked out. The cockpit design, the deck arches, the tiller linkage, tanks and lockers and many other details have been worked out in detail.

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