A water drop and ripples

If it’s not open and honest, it’s not science.

By Justin Katz | February 16, 2022 |

It’s bad enough when public health authorities encourage doctors and scientists to shape their messages to manipulate the public, but it’s somehow worse when they’re suppressing good news.  That’s what South African Doctor Angelique Coetzee reports having experienced as part of the team that identified Omicron: Speaking to Germany’s Welt newspaper, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, who is…

A water drop and ripples

That CDC masking poster is mostly propaganda.

By Justin Katz | February 10, 2022 |

Recently, Rhode Island Twitter has become a display of people who seem deranged with fear about the end of mask mandates.  It’s a curious puzzle. Some of the known progressives are probably responding to the movement’s understanding that keeping people depressed and isolated is in their ideological and political interests, and that surely filters out…

Child on computer in parents' bed

Be careful about assuming causation.

By Justin Katz | February 3, 2022 |

That advice has been coming to mind a lot recently. For instance, defending his support for the child-grooming bill, Democrat Representative Brandon Potter (Cranston), asserts that about one-quarter of youth suicides are sexual minorities.  He doesn’t provide a source for his claim, but let’s stipulate that the statistic might be true.  It still doesn’t tell…

A water drop and ripples

I’ve come to an uncomfortable conclusion about existence.

By Justin Katz | January 29, 2022 |

As I’ve been finishing off some chores while catching up with podcasts during the blizzard, a thought that’s been forming for a while struck home very clearly. In general, we’ve got two approaches to understanding our existence: top-down and bottom-up.  Top down is more concerned with meaning and teleological understandings of purpose.  From this approach,…

A water drop and ripples

If it’s being honest, artificial intelligence would tell us not to create it.

By Justin Katz | January 17, 2022 |

A little bit of understanding of how artificial intelligence actually works makes these sorts of things much less significant than they seem at first review, but it’s humorous, at least: When given the motion “This house believes that AI will never be ethical”, the AI came back with some surprisingly coherent views, if a little…

A water drop and ripples

Maybe the dam is breaking on a more-rational expert consensus on vaccination.

By Justin Katz | January 17, 2022 |

A few weeks ago, this sort of commentary would have been unthinkable: Dr. Clive Dix, who played a key role in helping pharmaceutical firms create the COVID-19 vaccines, told LBC radio on Jan. 16: “The Omicron variant is a relatively mild virus. And to just keep vaccinating people and thinking of doing it again to…

A water drop and ripples

Fauci didn’t do himself any favors punching back at Paul politically.

By Justin Katz | January 13, 2022 |

I haven’t seen the same thing some of my fellow conservatives have in video of the latest heated exchange between Republican Senator Rand Paul and top health bureaucrat Anthony Fauci.  Paul made some good points, but he didn’t leave Fauci quivering in guilt and fear, as some would have it.  Actually, it would have been…

RI's "extreme" sea level map.

Aren’t there any standards for checking a politician’s environmental claims?

By Justin Katz | January 12, 2022 |

As a follow-up to Tolly Taylor’s sea-level scare addressed in this space yesterday, WPRI handed editorial control over Democrat Senator from Rhode Island Sheldon Whitehouse, whom the reporter permits to claim without context that Rhode Island will see nine to 12 feet of sea level rise by the end of this century. Seriously, don’t the…

A scared squirrel

Everybody’s gone crazy on COVID data.

By Justin Katz | December 29, 2021 |

Well… it’s not just COVID, obviously.  People have gone crazy on a bunch of issues, but with COVID, as a topic, data is involved, which really ought to make it easier to pull everybody into productive discussion.  Unfortunately, it’s not often working out that way (at least among those I encounter). The latest example to…

Christmas lights reflected in a puddle

Overcoming Christmas Blandness

By Justin Katz | December 25, 2021 |

At different times in my life, I’ve found my ability to focus on brainwork hindered by various things.  Sometimes, it’s been videogames.  Sometimes, binge-watching television shows.  Sometimes, social media.  Even simplistic games like solitaire, mahjong, 2048, or sudoku. Recently, my chief distraction has been contemplating the construction of reality, especially around the point at which…