URLs du Jour

2018-08-12

[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 10:25 is another recommendation for righteousness:

    25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
        but the righteous stand firm forever.

    You can get a song out of this, as demonstrated by our Amazon Product du Jour.


  • At NR, Jim Geraghty asks the musical question: Should Alex Jones Be Banned from Social Media?

    A lot of the discussion about this on social media amounts to, “I don’t trust Facebook.” And that’s a reasonable position! Facebook has given a lot of people a lot of reasons to doubt its word and impartiality! None of the people who run these companies are constitutional scholars specializing in First Amendment cases, nor did they ever aspire to be in that role. They set up and joined these companies to make money — and now they’re in the weird position of American Public Discourse Police.

    But right now, Alex Jones is fighting a defamation lawsuit from the parents of a six-year-old killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. The parents’ suit alleges that Jones showed his audience their personal information and maps to addresses associated with the family, leading to years of threats and harassment from Jones followers who claimed the shooting was a hoax. As this Wired article lays out, the ruling may depend on whether the judge and jury think Jones intended for the parents to be harassed.

    I don't trust Facebook. But I don't fancy myself to be in a position to tell them how to run their business.

    I note that it's pretty easy to customize your Facebook settings, though. If you don't want to see stuff that Abhorria Obnoxio-Confoundez posts, you don't have to.

    So I'm not quite sure what the exact problem is that Facebook is trying to solve.


  • People who follow the Books feed on Pun Salad know that I occasionally like to read stuff about the funny old workings of the human brain. But in the "everything you know is wrong" department, of the most popular notions I've seen may be … well, bullshit: Why the Most Important Idea in Behavioral Decision-Making Is a Fallacy.

    Loss aversion, the idea that losses are more psychologically impactful than gains, is widely considered the most important idea of behavioral decision-making and its sister field of behavioral economics. To illustrate the importance loss aversion is accorded, Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics, wrote in his 2011 best-selling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, that “the concept of loss aversion is certainly the most significant contribution of psychology to behavioral economics.” As another illustration, when Richard Thaler was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics, the phrase “loss aversion” appeared 24 times in the Nobel Committee’s description of his contributions to science.

    I found Kahneman's book very entertaining, although I was skeptical when he turned into the political realm, e.g., "libertarian paternalism", a notion also supported by Thaler.

    Of course, since I'm negative on paternalism, it could be confirmation bias that makes me post this. Caveat lector!


  • LFOD pops up in the oddest places, like the New Hampshire magazine article about transplanted celebrity barber Steven Dillon: Shear-Zen. Among his former clients: Yoko Ono, the late Natasha Richardson. Bullet-pointed excerpts from his interview:

    • I love the people in New Hampshire. I love the “Live Free or Die” consciousness.
    • And no, I don’t run with scissors. It’s still a pretty bad idea.

    It's nice to be loved, Steven. Welcome to NH.


  • At Face2Face Africa, Mildred Europa Taylor invites you to Meet the great warrior woman of Guadeloupe who fought against French troops in 1802 while pregnant.

    Live free or die” were Solitude’s last words when she was executed for her involvement in the 1802 slave rebellion in Guadeloupe.

    Yes, spoiler right up front.


  • And finally, at Autoblog, Greg Rasa would like you to Watch helmet save woman's life as truck runs over her head. And, what the heck, here it is:

    Greg's commentary:

    Normally we'd warn you of the graphic nature of the video above. But instead, we figure it's one everybody should see.

    Wearing a motorcycle helmet makes sense. We all know that except perhaps for some riders where there are no helmet laws whatsoever: Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire (whose state motto leaves out the worst of the possibilities: Live Free or Die — or spend the rest of your life with a traumatic brain injury.)

    "If it saves one life…", in other words.

    I don't know if Greg is in favor of helmets for everyone who drives anything. Or 25 MPH speed limits. (We shouldn't make any cars that go faster than that anyway!)