A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘You Can’t Cure Stupid’ tag

Unleash the Zuckerberg Inquisition

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Yesterday Zuckerberg unleashed his inquisitors and they found a lot of heretics:

Facebook said it was removing the publishers and accounts not because of the type of content they posted, but because of the behaviors they engaged in, including spamming Facebook groups with identical pieces of content and using fake profiles.

“Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior,” the company said in a blog post. “People will only share on Facebook if they feel safe and trust the connections they make here.”

So what kind of pages were removed? As of this writing, Cop Block’s main Facebook page has been unpublished along with a number of its state affiliate pages. Gun Laws Don’t Work, V for Voluntary, Punk Rock Libertarians, and many other anti-state pages were also found guilty of heresy.

This is where most libertarians flip their shit about Facebook’s censorship… on Facebook. I won’t debase myself in such a manner. Instead I will point out that it was foolish for so many anti-statists to centralized their content on a site owned and operated by a statist. While I recognize how easy Facebook makes it to reach a large audience, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. In exchange for accessing Facebook’s audience you have to submit to Facebook’s policies and those policies are (probably purposefully) vague and in a constant state of flux. One minute Facebook takes a hands off approach to content, the next it erases dissenting voices like the black plague erasing Europeans.

Of course this entire mess could have been avoided by simply doing the pre-Facebook status quo. Had all of these organizations kept their audience focused on their own websites and forums, there would have been nothing for Zuckerberg’s inquisitors to censor. Instead they opted for the ease of relying on Facebook. They pushed their audience to Facebook and thus put themselves under the rule of Zuckerberg. Now they’re paying the price. Some of these organizations are fortunate enough to still have their own websites and forums so they haven’t been completely erased but most weren’t so smart.

Once again I find myself beating this bloated corpse of a horse that is advocating for individuals and organizations to stop relying on centralized technologies and instead rely on their own infrastructure. Sadly, I know that the innards of this corpse are going to burst forth and spill all over the place before anybody follows my advice.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 16th, 2018 at 11:00 am

When a Plan Backfires

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Elizabeth Warren was the butt of a few jokes when she claimed to have Native American ancestry. In an apparent attempt to silence her critics she had her DNA tested and it showed that there is evidence that she had Native American ancestry between six and 10 generations back. But releasing the results of her DNA test has backfired pretty severely:

“A DNA test is useless to determine tribal citizenship. Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America,” Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Sovereign tribal nations set their own legal requirements for citizenship, and while DNA tests can be used to determine lineage, such as paternity to an individual, it is not evidence for tribal affiliation. Using a DNA test to lay claim to any connection to the Cherokee Nation or any tribal nation, even vaguely, is inappropriate and wrong. It makes a mockery out of DNA tests and its legitimate uses while also dishonoring legitimate tribal governments and their citizens, whose ancestors are well documented and whose heritage is proven. Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.”

One of the defining characteristics of politicians is an inability to qualify statements. It seems like every statement made by a politician is an absolute. Instead of claiming that she had Native American ancestry, Warren could have said that her family folklore claims that her family had Native American ancestry. If she would have qualified her statement by saying that her ancestry was family folklore, the results of her DNA test wouldn’t have mattered. She could have taken these results and said that there is evidence supporting her family folklore and left it at that.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 16th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Posted in Politics

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The Difficulty of Classifying People

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It must be difficult being a collectivist. Their philosophy requires that 7 billion unique individuals fit neatly into a handful of boxes. Is an individual male or female? Is an individual a proletariat or a bourgeois? Is an individual black or white? These questions often seem straight forward but then you run into intersex individuals, workers who also own a stake in means of production, and individuals with white skin who have black ancestry:

In 2010, Taylor took an AncestryByDNA test, he said, “just to confirm what we’d already known.” The results said that he was 90 percent European and 6 percent indigenous American, as well as 4 percent sub-Saharan African.

[…]

Still, the results were enough for Taylor to update his birth certificate last November: It now says that he is black, Native American and Caucasian.

Taylor acknowledges that he looks white. But despite being “visually Caucasian,” as he puts it, he considers himself to be multiracial.

“I’m a certified black man,” he told The Post. “I’m certified black in all 50 states. But the federal government doesn’t recognize me.”

What qualifies an individual as being black? This is a question collectivists have to wrestle with. Is it based on ancestry? Is it based solely on skin color? Is there a minimum DNA threshold? Is so, what is that threshold and what is the justification for setting it there?

Every historical attempt to categorize individuals into a handful of tidy boxes has failed. It turns out that a species with 7 billion individuals is rather complex and contains a lot of variety.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 5th, 2018 at 10:30 am

If You’re Going to Go, Go All Out

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White smoke signals that the gender has been revealed.

Black smoke signals that the gender has not been revealed.

An off-duty border patrol agent wanted an explosive gender reveal party for his family and friends, but he ended up igniting a wildfire that spread to Coronado National Forest in Arizona.

Dennis Dickey, 37, of Tucson, Arizona, has to pay more than $8 million in restitution, starting with a $100,000 initial payment and monthly payments thereafter, the Department of Justice said in a statement.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 3rd, 2018 at 10:30 am

Creating Jobs

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If you ask an advocate of tariffs what punishing consumers is supposed to accomplish, amongst other things they will claim that tariffs create domestic jobs. That ignorance is based on the belief that foreign companies don’t employ people domestically but since we live in a global economy, a lot of foreign companies hire domestic employees. So tariffs often destroy jobs rather than create them:

Alibaba’s founder and chairman Jack Ma says the Chinese mega e-commerce company no longer has plans to create 1 million jobs in the US, citing the ongoing trade conflict as the reason Alibaba is retracting its promise to Donald Trump. A new round of tariffs between the US and China will make mutual trade more difficult.

Who would have guessed that alienating one of the largest economies on Earth would have consequences?

Written by Christopher Burg

September 20th, 2018 at 10:00 am

Gun Control Support Rating System

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Read any article discussing gun ownership privileges (sometimes referred to as rights but rights are something you take and in most cases the discussion of gun ownership revolves around what privileges the government will grant) from the perspective of a gun control supporter and it will inevitably mention the zealous National Rifle Association (NRA) and it’s absolutist position against gun control. Obviously there is some confusion on this matter because the NRA has a long history of supporting gun control. To say that the organization is absolutist is nonsense.

Because I like to be helpful, I’ve decided to put together a quick and dirty three tier rating system for gun control support. I hope that it helps people writing articles in the future (because let’s face it, anybody who claim that the NRA is an absolutist when it comes to opposing gun control is a damn fool). Without further ado, here’s the rating system:

Tier 1: Supports the abolition of private gun ownership. Examples of this tier are Everytown for Gun Safety and the Brady Campaign.

Tier 2: Supports some restrictions to private gun ownership. Examples of this tier are the NRA and Gun Owners of America.

Tier 3: Opposes all forms of restrictions on private gun ownership. The best example of this tier is Cody Wilson and his company Defense Distributed.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 18th, 2018 at 11:00 am

Believing in Science

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I’ve come across a lot of people who have said that people shouldn’t support politicians who don’t “believe in science.” That phrase always amuses me.

To believe is to accept that something is true. The scientific method is the antithesis of belief. Instead of accepting something as true, the scientific method postulates that all hypotheses be tested through experimentation. If experimentation doesn’t prove a hypothesis false, then there is some evidence to support it. But even then the hypothesis isn’t assumed to be true, it merely hasn’t been proven false. If a hypothesis hasn’t been proven false, the scientific method demands that further experimentation be performed. After rigorous experimentation a hypothesis may graduate to a scientific theory but even then it isn’t assumed to be true. A scientific theory is merely an explanation for observations in the natural world that has been repeatedly tested and verified. At any point in the future an experiment could show that the explanation isn’t correct.

One should not believe in the scientific method. One should treat the scientific method as a scientific theory, a tool that has proven useful through use but not necessarily the only useful tool. One should not believe what scientists have published. One should seek to recreate the results published by scientists. In other words, to truly subscribe to the scientific method one must be skeptical about all things, even the scientific method.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 18th, 2018 at 10:30 am

Posted in Science

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Potentially Most Worthless Form of Protest Ever

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When a bunch of triggered snowflake conservatives started burning their Nike products to protest the company’s decision to make Colin Kaepernick its mascot, I foolishly asked if there a more useless way to protest a company than destroying your own property? The question was meant to be rhetorical but a trigger snowflake liberal stepped up to the plate to prove that there are more useless forms of protest through his act of protesting by shooting himself in the arm:

Mark J. Bird, 69, was charged last month with discharging a gun within a prohibited structure, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit and possessing a dangerous weapon on school property, court records show. He was found bleeding from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his arm about 8:15 a.m. on Aug. 28 outside a bathroom in the Charleston campus K building.

[…]

One college employee told police that he held Bird’s hand to calm him down as others tried to stop the bleeding. While waiting for authorities to arrive, Bird said he had shot himself in protest of President Donald Trump, police noted in their report. The report did not elaborate.

I’m sure Trump is all broken up over the fact that some college professor, whom he would probably tear apart on Twitter if he was even vaguely aware of his existence, from Las Vegas decided to shoot himself in the arm with a .22 pistol. I expect Trump to announce his resignation this week due to the power of this professor’s protest.

The real icing on the cake though was this:

Inside the bathroom, campus police found a $100 bill taped to a mirror along with a note that said, “For the janitor,” according to Bird’s arrest report. On the floor of the restroom was a black-and-white, .22-caliber pistol and one spent shell casing.

$100 to clean up blood? Obviously this professor has no idea how expensive it is to cleanup a scene contaminated with blood. You don’t just run a mop across it and call it a day. The scene has to be sterilized because human blood can carry some really nasty shit.

I will probably regret this but I’ll ask anyways, is there a more useless way to protest than shooting one’s self in the arm with a small caliber handgun?

Written by Christopher Burg

September 13th, 2018 at 10:00 am

A More Entertaining Show

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A bunch of conservatives threw a tantrum because Nike chose an individual who failed to stand during prayers to skycloth as its mascot. While a bunch of triggered snowflakes cutting up their socks and burning their shoes is mildly entertaining, this has the potential to be extremely entertaining:

Ford, (F)a sponsor of the National Football League, has voiced support for NFL players exercising their right to free speech and peaceful protest after President Donald Trump urged fans to consider a boycott.

“We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share,” the company said on Monday. “That’s part of what makes America great.”

Queue a bunch of triggered conservatives burning their Ford F-150s.

Yeah, I know it won’t happen. Virtue signalling only goes so far. Some people may be willing to cut up a $10 pair of socks or even burn an old pair of shoes to demonstrate their virtuousness, but few are willing to destroy a vehicle worth tens of thousands of dollars to show the world how much they love the skycloth.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 6th, 2018 at 10:30 am

A Modest Proposal

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It appears as though the confirmation hearing for the new Supreme Court justice went well:

The confirmation hearing for US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee has descended into “mob rule”, a Republican senator said.

John Cornyn of Texas spoke out as Democrats demanded an adjournment. Seventy people were arrested as protesters interrupted the proceedings.

Brett Kavanaugh faces four days before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

If approved, the conservative appeals court judge would be expected to tilt the court’s balance to the right.

Minutes after Mr Kavanaugh, 53, entered the committee rooms on Tuesday, the hearing was disrupted by angry shouts from members of the public and lawmakers alike.

Shenanigans like this, where groups of people attempt to shutdown proceedings by screaming, seem to be becoming more common in this country. I can’t help but think that this is due to the fact that no mechanism exists today for resolving major political disagreements. This wasn’t always the case.

Long ago in this nation’s history there was a contentious president named Alexander Hamilton. He had a major disagreement with another politician named Aaron Burr.

That disagreement never devolved into public display of stupidity like that witnessed at this confirmation hearing though. Do you know why? Because there was a mechanism in place that allowed people like Hamilton and Burr to resolve their disagreements with each other in an unambiguously way.

What I’m saying is, there is an obvious solution to this country’s political disagreements.

Bring back dueling.

Written by Christopher Burg

September 5th, 2018 at 11:00 am