Stuff My Sisters Will Like

To Jenny, Katie and Laura, From Their Brother, Victor

“Do Humankind’s Best Days Lie Ahead?” November 9, 2015

Filed under: Economics,Funny,History,Neat,Sci-fi,Science,Stuff,Unconscionable actions,World Peace — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

An entertaining and interesting debate on the proposition: “Be it resolved humankind’s best days lie ahead…”

If you mean over the next few years, then this is very likely so. Things have been getting quietly and incrementally better in most places around the world for a long time. However, if humankind is worse off in 100 years (like following a global thermal nuclear war) then the optimists will have been victims of normalcy bias. It’s like what they say about going bankrupt: “At first you go bankrupt slowly, then all at once.” 

Click here for the results of the debate’s final voting.

 

China: An Evil Empire November 2, 2015

Filed under: Catholicism,Funny,Politics,Religion,Sad :-(,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

Following in the footsteps of Dr. J. Evans Pritchard, Ph.D., I suggest that if a country’s score for iniquity were plotted along the horizontal of a graph, and its importance were plotted on the vertical, then calculating the total area would yield the measure of that country’s merited infamy. If charted, China’s rectangle of infamy would rank among the largest in the world.

Recently, the Chinese government reported that a 94-year-old, Roman Catholic bishop, Cosmas Shi Enxiang, had died in their custody. He had not been seen in public since he was detained on Good Friday of 2001, 14 years ago. Perhaps the government feared him speaking out against their one-child policy, their forced abortions and forced sterilizations, or their persecutions of Christians. This faithful bishop spent around half of his long life in Chinese prisons and labor camps. He died a white martyr for Jesus Christ.

By 2020, China plans to enroll all its people into a vast national database. This information will be distilled to output individual scores (between 350 and 950) to rate each citizen’s political loyalty. Favored behaviors will be rewarded, with penalties given for disfavored actions, opinions, and relationships. I wonder if the huge, red dragon that is China will soon be requiring its people to maintain at least a mid-range score of 666 in order to buy or sell things?

 

Spoiling Star Wars October 20, 2015

Filed under: Neat,Sci-fi,Star Wars,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

Spoiler Alert:

In this post, I will predict a big twist in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I am confident that I am correct about this.
Sincerely, in all seriousness, read no further if you want to watch this film with a clean slate.

 

The Force Awakens Poster
(more…)

 

Why Punish Wrongdoing? October 8, 2015

Filed under: Neat,Politics,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

Is it just to punishment criminals as a form of retribution? “Retribution is seen by many criminologists as primitive, if not irrational.” But this short post wonders whether any punishment of criminals could be justified absent the concept of retribution.

 

Living in Omelas October 4, 2015

Filed under: Neat,Politics,Sad :-(,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

The fictional Omelas was “a beautiful city that embodies everyone’s utopia, a magical place where everyone was joyful, a place where sorrow never touched the citizens or guests. But beneath that city lay a secret: all its joy and pleasure depended on the suffering and misery of a single lonely, abused child living in a filthy basement. If that child were saved, all of Omelas would fall, its beauty and perfection lost. The citizens of Omelas, when they reached a certain age, were taken below to view the child so that they might understand their civilization. Most rationalized the suffering, as was encouraged: the child was mentally defective anyway, it could never be happy now if taken out, it was incapable of appreciating the beauty of the world like others. Only a few could not bear the truth, but instead of removing the child and Omelas be damned, they walked away, leaving for parts unknown.”

Who are the “little ones” that we do not really care about in our society? You can be sure that they are weak, poor, unheard, and ignored.

 

Of Mottes & Baileys October 1, 2015

Filed under: Neat,Politics,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

I recommend reading Scott Alexander’s (very interesting) thoughts on “Privilege,” “Racism,” and ‘Social Justice Warriors’:

Suppose the government puts a certain drug in the water supply, saying it makes people kinder and more aware of other people’s problems and has no detrimental effects whatsoever. A couple of conspiracy nuts say it makes your fingers fall off one by one, but the government says that’s ridiculous, it’s just about being more sensitive to other people’s problems which of course no one can object to. However, government employees are all observed drinking bottled water exclusively, and if anyone suggests that government employees might also want to take the completely innocuous drug and become kinder, they freak out and call you a terrorist and a [s#!+]lord and say they hope you die. If by chance you manage to slip a little bit of tap water into a government employee’s drink, and he finds out about it, he runs around shrieking like a banshee and occasionally yelling “AAAAAAH! MY FINGERS! MY PRECIOUS FINGERS!”

At some point you might start to wonder whether the government was being entirely honest with you.

This is the current state of my relationship with social justice.

 

The Art of Push Polling September 30, 2015

Filed under: Funny,Politics,Stuff,Unconscionable actions — Fr. Victor Feltes @ 8:00 am

It’s all in how you ask the question. (Be sure to watch the video, too.)