Author Archives: Denyse O'Leary

Experts slam EU proposal to grant personhood to intelligent machines

From George Dvorsky at Gizmodo:

Over 150 experts in AI, robotics, commerce, law, and ethics from 14 countries have signed an open letter denouncing the European Parliament’s proposal to grant personhood status to intelligent machines. The EU says the measure will make it easier to figure out who’s liable when robots screw up or go rogue, but critics say it’s too early to consider robots as persons—and that the law will let manufacturers off the liability hook.

This all started last year when the European Parliament proposed the creation of a specific legal status for robots … More.

See also: Should chimpanzees be considered legal persons or things? Chimpanzees being considered legal persons is a step on the road to human beings not being considered so. But people vote for it. And academics and law firms will profit from it. It will not help chimpanzees at all, unfortunately, as the only thing that can really help them is protection of their environment.


Live webinar with Robert Marks, Baylor U, on artificial intelligence and human exceptionalism


Understanding the New Yorker’s Cool hatred of Chick-Fil-a

From Nicole Russell at the Federalist:

It’s true, the late S. Truett Cathy was an outspoken Christian who integrated Christian ethos into the company’s vision and mission. Orthodox Christianity has since its beginning and through today opposed homosexual behavior, so there’s no surprise here. Because of its owners’ also Christian views about Christ’s love for sinners, the company has shown love and grace—through fried chicken sandwiches, of course—to communities in need over and over again, including communities grieving over gay loved ones. Apparently showing love to imperfect people is too confusing a stance for New Yorker writers to handle.

Following the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, local folks gathered in line to donate blood. Employees of a nearby Chick-fil-A opened the restaurant, although it’s normally closed on Sundays to give employees time with their families, and gave donors food while they were waiting. Stories like this abound, yet there’s no mention of this kind of repeated generosity from the company. More.

Reality check: But that, of course, is just the trouble. Left to themselves, ordinary people do decent things. Things balance. The progressive needs a world he can police and force everyone to do what he wants. Vote for it, get more of it.

See also: But why does Matthew Lau assume that Ontario wants success?


Possibly a good summer read: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science

From Derek Hunter:

On a personal note, and speaking of books, I wrote one that will be coming out on June 19 from Harper Collins. It was just posted to Amazon and is called “OUTRAGE, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood.” You can preorder it here. I will be writing more about it as the release date approaches, but it’s factual and funny; put a lot of research into it. I hope you’ll give it a shot.

A science outrage machine is no different from any other. See A force for science vs. a voice for science?

See also: Experts slam EU proposal to grant personhood to intelligent machines


But why does Matthew Lau assume that Ontario wants success?

From Matthew Lau at C2C Journal,

The governing Liberals – insisting that the Ontario economy has flourished under their excellent management, despite all the evidence showing otherwise – have promised to continue barrelling down the same economic path of increased government control. Spending will continue to balloon, the minimum wage will rise by another $1 next year, and the fiscal plan calls for the government to run its 16th consecutive deficit in 2023-24.

A Liberal MPP from Mississauga recently tried to rebut his government’s critics by declaring that “we have tripled (the debt) and we’re proud of it.” Premier Kathleen Wynne, in damage-control mode, sought to clarify: what her member was proud of were actually the “investments” that their government had made. All those investments that have done so much to “stimulate” the economy over the last 15 years. In just under two months, Ontarians will decide whether they want more of the same, or have had enough.More.

Reality check: For many people, failure is much more attractive than success. One can whine, bitch, blame others, and demand compensation. The trouble with success is that, if you win this year, people kind of expect you to win next year too. That’s a pretty expensive lifestyle habit. Better to learn to lose early and often.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk


Inconvenient polar bear expert mauled by climate alarmists

From James Delingpole at Breitbart:

Susan Crockford is a polar bear expert with a message that climate alarmists don’t want to hear: polar bear populations are thriving and are certainly in no danger from thinning summer sea ice supposedly caused by ‘man-made global warming.’

That’s why the alarmist establishment is currently trying destroy her.

First came a hatchet job in Bioscience, described by climate scientist Judith Curry as “absolutely the stupidest paper I have ever seen published.” More.

Reality check: Bears are omnivores. Whether thinning sea ice is manmade or not, the notion that they will not find something to eat is not reality-based.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk  Reality won’t matter.


The big missed story of Chappaquiddick

From Mark Steyn:

I have always been revolted by the fact that Ted, after killing Mary Jo Kopechne, did not have the decency to do a John Profumo and retire from public life for the rest of his days – and I was even more revolted by the way Massachusetts voters did not have the decency to impose that choice upon him.More.

Reality check: For the sake of their own health, welfare, and safety, Americans should never forget that Democrat women protected Kennedy. As I said at Steyn’s site:

The fact that an honest film can now be made signals the weakening of the hold of Big Media, for whom the Kennedys were a major brand:

“I saw him walking over the hill/with Abraham, Martin, and John.” Etc. Yeah.

I remember the dismay of an honest news team some years back when their carefully detailed investigation of John’s and Robert’s affairs with suicide victim Marilyn Monroe was shadily suppressed by Big News because it interfered with The Legend.

Here’s the takehome point from Mark’s classic comments: Democrat women could have forced Ted’s retirement from public life.

Granted, they were willing to go down on presidential kneepads to Bill Clinton to keep abortion legal. They have always had the same relationship with abortion as Southern slaveholders had with slavery and for more or less the same reasons (lifestyle).

But then we always knew that about them. They made no secret of it.

What we didn’t know is that Democrat women were quite willing to just leave one of their own to die in agony and then cover it all up because Kennedy was a useful property and she wasn’t.

Welcome to Progressive World’s view of the value of human life in general. Vote for it and get way more of it.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk


Dumbest defenses of the Atlantic firing Kevin Williamson after a week include…

From Warren Henry at the Federalist:

It is true that Williamson did not mince words in his comments. It is also true that Williamson has written about his sympathy for women who become pregnant unexpectedly and why abortion is not the proper response to that situation.

In contrast, Williamson’s critics not only ignore the totality of his writings on abortion, but also tend to avoid explaining why they think abortion is a painful decision. This supposed response allows the critics to pose as people who agonized over a morally difficult decision, while attempting to exclude from the mainstream those who follow the logic of the opposite conclusion, as though the decision was easy. More.

Reality check: The Atlantic is now history anyway. Its present representatives neither need nor want serious debate about anything. They need and want to be on some kind of pension to represent some Correct view, whether or not anyone needs or wants to hear it.

All the while, big social media is farming the people who provide the content anyone really wants to hear or see.

By the way, the photo accompanying Henry’s piece features the Handmaids in those weird red getups. Why doesn’t anyone notice how goofy all that seems? Why no laughing? Not allowed?

See also: Andrew Klavan on the Atlantic firing Kevin Williamson a week later


But why are we even asking why the Left gets a pass on anti-Semitism?

From David Harsanyi at the Federalist:

Although certainly a serious concern, anti-Semitism is a relatively minor problem in American life. It is, however, getting difficult not to notice a trend among liberals of either ignoring, rationalizing, or brushing off anti-Semitism, which seems to be more commonplace on the Left than it has been in a long time.

But when identity politics and class warfare propel your movement, as it does the progressivism that’s becoming increasingly popular on the American Left, it’s almost inevitable that the Jews, who’ve tended to successfully navigate meritocracies, will become targets. This hate has traveled with socialists since Karl Marx first declared that “Money” was the god of the Jews. More.

Reality check: The simple answer, as it happens, is that Jewish people tend to vote left, no matter what, and believe it does them no harm. In a world different from the one we live in, they would be right.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk


Facebook can track you even if you are not on Facebook

From Phil Baker at PJ Media:

When people sign up for Facebook, they’re encouraged to upload their contacts to make it easier for Facebook to connect them with their friends. That allows Facebook to access personal contact information for people who never signed up for the platform or gave their permission to share their information. Facebook knows that these contacts are friends of the new Facebook user, and can start compiling additional details on these non-members.More.

Reality check: Facebook’s business is farming you. Eventually, it will not matter if you are on Facebook or not.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk


Andrew Klavan on the Atlantic firing Kevin Williamson a week later

For pro life views, apparently. From Andrew Klavan at PJ Media on the firing of Kevin Williamson:

There is only one reason to silence someone like Kevin: your arguments are so bad you can’t stand up to him in a fair debate.

On top of which, hiring a man away from his job, then firing him for being exactly who you knew he was is simply a skunk thing to do. Shame on Goldberg, really.

In today’s political debate, there are two kinds of people: those who want to silence the voices they disagree with, and the good guys. Kevin Williamson is one of the good guys. Goldberg, it turns out, not so much. More.

Reality check: Actually, the Atlantic is very much more in tune with what is coming down the road from the universities than either Klavan or Williamson are. Opinions that upset the Millennial government job babies will simply be criminalized. Or anyway, they will try to do that.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk


Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk

From Matthew Continetti at Washington Free Beacon:

In the world of the campus, one’s status and moral authority increases with the number of victim groups in which one claims membership. This is the postmodern dogma of “intersectionality” that promotes solipsism at the personal level and division at the social level, that forbids the “cultural appropriation” of one victim group’s tastes, symbols, language, and commodities by another group, and requires members of the victimizer group—cis-gendered white males—to recognize, confess, and atone for their “privilege.” (Full disclosure: This article is being written by an oppressor.)More.

Reality check: How many years are left to solve this problem? And how?

See also: Denver Post pleads with owners to save it


Denver Post pleads with owners to save it

From the Denver Post editorial board:

At The Denver Post on Monday, more than two dozen reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, page designers, digital producers and opinion staff will walk out the door. Our marching orders are to cut a full 30 by the start of July.

These heartbreaking instructions raise the question: Does this cut, which follows so many in recent years that our ranks have shriveled from more than 250 to fewer than 100 today, represent the beginning of the end for the Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire? More.

Reality check: Yes because no one needs you anymore. The big worry is that you will get on the government payroll and spend your time harassing people who provide news that the rest of us need to know.

See also:American Pravda: My Fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News


Why Hollywood is losing ground

Conservative sources often decry the fact that entertainment media do not re-evaluate their nihilistic direction despite faring poorly in terms of rating and numbers in recent years.

But could we look at the matter from another angle? What if Hollywood has lost the power to change, even if stasis kills it?

Today, the awardee ranting into the mike may sound more like your boring uncle at a family dinner than like your secret heartthrob. Which means that something has definitely changed. More.


Can science tell us who will become a mass shooter?

From Bruce Bower at Science News:

A dearth of research means the science of rampage shootings simply doesn’t exist…

Nor does any published evidence support claims that being a bully or a victim of bullying, or watching violent video games and movies, leads to mass public shootings, Winegard contends. Bullying affects a disturbingly high proportion of youngsters and has been linked to later anxiety and depression (SN: 5/30/15, p. 12) but not to later violence. In laboratory studies, youngsters who play violent computer games or watch violent videos generally don’t become more aggressive or violent in experimental situations. Investigators have found that some school shooters, including the Newtown perpetrator, preferred playing nonviolent video games, Winegard says.

Still, a small but tragic group of kids lead lives that somehow turn them into killers of classmates or random strangers (SN: 5/27/06, p. 328). If some precise mix of, say, early brain damage, social ineptitude, paranoia and fury over life’s unfair twists cooks up mass killers, scientists don’t know the toxic recipe. And it won’t be easy to come up with one given the small number of mass public shooters to study. More.

The main problem here is precisely as noted by Bower: “the small number of mass public shooters to study,” who live scattered over large regions. For example, suppose three out of sample of ten shooters are one of a set of identical twins, or left-handed, or adopted. A great deal of socially useless or harmful nonsense could be generated on those subjects because they are already subjects of research interest. But in the larger sample that we are thankful not to have, that bias would likely be engulfed.

A couple of other thoughts: Many parts of the world are more violent than, say, North America or Western Europe. Mass shooters are considered a huge public problem in Canada. But elsewhere, in the midst of a civil war or ethnic cleansing they might not even stand out. We don’t know because we have no generalized sample of the human race.

Also, in a disturbing number of cases, the shooter turns out to have been a known public danger but authorities did nothing and/or law enforcement was badly bungled.

Law enforcement personnel are much more numerous than mass shooters and typically have a more normal psychological profile. Why not then invest more research money in studying 1) remedies for the problem that nothing is done about a clear and present danger and 2) why so many interventions go so wrong? – O’Leary for News

See also: Was Anders Breivik not insane?


Is Google losing its memory?

Well, maybe your memory. From Tim Bray, an Amazon employee:

Obviously, indexing the whole Web is crushingly expensive, and getting more so every day. Things like 10+-year-old music reviews that are never updated, no longer accept comments, are lightly if at all linked-to outside their own site, and rarely if ever visited… well, let’s face it, Google’s not going to be selling many ads next to search results that turn them up. So from a business point of view, it’s hard to make a case for Google indexing everything, no matter how old and how obscure.

Competition Bing can find it! Duck-Duck-Go can too! Both of them can find Brent’s London Calling piece, too. More.

Reality check: Of curse, it may not be that simple, if Google needs us to not find something.

See also: Mark Zuckerberg as US prez? Don’t unfriend the idea.: