It’s now a crime to insult the President of the United States. A woman in Georgia got fined $100 for displaying a bumper sticker, “I’m Tired Of All The BUSHIT.” Officially, the law forbids obscene stickers; in practice, stickers displaying the Confederate flag and more explicitly racist icons are permitted.
Lindsay puts Oliver Curry, a crank who espouses a theory of evolutionary psychology that makes Pinker’s look respectable, in his place. He asserts that humans will evolve into übermenschen over the next millennium, and then start to decline, eventually splitting into two subspecies, which are too close to the Eloi and Morlock for it to be a coincidence.
Hat-tip to Jessica: Bill O’Reilly claimed that pregnancy never endangers women’s lives, because they could always have a C-section. I’ll let the medical bloggers give a list of how pregnancy does endanger women’s lives; all I’ll say is, “Point at him and laugh.”
Also due to Jessica, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is running an entirely wrongheaded article about third-wave feminism (a term that really means, “any sort of feminist activism or thought produced after 1985”) with a just as wrong rebuttal. Personally, I blame the feminist movement for spending too much time on telling horror stories about abortion restrictions and too little on getting people to understand that there’s a nearly universal wage gap of 21% between men and women who do the same jobs.
Via Retrospectacle, I’ve found this story about Microsoft’s new initiative, a project named MyLifeBits that aims to digitize all physical memories a person has: photographs, home movies, journal entries, phone calls. Gordon Bell, the head of the project, said, “The privacy concerns are severe… They’re exactly the same issues that occur in a company or among individuals. And I’d say society’s resolving those issues.” Society is in fact resolving those issues, by getting rid of privacy entirely.
Gordo writes about the USA’s latest torture scandal, involving a memo from 2002 that permits using psychedelic drugs on prisoners in interrogation. In that light, the most implausible scene in 24 is not that the President tries to prevent killing innocent people, or that Jack Bauer tortures people and gets results; it’s that at one point, the new President doesn’t allow Jack to torture a US citizen and insists on arresting him when he does.