The Friday Political Thread: Includes 5 Clues on the Location of the Whitey Tape

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The Week in Brief
– Ron Paul left the presidential race.
– Tim Russert died at age 58. Here's Brent Bozell praising him. Seriously.
– John McCain and Fox News partnered for the wimpiest town hall meeting since, well, George W. Bush's wimpy 2004 town hall meetings. You know—the ones that left him soft and unprepared for the Kerry debates.

– Barack Obama fired his chief vice presidential candidate vetter, then launched a site dedicated to fighting "smears" against him. An anti-Obama hoaxter and wanted criminal booked a press conference, anyway.

Below the Fold
– I'm still having fun with the Obama conspiracy industry. Here's one blogger alleging that Michelle Obama said whitey because her church's philosophy has some roots in the work of Stokely Carmichael—who said "whitey"! True, Michelle Obama is three years old in the example they cite, but young minds are the most impressionable!
– Robert Stacy McCain goes to Bob Barr's anti-war event.
– Patrick Ruffini looks deep into Obama's patriotic imagery.
– Gerard Baker predicts that Europeans will miss George Bush.

Here's an out-of-the-box yet strangely in-the-box Politics 'n' Prog pick: a collaboration between Marrilion's Fish and Genesis's Tony Banks. I'm not sure if I like it.

NEXT: Bringing Sexism Back

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  1. I gots yo whitey right heah you cracka ass muthafucka

  2. Bush lost all three Kerry debates badly, but he still managed to win the election.

  3. Seriously what is with the Republican Political Machine’s fascination with attacking dem candidates wives? Kitty Dukakis to Hillary to Teresa Heinz Kerry to Michelle Obama.

    Tipper seems to be the only one untargeted, perhaps because of her Parental Advisory Board fight against Purple Rain and dirty song lyrics. What gives?

  4. Stephen, the Democrats were pretty hard on Nancy Reagan.

    But the Democrats have been very soft on both Bush wives, and Libby Dole for that matter.

  5. That Ruffini article is nonsense on stilts.

  6. Tipper wasn’t targeted because she once beat an illegal immigrant maid to death and deported the baby she had as a result of repeated rapes by Al.
    We approve of that sort of thing stephen.

  7. Laura Bush killed her friend in a drunken car crash and her rich daddy covered it up. Worse, she is a smoker.

  8. We’ve learned that John McCain “can wander the room.”

    Priceless.

  9. That music sounds like what they play in the background while the underdog hero learns to water ski before the big contest.

    Hey, Johnny. Chip Biffley”s gonna kick your butt!

  10. Well, Obama finally managed to get a lead in the tracking polls…for two days. Then back to margin of error.

    Its gonna be a close election, even though it shouldn’t be.

  11. Tipper wasn’t targeted because she once beat an illegal immigrant maid to death and deported the baby she had as a result of repeated rapes by Al.
    We approve of that sort of thing stephen.

    link?

  12. It doesn’t take a non-existent tape of Mrs. O to tell how she feels about white people…

    …which is sad, because she and Hubby Barry have a license to get away with it. Meanwhile, their supporters get to mischaracterize any anti-Obama critiques with “that’s coming from inbred gun-totin’ Jesus freaks”. Nice.

  13. “Tipper seems to be the only one untargeted, perhaps because of her Parental Advisory Board fight against Purple Rain and dirty song lyrics. What gives?”

    Frank Zappa refered to Tipper as a “cultural terrorist”, though I don’t think he used that term in his anti-PMRC testimonies. Shame, that.

    I’ve been looking for a VH-1 interview with AC/DC, where Brian Johnson refered to her as a “twit” – a segment which was edited out in subsequent airings. But I can’t find it other than in text form…

  14. I love the way this works.

    The Malkinintes use bullshit stories to create the image that Michelle Obama hates white people, then use the image to make their bullshit stories seem plausible. Then, when disproven, they talk about how plausible the latest story seemed, given what we “know” she thinks about white people.

  15. “That music sounds like what they play in the background while the underdog hero learns to water ski before the big contest.”

    Yes! The cheesy teen flick underdog hero training montage music!

  16. I need a MONTAGE!

    Or when the buddy takes him shopping for some cool clothes. Like gloves with no fingers, and wrist bands.

  17. Tipper seems to be the only one untargeted, perhaps because of her Parental Advisory Board fight against Purple Rain and dirty song lyrics.

    No, it’s because she’s hotttttttttttttttttttt.

  18. Why the hell is that Marillion guy singing like Phil Collins? Did he always do that?

  19. OK I’m back and still no Keith Emerson. Today I pledge that If H & M features a KE video preferably with Marc Bonilla, I wil kiss every illegal immigrant I see. That ought to make all you cosmo libertarian metrosexuals very happy.

  20. “Its gonna be a close election, even though it shouldn’t be.”

    Ideally it should be very close with both candidates receiving no votes.

  21. .. okay, open thread, right??

    .. what’s with the Mark Udall ad at the top of the page?? .. his cousin, Tom Udall, is my congresscritter and is about the most statist SOB that I’ve known .. seriously, the few times I catch his ads on the teevee make me want to break out the 12 gauge and keep pumping shells until the noise stops .. if they have similar politics, why would he be advertising here??

    .. Inquiring Hobbit

  22. No Name Guy | June 13, 2008, 6:32pm | #
    Bush lost all three Kerry debates badly, but he still managed to win the election.

    He also lost two of the three debates against Gore but won the spin. Essentially, he was expected to come across as a man with an IQ of 90 and he came across as a man with an IQ of 95 and that was supposed to be impressive.

  23. First of all, I’d like to congratulate Dave Weigel on what he did at the McCain event. It took guts to press McCain on his questionable policies, but Weigel just went right after him. Weigel really threw a monkeywrench in the schemes of those who just wanted a series of setup questions. Bravo!

    In other news:

    1. Here’s Ron Paul’s supporters can help him. Not to put too fine a point on it, doing that is in any case your duty as a citizen.

    2. Here’s something Cosmos would rather not talk about. Apparently the money’s good.

    3. I’ve got a blog at Obama’s site!

    4. Let’s all raise a toast the discovery of prog antidotes!

  24. OK I’m back and still no Keith Emerson. Today I pledge that If H & M features a KE video preferably with Marc Bonilla, I wil kiss every illegal immigrant I see. That ought to make all you cosmo libertarian metrosexuals very happy.

    …why? I mean, we like illegal immigrants.

  25. He also lost two of the three debates against Gore but won the spin.

    Nobody loses a debate with Al Gore. He beats himself like a sterile donkey/horse hybrid for hire.

  26. Brent Bozell is the kind of statist, moralizing,puritanical, big-government, asshole conservative you pole-smoking cosmotarians think allright wingers are.

  27. Did someone mention pole-smoking?

    I love the constant drip, drip of advisors being hired, a little dirt comes up, it smudges the candidates’ shoes, they get fired.

    Almost as good as the nanny problems the Clinton administration had.

    Ok, I don’t really love it, but it is the only entertainment I’m getting from this pathetic exersize of statist pandering we call an election.

  28. Psssst. Weigel. Muse, “Knights of Cydonia”. It’s just as cheesy as this video, but I think intentionally so. And more prog than synth-pop.

  29. Going into the debate with a strategy of tripping up his opponent with a series of grunts and snorts didn’t work out too well for Gore.

  30. Lovely, more Whitewash and political SPIN.

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  31. (Attempts at) prog should not be done in a major key.

    Just sayin’.

  32. I am white*, so I don’t mind being called “whitey.” What’s the big deal? It offends me not.

    *Full disclosure: I’m more beige than white.

  33. Nobody loses a debate with Al Gore. He beats himself like a sterile donkey/horse hybrid for hire.

    A-hem!

  34. church’s philosophy has some roots in the work of Stokely Carmichael-who said “whitey”! True, Michelle Obama is three years old in the example they cite, but young minds are the most impressionable!

    Oh Da-a-a-a-ve. The observation that Michelle (your new belle) was too young to form an opinion about the rantings of Stokes cannot be used to show how idiotic the accusations are.

    Age don’t matter how old she was, both Mr Potter and Mr Randian speak fluent Rand and I doubt if either of them can recall the day Branden broke his vow of silence and sent the dollar sign flower arrangement to the funeral home and spoiled Lennie’s fifteen minutes.

    Besides, Jefferson’s been dead for 175 years and everybody here is influenced to some degree.

    Disclaimer: I’m not arguing that Michelle Obama hates Whitey, I’m arguing (in my spare time) that Michelle Obama’s age at indoctrination has no bearing on the accusation that she’s a race baitin’ Black Supremacist.

  35. Oh shit, now I suppose somebody will think I agree with the Whitey charges against Ms Obama…..

    I doubt the allegations are true. I don’t care if they are true. To repackage a tried and tru-ism from the past:

    It’s The Politics, Stooopid!

    Obama is not a libertarian, or a cosmotarian, or even a good leftist. Plus he’s like, twelve years old or something. Therefore, I am against him and hereby declare my vote for Bob Barr (big surprise there).

  36. I will say this. The whole “whitey” thing was a generational thing. Maybe if you watch early Blaxploitation you might catch a reference to “whitey”, but by the mid-to-late ’70s, I believe “honky” was the operative pejorative. Nowdays, I usually just hear “white people” or “white folks”, but then again I don’t live in a Blaxploitation movie or hang around people that are militant.

    **”white trash” should be pretty damn offensive, but I hear white people refer to other white people this way a lot. What gives? Why is such dismissive language acceptable? (and yes, I’m aware, a lot of black people call one another the Ultimate Slur.

  37. thoreau, hold on buddy, I’m sending you $500 right now! Oh, thank goodness, somebody I know, so it couldn’t possibly be a tried-and-true scam!

  38. Getting back to the judge with the cow fetish:

    You gotta love a judge presiding over an obscenity trial with images of women painted like cows (NSFW) on his computer.

  39. Mr Tee,

    The comment below Donerooo’s is priceless:

    I’m sure his (Obama’s) birth certificate lists place of birth: manger.

    Or is that the one you were linking to and I’m just not paying enough attention?

    Art: RE: White Trash. Funny when Foxworthy does it, but can be used as a slur. ‘Trailer Trash’ is nice too.

  40. Prole, I’ll bet 25 people have sent me that image over the years. Why it gets anyone excited is beyond me. It is mildly amusing, especially if you’re wife is breast feeding. 🙂

  41. Also, White Trash is like porn, not as easy to define as you’d like but you know it when you see it. 🙂

  42. “White trash” is ok for colored folk to say because there’s blacks that are white trash too.

  43. Well, there is this. But, yeah, you got a point. Even though the phrase “white trash” is highly suggestive of class warfare, there are times when the term is appropriate. Although the reference to color in the term always reminded me of segregation mong the so-called ‘underclasses’.*

    *So-called is very PC. Everyone knows that poor, uneducated and non upwardly-mobile people exist.

  44. How ironic then, joe, that Gore’s party has now adopted the Perot position on trade.

  45. Seriously Weigel, stop ignoring Muse in the the prog offerings! Here’s a video with an apocalyptic future and fucking spaceships for fucks sake.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDVqndXhPHk

  46. Growing up in Hawaii, it’s easy to see how BHO might not have recognized how unmutual his pastor’s speech was.

    http://www.hawaiireporter.com/story.aspx?97773d5e-4946-4230-8e6e-bd58a2c57cd7

    http://kalapanapundit.blogspot.com/2008/03/anti-american-rhetoric-by-obamas-pastor.html

  47. That rhetoric from Hawaii isn’t too different from a lot of the neo Confederate/”lost cause” rhetoric in the South.

  48. Hmm, in other news, I’m sure glad we got Afghanistan all straightened out before going into Iraq. Can’t wait to see how the invasion of Iran ends up.

  49. I’m pretty sure that song was made for the kevin bacon film Quicksilver.

  50. “That rhetoric from Hawaii isn’t too different from a lot of the neo Confederate/”lost cause” rhetoric in the South.”

    I’d think it closer to Native American activist groups. After all, it’s an essentially anti-colonial complaint, not a “you didn’t let us secede to preserve our use of slavery” complaint.

  51. Prole, I’ll bet 25 people have sent me that image over the years. Why it gets anyone excited is beyond me. It is mildly amusing, especially if you’re wife is breast feeding. 🙂

    TWC — I’m guessing you’re not married to a woman who grew up on a dairy farm, and who has a houseful of cow related memorabilia.

    Excited by it, no. Amused — oui.

  52. both Mr Potter and Mr Randian speak fluent Rand

    That’s very flattering, but while I enjoyed the Fountainhead, I’ve never been able to make it out of Chapter 1 of Atlas Shrugged. I’m more of a Heinlein libertarian than a Rand libertarian…

  53. Here’s yet another reason why “libertarians” should support BHO. His ideas are truly “libertarian”, he’s just in more of a hurry than other “libertarians”.

  54. No Name Guy | June 14, 2008, 2:45pm | #

    How ironic then, joe, that Gore’s party has now adopted the Perot position on trade.

    That’s not even remotely accurate.

    Obama, Clinton, and most have the rest of the party have adopted exactly the same position on trade that Clinton/Gore ran on 1992 – sign more trade deals, include labor and environmental standards in them.

  55. I guess Hawaii is the latest state that Real Americans Are Not Allowed To Be From.

    And, in what must be some sort of bizarre coincidence, it is also the state that the Democratic nominee is from. Funny how that works.

  56. Joe, I bet if you compared a Ross Perot speech on trade in 1992 to a generic Democratic candidates speech today, you wouldn’t find much difference.

    “Jobs being shipped overseas….” if I had a dollar for every time a Democrat said that.

  57. I wonder what the candidates views are on what is the proper serving temperature of cornbread. Maybe someone should ask.

    Obama : Government regulators have decreed a temperature above one hundred forty degrees is best, and what’s good for the children is good enough for me.

    McCain : My friends, we are at war, and sacrifices have to be made. For the sake of the homeland, you’ll eat it cold … or else!

  58. It’s worth looking beyond rhetoric to policy, NNG, when forming your opinion about presidential candidates.

  59. Art P.O.G.,

    My Fantasy draft is over. Hey, did you know that Alge Crumpler isn’t on the Falcons anymore? Oh, wait…yes, you did.

  60. Seeing as how this thread has devolved into a retarded “is Obama the heir of Jesus or of the Devil?, round 422” thread, has anyone seen the BSG finale?

  61. That supposed Michelle Obama tape has experienced more innuendo than an Italian suppository.

  62. I guess Hawaii is the latest state that Real Americans Are Not Allowed To Be From.

    You can be from there you just can’t be a Local.

  63. Has anyone at Reason noticed the names of the “American Voices” in today’s Onion?

    Paulina Gillespie

    Mark Balko

    George Mangu-Ward

    Surely it’s a coincidence that the article is about Ron Paul.

  64. Since Weigel didn’t want to post any Good music.

    BlueBook, that’s a hell of a find. Props.

    Just wait until the juicy rumors start floating around about McCain’s little trophy wife. I hear she has her blood replaced bi-annually with that of starving Chinese orphans.

  65. The latest is now they want Michelle Obama to release her SAT scores and academic writings.

    Pretty soon they’ll accuse her of murder, bet on it. Shes become the black Hillary Clinton in the minds of conservatives.

  66. Blue Book, that deserves a link. But why no Weigel?

  67. The latest is now they want Michelle Obama to release her SAT scores and academic writings.

    I heard that her birth name wasn’t “Michelle Obama”, but that she changed it at some point in her adult life, probably to cover up something. Maybe we were asking for the wrong birth certificate.

  68. “Has anyone at Reason noticed the names of the “American Voices” in today’s Onion?”

    Heh. That’s pretty funny. I wonder how many of those names are inside jokes. (And good catch – I’d have never noticed them.)

  69. Who can take a break from looking for beautiful women such as Paris Hilton on “sex tapes” to be looking for some “whitey tape.”
    I probably have a “cracker tape” out there somewhere, but who gives a rat’s ass?
    The Little Woman and I definitely have a sex tape out there for just $1.99.
    Click on my e-mail address to purchase.

  70. I avoid Hit & Run for a couple of years and come back and find joe still spending half his day putting up straw men.

    Funny how that works.

  71. Hey, did you know that Alge Crumpler isn’t on the Falcons anymore? Oh, wait…yes, you did.

    Titans? I honestly couldn’t remember.

    “is Obama the heir of Jesus or of the Devil?, round 422”

    Someone in another thread said Xerxes…I’m gonna say that’s accurate.

  72. Mrs. brotherben was somewhat jokingly putting up the argument to me earlier that Obama is the anti-Christ. She was fairly thorough with the use of biblical passages and what not. It was kinda interesting and entertaining all at the same time.

  73. brotherben,

    I’ve also heard pretty good arguments that about 5 of the last 7 presidents were “The Antichrist”.

    But I know it’s Baron Von Westphalen.

  74. Elemenope | June 14, 2008, 6:53pm | #
    Seeing as how this thread has devolved into a retarded “is Obama the heir of Jesus or of the Devil?, round 422” thread, has anyone seen the BSG finale?

    I just saw the BSG episode. The one where they land on earth.

    What gives? was that the end of the season?

    All us earthlings were wiped out?

    Aren’t they supposed to land in the 70’s or something?

    Who is the 12th cylon? I was thinking Gaius Baltar

  75. crymethink:

    That’s very flattering, but while I enjoyed the Fountainhead, I’ve never been able to make it out of Chapter 1 of Atlas Shrugged. I’m more of a Heinlein libertarian than a Rand libertarian…

    I liked Atlas Shrugged a fair amount, at least the first two-thirds or three-quarters of it. I think the trick is to read it first – that seems to be how it works for Rand’s books, the first one you read seems the most interesting. The mystery in it actually works fairly well if you have no preconceptions going in to reading it. Of course you could just read “Martha Washington Goes to War” for Frank Miller’s version.

    Art-POG:

    I’ve also heard pretty good arguments that about 5 of the last 7 presidents were “The Antichrist”.

    It’s Huckabee, damn it.

  76. Ron Paul was too much of a hope for America. Better to let it decay and rebuild 🙂

  77. What gives? was that the end of the season?

    Apparently this season comes in two halves, and that was the end of the first half.

  78. Since Weigel didn’t want to post any Good music.

    I’ve decided his “politics & prog” link is an attempt to find the worst music he can…like some unfunny running joke by Andy Kaufman…

    LMNOP,

    I liked the BSG mid-season finale (whatever that means). I believe the 12 Cylon will be a new character, and that the self-destruction of humanity on Earth with nukes is the inspiration for the Cylon attack on the colonies…the trigger for the “they don’t deserve to survive” concept.

  79. Of course, Weigel’s criteria and rationale for choosing songs remain inscrutable. But I will defend many of his prevous choices. And in addition to Muse, may I suggest Devin Townsend? FWIW, Pink Floyd is probably my favorite prog rock band ver, but probably a little obvious.

  80. OK, my keyboard is f-ed up, it’s not me.

  81. And of course, there is the “prog-rap” of El-P. And the progressive funk of Parliament/Funkadelic. For anyone that’s interested.

  82. I liked the BSG mid-season finale (whatever that means).

    Me too.

    I believe the 12 Cylon will be a new character…

    Agreed.

    …and that the self-destruction of humanity on Earth with nukes is the inspiration for the Cylon attack on the colonies…the trigger for the “they don’t deserve to survive” concept.

    I don’t think so, if only because the Cylons that attacked the colonies had no contact with the other five who were presumably present for it’s destruction, and had no idea where it even was.

    I think it more likely that it was a civil war or falling out between the humans on Earth and the final five, in a sort of mirror of what happened to the twelve colonies, but more up-close-and-personal.

  83. Neu Mejican and P.O.G,

    I mostly agree, the one exception being that, because of these Politics ‘n Prog postings, I know who Christian Vander is, and I’m grateful for that.

  84. Jim Bob,

    A good point. I do appreciate Weigel’s unearthing of rare prog.

  85. There is still a chance that Gaius is a Cylon

  86. brotherben | June 15, 2008, 12:29am | #
    Mrs. brotherben was somewhat jokingly putting up the argument to me earlier that Obama is the anti-Christ. She was fairly thorough with the use of biblical passages and what not. It was kinda interesting and entertaining all at the same time.

    Could you share that argument? It sounds interesting

  87. There is still a chance that Gaius is a Cylon

    I suppose…under the “there are only four in your fleet” loophole (as he wasn’t, technically, in the fleet at the time, as were a dozen or so others, mostly pilots.)

    But what shoots that theory all to hell is the way that D’Anna reacts upon welcoming Roslyn’s assistant as one of the Five; she introduces her to the rest of the Cylons on board *immediately*.

  88. Remember when D’Anna sees the final five, and she looks at one of them, and apologizes for her earlier behavior?

    That might be because she tortured Saul Tigh, or it might be because she fucked with Gaius so much.

    Also, I have another huge question. Who designed the skinjobs?

    Who implanted the voices in their heads? designed them to be the way they are?

    Who is it who has the master plan? Is it the one true God? Or is it a cylon super being, much more intelligent and aware than the rest we have seen so far? (Which I guess to them would be as God is to us)

    Also, why can’t they build more resurrection ships? They built 1 they should be able to build more.

  89. BTW, there is no logical way that humans should be any competition whatsoever to cylons in battle (or anything else).

    Unless they are designed purposely flawed.

    Human fighter pilots should be no match for a cylon fighter. Human intelligence should be no match for cylon intelligence.

    Design should outdo evolution every time.

    Also, their resources should outmatch human recourses everytime.

    And there is no way an insurgency should have had any success, being that they couldn’t actually kill any cylons, and that the cylons would remember their attackers.

    Over the course of generations an insurgency might be successful, where humans would sacrifice their lives to resist the cylons. But not as hit and run bandits.

  90. Design should outdo evolution every time.

    I’m not so sure this is true. Isn’t this exactly the argument of central economic planners and hasn’t that been pretty well discredited by now?

  91. Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Lose His Job | June 15, 2008, 2:05pm | #
    Design should outdo evolution every time.

    I’m not so sure this is true. Isn’t this exactly the argument of central economic planners and hasn’t that been pretty well discredited by now?

    Exactly what I thought.

    As for

    I don’t think so, if only because the Cylons that attacked the colonies had no contact with the other five who were presumably present for it’s destruction, and had no idea where it even was.

    I think the skin jobs, including the “final five,” were designed by an Earth human who gave them the whole monotheistic viewpoint and the pessimistic view of humans…set them on a course to replace humans with something better…as it were.

  92. Someone Who Doesn’t Want to Lose His Job | June 15, 2008, 2:05pm | #
    Design should outdo evolution every time.

    I’m not so sure this is true. Isn’t this exactly the argument of central economic planners and hasn’t that been pretty well discredited by now?

    Well a cylon society might have its faults.

    But a machine designed to build dams probably does better than a beaver.

    A machine designed to compute math probably does better than a human.

    And if you have the technology to make a man, then a machine designed to kill men, probably is way more efficient than a man.

    And if you design spaceships, and can design men to fly them (like the little fighter craft).
    Then if you design a ship that is a mix of the two, without needing for oxygen or life support, without the need of creature comforts. Then that fighter is going to be faster, more maneuverable, and a better shot.

  93. I think the skin jobs, including the “final five,” were designed by an Earth human who gave them the whole monotheistic viewpoint and the pessimistic view of humans…set them on a course to replace humans with something better…as it were.

    Now that is a pretty cool idea.

  94. Ross Perot has returned.

    Sort of.

  95. I had also considered the possibility that they are ALL skin jobs.

    That seems rational. I mean of Tigh can be a skin job, and he is an old man, that fought in the first Cylon war.

  96. a machine designed to build dams probably does better than a beaver

    I seriously doubt that.

    A machine designed to compute math probably does better than a human

    As long as you stick to an algorithm, but if you require problem solving…not so sure.

    And if you have the technology to make a man, then a machine designed to kill men, probably is way more efficient than a man.

    Men are pretty good at augmenting their killing capacity with technology.

    And if you design spaceships, and can design men to fly them (like the little fighter craft).
    Then if you design a ship that is a mix of the two, without needing for oxygen or life support, without the need of creature comforts. Then that fighter is going to be faster, more maneuverable, and a better shot.

    But, of course, the humans are also flying technologies that augment their abilities. Sure, you need to take physiology into account to prevent g-forces from making them pass out, etc…, but once you are talking about the tech in BSG, there is no reason to believe that a designed machine will do better than a human agent controlling that technology.

  97. Art POG,

    A good point. I do appreciate Weigel’s unearthing of rare prog.

    Then you would probably enjoy this website
    http://prognotfrog.blogspot.com/

  98. a machine designed to build dams probably does better than a beaver

    Maybe.

    A machine designed to design and build a dam, using the same amount of energy as a given number of beavers, with the same resources available to it to construct the dam, would almost certainly not do as well as the beavers.

    Have we come up with a glue as a good as the barnacles yet?

  99. Neu Mejican | June 15, 2008, 3:57pm | #
    a machine designed to build dams probably does better than a beaver

    I seriously doubt that.

    Why is that? Because God is the ultimate designer, and his products cannot be improved upon?

    I think that if you can make a beaver, then you can design a better one.

    Likewise with humans. The materials can be improved upon, the speed and accuracy can be improved upon. Resilience can be improved upon.

  100. With the God and design stuff, I remember once some evangelical said the human eye would put to shame even the finest human made camera.

    This, of course, is not true. How many of us have to wear glasses or contacts? That seems like a pretty big defect to me. I can’t see three feet in front of me without contacts.

  101. joe | June 15, 2008, 5:15pm | #
    a machine designed to build dams probably does better than a beaver

    Maybe.

    A machine designed to design and build a dam, using the same amount of energy as a given number of beavers, with the same resources available to it to construct the dam, would almost certainly not do as well as the beavers.

    Have we come up with a glue as a good as the barnacles yet?

    Well that is the thing. The human body has evolved around the necessities of what it face 100k years ago or so. Not around the necessities of fighting people in space.

    Even with the example of the beavers. You are NOT limited to the same amount of energy or resources. Why would you be? That is the beauty of specialization.

  102. Joe,
    also with the barnacles, just because we haven’t come up with a glue, doesn’t mean there isn’t a fairly easy way to. And if you can create men, and space travel. I am thinking that stronger than barnacle glue is pretty simple.

    No Name Guy,
    It seems by your example that the problem with your eyes is the particular model, not the design itself.

    That said, maybe modern cameras do put the design of the eye to shame.

    And even if they don’t, there is no reason why they couldn’t.

  103. Thats true kwais, but from general observation (I have no statistics to back this up) it seems like most, if not a good majority of people end up with glasses or contacts by the time they’re teenagers.

  104. No Name Guy,
    I have been told that higher intelligence is associated with bad vision. I wonder if there is causation in that correlation.

  105. Likewise with humans. The materials can be improved upon, the speed and accuracy can be improved upon. Resilience can be improved upon.

    Yeah, but then nature still kicks everything’ ass teleologically. My favorite profound tautology.

  106. Art-P.O.G. | June 15, 2008, 7:05pm | #

    Likewise with humans. The materials can be improved upon, the speed and accuracy can be improved upon. Resilience can be improved upon.

    Yeah, but then nature still kicks everything’ ass teleologically. My favorite profound tautology.

    OK, I am going to look up the word “teleologically”, but how does, uncorrected vision kick corrected vision’s ass?

  107. OK, I am going to look up the word “teleologically”, but how does, uncorrected vision kick corrected vision’s ass?

    No, I was just saying that, anthropic principle and all, sentient life is inevitable, thus all technology can be seen as an offshoot of nature. And the thought of semiconductors and eyeglasses being separate from nature is a paradox because organisms are at the nexus between technology and elemental matter. I didn’t really mean “kicks ass” as in superior to, but I meant “trumps” as in “renders impossible without”.

  108. Why is that? Because God is the ultimate designer, and his products cannot be improved upon?

    Jesus Christ?!?!…how’d ya come to think that has anything to do with it?

    The process by which you would design a beaver, and work out all the bugs from unintended/unforeseen interaction of your creation and reality would end up looking a lot like evolution (particularly since we are talking about autonomous agents and not remote controlled drones), and evolution has a few billion year head start…

    On the topic of drones…anyone see “Sleep Dealers?” It is a new science fiction film from Mexico…well worth checking out if you get a chance. It is making the rounds currently on the film festival circuit.

  109. Or to more succinctly state what I clumsily stated earlier, our consciousness and therefore our inventions are necessarily offspring of “nature”.

  110. Well, it took a stew of proteins and sunlight various many years for humans to happenstance.

    But it took humans fucking around in the tool shed for a small fraction of that for AI to happenstance.

    From the initial AI deciding that it was independent, to skin jobs to a God like being, would not be a long time I imagine, as there would be far far fewer limitations on the AI.

    I mean we evolved through accident after accident.

    If one was to try to alter humans through selective breeding, you could come up with an impressive creature in a few generations. If you were to engineer humans through a complete understanding of how to make one, and capability to alter genes at will.

    There would be no limits on resources, because apparently they can travel the universe at will. The AI’s could make evolution work for them, better than it has for the humans. And the AI evolution would take just moments.

  111. Preview is my friend.

    I meant to say that, if you could engineer humans, and you had a complete understanding of genes, you could make some pretty impressive humans in a much shorter time than if you had to breed them. (and breeding is quicker and more directed than natural evolution).

  112. (and breeding is quicker and more directed than natural evolution).

    Yeah. I was just making the (incredibly banal) point that, by hook or by crook, everybody and everything would still be the product of biological evolution.

  113. I don’t know where the heck kwais pulled the “God the designer” thing from.

    Let me see if I can trace the logic: if you don’t acknowledge the unquestioned superiority of Man in all things, you are “anti-human,” and probably like those other anti-humans, the “Xians.”

  114. Whether nature was designed by accident, or by God.

    Just because me and you can’t design a better dam maker, doesn’t mean that one can’t be designed.

    I can’t make a better laptop than the one I am using, but one will be made next year.

  115. Just because me and you can’t design a better dam maker, doesn’t mean that one can’t be designed.

    True, but “algorithmically”, it would seem to gradually approach a limit. It kind of reminds me of Zeno’s paradox. How much can you improve a design before any changes are negligible? Or how many paradigm shifts before the design bears few vestiges of its original “purpose”?

  116. Dam, that’s a nice beaver.

  117. Just because me and you can’t design a better dam maker, doesn’t mean that one can’t be designed.

    Just because the beaver is the best dam maker yet evolved doesn’t mean a better one can’t evolve.

    Where is this going?

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