I haven't found one.
Ah, you have no sense of humor. That explains a great deal.
I haven't found one.
Ah, you have no sense of humor. That explains a great deal.
The more niche your work are the easier it is to get traction because no one else will bother to cater to that niche.
Traction, yes. Broad attention, no.
His comic appeal to people who merely believe themselves to be above average.
It's got nothing to do with intelligence, or even knowledge in a general sense. It's that his comics so often rely on specialized knowledge. For example, a couple of my favorite strips are the "sudo" strip and the "Bobby Tables" strip. The former is only understandable to someone who has at least a passing acquaintance with *nix system administration, and the latter requires some knowledge of SQL and SQL injection attacks. Neither of those things is hard to understand. They don't require great intelligence. But they're not generally known. And to people who require an explanation, they're not funny (I have t-shirts of both, and I have never gotten so much as a chuckle from anyone to whom I have to explain the basis for the jokes).
You'll note, of course, that I'm not actually addressing your real point, which is a snarky argument that only people who like to feel themselves smarter or more knowledgeable than most would enjoy the strip. That's because it's not worth addressing.
Actually, Munroe's success is really surprising to me in spite of the brilliance of his work, because so much of what he draws is accessible to a relatively narrow audience. Not all of it, not even the majority.
I should have qualified this to point out I'm talking about his comics, more than What If. HIs What If series is very accessible, by design.
Randal Munroe is evidence that if you draw stick figures for long enough you will eventually gain recognition.
Sure, as long as your stick figures are saying and doing incredibly witty things.
Actually, Munroe's success is really surprising to me in spite of the brilliance of his work, because so much of what he draws is accessible to a relatively narrow audience. Not all of it, not even the majority. But there's enough that is only understandable to people who know more than most about computers, mathematics, physics, etc., that none of the non-geeks I know really like it.
If you push people, it is expected that they will act, regardless of the law preventing certain actions.
Well, then pretty soon those people so lacking in self control will do all their acting behind bars.
Why is this sneaky? Being very clear and saying..."If you want YOUR money back, we expect this to be done" is perfectly acceptable.
it has everything to do with it. they didnt JUST pass amendments and laws. they then had to back up those laws with the threat of force many, many times because the states refused to to do it.
True, but still an utter red herring.
Global warming exists. Anyone who denies that is also a moron. But it's certainly not manmade.
I don't get the focus on whether or not the warming is anthropogenic. Should we ignore all problems that we didn't make?
Supposing that the warming isn't primarily anthropogenic, there's still plenty of reason to believe that the greenhouse gases we're adding are making it worse, and in fact we can even make some reasonable estimates of how much worse they're making it.
At the end of the day, you'd really better hope that you're wrong about our ability to modify the climate. Because the current climate of Earth is not typical. In fact, there isn't really a "typical" climate for the planet. Ice core histories show us that it swings between much hotter than it is, and much, much colder (by "colder", think "equatorial oceans frozen 30 feet deep for millenia"). Both extremes will be unpleasant for us, and I say "will", not "would", because it's gonna happen. When? We have no idea. We know that climate changes can happen very rapidly (couple of decades), even without an obvious precipitating event (big meteor, supervolcano eruption, etc.), and that they come at apparently-random intervals.
So if we want this planet to be nice for us long-term, we'd better learn to engineer our climate. Or get even better at adapting our local environment. Or both.
Climate has always changed, the concept of "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it.
You mean, the same way as asteroids of various sizes have impacted into the Earth throughout the history of the planet, and "Damage" is only relevant to those affected by it?
Yes, I agree.
Yep. In the long run, the climate will change no matter what we do... unless we learn to actively manage it. Similarly, we will get hit by a catastrophically-destructive meteor, unless we develop the technology need to identify and deflect dangerous asteroids. It's worth noting that while without our intervention the climate may stay as it is for thousands of years, it may also change in decades. The ice core records tell us that the planet is capable of warming or cooling as much as 7C in as little as 20-30 years, even without any obvious catastrophic event, and even faster given a supervolcano eruption, or a big meteor. It WILL happen.
IMO, while it certainly makes sense to take reasonable steps to limit greenhouse gas production, we really need to focus on investing heavily in climate research, with an eventual goal of learning not only to understand but to manage our planet's climate. Actually, we should also invest a little in more strategies to cope with unpleasant climate. I say "more" strategies, because we already have a lot of them. The regions of Earth in which humans can survive comfortably without technological assistance are really small. The "natural" human carrying capacity of most of the places people live is basically zero, but we're very good at modifying our environment to adapt it to our needs. When the planet warms substantially, no doubt we'll have to apply more of those skills, so we should be thinking about which ones and how to improve our capabilities.
I really appreciate the scientific method and I agree it's a major milestone but it's not our most important discovery, that would be rule of law. Without rule of law there can be no civilization and without civilization there wouldn't be much science going on.
I'd argue that the rule of law is a result of applying the scientific method to social structure and governance.
The scientific method really consists of making conjectures and analyzing them critically. Some of the criticism comes from experimentation and analysis, but most conjectures never reach that point because simple thought can identify reasons they should be discarded. This process is closely related to (but vastly more powerful than) the mutation and selection process of evolution. At bottom, both are about creating and testing ideas, and selecting the ones that are objectively better (for the relevant definition of "better"). The scientific method does the selection through a tradition of criticism, natural evolution does it via replication (favoring the gene that replicates itself better).
How does this apply to the rule of law? Three ways. First of all, applying the same principle of progress to social structure, trying new methods and keeping those which work well while discarding those which don't, will lead to rule of law because it clearly is a superior social structure "technology". Second, without the rule of law, you really can't apply the scientific method to social structures, because there is no defined structure beyond the whim of the ruler(s). You have to fix the rules firmly so you can see what the outcomes are, and you can observe how to vary them. So any attempt to apply scientific reasoning to governance demands rule of law.
Third, and most important, the tradition of criticism inherent in and necessary to scientific progress inevitably leads people to criticize their government and to demand, among other things, the ability to understand the rules by which they're governed. I don't believe it's possible for any society with a significant number of scientific thinkers with any sort of influence to remain governed by fiat.
I think history bolsters my argument, too, simply based on the sequence of events. The Enlightenment was all about scientific reasoning and learning how to apply it to nearly all areas of human endeavor, not just science, and the Enlightenment came before the spread of the rule of law, not after.
Oh, actually I think there's a fourth reason scientific thinking creates the rule of law. It's even deeper, and is probably the truly fundamental reason, though it's a harder argument to make. That is that moral values are scientifically determined (even if we don't realize it), and the rule of law is morally right. It would take me a few pages to detail how and why I think that moral rightness is a real, determinable thing, derivable from the laws of nature, and not merely an artifact of culture, so I won't bother. Note that I'm not arguing that correct morality is easy to derive. It's not, any more than it was easy to derive General Relativity by conjecturing about observations of reality. But it can be derived, and in the same method: by conjecturing moral positions and then criticizing them, both logically and experimentally, discarding positions that lead to undesirable outcomes.
That's a problem. But it's a smaller problem than the one we live with now, which is that there are so many obscure laws that if anyone in a position of authority has it in for you they can find something to nail you for. The rule of law matters.
And just-world-hypothesis believing assholes just go on without thinking they must've deserved it.
What an idiot. You kan't reed.
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