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Showing posts from April, 2018

Spolier Review: Avengers - Infinity War

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So I've just watched Avengers: Infinity War. Oddly enough, I forgot it was a two part movie, so as I watched I, I was not expecting a "To Be Continued." That was a bit funny for me as the ending came abruptly.


Acting The acting was pretty solid. This is especially true of Thanos, who is completely CGI. They really do a good job with him. As we've seen pretty much all these characters before, the acting is just solid and on par. Nothing stands out beyond their consistently good performance.

Action The action and CGI looks great. One of the worries I always have when you deal with 'God' Level villains like Thanos, is how do you actually show their powers without it looking just silly or becoming a fancy light show. They really do a good job with the Thanos' action, even as he gets 'God' Level reality warping powers.

However, I will critique it on one level. So much of the action is just there. It almost just blends into the background. It's har…

Incels - Unregulated Markets

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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-van-attack-driver-profile-alek-minassian-1.4632435

So more is developing on the Toronto van mass murder. I just read a whole lot of it last night. I found out about a new 'social movement' called 'incels.' I was aware of the term as a kind of insult, but I didn't know it was an actual movement. As if someone would actually identify themselves as an incel. The other famous mass murder incel case is that of Elliot Rodget.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/california-shootings-elliot-rodger-confirmed-as-suspected-gunman-1.2653072

These cases are just mind blowing that people would commit mass murder just because people/women didn't treat them well. It's messed, but I try to understand the mindstate a little bit.
What is an Incel? Incel basically standards for involuntary-celebate. They're basically a group who can't get sex/women and who think it is society's problem for failing to provide for them.

I didn'…

Does Religion Cause Violence?

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I guess I will tackle this question today as Toronto has suffered a possible Terrorist attack.
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/04/23/van-strikes-as-many-as-10-pedestrians-at-yonge-and-finch.html

Was it a religious terrorist? We don't know yet. Maybe it's a white nationalist or bullied style of person.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-shooting-bisonnette-sentencing-1.4621689

The way I like to look at it now is as follows.
Religion just creates another source of grievances you otherwise might not have

Palestine Example The best example I can think is my own history. I grew up Muslim. Yet I have never been to Palestine. Heck, I didn't meet a Palestinian until University. Yet, for most of my life, I was heavily pro-Palestine and Anti-Israel. Religion had given me a massive grievance that occupied my mind state that I otherwise would not have had. Heck, there were times in my life I envisioned myself and dreamt of being an Islamic holy warrior who …

How to think about group differences?

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I've just seen a lot in the media lately on how do we handle group differences in society? It doesn't matter what the groups are. Women vs Men. Europeans vs Africans. Asians vs Latins...

Here's a few of the conversations I've seen lately.
https://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/how-science-got-women-wronghttps://samharris.org/podcasts/123-identity-honesty/http://www.organizingcreativity.com/2015/07/statistically-significant-group-differences-vs-individual-fairness/
There is little doubt that most group differences are likely going to show both genetic and environmental factors. So I will address both sources differently and how I like to view it.

Genetic Differences  There is no doubt that varying groups have genetic differences. If you can look at someone and identifying what group they're in... that's probably a genetic differences. Men have a penis. Woman have a vagina. The genes are different. There is do doubt if you do studies on grou…

Have we Progressed?

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I caught TVO last night and they were essentially discussing progress? At a high level, are we living in the best of times, and how accurate are people's perceptions of that?

https://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/the-best-of-times
https://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/the-paradox-of-progress


TODO: insert youtube links

Pinker There were some interesting points made by all the guests. I'm not going to critique the facts of progress in any capacity simply because I haven't done the numbers myself and I really don't have a clue. I'll take the facts as accurate. The first video with Pinker I think suffers from a material nature. That is to say, Pinker largely discusses how life has improved in a material sense. Amount of wars, amount of poverty... This is of course not to be dismissed, but there is little discussion of the non-material world, except to dismiss it. For example, when discussing income inequality, he states that i…

My Political History

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This post is just more of a personal journey of my political history. I'll probably get some of my age ranges wrong just because I'm bad with time, but I figure it will be a good exercise regardless.

Socialist - Early years ( 0 - 12 ) I was born into a fairly left-wing family, so I'd say for my early years I was very much a socialist. Being born in South Africa under Apartheid as a minority gave me a pretty early introduction to the idea of the oppressor vs oppressed. I was pretty much into big good government and would definitely say I was a leftist. When we moved to Canada, I'd say I was very much NDP/Liberal.

Socialist Disillusioned - Teens (13-19)  I was in my early teens when I first became disillusioned with socialism. One event in particular really stayed with me. It was During Bob Rae's term as premier of Ontario. Rae was a leftist politician. Ontario was in pretty bad fiscal shape. Rae came up with a pretty good way of containing spending. He brought in &…