Friday, May 07, 2010

Things you learn while grading exams

From a delightfully digression-packed essay on John Mackie's argument from relativity:
Anyway, back to monogamy, at some point humans become monogamous. It may have been brought about by natural selection processes that favour our species (a human is likelier to shoot you for sleeping with someone else, perhaps? than an animal would kill its mate → not just because animals have no firearms & excluding the likes of black widows that devour their male companion for nutrition after creation. More sensibly, the formulation of settlements and organized living would decrease the pool of mates met.)

Thursday, May 06, 2010


I was looking up the spelling of paraphernalia, and I discovered the historical meaning. Old views of gender and property rights are really strange.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

No open question argument here

From political reporter Glenn Thrush:
Generally, hiring one’s relative is illegal. Among the 27 relative designations listed in the federal law regarding nepotism and hiring, however, "grandson" is not mentioned.

So Moore, who makes a six-figure salary working for his grandmother, is just fine, ethics-wise, according to an ethics lawyer contacted by POLITICO.
Legal text from the House of Representatives ethics manual follows.

I guess people in politics needed a term for obeying laws that prohibit certain self-serving abuses of power, and "ethics" was closest to hand. But I hope that they're still aware that one can obey these laws and still do grossly unethical things, in the sense of what's really right and wrong.