The Nature of The Beast

It is a good question.

Someone someday might give it a go once they have figured out what it means to be 100 percent human...



Sometimes it's all about the casting

There is no polite way of saying it, and I certainly mean no offense to Jodie Whittaker in her role as the Thirteenth Doctor (or to any of her fans, who I am sure are legion — amongst the members of the Saturn Awards presenting Academy 😏), or her costume designer, or, for that matter, Chris Chibnall, Jamie Magnus Stone or Azhur Saleem (and whatever happened to Steven Moffat?), but...

Let me ask you: wouldn't Diane Morgan (Philomena Cunk) have made a fantabulous Doctor Who?

And, I don't know, could the Doctor Who franchise maybe hire some writers of the caliber of Charlie Brooker and his team, or perhaps just maybe get Steven Moffat back on board? Because, sometimes... Sometimes it's all about the writing too.



Oh, the Humanity!


Like that's ever gonna happen. Especially the part about restraint of governments and militaries. Have you taken a good look at the world, lately, Eliezer?

Besides, it is an old trope that when people are running around screaming for the shut down of an out of control state of affairs it is, by then, already too late.

The story of evolution unfolds with increasing levels of abstraction.
—Ray Kurzweil



Voir Dire


This right can be found in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution where it states the right to an impartial jury. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that a jury’s verdict is not tainted by biases that jurors may harbor before being presented with a particular case.

Readily recognized biases include anthropocentrism.



Year of the Water Rabbit


It is true what they say:

The pooka has the power of human speech, and has been known to give advice and lead people away from harm. Though the pooka enjoys confusing and often terrifying humans, it is considered to be benevolent.



As Forbidding Balloon over Gotham City fuels tension...


...will Batman and Robin manage to thwart the apogean menace?



The Most Interesting Man in the World


James Madison wrote in Federalist 52 that the House of Representatives “should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people.”

Don’t make too much of this, but as I was reading the news today, it occurred to me that in spite of such longstanding assumptions, public approval of congress as an institution is consistently low (currently at 21 percent, according to the latest Gallup poll.)

As a 2014 study by researchers at Princeton and Northwestern (Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens) serves to remind us:

One very old question posed by a modern republic involves how elected representatives should behave once sworn into office.

Who governs? Who really rules? To what extent is the broad body of U.S. citizens sovereign, semi-sovereign, or largely powerless?

One may end-up wondering (like I was - it's a legitimate question) whether voters can recall a member of the United States Congress, in the same way citizens can attempt to remove an elected official from office in one of those 19 States that allow recall elections.

You know:

That sort of thing.

I had to look it up—I am just an interested layman, not a political science expert. The answer is they cannot.

There are no circumstances allowed by the Federal Constitution under which the people can recall a member of Congress.

But, even if it were possible, would the threat of being recalled make members of congress more accountable to the people who elected them? I doubt it. As the authors of the Cambridge study (who are political scientists) summarize it:

Given the nature of the beast, it seems doubtful, whether the power to recall a member of congress (or for that matter, any other solutions that have been thus far suggested by political scientists, such as campaign finance reform, open primaries or ranked-voting) is ever likely to fix the issue. If you ask me, it will only compound the problem and just make things worse.