Friday, February 18

Unlawful Search And Seizure

The SFPD and DEA found no piles of marijuana money at 243 Diamond St., one of six addresses raided simultaneously in San Francisco that morning. Instead, they found Clark Freshman, who rents the penthouse at the two-unit building. Freshman, a UC Hastings law professor and the main consultant to the television show Lie to Me, was put into handcuffs while in his bathrobe as agents searched, despite Freshman's insistence that they had the wrong place and were breaking the law.
Something that happens all the time, just maybe this time with consequences.

Wednesday, February 9

Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology

"I asked how, if these people were so reprehensible, they had all arrived at such elevated positions in the church. “They weren’t like that when they were in those positions,” Davis responded. The defectors we were discussing had not only risen to positions of responsibility within the church; they had also ascended Scientology’s ladder of spiritual accomplishment. I suggested to Davis that Scientology didn’t seem to work if people at the highest levels of spiritual attainment were actually liars, adulterers, wife beaters, and embezzlers."
The Apostate: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology (The New Yorker).

Tuesday, February 8

Overcoming Bias

I enjoyed this article that seems to be all over the internet today - interesting stuff on bias and academia (good response on it here). And here's a quick article with video about bias phenomenon in action. And if you're interested in overcoming bias, there's a good blog called

Sunday, February 6

From Nuremberg Diary:
Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars. 
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
(Via Reddit.)

Thursday, February 3

"Everything I do is unequivocally 100% for my daughters. My main evidence is that so much of what I do with Sophia and Lulu is miserable, exhausting, and not remotely fun for me. "
Clearly that kind of justification, especially one so costly and receiving so much attention, deserves some intelligent critique.

Wednesday, February 2

"There is, for example, Nicole, a young woman Arnett interviews in his book who grew up in a housing project and began working at eight to care for her younger siblings. In a strikingly mature, actually adult way, she managed to hold down a full-time job, take care of her family, and earn a degree. Though this may strike some as a remarkable achievement, this view overlooks how much more fun she could have had if she didn’t have all those pesky responsibilities to weigh her down. “Is it only a grim pessimist like me who sees how many roadblocks there will be on the way to achieving those dreams and who wonders what kind of freewheeling emerging adulthood she is supposed to be having?” Henig laments. Given freedom from economic want, social mores that encourage early marriage, and limits to college access, every poor Vietnamese rice farmer and rural Pakistani bride could be going to yoga classes and selling her handmade textiles on Etsy. Wouldn’t that make the world a better place?"