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Now for a bit of levity with the typo of the week

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Sex Clams

Everyone misses a typo once in a while, it’s only human. But there are times when one comes along that at least adds a bit of humor to certain situations. Here it’s a mistake in a headline on the Judge Roy Moore situation from the Times Daily of Florence, Alabama [From twitchy]

Rest assured, we can all agree with being against “Sex clams.”

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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Culture and Religion

The strange tale of the Turpin family

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The strange tale of the Turpin family

Abuse of children is one of the most horrible things anyone can do. Rarely do I even read stories about abuse. I know it exists. I’m against it. I don’t want reminders of how evil some people really are. The story of the Turpin family drew me in and made me weep for a world that allows such things to happen.

Here’s the story, followed by my brief thoughts:

California family: Parents charged after children found shackled

http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/16/us/california-turpin-13-siblings-held-captive/index.htmlDavid, 57, and Louise, 49, are accused of holding their children captive in their Perris, California, home in filthy conditions, some of them shackled to beds with chains and padlocks. The 13 siblings range in age from 2 to 29.

The parents are charged with torture and child endangerment, and scheduled for a court hearing Thursday. Bail was set at $9 million each. It was not immediately clear if the suspects had attorneys or whether they had entered a plea.

On Sunday, one of their daughters, a 17-year-old, managed to escape from their home by climbing out a window and called 911 from a deactivated cell phone she found in the house, police said. She told officers her parents were holding her 12 siblings captive inside the home, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said.

My Take

There’s a danger here. We have to be mindful of children who are being abused. Unfortunately, that also means there will be times when the state must intervene. Any time that happens, I get worried. I want as little intervention as possible and only when absolutely necessary. The story of the Turpin family is an example of it being necessary.

The problem is that this evil was allowed to continue for decades. How can that happen? How do we respect the rights of parents and embrace a non-interfering government when there are people like the Turpins in the world? It’s a slippery slope and I have no answers.

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Federalists

How to debate your political enemies… and win

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How to debate your political enemies and win

It’s no secret that we live in a world of political division. Not only are liberals at war with conservatives, but both sides of the political spectrum are at war with themselves.

While my preference is unity, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon, judging by social media. Since that’s the case, then people need to at least, learn how to debate effectively.

Here are four things to remember before getting into your next political debate:

1. Stop letting your opponent control the language

Until pregnant, pro-choice women start having fetus showers on a regular basis, it’s not a “fetus”. It’s a baby.

Until guns jump off the table, run down the street, and start shooting people on their own, it’s not “gun violence”. It’s just violence.

When you let your opponent control the language, you let them control the debate. You allow them the opportunity to soften their position through less controversial verbiage, making their position sound almost reasonable.

Call a spade a spade. Catering to politically correct double-speak is a form of soft tyranny.

2. Know your opponent and their tactics, then call them on it

I learned this one watching Ben Shapiro take on Piers Morgan in an interview regarding the 2nd Amendment. Ben had researched Piers’ tactics, and at the beginning of the interview, called him out on them, pointing out that Morgan has a tendency to resort to name-calling vitriol, ad hominem attacks, and attempts to paint his opponent as low intellect Neanderthals, whenever he ran out of talking points to support his position. Shapiro went on to say that he trusted that Morgan wouldn’t engage in those same tactics in their debate.

Morgan was instantly taken aback, batted his eyelashes innocently, and went into full denial mode. The interview went smoothly for a while, with Morgan refraining from his typical tactics, but true to form, reverted to his normal attacks when Shapiro had him backed into a corner, giving him the ammo he needed to point out that he was correct in his initial assessment of Morgan’s tactics.

I’ve implemented this strategy in many debates, and without fail, it’s been effective.

3. Don’t go on defense

It’s inevitable. In any debate, on any topic, your opponent is going to spend the bulk of their time, telling you why your position is wrong and why you’re a bad person for holding it. All too often, I see good people take this bait and retreat into a mode of defending themselves, rather than defending their position, or going on offense against their opponents position.

It’s a natural reaction to try and defend your character, morality or ethics when they come under attack. However, the second you do, you’ve just handed the debate to your opponent.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve been called a “gun nut that doesn’t care about children”. Until I learned the tactic of not taking that bait, my reaction was usually “I am not a gun nut and I love kids”. Now, my reaction is “If being a proponent of the basic, human right to self defense, not only for me, but for the protection of children, makes me a ‘nut,’ so be it. What I think is nutty is being opposed to those things.”

Guess which one of those reactions is more effective in winning the debate.

4. Don’t allow deflection

When people are losing a debate, they tend to drift into side topics. It’s not unusual for a pro-abortion advocate to drift into healthcare as a whole, or for a gun control advocate to drift into government provided “safety”.

Don’t follow people down these rabbit holes. Drag them right back out, and force them to stay on the topic of hand. The moment you start following them is the moment you’ve given them control to lead you to separate topics, control the debate, and muddy the waters of the original topic.

Debate is a healthy thing when done right. It’s done right when the right strategies are applied. So engage, but engage to win. I assume your position is worth it.

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Culture and Religion

Personalized Artificial Intelligence: Project Pai hopes to let you do things for yourself without you

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Personalized Artificial Intelligence Project Pai hopes to let you do things for yourself without you

Imagine having a digital “avatar” that could do things for you. It could interact how you interact, do things on your behalf, and possibly even replace you in certain situations. Sound impossible? It may not be for long.

Project PAI, which stands for Personalized Artificial Intelligence, hopes to build these avatars based upon your online interactions. It utilizes blockchain protocols to power the creation of a “virtual you” that you can unleash on the web and eventually through other venues.

Let’s fast-forward a bit with speculation. Could this ever be used to create an avatar that is so much like you, it replaces you completely? Could it be used to help grieving friends and family once you die? Could it sit in for you in meetings? The potential here is incredible, but it can also be scary. There was an episode of Dark Mirror that took it to the extreme, taking similar concepts and applying them to a synthetic body that replaced  a deceased husband.

Others, as you can watch in the video above, are even more skeptical about the potential this brings.

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