Saturday, November 10, 2012

I give you permission to dislike some things.

Sometimes Orthodox converts don't realize that they are quite free to dislike several things on the following list. Seriously, this is all just Protestant baggage.
  • Touchstone Magazine and the like. Fr Patrick Henry Reardon is certainly a nice fellow and all that, but he is by no means the end-all-be-all of Orthodoxy, or normal Orthodoxy, or even typical American convert Orthodoxy. I'd include First Things in there, unfortunately, as they have certainly declined a bit in quality.
  • Ancient Faith Radio. In fact, not only are you free to dislike AFR, I recommend that you only listen to specific, individual programs that you might find interesting. I do not recommend listening to it in general or in the background.
  • The GOP. There have been 2000 years of Christian history and the vast majority of Christians in the world right now are outside the US, so you don't have to pretend that the ideal of political life, God's own will for the organization of man, is contained in the immutable party planks of the GOP.
  • Random Athonite elders. There are a lot to choose from, if somebody spouts some pious claptrap from some geronta, I don't think you have to agree. If they're saying something everybody else says, yes, you might have to like it.
  • Homeschooling. This can be good if the parents are well-educated, but, you know, I mean, it can not be good, and good education is good. You're allowed to dislike it.
Of course, feel free to ignore me. I believe in global warming, math, evolution, and vaccination. I do look down on you if you don't.

EDIT: Another one: traditional feminine gender roles, wearing skirts all the time, etc. I don't look down on you if you subscribe to this or to anything else on the list above. But a lot of people didn't get the memo that they are perfectly free to dissent from this notion.

Anyway, please believe in anthropogenic climate change and work both personally and politically to reduce your carbon emissions.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A quick review of a cheap tea.

I've taken to drinking tea because I sometimes have an urge to drink something during the day besides water and the other options cost real money. e.g., coffee is $2/cup, pop is also costly. I'm a graduate student, I can't do that. Anyway, I've been drinking a cheap tea that I would rate as wholly adequate. I can't speak for all their offerings, I've tried their English Breakfast as well. Anyway, I'm not much of an Earl Grey guy, but I figured I'd try it and if it was going to be only okay, Earl Grey is at least robust to okay-ness. At $13/pound, it's certainly acceptable.

Anyway, if you have other suggestions, I'm open to them.

Monday, November 05, 2012

A couple quick notes

I made a couple quick election simulations looking at polls because of some conversation I had. The first is a simulation if the polls are biased and we want to cherry-pick a Romney victory, the second is just a lazy simulation of the results if they aren't biased. I don't do anything at all to the polls or introduce any macroeconomic variables or presume any sort of covariance structure between the states. This is just a lazy man's confirmation that, unless the polls are systematically biased, Barack Obama is, indeed, ahead. And there's some sloppy source code, too, if you want to try at home. If you don't mind a little irreverence, I call the candidates "Mittens" and "Bronco Bama" throughout because of the adorable video of a little girl saying she was tired of "Bronco Bama".

The market seems to say that, as of 7am on Monday, the odds are at 77%-ish.

Besides that, I'm extremely busy until Wednesday.