March 27th, 2010



"Julius Caesar once said, 'Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt.' Of course, nobody understood him, because he was speaking some crazy moon-man language instead of English, but it turns out that the saying translates out to, 'Men willingly believe what they wish.' Or, to paraphrase, 'People believe lies easier if it's what they already believe.' This is why Julius Caesar made such a good politician, excepting the bit about convincing people not to stab him to death with knives.

"But the point still stands, and has in fact stood throughout all of human history. There are certain lies that will always work in politics, no matter how often they're used, no matter how often they're debunked, and frequently, even if both the speaker and the listener know they're lies. Because they're seductive. They're things we want to believe are true, and so we let ourselves go along with them because the truth is nasty and unpleasant and the lie is warm and comfortable. There has always been an audience for these lies, and there always will be. The three lies are:

1. It’s somebody else's fault.
2. There are easy answers.
3. You shouldn't have to pay for it."


India's morality police, red-light cameras, and string theory

* Grand. The anti-science crowd adds climate change to their targets.
* Israel faces a new series of crises.
* PolitiFact on the health care passage and Obama's campaign promises.
* In his re-election bid, McCain faces a challenge from the right.
* So, is there actually a Tea Party movement?
* Questions about revenue from red-light cameras.
* Awesome! Popular actress fights back against the 'morality police' in India.
* "One universe too many? String theories, the multiverse and the future of physics."
* 'Confessions of a lousy critic.' (Courtesy warmaster.)