Last week, I followed the Facebook page of an author I once used to respect.
After three days where literally every post - roughly 10-12 - had lengthy screeds against those of differing political persuasion, I dropped him.
If he'd been using facts, or talking about the science of the matter, that would have been one thing. Instead, what he wrote was about how the other side was evil for disagreeing with him. Not simply wrong, evil. He also committed every single one of the basic logical fallacies at least once, some of them in literally every single post. (There are roughly thirty major fallacies, but only about ten are basic. The others are special cases of the basic fallacies)
That's not arguing science. That's preaching religion. And I will have none of it.
I fully realize that there are evil people in the world. It's fine to call them out, and make accusations - as individuals, where there is evidence.
But to presume that anyone who disagrees with you must therefore be evil is the mark of a religious extremist. An intolerant religious extremist. Furthermore, it definitely is not the act of a rational human. Rational humans realize that there are reasons why other people - people of sound moral character, rational mind, and fully informed on the issue - might well disagree. Might well disagree without being evil. Might even be closer to the objective truth than you or me.
There is only one kind of person who cannot concede that: A religious fanatic. Someone who is convinced that anyone who does not agree with their dogma must therefore be evil.
Let me let you in on another secret, as well. Someone making the argument of a religious fanatic is not arguing in good faith. Argument by sermon may be a perfectly valid argument within the faith - but it doesn't work for anyone not of your faith and it definitely is neither a rational nor a scientific argument. These arguments are profoundly anti-science and anti-rational. In conversing with those not of your faith, they are worthy of nothing but contempt. Certainly not my time or that of anyone else who is arguing in good conscience on the facts of the matter.
That includes those who conduct argument by sarcasm or belittlement or insult. Some humor is fine - but if you cannot or will not shift to making a real argument on the basis of facts and logic, you are preaching religion, and a religion of intolerance at that.
Yes, people are human. They get tired of the same arguments. It's human to slip. But if you have slipped into preaching religion and you will not return to objective facts and logic when it's pointed out, that's no different than the most adamant preacher of whatever religion you care to name calling for the subjugation of the infidel.
It simply is not relevant if you've gone over the arguments before. It doesn't even matter if you've gone over the arguments before with that person and they don't agree. If you want another person to do something you want them to do, the onus is on you to demonstrate why that other person should do so in their own judgment. Anything else is quite simply the moral equivalent of holding them at gunpoint, and in the case we are considering, it puts you on the same moral plane as burners of witches and those who committed the massacre at Beziers.
Many of those making such arguments proclaim they despise Christians - but Christianity left such things behind in 1648. I'm not Christian, but I realize that while the use of force may be necessary in a very few instances, it is not an argument of science or of rational thought.
Can your religion say the same?
This nonsense and other similar things have been going around lately.
The numbers are accurate as far as 30 seconds of research can tell, but they don't tell the story of *why* the numbers fell before vaccination. This is what is called, "telling the truth, but not all of it." In other words, one of the most effective ways to lie.
In fact, public health methods before vaccination aren't easy to find online. I can find reference to typhus, where clean sanitary water stops most of it, but not to smallpox, measles, and other airborne or easily spread by indirect contact diseases. But I can remember older relatives talking about quarantines and other methods that were in use, and toxic, caustic chemicals far worse than anything anyone has even *accused* the chemicals in vaccinations of being. Depending upon how bad an outbreak got, things sometimes got to the stage of de facto martial law, at least in matters having to do with public health.
The spikes in the chart - which are so large as to render the Ordinary Least Squares line best fitting them as meaningless - are caused by the nature of how fast the disease would spread before public health became cognizant of the issue. In fact, given increased localization in the charting instead of nationwide, the spikes would be far worse, and given the way the modern population moves around from coast to coast and internationally on jet airplanes, the spikes would be both far larger and far more common, as localized outbreaks would spread far more quickly.
So would you really rather be treated by massive infringement upon your civil liberties, large doses of toxic and caustic chemicals in your environment, and even more extreme methods in a few cases - or would you rather just go get your vaccination?
What Consumers Need To Know About Mortgages (A Guide About What Really Happens From a Mortgage Insider) is now available on Amazon!
Kindle edition only $4.99 through February 28th!
This book is intended to cut through the nonsense and teach consumers what they need to know to deal with mortgages.
What you need to know and how to shop your loan so you end up with the best loan possible at the time, instead of getting stuck with a bad mortgage.
There is an entire chapter devoted to how not to inadvertently sabotage your own mortgage application.
How to not waste thousands of dollars choosing the wrong mortgage
418 pages covering everything consumers need to know from basics like credit score, to how your application is evaluated, to how to handle the process from start until the loan funds and is recorded. Real snags and stumbling points people have brought me over the last ten years of running this website, with common sense solutions.
Want to know how to improve your application? It's inside.
How to respond to common snags? Read the book!
Reading this will also help real estate agents understand how to keep consumers and transactions from going bad.
(I do apologize that the physical book edition is pricier than I'd like. It will drop with larger print runs)
The first thing to understand is that the entire machine of loans is completely impersonal. I don't mean that you're necessarily just one more cog in the machine to your loan officer, as I can't remember encountering a loan officer who thought like that. But the mechanisms of whether your loan in particular is approved have precisely zero to do with whether you're a good or virtuous person, whether you deserve a chance, or anything other than how well you fit the profile of someone who can repay this loan. Understand that. Your bank doesn't give a damn if you're black, white, brown, red, yellow, or pink with purple polka dots. They care about green - money. They don't care whether you're a man or a woman, what your sexual orientation is, or anything else. They make their decisions based upon how well you fit the profile of someone who can repay the loan. How much you make, how stable that income is, how much of that income is obligated to other payments, how well you manage credit and a host of other factors. Except as I will note later, they don't care how much equity is in the property. Banks are not in the business of owning property, and they lose money when they have to foreclose no matter how much equity is in the property. They're in the loan business. They care about whether you fit the profile of someone who will repay that loan. Not having enough equity for the loan guidelines will lose you a loan, but having more won't get your loan approved. In the course of funding well over a thousand loans from dozens of lenders, I have never seen or heard race, ethnicity, sex, or orientation of the applicants mentioned in any sort of communication other than by government mandate for gathering the information. If it weren't required by the government on a mandated government form, I have precisely zero evidence that anyone at any lender I have ever submitted a loan to cares. What they want to know is whether you fit the profile of someone who will repay that loan.
How do you fit the profile? Earn a steady income from a consistent source. Save enough for a down payment that fits the underwriting profile, which varies from zero to twenty percent or so. Manage your credit well. Make your payments on time. Don't try to borrow more than you can afford to repay. Be able to document everything. I'll go over all of this in considerable detail later in the book, but the criteria are all financial. The rest doesn't matter. The banks don't care if you're Democrat or Republican, statist or anarchist, or which way you put your toilet paper rolls in the bathroom dispenser.
Coming Soon from Amazon
Most of my productive writing lately has been a non-fiction book on getting a good mortgage loan and avoiding bad ones. I hope to have that out early in January. I'm still working on a sidelight book on Grace's nephew, though.
If you're looking for last minute gifts, a kindle download happens immediately. Any or all of my Rediscovery series works!
I'm trying an experiment. Instead of just one thing at a time, even when my brain plainly is at a temporary impasse point, I'm switching off between the 'natural state humans exploring the Earth neighborhood' story I was working on before I changed to "Working The Trenches. The other item I'm working on is a nonfiction item regarding mortgages. Yesterday, I got something over four thousand words in total - closer to five - and today I'm already over three thousand, instead of pounding my head against the desk to get fifteen hundred. When brain rebels at one, just switch to the other.
PS: All of my published stories are still only $2.99 each on Kindle.
PPS: I could really use a few reviews of Working The Trenches from those who've read it.
Working the Trenches, the fourth Rediscovery novel is available to purchase in the Amazon store. Still only $2.99 on Kindle!
Graciela Juarez has been an Imperial citizen for several years. She's got a solid marriage into one of the Empire's most important families. The Empire has been very good to her. For her self-respect, she wants to spend some time with her shoulder to the wheels of the Empire. Pulling the cart of Civilization. Working the Trenches of Empire
The files for Working the Trenches have all been uploaded, waiting on approval from Amazon and Create Space. Approximately 96,000 words in length, it's about deciding to spend some time Working the Trenches of civilization.
The Fourth Grace novel, titled "Working the Trenches" is back from the readers, revised, and ready to go text-wise.
On the other hand, I'm thus far demonstrating ZERO talent with image manipulation software. I've been trying to make any of four good cover ideas look not completely buffoonish for three weeks.
I've got a couple more ideas. Or I could publish with a text-only cover. But I'd rather not.
Finished the first draft of the fourth Grace novel last night, and it goes to the readers today for feedback.
Tentatively titled "Cloud" it's about 95,000 words
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