The More Pertinent Problem With Polygamy

The Bleeding Heart Libertarians have a series of recent posts on polygamy (here, here, here, here...) With minor dissent, they are in favor of polygamy for all the same reasons most Americans support gay marriage. The lone dissenting voice presents a bizarre argument based on the idea that polygamy will create a society in which the rich and powerful men will marry-up all the eligible pretty young girls and leave an army of disgruntled beta males behind to plot their revenge.

Elsewhere on the internet, everyone else seems to be saying more or less the same thing: If gay marriage is okay, then why not polygamy, too? And the arguments all go the same way: As long as we're legalizing consensual marital relationships, why not go whole-hog? Otherwise, you're just a bigot.

I'm tempted to swing the same way. I don't really care who or what it is that people want to marry, as long as who or what is getting married is capable of giving consent. Fine.

But what happens when a plurality of shareholders of a company all decide to marry each other in order to become a family that is now the major shareholder of this corporation? Hostile takeover via marital bliss.

And what happens when the owner of a textile factory decides to marry 10,000 foreign men and women, who all then immigrate via spousal visa and go to work at his textile factory?

What's to stop the defendant in a court case from marrying the judge's daughter or son and having his lawyer declare a mistrial?

See, the problem with polygamy isn't that the people who want it will get it. No, the problem with polygamy is that people who would otherwise never consider it will have a long list of perverse incentives to abuse it.

The only solution is to "get the government out of the marriage business," but how could progressives give up a prize they fought so hard to win?

The Irresistible Temptation Toward Invasion

Some time ago, I grew so tired of Google's need to screw with my search results that I switched over to Bing for searching and found that it met my needs much better.

First, let me state that I really don't care that Google harvests my data for advertising purposes. If Google has found a way to anticipate money-saving sources for my near future purchases and give me one-click access to these vendors, I am of the opinion that this makes my life a little easier, and makes a vendor richer, right alongside Google. Sounds like win-win-win to me.

I didn't give up Google searches for the advertising, I gave it up because Google kept showing me the same stuff over and over again. If I'm searching the same term for the bazillionth time, that means I haven't found what I was looking for the previous bazillion-minus-one times. I also didn't like how Stationary Waves kept coming up in my searches. I already know how to search my own blog, using the search bar at the top-left of the blog itself; I don't want to find my own web content. I want to see what other people know that I don't know. That's the whole reason I'm searching in the first place!

The advertisements for Bing promised a better search experience, so I put their claims to the test, and came out on top. I even enjoyed getting "Bing Rewards" for using their search engine. It was all working beautifully until I installed the Bing extension for the Chrome browser. Presented as a way to access information pertaining to Bing Rewards more easily, I took the bait.

Today, however, I discovered that the Bing Rewards extension had modified my browser settings in a way I neither approved no encouraged. The people at Bing may feel that they are getting a foot in the door with a loyal Google customer. In reality, they're competing with me for space on my own web browser.

It's a lesson in how far you can trust a company to stay legitimately helpful for their loyal customers: not as far as they can be thrown. Given enough leeway, any one of these companies will encroach on your system as far as they can.

Caveat emptor.


The Meaning Of Words

David Henderson identifies an innumeracy expressed by Andrew Oxlade.

Oxlade writes "He declined to predict the exact trigger but said it was more likely to happen in the next five years rather than 10." However, as Henderson rightly points out, an event is always more likely to occur in a 10-year span than a 5-year span.

EconLog commentator "Radford Neal" (in scare quotes because I don't know whether or not that is his real name) defends the opposite position:
If 85 percent of Stanford grad students get it "wrong", that's pretty strong evidence that the answer is not actually wrong at all. And an explanation that they're using "system 1" (whatever that is), as most people do in the circumstances, is actually further evidence of this. The meaning of a statement/question is what most people will take it to mean. It seems most people take the statements in this example to mean something other than what the experimenter claims it means (a claim that is therefore clearly incorrect).
"Jameson" (ditto on scare quotes) criticizes the use of "mathematical precision" in language because he feels that it detracts from communication.

I was inclined to agree with both "Neal" and "Jameson" until I remembered an old Roderick T. Long blog post on a news report using the word decimated, in which he writes:
In recent years the term “decimate” has come to be widely misused to mean “devastate,” probably because the two words sound similar. But we have lots of words that mean “devastate.” We have only one word that means “decimate.” Why give it up?
As Long points out, we have words that mean things for a reason. That point also holds true for concepts. We might want to sometimes relax our rigidities to "get away with" mental shorthand, but why would we want to get away with anything at all? Likelihood is likelihood. Probability is probability.


Calisthenic Drop Sets

There seems to be a real dearth of hard facts on the topic of drop sets. When I search, I find scant physiological evidence justifying their use in strength training. I do, however, find many anecdotes related to use of the technique. Some of those anecdotes are favorable to the use of drop sets, and some are not. I've yet to form an opinion, so the search is of interest to me.

What Is A Drop Set?

Simply put, a "drop set" is when you reach muscle failure during a strength training workout as usual, and then immediately drop 20% of the pounds you're lifting, and do another set to muscle failure.

The best description of what a drop set is - at least the best one that I can find, and the one that actually offers up a citation of some kind - can be found at BodyBuilding.com. Here's what they have to say about how the technique was developed:
According to Arnold's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, the drop set method was originally "discovered" in 1947 by Henry Atkins, editor of Body Culture magazine. Atkins called it the "multi-poundage system." Since then, this muscle blasting technique has gone by many different names including breakdowns, descending sets, triple-drops, down the rack, strip sets or the stripping technique.
I cite that passage to underscore that this is mostly a trial-and-error workout technique, i.e. there does not seem to be any physiological basis for it. But, speaking of physiology, here is their description of how it works:
Even though you may reach a point of momentary muscular failure after 8-12 reps in a conventional straight set, you haven't reached absolute failure; you've only reached failure with that poundage. You see, in a single straight set performed to failure, you don't activate every fiber in a muscle group. You only recruit the number of fibers necessary to lift a particular weight for the desired number of repetitions. By stripping off weight and continuing the set, you cumulatively recruit more and more "reserve" muscle fibers. 
Drop sets hit the "stubborn" muscle fibers "deep down," causing growth that normally couldn't be achieved by stopping after a single set of six to twelve.
I reiterate, these are claims without evidence. Still, that should give you an idea of what a drop set is, how to do it, and what people are thinking about physiology when they advocate for doing drop sets.

A blog called "FitFlex" offers up a more scientific explanation, although it, too, is bereft of citations and more or less consists of the author's personal belief about the physiology behind drop sets.

And that, friends, is as much as I've been able to find on the subject.

Stationary Waves Modified Drop Sets; Or, Calisthenic Drop Sets

I have very little interest in body building and efficient muscle gain, but I have a great interest in being stronger and healthier overall. As such, I'm always interested in trying out new workout ideas and seeing how they affect me in terms of both fitness and blood glucose control.

This week, I decided to try a little experiment. Rather than doing straight drop sets - and, in particular, rather than immediately finishing off my lifts with a drop set - I thought to myself, What if I took the muscle groups I focused on today and added a calisthenics exercise targeting those muscles at the end of my workout? In other words, what if I lifted weights as usual, pushing myself to muscle failure, and then set aside some time at the end of, say, a tricep/chest day to do some push-ups.

So I've been doing this as follows:
  • Tricep / Chest day: Finish with push-ups
  • Bicep / Back day: Finish with pull-ups
  • Shoulder day: Finish with push-ups targeting the shoulders (e.g. decline push-ups)
  • Leg day: (I do plyometrics for leg day - this one's already covered.)
The results? Well, I don't measure the size of my muscles, but I seem to have gained a couple of pounds, and most importantly, my muscles feel like they're getting a better workout. Whereas I normally cover from a weight workout by the next morning (in terms of how I feel, anyway), lately the tiredness has lasted 2 or 3 days. 

This is great, I think, because I only work out each muscle group once a week, not counting a few groups that are impossible not to duplicate, like abs and triceps.

My initial conclusion is that "calisthenic drop sets" are a good addition to a strength training routine.


We Want What's Good For Us

Tyler Cowen makes his point with a headline and a citation. His point is that Republicans have shifted to where they don't want to become the party that takes away a welfare payment, whereas they previously opposed Obamacare wholesale. Hence, there is a "new political equilibrium" on the matter.

Politically, though, the only thing that matters is that we perceive Republicans to be opposed to Obamacare and that we perceive Democrats to be in favor of it. I hate to sound cynical, but what happens with the law itself is in fact irrelevant to the "political equilibrium."

What happens to the ACA really comes down to whether people can extract more rents with Obamacare or without it. If the former, the law will stay; if the latter, the law will change in a way that pays more rents. (That's a meta-pun for the LessWrong crowd, wakka wakka...)

What the (ordinary) people need is an argument that shows them they will benefit from Policy X. Obamacare supporters - and fans of socialized medicine in general - do a good job of this by citing shotgun theories comprised of loose correlations that feel true. Commentator "rayward," for example, says, 
Supporters of intervention on the supply side point out that, contrary to the popular misconception, the health of Americans (other than the financial health of providers) is actually worse than the health of people in those other advanced countries.
That point is actually a dumb canard. Americans aren't less healthy because we're uninsured, we're less healthy because we eat fried chicken by the literal bucket-load. No amount of health insurance is going to counteract the All-You-Can-Eat Pizza Buffet Effect. 

But even if it could, Amy Finkelstein would call it "ex ante moral hazard." You're morally culpable if you live like you have a "Cadillac" health insurance plan, as Americans have been doing, and you're morally culpable if you oppose the government provision of "supply-side intervention" into health care.

It was a subtle, but important, shift in language. I tried to document this as it happened (see here and here, for example), but now the damage is done. Economists can use market language - and mathematics - to evaluate business decisions, but the minute we're no longer interested in concrete mathematical facts like how much things cost and how to supply costly services to many people, we enter a parallel universe. In that parallel universe, the facts of doing business are no longer binding constraints, but rather "problems" that can be "addressed" with "policy." If "we" run out of money while trying to "address" "problems," then we simply need to adjust "policy." 

And policy debate is decidedly different than the evaluation of a business decision. Policies are not evaluated on costs and benefits. Policies are proposed and then debated. While for any business decision, we do due diligence and make the case for the most profitable outcome, for any policy debate, we measure how badly various demographics want something. Policy debate can include a cost-benefit analysis, but that's really just one piece of a "multifaceted" issue. One must also account for morality. One must account for politics.

So, here we are, discussing the "political equilibrium" of a policy that apparently supplies health insurance to people who don't have it, but that in reality adjusts the costs of various aspects of the system while chasing a poorly defined benefit in the form of making health care "affordable." Is it any reason the debate is so unsatisfying?

One way to make health care more affordable is to prescribe a teaspoon of salt water to treat everything that people go to the doctor for. Salt water is cheap, and if that's the only treatment option, medical expertise is irrelevant. You could argue that this policy isn't medically sound, but who are you to deny health care to those in need? You could argue that salt water can't cure medical problems, but if I find a population that does better on average with a strict salt water therapeutic regimen, then your case evaporates.

Economic debate, or any discussion that relies on concretely defined facts and figures, can easily make short work of claims about salt water. Policy debate cannot. An economic treatment of the health care issue would be short and sweet:
  • How can we get state-of-the-art health care in America? - Charge customers the correct price.
  • How can we ensure that the costs of treatment are accurately accounted for? - Charge customers the correct price.
  • How can we supply the most health care to the most people? - Charge customers the correct price.
  • How can poor people be given that which they cannot afford? - Transfer payments.
  • How can we design a welfare system that will not be corrupted by rent-seeking? Sorry, you can't.
In that scenario, some people have to walk away despite being partially unsatisfied. In economic debate, the fact that no one can be completely satisfied is obvious and known. We find solace in the fact that we have come to the best possible decision.

In policy debates, we find solace in the team. Your team might lose this round, but they'll be sure to stick it to the other team when they next win a round. So long as we can't all have our medical bills paid for, we can at least delude ourselves into thinking our impotent votes hold the key to changing our lives at some point in the future.


Lies About Arnold Schoenberg

If you ever want to see otherwise-elegant people swear and spit (and who wouldn't?), then I know a fun party game to play. It goes like this:

First, identify the classical music enthusiasts in the room - preferably someone who has some experience playing a musical instrument. Second, mention the name "Arnold Schoenberg" favorably. Third, observe the spitting and swearing.

They'll tell you his music is "soulless." They'll lament that he "wrote with a mathematical formula," and that anyone can compose serial compositions once they, too, know the formula.

Here's the problem: "soulless" is a criticism that essentially reduces to "I personally prefer other music," and "he wrote with a... formula" is true of any composer who ever developed a reliable source of sonic inspiration. As for whether Schoenberg's formula was "mathematical," well, that's the kind of statement that only makes sense to people who have never had to work with a real mathematical formula in their lives. (It's an algorithm, not a formula.)

But, more importantly, Schoenberg wrote more than 12-tone serial compositions. Much more. Take, for example, the piece I have embedded in this blog post. Verklarte Nacht, inspired by a beautiful poem, was written to describe the feelings Schoenberg had after meeting his future wife. (So much for "soulless" Arnold Schoenberg.) Listen carefully, and observe that there is absolutely nothing "atonal" about it. Nor, for that matter, is it in any way a serial composition.

Of course, it's advanced harmonic structure was still too much for the taste-makers of the period, but now that a century has passed, I defy anyone to dispute the piece's exquisite beauty.

I may have to dedicate a future post to serial composing. While it's true that it is - by definition - "formulaic," not all serial compositions are equal. For one thing, just because a person can arrive at an atonal melody using a serial formula doesn't mean that person can arrange a symphony around that melody. So there is a bit more to serial composing than simply arriving at a melody using Schoenberg's formulas. There are still such elements as the arrangement, the harmonies, and most importantly the performance. But these nuances are a bit too much for those who would disparage one of the 20th Century's most gifted composers.

Tonally and atonally, Schoenberg challenged the musical establishment, and a century later, the establishment still hates him for it. But his music lives on, and I encourage everyone to immerse themselves in it for a little while, if for no other reason than to understand it. (Here's a hint: If all you wind up hearing is a "formula," then you haven't fully understood.)


To Hell With The Unintended Consequences!

US officials have decided to publicly destroy one ton of illegal ivory, in an effort to reduce poaching.

Now, I'm no PhD economist, so I'll put it to my readers: What happens to the price of something valuable when its supply is reduced?

And a follow-up question: What happens to the supply of something valuable when its price increases?

And, uh... not to put too fine a point on it... How might the supply of ivory be increased?

Marilia Brocchetto Overcomes Her Illusions

Billboards, magazines, TV shows -- they all have one thing in common: They keep drilling into our heads that women must be thin, women must be fit. They are right. Moan and groan all you want, but what I've discovered over the last few years is that our bodies aren't made to hold 120 pounds of extra fat.
That is Marilia Brocchetto at CNN.com, in one of many great passages that describes the contradiction between the obesity "epidemic" and the complaints of many that the media propagates an unrealistic ideal.
How many times have you heard someone tell a thin girl that she should eat a sandwich? Or that human bodies shouldn't be all bones and skin and that "real women have curves?" That sounds to me less like "love whatever body you have" and more like, let's shame the thin/normal weight girls.
Brocchetto also brings a refreshing dose of personal responsibility to the body weight discussion. She writes, "It's tough being heavy. It's tougher to actually acknowledge that I've eaten myself into my weight." She says she likes food, "A lot. More than I'm willing to admit. You don't get to be 300 pounds by not liking food."

What apparently turned her around was a group of internet "bullies," whose comments suddenly started to resonate with her, not to the point that she felt bad about herself, but that she recognized the truth in what they were saying. That truth, I can only assume, related to the way she was talking herself into the idea that it's "okay" to be fat.

And it probably is "okay" to be fat, so long as we don't conflate the terms "okay" and "you will suffer no adverse biological or psychological consequences from your situation."

Marilia Brocchetto overcame her illusions and made a lasting life change. You can, too. Her article is interesting throughout. Make sure you read the whole thing.


Ignorance Is Bliss?

The Times of India reports that new research may indicate that people with weaker working memory are more prone to risky sexual activity.

Upon reading that article, I happened to recall that old research had indicated that there is a strong correlation (80-90% in fact) between working memory and intelligence.

This would seem to suggest that risky sexual activity is correlated with low intelligence. However, I leave any additional conclusions to the discretion of the reader...

Straw Man

I really do try to stay out of the climate change "debate." My core belief, for those interested, is that most of the descriptive models are accurate, but most of the predictive models are inaccurate. That's a nuanced view that doesn't tend to put me on a "side." There shouldn't be a "side." There should only be findings.

But anyway, something called The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has challenged something called the Heartland Institute to a bet. The details of the bet are as follows:
The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) hereby presents to the Heartland Institute a challenge as to whether the Earth’s climate will set a new record high temperature this year. The challenge will be settled using the NASA GISS mean global land surface temperatures for the conventional climate averaging period (defined by the World Meteorological Organization as 30 years) ending on December 31, 2015. If the global average temperature does not exceed the mean temperature for an equal period ending on the same date in any previous year for which complete data exist, CSI will donate $25,000 to a nonprofit to be designated by Heartland. Otherwise, Heartland will be asked to donate $25,000 to a science education nonprofit designated by CSI. It is CSI’s intent to repeat this challenge every year for the next 30 years.

My Claim: I Believe The CSI's Bet Is Disingenuous

Why? Because the only thing that will impact the outcome of the matter being bet upon are global average temperatures for the last half of the year 2015. In other words, if the next six months are hotter-than-average, globally, then CSI will win.

Assuming the Heartland Institute believes that current temperature trends are part of an essentially random walk, that means that their expected probability of winning would be 50%. (Assuming temperature is random and normal, 50% of recorded temperatures will appear above the mean, by definition, give or take. Let's leave aside the possibility that the Heartland Institute believes that global temperatures follow a non-normal distribution. Both possibilities are equally preposterous, anyway.)

Of course, no one who pays attention to global temperatures actually believes they are random. There is, for one thing, seasonality in global average temperature. There are quite certainly a different number of temperature sensors in the Southern hemisphere than the Northern hemisphere, and the urban impact on temperatures will be greater wherever there are more urban sensors. There are seasonal changes in ocean currents and temperatures, which is a fact I have no reason to believe the Heartland Institute disputes.

And finally, six or seven months of temperature readings are insufficient to draw conclusions about the accuracy of climate change models, no matter what happens to those temperatures in that period of time. Duh.

All of these reasons demonstrate that the CSI is basically trolling the Heartland Institute. I don't have a problem with that, but let's not pretend it's a real bet.

But Wait - There's More!

Suggesting that the people at the CSI are trolls is actually a charitable interpretation of this bet. I say this because their press release contains the following quote:
“If anyone really thinks that human-caused global warming is a hoax, and that the climate has stopped heating up, they must also believe that temperatures will now stabilize or drop,” said Mark Boslough, a physicist and CSI Fellow who devised the challenge. “Well, that’s a testable claim, so let’s test it.”
Boslough's "if" is a straw man fallacy. It is not at all true that anyone who disputes the theory of AGW believes "that temperatures will now stabilize or drop" within the next 7 months. For example, one might believe that global warming is occurring for non-anthropomorphic reasons.

I have no idea what the Heartland Institute's position on this matter is, and I don't much care. But Boslough's argument is a preposterous straw man, and his Institute's bet is thoroughly disingenuous.


Identity Politics

  • "Identifying as a woman" is sufficient to make a biological male female.
  • "Identifying as black" is sufficient to make a white woman African-American.

These are two propositions of contemporary American culture, not of Mr. Stationary Waves. To those propositions, I will add Merriam-Webster's definition of "identity," as follows:
who someone is : the name of a person
the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others
Here is a thorough philosophical treatment of identity via Stanford's Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

The Rachel Dolezal case must surely have been a practical joke played against the media by a Mad Philosopher. Identity is a problem that challenges even the brightest of philosophers. Or rather, what challenges philosophers is the task of setting out a non-circular definition of identity. If, for example, the identity of Rachel Dolezal consists of all the things that make her something other than everything else in the universe, then we have defined Rachel Dolezal's identity, but only in reference to itself. It's like saying, "A = not not-A." It's true, but unhelpful.

And since this limitation is inherent to abstract reasoning (because it all hinges on the concept that some things are not some other things), then Rachel Dolezal must surely have been sent here to test our tolerance for abstract concepts that challenge the patently obvious.

What I mean is this: You definitely know that you are you. But what if I told you that I am actually you? Of course you would object, and of course you would be right, but on what grounds? If you can't define identity, and I make the politically correct claim that "I identify as you," then you have no defense left. You are forced to accept that I am you, because I identify as you. And who are you to tell me what I identify as? Shame on you.

Rachel Dolezal is not black. Caitlyn Jenner is not a woman. We know this. There is no question about these things. They are facts. If I told you that both of these people are playing make-believe, I would be right, even if that "triggers" you.

That doesn't mean these people don't deserve to be treated fairly - and possibly compassionately, especially if Dolezal is found to be ill - but it does mean that facts are not "identity-dependent." Your internal sense of self does not get to magically erase everyone else's physical reality.

And you can't disagree with me, because I identify as you, and in my capacity of being you, I have already voiced my agreement. Disagreeing with yourself will only make you look stupid.

The Belly Button Challenge

I first heard of the "belly button challenge" this morning, via the news. I didn't hear about how fun it is, who started it, why it was started, or who has been impacted by it. No, I heard about what a terrible thing it is, because it makes people feel bad about themselves.

Here's The Washington Post:
“A successful attempt is met with praise and affirmation, under the pretense that the challenge is a test of health and fitness,” James Hamblin of the Atlantic wrote in “Don’t Try the Belly Button Challenge.” “You are thin enough to reach around yourself, so you must be okay. An unsuccessful attempt is met with quiet inward shame.” 
The challenge, it was said, not only proved triggering to those battling eating disorders who seek “thinspiration,” but also did not prove good health.
In that citation, I notice two claims: (1) that the challenge was "triggering" for people with eating disorders, and (2) that the challenge does not demonstrate good health.

The Post article does not buttress either of these claims with any sort of citation or evidence, not even anecdotal evidence. So, I followed the link to The Atlantic and discovered that James Hamblin's article contains a lone citation to a BBC news story which merely provides an account of the Belly Button Challenge in similar scope to the Washington Post article. It certainly provides no support for Hamblin's claims about eating disorders.

The BBC article, to its credit, cites a single expert in support of its (the BBC's) claim "some experts" argue that the challenge promotes eating disorders.

Thus, all this "eating disorder" hullabaloo really comes down to the opinion of a single Westerner cited by the BBC in the context of a story about a Chinese social media fad. So much for The Post's first claim.

What about the claim that the challenge does not demonstrate good health? Well, according to Hamblin,
It’s actually a test of shoulder flexibility, not fitness. The shoulder has the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. If you’re looking to impress people, how about telling them that fact?
According to this 12th Grade public school lesson plan (or alternatively, this page from the U.S. Army), flexibility is one of the five major components of physical fitness. (The others are body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular endurance.)

So it would appear that the Belly Button Challenge is indeed a gauge of physical fitness, no matter how "triggering" some in the Western media might believe it to be.


Strange Psychology

I remember watching an episode of a talk show in which guests were people whose problem was being too competitive. I recall one guest recounting the story of how her family was involved in some innocuous chore or event, and the guest took it upon herself to make a game out of it. Then, she started competing rather savagely with the rest of her family, doing whatever it took to win the game. She was laughing at herself over it as she told the story, amused that she would take something so far despite the fact that "there wasn't a real game - I made the whole thing up!"

I thought about this when I read about Bob Costas' criticism of Caitlynn Jenner's having won some ESPN award for courage in sports. As Fox News reports:
"In the broad world of sports, I’m pretty sure they could’ve found someone -- and this is not anything against Caitlyn Jenner -- who was much closer actively involved in sports, who would’ve been deserving of what that award represents," Costas said on "The Dan Patrick Show."
Costas further said,
I think this is just a play to pump up the audience, the way lots of things are put on television to attract eyeballs -- not because of the validity but because of whatever the kind of gawker factor is.
I guess the irony is lost on Bob Costas. This award doesn't "represent" anything other than ESPN's attempt to "pump up the audience," and put things "on television to attract eyeballs." This award, the Grammy Awards, the Academy Awards, and so on, are nothing more than marketing campaigns used to generate a little more attention for the sake of selling a few more advertisements, or tickets, or downloads, or whatever.

Please note, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying it seems odd to criticize a marketing campaign for successful marketing reach. If Costas thinks this "crass," then what did he think of all the previous years' awards? This is, after all, an award named after a tennis player who died of AIDS and who played no part in the creation of the award in the first place.

It's always interesting to see marketing campaigns that are so successful that even their own puppeteers start to believe in them.


Please Think Critically As You Read Anything

Buried near the bottom of this good Samaritan news story is this quote:
Quarles worked at the restaurant throughout college, moving up from line server to manager. A short time after the video was recorded, Quarles started a new job at a marketing firm in Louisville.
Some say "perception is reality," but I've never believed that.