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June 2019

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Well, I’m Unconfuzzled

For the seventh time in a row, the incumbent sheriff was re-elected.

This time it was Lenn Wood, who succeeded to the job a few months ago when longtime incumbent Mike Yeager retired to take his post as United States Marshal for the Northern District of Georgia.

This result is exactly what I expected. Yeager had been a popular sheriff for the entire time Mrs. McG and I have lived in Coweta County, and he specifically promoted Wood into the position to become sheriff when he left office. The only people arguing that Wood was unsuited to the job were the three candidates trying to take it away from him. He beat the entire field, 3-to-1.

Now, it’s entirely possible they were right — but a few months is hardly enough time to see if that’s true. Fortunately, there’s a regular sheriff’s election next year, and if Sheriff Wood really is a poor choice for the job, one or more of his special-election opponents will be duty- and honor-bound to run against him for the Republican nomination next July.

I rather hope at least one of them does. They’ve invested their personal reputations in saying things about Wood that, if they sit out the regular election rather than try again to prove their point, will be shown as humbug born of pure, ugly ambition. And if we do end up needing to replace the man we just elected, we should have someone with integrity for an alternative.

©   McGehee



The “Man Bites Dog” Fallacy

Maybe you’ve heard of “Gell-Mann Amnesia,” the tendency of people to notice that journalists get everything wrong about things they have independent knowledge of, but assume those same journalists get everything right about everything else.

That’s only one problem with modern journalism, though. Even if the Derp State Media weren’t politically biased — which it is — the calculation of news value that goes into deciding what to report, creates a misperception of the real world that actively disinforms news consumers.

To figure out why, simply consider the judgment intrinsic to the idea that a dog biting a man isn’t news because it happens so often.

Unfortunately, a lot of news consumers have never bothered to compare the picture of the world they get from the media, to the picture they get from pretty much every other source. While Crichton’s Gell-Mann effect refers specifically to experts, a variant of it can apply to literally anyone. Among them? Journalists.

Journalists don’t report the world you know. They don’t think the world you know is newsworthy. They report a skewed, wacked-out, perverse world that they used to think readers and viewers would recognize as consisting of the weird and crazy. The abnormal. These days, if you really pay attention to what they say, how they describe the world when they’re not merely reciting what happened (do they even still do that?), you can tell they don’t even think it’s weird or crazy anymore. They think reality begins and ends with what they report.

What bothers me most is that too many of the people who still pay attention to them agree, even if they wish it weren’t so. And they let that skewed, wacked-out, perverse vision of the world inform their expectations for the future.

Whenever I see it at work, I want to reach through the internet and slap the stupid right out of them.

©   McGehee



“Concerned”

There is no “inconsistency” between conservative views on abortion and capital punishment.

The victim of abortion is innocent. A perpetrator of a capital crime — assuming the guilt proved in court is true — is not. We do not put people to death for something they have not yet done. Period.

If you have doubts about the application of the death penalty, address them. Don’t set up a false equivalency with another issue that has nothing to do with it.

©   McGehee



Refenestrated

For months now, the games I have from the Microsoft Store — Solitaire, Minesweeper, and a third-party Hearts game — have all been exhibiting bad behavior when ads are cycling. That is, when a banner ad is loading, or changing its display image.

The Hearts game in particular, which is the only one cycling ads during actual play, was the worst; cards in motion would freeze in place for several seconds until the ad process had finished, and only then could play resume.

There's been buzz about a new version of Windows 10 (remember when “Windows 10” was the version?), and today I found out why it hadn't yet installed on my laptop: I needed to install the "upgrade assistant" for such a momentous update. Well, so I did it.

It changed my taskbar, and I had to re-select my background image, but at least the ad-cycling in the various games is working more smoothly.

It remains to be seen what damage the upgrade does to the rest of my user experience.

©   McGehee



And Here I Thought March Was Madness

Last summer I was taken somewhat aback to find that the NBA had a summer league that started play in July. Today I discovered something I hadn’t realized back then.

The NBA’s non-summer league began the final round of its playoffs two days ago.

Back in April when I asked, “Will the NBA title be decided before school gets out for the summer?” I thought I was kidding (the school year hereabouts normally ends just before the Memorial Day weekend). Turns out the answer was “No.”

So here’s football struggling to keep a spring league going for one lousy season, and the NBA, between a playoff schedule that stretches into June, and a summer league that bridges much of the gap between then and the start of regular-season play in — what, August? — is almost literally a year-round operation.

Thank God the NFL’s Hall of Fame Game is only two months away. That’s, like, a quarter-finals round in pro basketball.

©   McGehee




 


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June 2019

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Original content and design © 2019 Kevin McGehee. Images and excerpts are © their respective owners.