The clock is tick-tick-ticking off its judgments. Tick – stupid. Tick – Hey, stupid. It’s new. I bought it for six bucks at the local five-and-dime. La Virgen de Guadalupe smiles serenely from its face, held aloft by angels.

Black Swan, White Swan... Let's Call the Whole Thing Off

Formal logic might be the blackest of magics (and it makes for the most excruciating of reads). Just try figuring out the Black Swan Problem. Read a ton of obnoxious articles by formal logicians – who I imagine wear capes and brood in towers while they go about their dark art of turning language into math – without pushing your thumbs into your eyeballs until they pop.

Donald Duck: High Priest of the Illuminati

Conspiracy theorists are dreadfully thorough, but I guess most of them missed this one: Donald in Mathmagic Land, the 1959 Disney featurette starring Donald Duck which teaches us about the Pythagorean cult, the pentagram, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the Golden Ratio.

Jack Kirby And Comic Book Mysticism

You may not recognize the name Jack Kirby, but if you’ve ever argued with your friends over who gets to be Cyclops when you were playing X-Men in your backyard, then you’ve been touched by his creations.

Eye of the Skeptic

Those “I’m always right” types absolutely need faith, or else those vicious doubts start creeping in. Not only will you find faith in the religious mind, calling God a fact, you’ll also find it lurking in the atheist, saying He isn’t. Come to think of it, anyone who uses the word “fact” so easily must be pretty faithful, at least when it comes to their own nonsense.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Mr. Mayor, Put Down Your Pen -Alibi

Originally published September 16, 2015 via alibi.com

On Sept. 21, the Albuquerque City Council will be voting on a city ordinance to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, similar to legislation enacted by the City of Santa Fe last year. The bad news is that a similar bill made it all the way to Mayor Richard Berry's desk last year, where he firmly vetoed it to smithereens.

Last November's general election ballot contained a question: should marijuana be decriminalized in New Mexico? 59.52% of voters in Bernalillo County were in support of decriminalization, making proponents optimistic. But the good mayor has already said that he'll veto again. I'm sure he's already stomping around his office, eyes rolling and teeth grinding as he waits to chew the thing up.

On a YouTube video posted last August, Berry explains that he vetoed the bill in part because it included, “decriminalizing the posession of an illegal drug in our city.” There was no mention of why that would be bad, exactly. No references to health risks or worries about youth addiction, or whatever. Just: it's illegal.

Let's consider that perhaps Mayor Berry hasn't been exposed to all of the facts concerning this controversial plant. Maybe his office doesn't have an internet connection.

See, when I first smoked pot, there was no Google. All I had to go on was the wisdom imparted on me by my parents, Ronald Reagan and a mustached D.A.R.E. officer in the sixth grade. When the effects of the pot wore off I was relieved to find that I hadn't murdered anyone, sold a baby for heroin or grown feathers.

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