William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

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Stream: Why Gmarriage Is Worse Than You Think


Today’s post is at The Stream: Why Gmarriage is Worse than You Think: The government can only reinvent marriage when we believe that men can be gods.

Before we begin, it’s gmarriage to indicate government-defined-marriage, which is not actual marriage. The neologism allows us to save the language, a precious thing, while avoiding the exhausting process of using scare quotes around locutions like same-sex “marriage”. The g is silent, as in gnostic.

Now we all know that gmarriage is bad, and we know why. So let’s don’t bother discussing what is already understood. Let’s instead discover why it’s not just bad, but awful.

What happened was that, in these once United States, as has already occurred in several other post-Christian societies, and not un-coincidentally every country which has mandated gmarriage was once Christian, man declared himself to be God.

Hyperbole? Not in the least. Here’s why.

Incidentally, as many of you know, writers rarely get to write their own headline. Mostly because we’re bad at it. Headline writing is a skill entirely different than prose writing, and the majority of my attempts are workmanlike at best. This one, but the not the sub, is mine. It’s okay. Kind of Internety.

The prose is largely mine, though somewhat simplified (one of the editors worried about some of my larger words).

One of my key arguments is where? Turns out gmarriage is supported in only post-Christian countries, because why? Because of two philosophical errors catalyzed by the corruption of Christianity called Egalitarianism.

Go there to read the rest.

Gmarriage Open Thread

Workers preparing the slope

Workers preparing the slope

Sheri was right. Yesterday was the last day of class. Today, I leave it to you to fill in the blanks.

Yesterday, the USA joined Mexico which earlier this week ensconced gmarriage as the law of the land. What say you?

Don’t just say (what is true, and obvious) “We are doomed”, say why. Don’t just shout (like a man drunk on egalitarianism or filled with revolutionary fervor) “Yippe”, say why. Include relevant quotes from SCOTUS (pdf).

And be civil. I have had a long and exhausting three weeks and am not in the mood to hear people shout at one another. I’m particularly interested in hard, concrete, timetable-including, verifiable predictions, especially from gmarriage supporters.

I am writing a piece entitled, “Why Gmarriage Is Worse Than You Thought” to tell you that, as bad as you think it is, it’s worse. And why.

I’ll check back with the comments later, but otherwise will be away until tomorrow.

What Causes Democracies To Incline Towards Pantheism


Wrapping up class. I’ll be on the Bill Meyer Show today at 11:10 AM ET. He’s a Medford, man. Medford, Oregon. (Let he who readeth understand.)

This will keep up busy until I’m free again. Martin Gregory reminds us of these words by Alexis de Tocqueville from Alexis de Tocqueville Democracy in America Vol II.

I SHALL show hereafter how the preponderant taste of a democratic people for very general ideas manifests itself in politics, but I wish to point out at present its principal effect on philosophy.

It cannot be denied that pantheism has made great progress in our age. The writings of a part of Europe bear visible marks of it: the Germans introduce it into philosophy, and the French into literature. Most of the works of imagination published in France contain some opinions or some tinge caught from pantheistic doctrines or they disclose some tendency to such doctrines in their authors. This appears to me not to proceed only from an accidental, but from a permanent cause.

When the conditions of society are becoming more equal and each individual man becomes more like all the rest, more weak and insignificant, a habit grows up of ceasing to notice the citizens and considering only the people, of overlooking individuals to think only of their kind. At such times the human mind seeks to embrace a multitude of different objects at once, and it constantly strives to connect a variety of consequences with a single cause. The idea of unity so possesses man and is sought by him so generally that if he thinks he has found it, he readily yields himself to repose in that belief. Not content with the discovery that there is nothing in the world but a creation and a Creator, he is still embarrassed by this primary division of things and seeks to expand and simplify his conception by including God and the universe in one great whole.

If there is a philosophical system which teaches that all things material and immaterial, visible and invisible, which the world contains are to be considered only as the several parts of an immense Being, who alone remains eternal amidst the continual change and ceaseless transformation of all that constitutes him, we may readily infer that such a system, although it destroy the individuality of man, or rather because it destroys that individuality, will have secret charms for men living in democracies. All their habits of thought prepare them to conceive it and predispose them to adopt it. It naturally attracts and fixes their imagination; it fosters the pride while it soothes the indolence of their minds.

Among the different systems by whose aid philosophy endeavors to explain the universe I believe pantheism to be one of those most fitted to seduce the human mind in democratic times. Against it all who abide in their attachment to the true greatness of man should combine and struggle.

The mistake you might make while pondering this is to suppose that the pantheism must be of the old-fashioned gods and goddesses sort, with unicorns, dragons, and magic. There is another sort, which I wrote about here: The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis: The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.

The essence of Scientism is Pantheism, a statement which I shall prove (if it’s not otherwise obvious) in time.

For now, back to class!

Corrigan Brothers’ Statistics Song. Finally Released!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it has arrived. The world famous Corrigan Brothers have another hit! What they did for Barack Obama in their mega-smash There’s No One As Irish As Barack Obama, they have now done for Statistics…

…Ladies…Gentlemen…You, too, JH…I present to you the universal premiere of The Statistics Song. [APPLAUD HERE]

Never before has a song captured the essence of the war between Frequentists and Bayesians. Frequentists, long since vanquished but not yet fallen, entered the field armed only with wee p-values chanting their war cry “Sums of Squares”. Bayesians Subjective Shock Troops, berserkers to a man, led the counter charge, sacrificing themselves (as they had to) for their Logical Masters, who now stand alone, the undisputed Masters of Epistemology.

The tune is snappy—nay: rousing—the lyrics memorable. You’ll want to sing along, so here’s the Chorus.

Toor a loo
Toor a loo
Toor a loo
Toor a listics
This ongoing spat
In the world of statistics

The Brothers contacted me a while ago and let me know they were working on their next masterpiece and I asked if I could make a video of it and highlight it on the blog the very moment it was released. They kindly gave me permission.

Let’s all say thanks for their terrific efforts! And let’s pass this on in as many ways as we can think of to show our appreciation.

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