The trilogy is often compared to C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia, a comparison that makes Pullman bristle, since he famously denounced the Narnia books as thinly disguised Christian propaganda, "blatantly racist," "monumentally disparaging of women," and "one of the most ugly and poisonous things I've ever read."Maybe not so much of a sea change there after all, hmm?
This was the story in which there is no God, but there is one, but He's some kind of pathetic ineffective creature who gets killed. In this atheist utopia, for some reason there's an afterlife, but it's more like a concentration camp.
The whole thing sounded muddled and annoying to me, so I haven't read it. What I do know is that it's been given positive reviews by a vast panoply of people whom I trust to get it exactly wrong--including Arse Technica--so I am fairly confident that this latest rendition of this anti-Christian horseshit will not be any better than any of the others. Pass, with prejudice.
* * *
Chicago continues to impress, let me tell you. They're going to dismantle their database of gang members, because it is "racist".
Do you know why it's racist? Because all the gangs in Chicago are black or hispanic. The database is an accurate representation of the makeup of criminal gangs in the city; if there are any white criminal gangs in Chicago they are vastly outnumbered by minority gangs.
I am reminded of this little informational tidbit:
The same sort of thing is true of Chicago itself. If you were to take about 150,000 people out of Chicago and put them anywhere else, the rate of violent crime would plummet. Something like 80% of the violent crime in Chicago is committed by less than 5% of the population. And--I hate to break it to you--99% of those offenders are black or hispanic.
And so Chicago dismantles a useful tool for keeping track of who the most likely murderers are solely because it is, in fact, an accurate reflection of an inconvenient reality.
* * *
Empty supertankers is a fantastic thing for the United States. We don't need foreign oil. The US is now a net exporter of oil. Texas alone is the #3 producer of oil in the world.
All we need is the will to build refineries that can cope with the stuff we're pulling from the ground and we can be completely independent of the world oil market.
This is where I would, ordinarily, recommend that we start building nuclear power plants, but you know what? Lockheed has me feeling pretty optimistic about fusion. They're saying practical overunity fusion reactors are about five years away; they're the only ones saying so but that's because government-funded fusion research has been a boondoggle that's been saying "We'll have fusion in twenty years!" for the past five decades.
Lockheed's assertion that they've cracked that nut makes me think that investing in fission reactors now might be a bad idea--kind of like a railroad buying all-new steam locomotives in 1946, or an airline replacing its fleet of airplanes with the latest-and-greatest propellor-driven aircraft in about 1957. If it's really that close--if Lockheed isn't just blowing smoke up our skirts--then we should wait a couple more years and put one of their semi-trailer-sized fusion plants on every block.
But for now, the fact that there are 12 superfluous supertankers is good news for us. This country has not had a sensible energy policy as far back as I can remember.
* * *
High winds--power's gone off once, so far. I think I need to get a new battery for my UPS; it freaks out when the power dies.
Well, it's 12 years old; I suppose that was inevitable.