An article by myself and Nick Scuillo came out this month in the Journal of Scholarly Publishing, on problems in peer review. It ends a long dry streak (the Rhetorica one wasn’t available, I think, until early 2016, even though it is in a Fall 2015 issue).

A whopping three are due to appear in 2020. Perhaps the Ramans are involved…

Two ways to block/distract a 2020 Trump

Both ideas are essentially duplication.

  1. Convince something like him, but less odious, to run for the Republican nomination. Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, is remarkably similar – a celebrity that shifted into politics, but not completely, with a caddish reputation to boot. He is not a natural-born citizen and thus technically ineligible, but that could be turned to his advantage. If not, maybe Chuck Norris is available…
  2. Convince Alec Baldwin to register as a Republican, change his name to Donald Trump, and run for the nomination in the usual SNL regalia, insisting throughout that he is the “real” Donald Trump and the man in the White House is an imposter from SNL. If he maintains the facade save for some tactical fourth-wall breaking, he will take away much of Trump’s oxygen – the media. And if he is nominated? Well, another four years of Trump…

Goodbye Google

Last year – maybe two back – I purged Facebook.

Yesterday, I started purging Google. My decade-old Gmail account now is associated with nothing significant. Google Search, bye-bye. The next step is Youtube and then I’m done.

Unfortunately, the next two logical candidates for purging – Amazon and Microsoft – are currently impossible. Their benefits still far outweigh the negatives, though if they screw up as bad as Facebook and Google have, I’ll find a way.

Thoughts on the Finale of Game of Thrones

I thought it was good. The Stark arc is complete, and Dany’s fate, telegraphed for forever, is done and done. Two things, though, about the ‘choosing of the king’ scene, could have been handled better.

First, the lords never discuss choosing Jon as king, despite having had seemingly weeks to do so by the length of Tyrion’s beard. Sure, Grey Worm wouldn’t have allowed it, probably Yara either, and I suspect once you’ve seen one seemingly “good” person go full Targaryen, you’re not anxious to try another… but since Grey Worm and the Unsullied leave Westeros right after Jon takes the black again, what’s to stop the lords (particularly Sansa) from installing Jon as king anyway? Their word?

Sansa isn’t much for keeping her word in this season alone. This makes her declaration of the independence of the North a bit hollow. Also, Bran could have also pardoned Jon in the same fashion. Now, neither of these scenarios changes Jon’s path much; he would never take the job. All roads for him point north. But it is a strange oversight.

Second, on a related note, while I think the clear implication from the initial dialogue is that of the assembled leaders only Grey Worm and Sansa have an army worth talking about, it’s curious to see Dorne and the Iron Islands not declare independence before Sansa does. In particular, readers of the books are more aware that Dorne was the last of the seven kingdoms to be conquered by Aegon, and at great cost for little gain.

Sansa is in no position to force Dorne to do anything. Why does the new prince, whoever he is, sit passively? Does he not know his legacy? Yara doesn’t declare independence either, when there is no fleet to oppose hers. Sansa does ‘vote’ last, cleverly, after the others have acceded, but they weren’t exactly following Robert’s Rules (again, back to my first objection – the lords can do whatever they want at any time).

These are artifacts, of course, of the accelerated post-Martin pace – oversights that wouldn’t have happened even as late as season 6. Still, I liked the full circle aspect of the finale. It’s not as bloody or sad as my initial predictions, but I’ll take it.


…is the stupidest word that I have heard in the last ten years. It is only slightly above “synergy.” Ulmer’s atrocity seems to have infected a corner of composition that already is full up on stupid buzzwords like “new media.”

There is nothing wrong with the perfectly fine word “literacy.” Walter Ong used it to great effect. Look up the prefix, people. Fixed in amber, that’s your thought processes.

English does not need a new word when the category is already labeled. Use an adjective. Nouns have been known to tolerate their presence.

Using “electracy” to substitute for literacy is a great way to demonstrate your adherence to fashionable trends. Oh no! Things are going… CYBER! DIGITAL! Maybe even… TECHNOLOGICAL! Prefixes, folks. Follow the prefixes.

Sometimes, I feel like I should take my brain out and sit it on the floor. Why are skulls not water-cooled?

The Problem with Executive Summaries…

…is that it takes some skill to write them, and our Attorney General doesn’t have that skill. I teach report writing, and after thousands of graded reports, I know a dodgy executive summary when I see one. They often are used to conceal relevant evidence that would contradict the agrument in the summary – said evidence is buried in the full report.

This case is curious, though, because Barr did not write the report. Rather than release the report, he ‘summarized’ it – without telling us much at all about what is in it. Most of it is legalese. The evidence and warrant are missing.

Of my earlier predictions, I retract only one – that we would not get to see the full report. I suspect the AG’s tepid opinion, provided by Trump, will not hold for very long. Mueller’s demurral to the AG’s judgment is very interesting…

Report is out

Some predictions.

1) We will not get to see the full report.

2) It will not recommend Trump be charged, impeached, or anything.

3) It will provide enough evidence to convict Trump after he leaves office in more than one jurisdiction. NY at least.

4) Democrats will howl.

5) Trump will announce he is vindicated.

6) It will be damning, regardless of 1-5.

7) It won’t matter to any Trump voter.