Samuel Jackson Badass AleThis is really silly, but it surprises me that a small batch of beer with this name hasn’t been produced. Samuel L. Jackson would probably be amused by that.

Work was a little more interesting today, partially because there were no meetings and I was able to get more done. After dealing with a set of annoying and fairly stupid security updates, I was able to fix a problem that someone else had caused with only 20 minutes of debugging and testing. There’s also a set of things that another project team wants, and my Reading The Fine Manual makes me think that doing some of those things should be no more than a few hours worth of work.

Almost done with Winning the Race.  A large part of John McWhorter’s book is devoted to “therapeutic alienation”, the phrase he’s coined to describe a general behavior pattern he’s spotted among blacks in the USA.  A crude paraphrase of McWhorter’s use of the term would be, “Racial discrimination is almost extinct in the USA.  However, a number of black people find great psychological validation in saying that it exists and is, if anything, worse than it was in 1950.  This may feel good in the short term, but it doesn’t help anyone out in the long term.”

I am not sure how well his discussion of this meme/trope/whatever describes reality.  Some would even say that my opinion on this topic is irrelevant, as I’m a relatively educated white guy.  Ah well.  I can’t say I agree with everything that McWhorter says, but the book was an interesting read.  See if your local public library has Winning the Race; it’s probably the most interesting and controversial nonfiction book that I’ve read in the last 6 months.

In other news, my “This Week in Science” weekly feed had an article that said, “Current physics models say that stars larger than 20 solar masses should not be able to form, because of radiation pressure.  However, stars larger than that definitely exist.  New work by teams of physicists shows how such stars can form.”  For some reason, I really dug that.