Ian Underwood, Author at Granite Grok

Ian Underwood

Ian Underwood has been a planetary scientist and artificial intelligence researcher for NASA, the director of the renowned Ask Dr. Math service, co-founder of Bardo Farm and Shaolin Rifleworks, and a popular speaker at liberty-related events. He lives in Croydon, New Hampshire.

Want to Unify America? Stop Talking About Democracy.

I recently read an article about Democratic Party strategists discussing the importance of avoiding the words ‘socialism’ and ‘socialist’ in future campaigns, because they don’t sit well with large numbers of voters. To be clear, they weren’t talking about giving up socialist policies.  Just about calling them something else.  Lying about them, if you will. …

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All of Us

In 1984, Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin starred in All of Me, a physical comedy in which one body had to be shared by two very different personalities, with very different goals.  As you might expect, there was a whole lot of lurching going on. It was very funny to watch Steve Martin moving around …

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Impeachy

While he was Vice President, Joe Biden committed an impeachable offense, then confessed to it on video in front of an audience.  So why aren’t impeachment hearings being held yet?  What are we waiting for, Christmas? How do we know it was impeachable?  Because he actually did the thing that President Trump was accused of …

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The Disney Paradox

I just watched the fascinating documentary Out of Shadows, and learned for the first time that Disney owns both ABC and Fox.  I was surprised, and dismayed… and confused. If you look at the movies that Disney produces for children, there’s a strong theme that runs through many of them.  Most of the ones I’m …

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A ‘Congress’ of Clowns

Is there anything more hysterical than impeaching a president who has a week left in office?  If there is, I’m having trouble thinking of it just now.  It’s hysterical in both common senses of that word:  the original meaning of ‘marked by uncontrollable extreme emotion’ (or simply ‘out of control’), and the more modern meaning …

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Topology Obviates Geography

The phrase Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny isn’t strictly true, but it packs a lot of insight into a small number of words.  It’s also fun to say. Basically, it asserts that the stages an animal embryo undergoes during development are a chronological replay of past evolutionary forms for that species.  For example, if there are fish …

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