Ian Underwood, Author at Granite Grok - Page 18 of 33

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.


‘We appreciate the sacrifices many have made throughout COVID-19 developments’,  said His Excellency at a recent press conference.  This makes me wonder if he knows what the word sacrifice actually means, and how to use it properly.

How to talk about re-opening

Note that the discussion about how to ‘re-open the economy’ is happening almost entirely in the arena of whether some contemplated loosening of restrictions will be ‘good for us’ or ‘bad for us’.  What do the numbers say? Whose numbers? When will we feel safe enough to let people have some of their rights back? …

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COVID-19 is killing science

A scientific question takes the form ‘If I make this change over here, what change happens over there?’  Anything else is a non-scientific question.  In particular,  engineering questions and moral questions are not scientific questions.


Islam is the name of a religion, but it’s also just a word that means submission.  Islam the religion is complete submission to the will of Allah.   I think we need a new, secular word that captures a similar idea, which is complete submission to the will of His Excellency.  I suggest Chrislam.

The Licensing Trap

When you need a license from the state to pursue your livelihood, there are some hoops you have to jump through, some fees you have to pay, and maybe some special taxes.  But in return for all this, the state gives you protection. Wait — surely I meant to say that it gives protection to …

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Emergency order will standardize clothing sizes

A source in Governor Sununu’s office has indicated that an emergency order will be issued in the next few days, setting a single size for pants, and another for shoes, to be adopted by all clothing retailers and wholesalers, thrift stores, tailors and other alteration services, dry cleaners, and laundromats throughout New Hampshire.

Occupational licenses are the new draft cards

In the 1960s and 1970s, a draft card represented an unlimited claim on your freedom, and even your life.  If you had one, the government could, at its discretion, and without your consent, uproot your entire existence, until it decided to relinquish that claim.  Does that sound familiar?