19 Nov

The 2016 Republican Nomination Goes to…

jebThe 2016 Republican Nomination has been rigged. It was rigged years ago by the GOP establishment, and it was rigged specifically to help Jeb. The calendar of the nomination, and the rules of the individual states, were specifically designed to allow Jeb to cruise to victory with approximately 25% of the vote.

You can read the full explanation of how this was done on The Last Refuge. But if you want to see it for yourself, check out this wonderful delegate simulator from Real Clear Politics (h/t Stephen Green).

From the creators of the simulator:

The order in which candidates drop out matters. A lot. It didn’t surprise us that the order and rate of dropouts mattered. What surprised us was just how much it mattered.

Emphasis is in the original text, not added by me. Yes, yes it does. This is by design, and the guys at The Last Refuge figured this out eons ago.

The catch? This rigged nomination process has been hijacked – by Donald Trump. To see how it works, consider this “baseline” scenario that I put together and ran through the simulator.

Scenario 1

This scenario uses today’s poll numbers (the RCP state averages for Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina; the RCP national average everywhere else, since there are no other state polls yet). I’ve chosen to divvy up “district delegates” (those assigned to the winner of each congressional district) proportionately amongst the front runners. In actuality, they’re more likely to skew heavily toward the front runner. Also, realize that polls will change before January and that at least one more candidate will probably drop out before then. It also assumes that no candidates drop out during the election, although we can be certain that several will. It’s a baseline scenario, nothing more.

The results?

  • Trump: 1202 delegates
  • Carson: 592 delegates
  • Rubio: 212
  • Cruz: 189
  • Bush: 82
  • Kasich: 43
  • Fiorina: 40
  • Paul: 39
  • Huckabee: 38
  • Christie: 33

In this baseline scenario, Trump doesn’t quite cinch the nomination (he needs 1237 delegates to do it). But he’s clearly in the lead.

As noted, though, this is a baseline. Let’s take a look at a more likely scenario.

Scenario 2

Again, this uses today’s poll numbers. These will change. But run with it. This model also makes the following assumptions:

  • Rand Paul drops out before the votes even start. Watch his campaign – he’s already figured out that the system is rigged against him and has no idea how to fight it. Despite the fact that it’s his logo in the upper right hand corner of the blog, and he’s clearly my favorite… he’s done. His votes split pretty evenly between Trump, Carson and Cruz (the outsiders; his fans are not establishment fans).
  • Santorum and Huckabee drop out after South Carolina when they learn that they can’t repeat their magic in any of the states they’ve done well in previously. Their votes mostly go to Carson and Cruz. Huckabee’s in it to keep his name in the news and keep getting “talking head” deals. He’ll get out once he can’t get headlines anymore. Santorum’s deluded himself into thinking he has a real chance, just like he did after winning Iowa in 2012. He’ll get out when the funding dies completely – which may actually be before Iowa.
  • Bush hangs on until Florida no matter how poorly he’s doing because his entire campaign is built around winning Florida. He’ll lose it anyway because he’s a terrible candidate that nobody wants right now, so he drops out after the 3/15 primaries. His votes go mostly to Rubio, the rest split between the other front runners (Trump, Carson, Cruz)
  • Kasich, Fiorna, Christie and Graham all drop out as well. They already know they can’t win. They’re in it because their superpacs are all funded by Jeb donors who are keeping them in the race to split everyone else’s votes. In other words, they’re there to help Jeb. But it backfires and helps Trump instead. Anyway, they’re out – and their votes split as follows: Fiorna half to Trump (people looking for a businessman) and half to Rubio (the Jeb backup plan). Christie mostly to Rubio (the Jeb backup plan and only establishment candidate left). Kasich’s all go to Rubio, if he has any. Graham’s family and friends are the only ones voting for him anyway, so they’re irrelevant.
  • Cruz throws his support behind Trump when he finally concedes that he can’t win – probably in exchange for a VP or cabinet spot. My best guess is that this happens after Utah. Most of his voters go for Trump, some go for Carson. His actual delegates… not sure what party rules allow on that, so I’ve still listed them as Cruz delegates.

Final results:

  • Trump: 1266
  • Carson: 651
  • Rubio: 310
  • Cruz: 145 (most voting for Trump)
  • Bush: 41
  • Kasich: 18
  • Fiorina: 18
  • Huckabee: 14
  • Christie: 11
  • Santorum: 1

trump-smilingTrump clearly wins the nomination.

This is not an endorsement of Trump – it’s just how I think things are going to play out. Except that I think the end result is going to favor Trump even more heavily. Carson’s already slipping in the polls, Trump keeps on rising despite the cries of impending doom.

Why Trump? 1) The GOP establishment rigged this map so that Jeb could win with ~20-25% of the vote. Trump picked up on that ages ago and co-opted the strategy. 2) He brought a gun to a knife fight. He’s just playing a different game than everyone else, plain and simple. Changing the rules to suit his own strengths.

Why not Carson? Smart as he might be, he hasn’t figured out this map yet – although I think is people may be starting to. He’s also, frankly, too nice to play this game for long. It’s already hurting him. Finally… I think he’s honestly in this for a talking head deal, and he’s surprised himself by doing so well.

My personal suspicion is that his poll numbers continue to drop (with his support mostly going to Trump and Cruz), and that he drops out relatively early in the race. If that happens, look for Trumps marginal delegate victory above to become a landslide.


The GOP establishment strategy was specifically designed to pick off Rand Paul , Ted Cruz, and Scott Walker. Indeed, parts of the strategy were put into place as far back as the 2012 convention in specific retaliation to Ron Paul. It’s already worked on one out of the three (Walker), and the second (Paul) is probably not far off.They didn’t count on Trump.

15 Nov

Waiting for Article 5

The tragic part of the 9/11 attacks were the tremendous loss of life. But the scary part was the sophisticated coordination of the attacks. Two coordinated airborne attacks that took place within minutes of each other, followed by a third not long after and a failed fourth attempt that came very close to working – but for civilian interference.

I was standing in my living room when the second plane hit the World Trade Center, dripping wet, watching it live. My boss had just called me to let me know about the first plane, interrupting my shower. When the second plane hit, we both knew what it meant. I don’t remember who said it first, but we were both thinking it: one plane was an accident. Two meant war.

The Paris attacks had a far lower death toll – thank God – but the coordination of the attacks carries far more military significance. At least six separate attacks, with at least seven suicide bombs. A police interception in Germany that implies that more attacks were planned.

This is the kind of coordinated terror attacks that we were afraid would follow after 9/11. They are finally upon us. Our leadership over the last 14 years has systematically failed to take the steps necessary to deal with this issue for real, instead opting to put band-aids over the situation (Bush) or to play ostrich (Obama). Instead of dealing with the situation decisively, we went out and created ISIS and made the situation worth.

War is upon us, whether we like it or not. We can argue about it all we like, but World War IV (call it World War III if you must, but I’d argue that the Cold War earned that name) has been a fact on the ground for months.

The biggest difference between today’s world and the world preceding World War I is that many of the alliances are out in the open. What will NATO do when push comes to shove? Will the French invoke Article 5? I’m ready to lay even odds that they will. It’s almost no-lose for them. If NATO steps up to the plate, then they get their retaliation with little cost. If NATO doesn’t step up to the plate, then it falls apart – and becomes a huge black eye for the Americans. The French spent half the Cold War giving us black eyes for fun, and they withdrew from the Alliance in 1966 for 30 years. They’ve got little to lose by calling in the chip.

What will Russia do? Whatever Putin is up to today, never forget that we wouldn’t have these problems in the Middle East without Russian interference. None of the terrorist groups in the region would have survived into the modern era without the training and funding they received from the Soviets in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. My bet? Putin will continue using the region to antagonize the United States and the west until the whole thing gets away from him and he realizes that he can’t control the Tiger anymore. Then Russia will join in with the western allies.

I mean, it’s not like Stalin was allied with Hitler in the early years of World War II or anything. Oh, wait…

Batten down the hatches and get ready. This ride is just getting started.

10 Nov

Extra Life 2015 Recap

Last Saturday we hosted our third annual Extra Life event at Madison Martial Arts. Extra Life is a charity group that brings gamers together for a 24-hour gaming marathon once a year. Similar to walk-a-thons and the like, players get friends and family to sponsor them for their play time. The money raised goes to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to help provide life saving treatment for terminally ill children.

When we opened Madison Martial Arts, we took the event and put our own little twist on it. We figured that instead of just making a team of our friends, we’d invite everybody. So we set up an event at our dojo and hosted it there.

Our first event, in 2013, was pretty small. OK, I’ll be honest. It was basically just us and our friends. We had about six gamers through the day, and all of us gave up well before the 24-hour mark and went to bed. But… we raised almost $600 total that year, and we had a ton of fun.

I also had my car broken into the next day, and about $2000 worth of (mostly borrowed) equipment was stolen. I’ve long since gotten over it, but somebody’s going to hell for stealing from folks who were helping sick kids. It’s a fact.

But we didn’t let it stop us. In 2014, we had a huge jump in growth. Instead of just us and our friends it became us, our friends, and our students. Throughout the day we had 34 people show up and join us for various lengths of time. And we had our first “all-nighters.” Three of us stayed through the night for full 25 hours (2014’s event happened on time-change weekend, so it ran a bit long). And we nearly doubled our fundraising from 2013, pulling in just shy of $1100.

This year was a bit disorganized. I moved about a month and a half ago. So right when I should have been in peak “getting out the word” mode, I was far too busy to have anything to do with it.

Frankly, I’m almost glad it worked out that way. If we’d had any more people this year we’d have burst at the seams.

2015 was our biggest and best year yet. We had at least 52 people come in throughout the day. I think the total was higher, because I’m pretty sure that we had a few people who never hit the sign-in sheet. Up until about 11:30 or so on Saturday evening, the entire facility was pretty full. We’d have been hard pressed to fit more people inside. We had nine of us stay the whole 24-hours this year – more people than even came to our first event. And we’ve raised about $1300 so far. The total is still slowly rising as last minute donations come in – if you’d like to add your own, you can hit our online donation page.

We had a classic gaming station with an Atari 2600 this year. We got Minecraft, Diablo, Call of Duty and Left 4 Dead up on the 10 foot projector screen. We had a D&D 5th edition session running. We had about a dozen card games. We continued our tradition of late night Risk. I watched a group playing Uno, and another playing Monopoly.

We’re already making plans to make next year bigger and better. Stay tuned – and think about coming out to join us!

26 Oct


Science vs Magic - a discussion of replicability

Science vs Magic

Most of us in the science fiction and fantasy community are familiar with Arthur C. Clarke’s famous dictum that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Here’s an interesting factoid: many languages – especially pre-modern languages – don’t really have words to differentiate between the twin concepts of magic and science. Many languages – especially eastern languages – have only recently added words for the concept of “science.”

And yet in the modern, western world we understand a very clear difference between these ideas. Even in our literature, even in our games, we distinctly separate out that magic is magic and science is science and they aren’t the same. In fact, we break them apart so well that we clearly notice it when some tale or game that we read constructs a magical system that smacks too heavily of actually being a “science.”

So what, exactly is the difference? Here’s the way that I break it apart, and I think that almost all of us will find that these definitions work very well to explain the way that magic and science are viewed by the vast majority of the populace.

Magic involves bending the universe to your will. Whatever system a story has in place explaining how their magic works, at the end of the day it either works or doesn’t work because the practitioner has sufficient will to make it work. The steps to cast a spell don’t work if you’re a muggle, or if you’re weak minded, or if your midichlorian count is too low. Or maybe you’re not focused enough. Or maybe the steps for magic to succeed are different for each practitioner, because the steps aren’t really what causes the effect – they just focus the practitioner’s will.

Science involves finding out the rules of the universe as they are and following a series of steps that gives a particular set of results because it follows those rules. The steps are mechanical, and the result follows from a chain of cause and effect. The chain may be long and complex, but it will work every time, no matter who does it, and now matter how strong your will is.

In a word, magic lacks replicability. Science has it in spades.

Or does it?

Let’s consider, for a moment, antibiotic resistant bacteria. We know that the bacteria in the world are becoming more and more resistant over time to our tools for killing them. The miracle of modern antibiotics is slowly failing. A student of history, I’m aware of many of the ancient remedies that are laughed at by the modern world. “They used to do that as a treatment? Hahahahaha!

Imagine a world a thousand years from now where the learned men of the day are laughing hysterically at our culture. “They used to eat pills made from ground up mold to treat their infections? Hahahahaha!

And yet clearly these treatments work exceptionally well today, on a wide variety of ailments. Penicillin has truly brought on an age of medical miracles. But to these learned men of the future, the treatments we use with such great success now won’t work.

On the flip side… what if the treatments of our ancestors, the remedies that we laugh at today, used to work? What if they used to be highly effective, but the world changed in some way that we’re not aware of? Clearly they don’t work now. The “science” is no longer replicable.

OK, that’s a hypothetical (if an interesting one). And it’s easy to at least make the claim that these ancient remedies were never really science and are much better categorized as magic – and ineffective, at that. Maybe they never really did work at all.

So let’s take a more concrete example. In the last few years there have been some shocking papers coming out of the scientific community showing that many landmark studies can’t be replicated. I’ve linked to a sample of these reports. There have been more.

The common interpretation is that they never were replicable. Somebody found an outlier result, published it, and now we’re just discovering that these results were the outliers. The other common interpretation is that the researchers were corrupt or blinded by bias, and they found the results they wanted to find. To be perfectly fair, these interpretations are far and away the most likely.

But what if these interpretations are both wrong? What if something is changing in the world, and our science lacks the replicability that we’ve always believed underpinned it?

At certain extrema, we already know this to be true. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle tells us that we can’t measure sufficiently small subatomic particles without fundamentally changing them. And Einstein’s theory of General Relativity tells us that certain measurements change depending upon our frame of reference, especially at very high speeds. However, the conventional understanding holds that the Uncertainty Principle doesn’t apply at macroscopic levels and that Relativity’s effect is trivial at low percentages of the speed of light.

But what if something else is going on, something that’s fundamentally changing the world around us and mucking with our concepts of replicability?

22 Oct

Extra Life 2015

On Saturday, November 7th we’ll be hosting our Extra Life 2015 charity event at Madison Martial Arts Academy! This is our third year hosting this annual event, and we’re very excited!

Play Games, Save Lives

Extra Life is a 24-hour gaming marathon. But we’re not just having a blast and playing games. We’re also helping to save lives. We’re raising money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. If you don’t know, Children’s Miracle Network pays for life-saving treatment for terminally ill children.

The event runs for 24-hours. Some of us will stay the whole time. Others will come in and out as they like. You can do the same! Games begin at 8AM on Saturday morning and will continue until 8AM on Sunday morning. We’ll have all kinds of games. And if you’ve got a game you specifically want to play, bring it!

I’ve donated the location again, using my dojo to host. My friend Chris has donated his 10 foot projection screen again, and we’ll have plenty of game consoles and games to play on it!  My friend Trevor of The Trainer Group has offered to donate refreshments this year. We’re talking to a few other folks about donations, and hope to have a few more announcements soon.

All of the money we raise – 100% of it – goes straight to the hospitals!

Come Play!

Come on out and join us for a great time and help support a great cause! You can join our official Extra Life team and get your friends and family to sponsor you. Or, if you’re not up for that, you can make a donation at the door!

Or Help Sponsor Us!

Or, if you can’t make it out, consider sponsoring me or one of our team members. It’s hard to find a better cause than this! Help us beat last year’s total (just shy of $1100)!

13 Jul

Somewhither [BOOK REVIEW]

"Somewhither" by John C. Wright

“Somewhither” by John C. Wright

Last week I finished reading John C. Wright‘s Somewhither. Before launching into the real review, let me just come out and say that I’ve been waiting rather impatiently for this book ever since Mr. Wright left this post on his blog last summer:

My theory in this book is based on the answers to two speculative questions:

(1) what kind of event in history would produce the amount of mass-energy needed to divide the timeline, that is, to make a near-identical copy of an entire universe (or, if not the entire universe, the continuum as seen from within the lightcone of Earth) — where would the energy, equal (at least) to the Big Bang come from each time such an event occurred?

(2) How can I have an excuse for a scene in which a totally buttkicking and semi-invulnerable seventeen year old squire of the secret interdimensional monster-slaying Roman Catholic ancient and honorable military order of the high-tech Templars with a magnetic accelerator machine pistol in one hand and his granfather’s blessed katana in the other, the finger bone of Saint Demetrius of Sermium in a hollow crucifix about his neck, faces off against the undead Pharaoh Busiris, a Lamassu armed with Gaebolg and a Nephilim armed with Gungnir (not to mention a blooddrinking lilim, an Abarimon swifter than thought, a golden goyim golem, and a Naga armed with a daevaastra, and Baba Yaga in her hawk-legged hut) fighting in wild and desperate melee atop the sloping upper hull of a burning ironclad Zeppelin toppling into ocean boiled by nine erupting volcanoes during a subsea earthquake and lightningstorm tornado caused by an puncture-wound in timespace eating the doomed world like a black hole? While under orbit-to-surface fire from kamikaze Babylonian spacewarships blazing like meteors overhead plunge gallantly to their fiery dooms in desperate attempt to slay the young hero?

I don’t recall the exact scene described here from the book – although it’s very possible that he was, in fact, describing several scenes in the book mashed into one description. But the short version of my review is this: the book is exactly as awesome as that description makes it sound. In other words, if that description is right up your alley, you will love this book. If that description doesn’t do it for you… this is not the book for you.

Fortunately I am right smack in the target audience of this book, to the point that when I read that post I showed it to my wife and said, “I’m buying this book the day it comes out.” I didn’t quite make that, because they stealth released it on me last week. But when I realized on Sunday afternoon that it was out, I literally turned off the show that I was watching, ordered it, and started reading.

The opening chapter of this book was amazing, and can be read for free on Mr. Wright’s blog. If you enjoy that… well, you’re going to get a lot more of it. This book is a giant blast of crazy, and in the best possible way. I recommend it highly.

5 out of 5 stars.

04 Jul

Nethereal [Book Review]

"Nethereal" by Brian Niemeier

“Nethereal” by Brian Niemeier

I recently finished Nethereal, the debut novel from Brian Niemeier.

I’m going to come right out and admit it: I bought this book because of its cover. First, that cover is all kinds of awesome. Second, it’s a cover that screams out, “I am a science fiction novel and I’m not afraid to announce that to the world.”

I’m not a fan of the recent trend in genre fiction towards bland, generic covers that try to hide the fact that the books are genre. I bought Game of Thrones back nearly twenty years ago when it was still printed with the original paperback cover shown below. I’m not afraid to admit that I bought that book for the cover, too.

In both cases, it was a good choice. Nethereal is a strong debut novel. The characters are interesting. The setting is interesting. The plot bogs down just a bit in the middle, but otherwise moves at a brisk pace. Most importantly, you’ll want to know what happens next to these characters. The most frustrating thing for me in reading this book was that I was so busy that I had to read it in short segments. I kept getting angry that I had to put it down to do other things.

The original cover of "A Game of Thrones."

The original cover of “A Game of Thrones.”

One other aspect of the book that I found very interesting was the way his world paralleled the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno. I have a strong suspicion that the rest of the series will continue the parallels with The Divine Comedy, and I’m quite curious to watch it unfold.

Five stars for this debut effort. I’ll be watching Brian’s career with interest.

27 Jun


riskFulfilling the drive to pass on tradition to the next generation, my eldest son and I just played our first game of Risk together. It was a terrific father’s day gift from my wife and kids, and we finally had time for a “game.” By which I mean we got two turns in before nap time made us quit. And, unfortunately, we have a two year old in the house… so that also meant we had to pack it up so we don’t lose pieces. But now that he knows how to play, I suspect future games will go much better!

25 Jun


The "Southern Cross" was not actually the Confederate flag.

The “Southern Cross” was not actually the Confederate flag.

I didn’t want the battle flag of the Army of Tennessee until the busybodies decided to tell me I couldn’t have one.

Wait, what was that about the flag of the Confederate States of America? Well, no – that’s not actually what this flag (aka the Southern Cross) actually was. The confusion most likely stems from the 1970s TV show The Dukes of Hazzard, in which the Duke brothers had a variant of this flag painted on their car. Because their car was named the “General Lee.” As in General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, which used a square version of this flag as their battle flag.

Pop culture being what it is, nobody actually remembers any of this. And, of course, I’m being a bit pedantic here. And yet it matters. It matters because there’s a lot of very loud “discourse” back and forth about this flag and what it means.

“The Civil War was about slavery!” shout some. “No, it was about states’ rights!” shout others. About 99% of these people, on both sides, honestly don’t know enough Civil War history to participate in an adult conversation about it. Here’s a hint: if all you know about it comes from high school classes, a Ken Burns documentary, and occasional conversations with friends, family and coworkers then you’re just as ignorant as the guy on the other side that you’re lambasting for being so ignorant.

Here’s the thing: denying that the Civil War was about slavery is facile and colossally ignorant. But pretending that the Civil War was only about slavery is equally facile and colossally ignorant.

There’s a lot of history between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and they don’t cover much of it in high school history classes. There’s also a lot of history before the Revolutionary War, much of which is also left out of high school history classes. And here’s the truth: the constitution that we so know and love was a product of massive compromise. Without that compromise, the northern and southern states never would have joined together in the first place. Yes, slavery was one of those compromises. But there were many others: representation in Congress being one of the biggest (hence our bicameral legislature).

We can’t ignore that slavery was the issue that set off the powder keg. Oh, but what a powder keg it was. The rift between southern and northern states was big enough that George Washington himself devoted significant energy during his presidency to bridging it. He never quite succeeded. In between the ratification of the Constitution in 1789 and the first shots at Fort Sumter in 1861 there were 72 years of political tension leading up to the war – much of which had little to do with slavery. That keg was ready to go.

Ultimately, though, very little of that matters. Here’s what does matter: we live in a country that has decided that we have the right to burn a flag. It’s ridiculous that we’re now trying to tell people they can’t display a similar flag. We have companies and stores that are banning this flag because they find it offensive. Yet those same companies and stores are selling plenty of other offensive material.

The political players who are setting off this chain of events will not like where it leads. If we can pressure Apple and Amazon into discontinuing battle flag products, then we can pressure them into discontinuing anti-religion products. “Oh,” you say, “but they wouldn’t do that – they’re ruled by the almighty dollar!” Go look up how much revenue comes from these battle flag products and get back to me. The pressure to remove these products cuts both ways – and the players kicking this off will be surprised to find how much pressure the other end of the spectrum can bring to bear. This is a fight that doesn’t end well for anybody.

At the same time, there is one aspect of this that is so patently obvious that I can’t believe I have to say it. This flag is also the flag of an armed uprising against the United States government. It should not be flying on any government building at any level of government within this nation. Period.

But we’re also a nation that was founded on armed uprising against our government. As citizens, we should remember that aspect of the flag as well. And we should remember that for many people who fly it, that and not race is what it’s about.To end where I began: I didn’t want one of these until people started telling me I couldn’t have one. Now I want a dozen of them, prominently displayed, only because people are saying I can’t have one. It is nobody else’s business but mine which flags I choose to wear on my clothing, display on my car, or fly over my home – or why I choose to display them.

17 Jun

The Case for Reading Shakespeare

In response to a recent Washington Post article arguing against teaching Shakespeare, Megan McArdle asks a simple question:

What I’d like to hear more of — and have failed to see so far in any of these essays — is a coherent theory of why we bother to teach any writers at all. It seems to me that we need to know that before we can decide whether Shakespeare is one of the writers we ought to teach, or whether we ought to give up on the project entirely and just let the students spend their time watching YouTube videos, or reading Shakespeare, as they please.

702px-ShakespeareIt’s a fair question. Sadly, it’s also a question with a rather obvious answer. Even more sadly, the answer is so obvious that previous generations internalized it too well. As a result, they did a very poor job of teaching us the answer. As usual, our generation has to learn it all over again, unable to learn from the mistakes of the past.

And that, in a nutshell, is the answer. As Nassim Taleb points out repeatedly in his various works, an older book that is still widely read is more likely to have real truth in it than a widely read modern book. The classics are valuable not because they are old but because they have withstood the test of time.

Of course, the list of “classics” is not immutable. It changes over time. But the longer that a work has been on that list, the longer that it’s continued to be read, the more likely it is that the truths contained therein are universal rather than specific.

There’s a reason that some of our older classics never go stale. Shakespeare is a slog, no doubt about it. I’m a voracious reader with an oversized IQ and a master’s degree level education. To put it bluntly, I still have to work at it to read Shakespeare. I don’t fill my entertainment hours with nothing but Shakespeare because it’s too much work. But I do continue to read the bard because the bard speaks to the truth of the human condition – not the truth of the early twenty-first century American condition.No, we won’t absorb every bit of this truth on every reading – and certainly not on a single reading in our teenage years. But that was never the point. The point is to ensure that the future is at least exposed to it, so that when the need for that truth arises they know where to find it. That’s why our children should still be reading Shakespeare.