Interesting highlight from the GreenNet conference yesterday. “This year, for the first time in history, our landfills were filled with more adult diapers than baby diapers” — referring to the significant shift of age demographics in this country.
Posted on 30 April 2010 by Caravaggio
Interesting highlight from the GreenNet conference yesterday. “This year, for the first time in history, our landfills were filled with more adult diapers than baby diapers” — referring to the significant shift of age demographics in this country.
Posted on 29 April 2010 by admin
John Stewarts take on the whole Gizmodo and Apple iPhone 4g war.
Posted on 28 April 2010 by Caravaggio
Back in early Dec 2008, you would have seen the bright planets Venus and Jupiter near the place the sun went down, with a “waxing moon” low in the sky. With the exception of the sun and moon, Venus is the brightest light in the heavens, and Jupiter is second-brightest. What makes this special is the conjunction of the three in less than double arch degrees of sky. The picture was taken with a Samsung S860 (nothing special) digital camera from my backyard. The biggest object shown is our lunar companion complete with a “moon halo” caused by refraction of tiny hexagonal ice crystals in our atmosphere. The brightest of the two planets is, of course, Venus and the third of the astronomical bodies presented is the largest planet in our solar system, named after the “King of Gods” or “Jove”.
The Venus/Jupiter conjunction happens when these objects have the same right ascension on the sky’s dome. A conjunction of these two brightest planets won’t happen again until March of 2012. During this impending event, these two brilliant worlds should appear approximately 2 degrees apart. That’s about the width of your finger at an arm length away.
Take note to remember to look up in the Spring of 2012 for a chance to enjoy astronomy without any of that expensive telescope stuff.
Posted on 27 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Scotland Yard is often times referenced in literature and film as this amazing police force that can solve almost any crime. Many times Sherlock Holmes has been referenced as a character that in some ways represents the vision of Scotland Yard to the world – even though, to my knowledge, he was never actually in Scotland Yard.
It turns out that Scotland Yard was once convinced that The Loch Ness Monster was not only real, but worthy of police protection.
“Newly released documents on display Tuesday in Scotland show that during the 1930s, police in Scotland were convinced some sort of creature inhabited the Highlands lake — so sure, in fact, that they worried about how to protect it from big-game hunters.”
At least they are protecting someone, even if it is a make believe dinosaur that can most likely protect itself – if it actually existed.
Posted on 25 April 2010 by Five0ClockCharlie
Posted on 23 April 2010 by Caravaggio
Current debate around Climate Change is, literally, history in the making. For this is the first point in recorded time a theory has been developed holding humankind implicit in affecting the planet’s wellbeing. From a philosophical point, I believe this is a positive tipping-point. Prior to the current degree of societal evolution, the thought of humans affecting the earth was beyond conception. For thousands of years, impact to the earth was the domain of polytheistic deities showing their displeasure with their lowly humans. If our forefathers hunted a prey animal to unsustainable levels the scarcity was often cited as an irate God intent on teaching man a lesson for some sacrilege. Obviously, man had no affect on the sudden collapse of the food chain for he was just man. He should make amends by sacrificing an innocent virgin immediately! Cause-and-effect was bastardized through the lens of magic and superstition. Fast forward centuries and now our European-centric belief systems still offered us a convenient excuse for deep-seated ignorance of our integral relationship with the earth – the same ignorance that has lasted for millennia. At this point the virgins relaxed a bit, for our excuse developed as a means for explaining impact away as the simple cost of advancement… for we can’t be stopped. Manifest Destiny!
Over the last two centuries the growth of the population has increased at a fantastic pace. The development and utility of industrial, food, and medical technologies requiring massive energy consumption in support of this growth has continued with unrelenting fervor. Even with experiences such as the “Dust Bowl” in the Midwest, we only thought of the impact as localized without any real consideration in systemic consequences. Just as the Native Americans had no concept for “Sailing Galley” and what this would eventually portend for their civilization when Christopher Columbus came into view of the New World, Modern Folk have no construct for affects caused by the interconnectedness of our Earth System – even as soot and chemical-laden smog rolls across the entire Pacific Ocean from China to the Northwestern US.
As is our inquisitive nature, there are numerous camps of thought within the argument regarding Climate Change. For purposes of fairness, I list these “thought tribes” based on degree of scientific consensus (up to now) – I’ve also detailed categorical cohorts to illustrate the diversity of concepts being argued. It is my (personal) position that this is also why the unfolding theories make for one hell of a confusing situation.
1) Climate Change is happening
a. Climate Change (getting warmer) is happening and is man-made
b. Climate Change (getting warmer) is happening but it is not man-made
c. Climate Change (getting colder) is happening but it is not man-made
d. Climate Change (getting warmer) is happening and it is bad
e. Climate Change (getting warmer) is happening and it is good
f. Climate Change (getting colder) is happening and it is bad
2) Climate Change is not happening
a. Climate Change is not happening
In Part Two of this Post Series, I plan on further defining each of the two primary categories as well as dive into presenting the facts offered by the subset groups. My aim is to provide clarity while painting an unbiased baseline of the Climate Change debate for your consideration.
Posted on 23 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Let us start with a great article written David Zinczenko over on yahoo about breakfast cereals. The piece discusses which cereals a person should avoid and what cereals they should eat – I only wish he had a chance to delve even further – that said he does discuss the different schools of thought on cereals by those who make them. The article also hints on something very important in the world today: Marketing.
Today humans are constantly bombarded with marketing of some kind. Advertisers and their firm of representation have their fingers in practically everything. It is actually now difficult to find ANYTHING that does not have marketing attached to it, be that directly about said product or space on the side of the product or the product’s packaging sold to some other product. Example? Look at city buses – these things are now rolling billboards – some even have video! Given all this one would think that after a while people would become desensitized to advertising in general – many studies have concluded that they have.
To me advertising is on par with ghosts – figuratively speaking that is. I don’t really believe in either of them (although my mind is open to possibilities), but many people seem to think they are both great ideas that have impacted many lives. My real issue with advertising is, again to my knowledge, it used to be illegal to lie in advertising. If you look at the article I posted, Mr. Zinczenko discussed ever so briefly about writing on the packaging – showing us that many of the companies appear to walk a fine line with the truth and fiction. “Healthy!” because a cereal has raisins, leaving out the mention that one bowl has more sugar in it than most candy bars.
I would like to see us get back to a world where marketers actually have to tell the truth – how about “Sure it has loads of sugar – how else would it taste so yummy?!!?” I might buy it.
Posted on 22 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Lots of talk about a false flag event coming our way.
This guy does a decent job of summing it all up.
Posted on 21 April 2010 by Thraxxus
You, the obviously avid reader of Blinkinblogs, may have noticed several debates on Blinkinblogs regarding the Swine Flu (N1H1) vaccine and the potential for all sorts of conspiracy theories etc. I am going to put one thing to rest right now on BB for all future discussions on this topic: At no point has anyone that has ever written for Blinkinblogs said that Vaccines are a bad thing. In fact, all of us think they are a good thing, when done correctly etc. Caravaggio, ScanJack, and GlazedNConfused and I have batted each other about the cerebral ring several times on this topic and during those mental bouts you the reader may have gathered the idea that some of those contenders do not believe in Vaccines or believe in them no matter what. Let me assure you of something – I know all of our writers personally and have had many offline discussions about this topic and can say with total confidence that all of us believe in Vaccines. The issue that truly exists, and what we really debate, are the little things.
So now we are past that what is the real debate? Some people are focussing on whether vaccines are good or not (Caravaggio falls into this category) and frankly his arguments are right. ScanJack and I both agree with him. They can be. GlazedNConfused was in the camp of better safe that sorry – also a decent perspective. What ScanJack was talking about, and what I also am a bit weirded out by is as follows, and frankly if we could get an answer on any of these that would be great.
I’d ask ab out the media’s involvement but really, we know the answer. Doom and Gloom sells papers.
So in closing – Vaccines are good. The rest of this crap – not bad per say – but odd that nobody will answer those questions.
Posted on 19 April 2010 by Caravaggio
An excellent presentation of the ironic growth of the public’s fear (and/or outright denial) of Science in our modern day society.
Michael Specter – Instead of framing the video, I’ve summarized the high points below:
“You cannot base your beliefs on your own facts… it doesn’t work that way.”
“… be skeptical, demand proof… but here is the thing, once you have proof (delivered via scientific method) you must then accept it – and we’re not that good at doing this.”
“The Rubella vaccine has no correlation to Autism… it has been proven by dozens of studies but it doesn’t matter, we only believe antidotes as ‘fact'”.
“The US is the only industrialized country with the Measle Innoculation is heading downward”
“Jenny McCarthy preaches fear and illiteracy from a position of ignorance (regarding vaccines)”
“She (Jenny) continues to confuse correlation with causation… somethings seem the same but they are never the same”
“We love to wrap ourselves in lies… multi-vitamins are useless (but we still take them) – the only thing they’re good for is darkening your urine… that is it.”
“We hate big Pharma… we don’t trust big Gov’t… I can understand it… but then we run away from it and leap into the arms of ‘big Placebo'”.
“Ideology is NOT Science”
“Frankenfood has been here for 11,000 years… some of it worked (ever eaten broccoli or rice?), some of it didn’t, but we can do this in a more precise manner now.”
“The idea that we shouldn’t allow Science to do it’s job because we’re afraid, is simply disgraceful… and dangerous.”
“When you start down the road where belief and magic replace evidence and science you end up in a place you don’t want to be.”
If you’ve the time, I highly recommend watching and then re-watching this TED presentation. It is extremely pertinent to where we, as a Country, are today and how this will affect our tomorrow.
Posted on 19 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Last night I watched the film The Soloist. There was quite a bit of attention given to this movie, rightly so I might add, for a few reasons: The actors (Robert Downing Junior and Jamie Foxx for example) as well as the music and storyline (true story). I enjoy watching films that are true stories, or at the least based on true stories (Saving Private Ryan falls into the latter category). First off the movie was very good. Moving on – the film was also disturbing, enough so for me that when I finished watching it I found myself to be rather irritated.
The basic plot of the film is Robert Downing Junior’s character is a writer for the Los Angeles Times newspaper. He stumbles upon the clearly mentally unstable and homeless musician in Jamie Foxx’s character in a park one day playing a two stringed violin. Downing’s character is immediately amazed by the skills that Foxx’ character portrays with this badly damaged instrument and thus decides to investigate the man for a story. It turns out that Downing’s character (Steve Lopez) ends up wanting to help Foxx’s character (Nathaniel Ayers) get his life back together. Noble desire indeed.
Here is the rub for me, and it something I say on a regular basis : You cannot help someone unless they want to be helped. The film makes a mission out of pointing this out in a myriad of ways that include explaining the government’s extent of power in assisting the homeless and mentally ill, the individuals power and ability in assisting anyone, and the extent that someone might go to protect themselves from perceived evils. None of these add up to equal a good time for Lopez – in fact the entire situation turns into a nightmare for him.
It isn’t that we shouldn’t strive to help others, but we must be both selective and vigilant in who we try to help. There is a saying “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.” The Soloist is a film that depicts that parable to the T. Your best intentions can ultimately get you either nowhere or somewhere that you had no intention on going. Instead of making a friend through helping someone you could create an enemy. That is the tragedy of our reality -and oddly enough in this writers opinion, a lesson that we as a people should really try to learn. Just because someone looks like they could use some help doesn’t mean that they want it. Prior to shoving your help down their throat you really should try asking them if they want it to begin with.
I suggest the film for anyone that enjoys character studies, however I say to you realize that there is a strong chance that at some point during the film you will find yourself to be at least borderline angry with something or someone.
Posted on 16 April 2010 by Caravaggio
Had to share this. The following quote was uttered in a meeting I just attended by a very senior member of a global PR firm.
“I won’t allow my learning to be disrupted by my education.”
The declaration was simply beautiful in scope, delivery, and effectiveness. It was genuinely precise just as much as generically ambiguous. It was served with a deprecative humbled tone yet resonated (and then re-resonated by a quick survey of faces) as a stern judgement of the group en masse. Very rarely does a single comment provide such quiet dominance as to change the tone and even the composition and flow of a group conversation that had, up until that time, been terse and arrogantly competitive. As a sidenote, if you’ve ever been involved in a meeting populated by Ph.Ds and assorted other eggheads who specialize in Computational Linguistics, Sociology, and/or Market Intelligence, you intuitively understand the description of “terse and arrogantly competitive”.
The only thing better would have been if this wise sage had leveraged the utility of a Object-Subject-Verb word order. At that point I would’ve probably asked for his autograph.
Yoda is alive. He lives in NYC and likes fly-fishing as well as camping.
Posted on 16 April 2010 by Thraxxus
According to this Businessweek.com article there are several CEOs in America right now that are selling their own companies stock short. What does selling a stock short mean?
“In finance, short selling (also known as shorting or going short) is the practice of selling assets, usually securities, that have been borrowed from a third party (usually abroker) with the intention of buying identical assets back at a later date to return to the lender. The short seller hopes to profit from a decline in the price of the assets between the sale and the repurchase, as the seller will pay less to buy the assets than the seller received on selling them. Conversely, the short seller will incur a loss if the price of the assets rises. Other costs of shorting may include a fee for borrowing the assets and payment of any dividends paid on the borrowed assets. Shorting and going short also refer to entering into any derivative or other contract under which the investor profits from a fall in the value of an asset.” – wikipedia.
In other words the CEO is selling his own stock KNOWING IT WILL GO DOWN on purpose. Naw, that sounds fine to me – I mean really – how would he know its going down right?
Posted on 16 April 2010 by Thraxxus
CNN used to be a worthwhile news agency, when it first started – now it i sort of meh. HOWEVER! This article was posted on CNN.com.
In it they talk about : “According to Harvard Medical School researchers, 11 large companies that offer life, disability, or health insurance owned about $1.9 billion in stock in the five largest fast-food companies as of June 2009.”
Do I really need to say anymore?
Posted on 14 April 2010 by Caravaggio
An interesting documentary/movie that was quite popular in Europe but hasn’t received that much attention in the U.S. For those of you with cable TV, I believe this is premiering this Saturday on the Planet Green Channel.
Posted on 14 April 2010 by Thraxxus
There has been this long time attack on Payday Loan companies that most people don’t know is funded and lead by the big bank special interest groups. Why? Banks don’t want someone else horning in on their territory. The argument they use is hysterical: “Payday Loan Lenders are Loan Sharks! They charge a ridiculous amount of APR!” The irony here is that Payday Loan companies don’t actually charge an APR at all, they were merely forced to show their finance fees (exact same ones that banks have on over drafts etc btw) as APR by Congress via bank lobbyists. APR, when calculated on a loan that is less than a year, shows the exponential growth rate of the interest more grossly than what people usually read. Further irony is how people don’t realize that APR, and the nature of compound interest in general, applied to consumers by banks, increases what you are paying for on some object you financed also exponentially – banks just don’t like to admit that. Don’t believe me? Look at your home mortgage – there is a column that shows you what you will really have paid for your house if you let the loan come full term.
So what are banks doing now? They worked with Congress to establish their own short term loans to help the “impoverished” to get out of debt! That is very sweet of them, and totally out of the kindness of their hearts. There is a catch you say? Thats right, it turns out that the big banks, remember the ones who are lobbying against the Payday Loan Lenders, are applying massive interest rates as well! WEIRD! 100% is often the interest rate according to this article. But Thraxxus, that is still less than the APR that those Payday Lender sharks apply!
Let’s discuss the “differences” between these two.
1) Payday lenders lend money on a short term basis with an agreed upon payback amount per pay period. Example: You borrow 100 dollars. You agree to pay the Lender back 120 bucks in two weeks. It is your choice to pay them back then or not – if you do then it cost you a service fee of 20 bucks for the 100. If you do not then they roll over the amount and you are charged another 20 dollar service fee.
2) A bank gave you an account. You opted not to get an evil payday loan to pay for your damaged truck and instead decided to overdraft your account because you were smart and got overdraft protection. Fool. The bank charged you for the overdraft (35 bucks). Then they charged you another charge for being overdrafted (a made up word!) from the overdraft charge. It turns out this can steam roll. How? My niece was overdraft charged 500 dollars for going over her account 19 cents by USBANK. True story – I saw the bill.
So we have the evil you know – a payday lender who you know the fees with before signing and is forced to show you those payments in the form of APR (an equation used to calculate interest over YEARS not days) – and the bank who can arbitrarily charge you for things that can steamroll and is allowed to call those service fees and not APR. But wait! Banks also can do short term loans, just like payday lenders, with the same effect as the payday lender.
Who has the better lobbyist? Yeah.
Posted on 11 April 2010 by Caravaggio
If you’d not seen this: The National Science Board made a regrettable decision to omit questions on evolution and the Big Bang from the Science and Engineering Indicators report for 2010.
Excerpt from Scienceblogs.com…
“I wasn’t surprised to learn this, as I had already noticed the omission a couple of months ago, when I updated the slides for my talk on public communication of science– the figure showing survey data in the current talk doesn’t include those questions, while the original version has them in there. I noticed it, and thought it was a little odd, but it had no effect on the point I was making with that slide. In fact, the graph works better, for my purposes, without the evolution question in there.”
Dear reader, I (Car) believe this is indicative of one of the most frustrating problems in public communication of science today. While evolution is undeniably a critical topic in science education, there is a lot more to science than evolution, and this item alone dominates the discussion to a distracting degree. As an example, take the case of two additional true-false questions: “Lasers work by focusing sound waves” and “Electrons are smaller than atoms.” With these questions,the US population surveyed gets those right about half the time — the same as guessing. China and Japan remain in the 30% range. Here is why these two questions are critical in illustrating the problems with science education than questions about evolution: they’re not controversial.
From the original post’s author, “There is no large, well-funded and politically connected organization out there pushing the notion that lasers are based on sound. There is no Church of the Large Lepton telling its members that salvation depends on a bogus model of particle physics. Failure to teach the correct answers to these questions is purely a failure of education, not a political or religious issue. Those questions don’t draw the same amount of attention as the evolution question, though, precisely because they don’t connect to any hot button political issue. They’re not fodder for great fundraising letters or angry blog posts, because there’s no convenient and readily identifiable villain. The educational problem they point to is a systemic problem, something that will require hard work over an extended period of time to fix, and it’s not glamorous or controversial.”
And thusly, this is the HIGH GRAVITATIONAL SMACKDOWN on the state of science education, particularly on the Internet. If someone in Wyoming attempts to take evolution out of textbooks, one can simply mobilize an army of people to denounce them as… a “fruit”. BUT if several generations of kids continually “learn” from horribly bad instruction in the fundamental ideas related to modern chemistry and physics, this crime passes without much notice or excitation. Not knowing math is arguably more harmful in the long-term than not knowing evolution — quoting the blog post: “the current recession is, in many ways, the result of societal innumeracy”. And there’s much more to science than just evolution. YES and NO.
This is where I depart from the author’s premise. By not establishing a basis in understanding the logic standing behind the theory of Evolution, we shoulder the responsibility for not arming young minds with the rudimentary concepts required for critical thinking. This, by its very nature, envelopes the full spectrum of the hard (and soft) sciences. I, for one, believe we allow this horribly myopic topic of Evolution continue to dominate science education. However, let us engage this topic from the argument points being levied from both sides and enable our youth to t-h-i-n-k. The evolution question should serve as a construct for learning how to intelligently depose a theory which is core to becoming a scientist or simply a well-informed citizen living in the modern world.
Posted on 09 April 2010 by Five0ClockCharlie
Posted on 09 April 2010 by Caravaggio
On behalf of it being a beautiful Friday, I’ll share some of the research I’ve been lucky to be a part of. This is from the Paleo Institute at KU.
Research into the American cheetah has been contradictory. It was originally believed to be an early cougar representative, before being reclassified in the 1970s as a close relative of the cheetah. This suggested that ancestors of the cheetah diverged from the Puma lineage in the Americas and migrated back to the Old World. Other research, however, examining mitochondrial DNA and re-analyzing morphology, has suggested reversing the reclassification: the American cheetah developed cheetah-like characteristics through convergent evolution, but it is most closely related to Puma and not to the modern cheetah of Africa and Asia. The supposed American origin of the modern cheetah is thus equivocal; however, it is believed to have evolved from cougar-like ancestors, whether in the Old or New World (Wikipedia, 2010).
I find the predators of the Younger Drias period – which was approximately the last ice age – such as; American Lion, Short-faced Bear, Dire Wolf, and Saber-toothed Cat absolutely fascinating (think: La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles for the appropriate mental picture). The overwhelming majority of these animals died off in the last formal mass extinction. Some ideas as to the cause of the mass extinction are abrupt climate change (triggered by anaerobic bacteria die-off), human pressure, or a possible meteoric/comet impact or pandemic. Mirroring the tense argument regarding climate change now, currently there is a debate around the viability of the human pressure hypothesis. And the newest (probably most interesting to me) is the hypothesis of pandemic. I find the possibility of some pathogen destabilizing the food chain as engrossing – and presents as a model to employ against too much monoculture of livestock and vegetation within our present day food chain (e.g.; the prions and bugs).
Posted on 08 April 2010 by Caravaggio
For those of you located in a Midwest location, there was a very peculiar weather experienced yesterday (at least it was unusual for me). The sheer amount of Hail produced from this storm system was overwhelming.
As a native Floridian, I’ve never before been witness to the absolute incredible degree of hail involved. It was is if a gigantic hotel ice-maker was hovering above us and producing tons and tons of crushed ice while spewing it upon the city below. The new flower beds I’d spent hours installing just 5 days ago… gone. The new leaf buds on our trees… took a bad beating. Obviously, solid precipitation hurts nature (and stings the top of your head as one runs about attempting to shield landscaping whilst screaming, “Zeus what hath I done to provoke thy anger?!”).
I offer that the geologic conditions (not just climate-induced weather patterns) existing here in the Midwest are one of the causes for such strange weather events. Ultimately, we’ve no mountain range (such as the Rockies or the Appalachians) to deflect prevailing fronts. We find ourselves at “ground zero” from the enormous battle of Arctic-chilled air masses flowing south while smashing into Gulf of Mexico-warmed air streaming northward. As a result, we win the award of the freakiest place to live (sans large hurricanes or recurring earthquakes, of course).
Posted on 08 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Today the United States of America and Russia signed a new and improved Nuclear Treaty whereby the two nations agree to dismantle one third of their intercontinental ballistic nuclear missiles – the treaty does not cover short range or “briefcase” nukes which there are apparently an exponential amount in existence more than ICBMs – but who is counting? The amusing thing to this wondrous treaty is the non related event announced by the USA military that new non nuclear conventional missiles have been created and are being tested and then deployed that can strike with deadly accuracy any target on the planet in under an hour from launch site (so ~13k miles). The new missiles are apparently designed to fight “Terrorism”. I doubt the announcement, or “leak” of said new missile design information is a completely non related event to the signing of the nuclear peace treaty. However, since there is no evidence that the information was leaked at the same time as the nuclear treaty announcement was a deliberate act to say so would be on the level of conspiracy theorizing, and we here at Blinkinblogs don’t do that.
Posted on 05 April 2010 by Thraxxus
Best Commercial series ever made.
Posted on 05 April 2010 by Thraxxus
If you use Skype, as I do, then you know that, just like many IM systems(Yahoo, MSN etc) out there, you are constantly at risk of receiving IM based advertisements. This weekend I let Skype open on my work machine and showed to see this ad – good times – I always loved me some Russian Royalty Brides.
“European and American women are too arrogant for you? Are you looking for a sweet lady that will be caring and understanding? Then you came to the right place- here you can find a Russian lady that will love you with all her heart. Can’t find a queen to rule your heart? How about beautiful Russian ladies that have royal blood and royal look? Here you can find hundreds of portfolios of these fine women of any age for every taste. Please excuse us if you are not interested. Beautiful Russian Ladies! (LINK HERE)”
Best part? The link provided with the ad doesn’t even resolve. Major Russian Failure.
Posted on 03 April 2010 by Caravaggio
Having just sat through yet another phone call with a distant family member lecturing me on the coming failure of the U.S. and its replacement with the “New World Order”, I’ve decided to be somewhat direct in this current post.
Let me begin.
People are scared. Intelligent, educated people are truly rattled. Is it becasue the pendulum has swung in the direction of socialism? It can be unsettling (True dat, change = scary). Why this spells complete sudden disaster for the US… I do not know. Just relax. Breathe. Think. Read. Why the paranoia?
1) Global Climate Change – To be brief, how can over two decades of independent work of an army of arborists, climatologists, biologists, oceanographers, astro-biologists, meteorologists, paleontologists and botanists all somehow collude and conspire to arrange false findings proving drastic climate change due to carbon dioxide as a front for killing capitalism? Have any of you dear readers ever been to a symposium? Getting agreement amongst two Scientists in the same field is rare… getting thousands across dozens of disciplines from dozens of different countries to agree and sign a declaration regarding climate change should be considered impossible — but it happened. Put in very blunt terms…. If you don’t think global climate change is real, you are killing your children’s children. You are a selfish, ignorant punk (which I believe makes you a normal human being – congrats!).
2) H1N1 — Beware of the pharmaceutical companies attempting to make everyone a zombie! Seriously? Let us presume these companies are truly in existence to make a profit (do you agree?). Why then in hell would they want to 1) kill off their market or 2) cause reluctance to use their products in the future? Think. Think like a capitalist. You fail if you kill the people you depend on to buy your product. Again, similar to #1 above, if you are a parent of an un-immunized kid that socializes with other kids – you should be charged with neglect. That is not love… that is ignorance (or at the very least an extremely limited understanding of statistics) preventing you from the flu shot.
3) New World Order — When bored I peruse the infamous “Infowars” site. Did you know that the leaders of the NWO will kill off 80% of the world’s population? That is a freaking terrible fact (according to the site). But wait… why didn’t anyone question where the hell the percentage came from? Now shifting gears a bit… let me focus on the “respectable” author (Paul Craig Roberts) who just bowed-out of writing for “Infowars”. In his last post, he wove a sad tale about calls from the Bush Whitehouse being made to his boss so that he was fired for writing “the truth” about the Gulf War. Yes. So? Would it be shocking to know that calls like this are made daily to news organizations around the world? Let us pretend for a moment that Paul knew “the truth” and this “truth” was just as bad as he said it is. Why can’t Conspiracy Theorists bring themselves to theorize the following… If Paul actually “knew the truth” he would be killed. End of scary story. Why just fire him so he could continue to write? Grab him in a parking lot. Throw him in a van. Inject him between the toes with nothing but a large syringe full of air and allow him to stroke-out. Then drop him off on a park bench as if he sat there innocently contemplating life when cruel fate played an unfair hand. Nope. Mr. Roberts will be celebrating Easter with his family on Sunday while continuing to scream the sky is falling. Hint: the reason he was fired repeatedly and found himself with no other outlet than “Infowars” is because he continued to see “ghosts”. Boo!
4) Financial Meltdown – this one makes me angry. No. Just no! It was NOT a conspiracy. If you believe there was some type of concerted, guided effort behind the meltdown means you’ve never experienced institutional trading and have no knowledge of Wall Street – at all. Allow me a metaphorical explanation. You are a professional athlete. Your competition starts to use steroids. Their game improves dramatically. If you don’t beat your competition you will be fired (as a trader you’ve no other marketable skills – this job is it). So you start using steroids. Now the game is faster, riskier, and the score quadruples – everyone is a sports star… until bodies start to disintegrate from overuse. Simply replace steroids with exotic, unregulated trading instruments and…. meltdown.
5) Throwing this one in for good measure. Aliens. Infowars.com even has advertisers who sell Roswell alien pictures, videos, and such. What?!?! Look … why do you think the silver or metallic material was proof of an alien spaceship crash at Roswell? Really quick… you believe it was an alien craft because it was silver. Hollywood has used silver saucer shaped alien craft for decades. Your construct for “spaceship” is shaped through popular culture – which is not proof of aliens. Ever heard of the Drake Equation? Google it. Ever heard of Carl Sagan? Dr. Sagan offered some very salient points on his thoughts on intelligent beings from other worlds. He said that humans would be too stupid to comprehend that they were looking at an alien. Similar to how ants identify gigantic humans walking by — they don’t notice them. The ant has no concept for “human”. If a race of space beings was advanced enough to fly light years across the universe we’d have no concept for them. And why the hell would their craft be metallic or silver? Humans make metallic space rockets. Aliens think that is stupid – theirs are made from H6%4Es2 which is obviously superior (and comes in the color pink).
Again, this post is in direct response to a number of interactions I’ve had with friends and family. The interesting thing is that the people who espouse the topics I’ve discredited (at least tried to) above are very smart, well read people. From a social science perspective, that tells me that we’ve hit an inflection point in our culture when the “smart caste” have started to see boogie men at every street corner. It tells me we are in a very quick phase of change and people are understandably nervous. It is my hope this change is for the betterment of the human race and not the same old destructive stuff.
Peace to you and to yours.