Friday, 22 January 2010

Once more unto the breach...

*drum roll*

And so, once again, I turn my nimble fingers and Jack-Daniels afflicted brain to the task of blurting my innermost thoughts out in a flurry of metaphors, similes and barely-controlled fiery outbursts of sarcasm (which I feel I should be prescribed pills for).

Given my lengthy and wholly busy absence of this blag for the last... several weeks ish, I have many, many things which I feel I should talk about. What follows then, is a collection of whichever particular thoughts or feelings are sitting close enough to the forefront of my mind that I can recount them in enough coherent detail to warrant the effort.

If at any point you feel bored, go visit:

Without further distraction then, we'll get started. Please keep your hands and feet inside the webpage.

Conspiracy Theories- The undisputed (lizard) King

There is nothing, at all, wrong with a healthy dose of scepticism- it's an excellent character trait to have. It can however, lead to paranoia and utter weirdness. At the risk of sparking mass-debate (stop giggling you child) amongst the more 'liberal' thinkers among you, I shall refrain from delving in depth into any particularly contentious ideas floating around the tubes at the moment. This one, however, is so sensationally moronically stupid, it really makes you question your belief in natural selection favouring the fittest species- because I GUARANTEE there aren't any sea-monkeys that are this brain-dead:

The most famous, and most extreme example of lunacy to be dealt with here is that of a mister David "Crazy-reptile-guy" Icke. I hate to admit I hadn't heard of this guy till recently. I really feel as though I've missed out on some first class hilarity here. This is a brief overview of his views:

  • A reptillian species from a higher dimension controls humanity
  • For example, The Queen, is actually a giant lizard
  • He said he was the son of God
  • He is a healer sent to help the world
  • Pretty much every single conspiracy theory ever postulated is true.
  • This includes, according to his Facebook group, that "cancer is a fungus" and lots and lots about government cover-ups and UFOs.
I implore you to read the Wikipedia article on this guy, unless you have no sense of humour. It's genuinely laugh-out-loud hilarious. What's slightly worrying is that clearly some of the more mentally deficient socialogical discards actually listen to this lunatic.

Just for the record- if you ever, EVER, feel the urge to listen to this guy give a speech, I guarantee I'll give an equally compelling speech on my, er, deep rooted theories about how Grasshoppers are the dominant form of life on this planet and Gordon Brown is actually just a cardboard cuttout planted by the Italians. And I'll do it for a fraction of the price.

That he gets so many followers is testament to the glorious mental wellbeing of society. I wonder just how easy it is to come up with a half-formed, unsupported idea and then peddle it to a slavering, open mouthed and empty headed public to massive acclaim, controversy, and media coverage. Which is pretty much what Hollywood does, only they don't pretend it's real.



Or possibly:

I like that last one. I think I may write a book.

I leave this subject with a tantalising insight into the mind of, not only the writer of the xkcd webcomics, but also his fanbase:

Quacks, Hacks, and Bad Science

I'll keep this one short.
In my never ending quest to cram as much information into my head as I can without getting an aneurism, I've happened upon a fantastic piece of literature which seeks to take a baseball bat to the mailboxes of general ignorance (good.... God that was a crap metaphor. I'm REALLY sorry. I'm also not going to change it) surrounding medicine, health scares, and poor science journalism. It's called Bad Science, it's by Ben Goldacre, and if it's the last thing you do as a sane person, you should read it. Go look it up on amazon.

Then go find a massive online forum of Homeopathists and lay into them, like a snowplough through an orphanage.

I should add a caveat, that if you're the kind of closed-off, stuck-up, arrogant berk who bases their life view entirely on subjective views and is unable to comprehend "the bigger picture" or the value that science has to understand the everyday world, this book probably isn't for you. But then, quite honestly, you should probably not be reading this blog either. Your very presence is insulting. If you match any of the following descriptions:
  • Holding an opinion in the face of overwhelming counter-evidence
  • Hating people who do science because they're 'detached' or 'don't know what they're talking about'
  • Think you know about matters for which your entire knowledge comes from one news article in The Sun
  • Thinking you know better than an expert in a certain field
Then my advice to you, dear sir (or madam), is to turn off your computer right now and go and mow over your own face.

Your pathetic, childish and blatant mindlessness to common sense is a blight on the face of respectable society which was kind enough to shit you out in the first place.

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in the above rant, please arrange to meet me personally and I'll help you out as a person by verbally running you into the floor.

Wow. Ok. Sorry, that was slightly more impassioned than I anticipated. What I'm trying to get across is how much I disdain people who claim to be 'open minded' by spectacularly disregarding science, and evidence, in favour of whatever they come up with. Science is not some horrible, outdated institution with no worldly ties left: it's just a way of looking at things which says "Does this work? If so, or even if not, why?". Scientists are nerdy, but they're not, by and large, out to peddle their own agenda.

Angry Atheists Association

Scientists do however, constitute one of the most outspoken and opinionated groups of people. This is sort of ironic, considering that in their own fields they're by and large open minded to every possible true/false, yes/no outcome to a study or experiment.

Plonk religion in front of them and sadly, in a few cases, you'll be confronted with a very different beasty.

I'm not going to tell you my religious standing- it's irrelevant. I'm going to try and do this from somewhere neutral. In which case I should probably introduce a second title:

.... and Clamourous Creationists

The two groups are obviously at totally opposite ends of the spectrum- and are both hair-tearingly annoying in their own unique ways, but just to infuriate anyone who fits into either category, I shall explain my hatred for them under this collective title.

Creationists, and all fundamental religious zealots, have taken it upon themselves to cram a grubby fist full of their views down your reluctant mouth before you can say "get out of my house you bastard". The Westborough Baptist Church of the US, the angry Irish christian terrorists, al-Qaeda and loud-mouthed creationists all share the common ground that they hold wildly strong views and cannot tolerate the fact that other people hold different opinions.

They heckle, bother, and in the worst cases blow up anyone they can in the hope that someday everyone will suddenly throw up their hands and go "Damn! You know what?? I think you're right! I've been so foolish! I shall instantly convert to [enter religion here] and blow up/heckle/picket anyone who stands in my way!". Clearly this works in some cases, but not overall. I mean, even the regular audience for Big Brother isn't that mentally malleable that they cave in to this 'pressure' from people.

So here's the suggestion: Hold on to your religious values. They're worth a lot. But unless someone asks, keep your vocal chords still, and your mouth shut.

The weird thing about everything I've said about these groups is that it's all equally applicable to outspoken atheists as well. Think about how often we've had Richard Dawkins smeared on our TV screens or newspapers like a nasty brown stain; his almost tangible ego radiating pomposity in every direction.

Again, I have nothing AGAINST atheism, or atheists, but most people do not want to see your opinion written in bold down the side of a bus. People want you to stay out of their life. So shut up about it. It's a shame that some otherwise reputable public figures spatter their blogs with atheistic gunge. And ATHEIST SOCIETIES? That sounds like a barrel of laughs doesn't it??

A: "So... I think there is no God. What a silly idea"
B: "Yup. Stupid idea. Who would believe such rubbish?"
A: "Stupid people. What idiots. We're so clever"
B: "Definitely. Everyone is stupid except us."
A: "Yes- especially religious people. How stupid can you get?"
B: "Very stupid. Totally stupid. Utterly stupid. Richard Dawkins"
A: "Humanism. Richard Dawkins. Evolution."
B: "Stupid. God. Daft. Rubbish. Science."

... ad nauseum

It's boring, pathetic drivel that we've all been exposed to before and isn't going to change anyone's views.

Both of the above should learn to TOLERATE people, and not speak unless spoken to. Act like a child, get treated like one.

Righto. As much as I intended to continue pouring my soul out on this keyboard I feel I've reached saturation point. I will therefore reserve my other thoughts and ponderances for later writing.

Much love and cynicism!


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