Showing posts from May, 2015

No S#!t Study: Scientists Find That Conspiracy Theorists Will Pretty Much Believe Anything You Tell Them | IFLScience

No S#!t Study: Scientists Find That Conspiracy Theorists Will Pretty Much Believe Anything You Tell Them | IFLScience

This should surprise pretty much nobody. I wonder if I now get to tell them "wake up, sheeple!"...

Sufjan Stevens - All the Trees of the Field will clap their Hands

I love this song, okay? It always reminds me of chapel in school as the light streamed through the stained glass windows and I concentrated on that instead of the sermons. Most of all it reminds me of trundling along across the Pennines on a train.

The Great Anti-Anti-GMO Rant

Ah, GMOs, those things what sound scary and probably cause cancer. Also Monsanto. Down with Frankenfoods!

Okay, I'll just say this now: I'm sick and tired of unscientific - indeed antiscientific - scaremongering about genetically modified organisms. I am sick of people calling genetically modified foods "frankenfoods" and implying they cause cancer. I am sick of the idea that all non-GM food is "natural".

Why I'm actually sick of all these things goes beyond mere pedantry, as I'll explain later. But first, some lovely disparate sections...

I'll let you in on something not-so-secret here: I hate Monsanto and their business practices, particularly with respect to patents (trying to patent DNA is really, really scary and has serious ethical consequences). However, Monsanto and genetic modification are separate, just as medical science and Big Pharma are separate.

Oh, wait. There are actually people who don't separate medical science and…

An Enemy of the Britain!

So yesterday I did something political that didn't just involve shouting on the internet, for the first time in nearly two years, by going to the May Day festivities in Manchester. I've not been politically active due to a combination of (over)work, disillusionment and psychological difficulties, which makes me feel guilty. Plus I wanted to get out of the house and avoid revising myself to death.

(The title refers to someone on facebook spitting blood at the thought of Labourites for being too left-wing and labelling them "an enemy of the Britain [sic]". I like laughing at vitriol making native English speakers forget their own language and I like laughing at people who are so frightened of anyone having opinions that differ from their own that they have to label dissenters as traitors. Plus if even relatively inoffensive concepts like "xenophobia is bad" make me an enemy of Britain, well, I'd hate to be an ally...)

At first I was sceptical; TUSC on twi…

Lamenting Stupidity

It is fashionable, particularly in pseudointellectual circles, to lament the decline of society (perhaps the decline of your country's society, or the decline of society in general). This is usually tied up with much weeping and gnashing of teeth over how stupid people these days are.

I've got to say that this kind of lamentation doesn't exactly make you look smart. It mostly makes you look like an elitist asshole with a superiority complex, and while some intelligent people are like that a lot of them have better things to do than sit around complaining - I'll get onto this later. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't go through an elitist pseud phase, but I'd like to think that I grew out of it. I realised that I was an absolutely insufferable prick and that nobody really wanted to be around me except other insufferable pricks, which is not really a brilliant track record, but more to the point I realised that complaining doesn't actually get anything …