Monday, December 28, 2009

response to my anonymous commenter

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This is my response to this comment, left on my post about who wrecked Copenhagen (apparently it was the Chinese). Its too big for the comments because of all the text I've pasted in so its earnt its own post:


I'm a little confused by your post as there seems to be some punctuation missing. Possibly I have provoked a fit of frenzied typing. I'm not going to argue about whether the Green Party are left or right as I find such terminology to be redundant and unhelpful and I try to avoid them.

The group who wrote the Green New Deal (please note the lack of Lib Dems) are:
  • Larry Elliott (Economics Editor of the Guardian)
  • Colin Hines (Co-Director of Finance for the Future, former head of Greenpeace International’s Economics Unit)
  • Tony Juniper (former Director of Friends of the Earth)
  • Jeremy Leggett (founder and Chairman of Solarcentury and SolarAid)
  • Caroline Lucas (Green Party Leader & MEP)
  • Richard Murphy (Co-Director of Finance for the Future and Director, Tax Research LLP)
  • Ann Pettifor (former head of the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign, Campaign Director of Operation Noah)
  • Charles Secrett (Advisor on Sustainable Development, former Director of Friends of the Earth)
  • Andrew Simms (Policy Director, the new economics foundation)
I advocate a Green New Deal (a real one, not Brown's pathetic greenwash) because the policies proposed in the document offer to help remediate three of the most challenging issues of our time. I am profoundly apolitical when it comes to supporting such action. I will quote the executive summary in full:

"The global economy is facing a ‘triple crunch’. It is a combination of a credit-fuelled financial crisis, accelerating climate change and soaring energy prices underpinned by an encroaching peak in oil production. These three overlapping events threaten to develop into a perfect storm, the like of which has not been seen since the Great Depression. To help prevent this from happening we are proposing a Green New Deal.

This entails re-regulating finance and taxation plus a huge transformational programme aimed at substantially reducing the use of fossil fuels and in the process tackling the unemployment and decline in demand caused by the credit crunch. It involves policies and novel funding mechanisms that will reduce emissions contributing to climate change and allow us to cope better with the coming energy shortages caused by peak oil.

The triple crunch of financial meltdown, climate change and ‘peak oil’ has its origins firmly rooted in the current model of globalisation. Financial deregulation has facilitated the creation of almost limitless credit. With this credit boom have come irresponsible and often fraudulent patterns of lending, creating inflated bubbles in assets such as property, and powering environmentally unsustainable consumption.

This approach hit the buffers of insolvency and unrepayable debts on what we think of as ‘debtonation day’, 9 August 2007, when the banks suddenly fully understood the scale of debts on the balance sheets of other banks, and stopped lending to each other.

In the same year, natural disasters struck body blows to entire national economies, and rising prices began to alert the world to the potential scarcity of oil. At both ends of the climatic spectrum, Australia saw a prolonged drought decimate its domestic grain production, and Mexico saw floods wipe out the agricultural production of an entire large state. In the oil markets, growing numbers of whistleblowers pointed to the probability of an early peak in production, and a possible subsequent collapse of production. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said an oil crunch is likely in 2012.

Drawing our inspiration from Franklin D. Roosevelt’s courageous programme launched in the wake of the Great Crash of 1929, we believe that a positive course of action can pull the world back from economic and environmental meltdown. The Green New Deal that we are proposing consists of two main strands. First, it outlines a structural transformation of the regulation of national and international financial systems, and major changes to taxation systems. And, second, it calls for a sustained programme to invest in and deploy energy conservation and renewable energies, coupled with effective demand management."

As for the transition movement, whilst I applaud the sentiment it is simply laughable to suggest that it can make more than a tiny difference, what with the eminent lack of broad public support for sustainable development, and that will be too little and too late. As George Monbiot observes, the only plausible solution to climate change, peak oil, and the economic meltdown involves the mobilisation of the nation and its resources as if for war. Its a battle for our children's survival.

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/12/02/whistling-in-the-wind/

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/06/23/stop-building-tanks/

materialism is sociopathic

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A couple of nice passages in this article by a pseudoscientist with the fantastic name of Yair Amichai-Hamburger:
"research by psychologist Tim Kasser of Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, has shown that people who place a high value on material goals are unhappier than those who are less materialistic. Materialism is also associated with lower self-esteem, greater narcissism, greater tendency to compare oneself unfavourably with other people, less empathy and more conflict in relationships."

"In today's world, where we are potentially available 24/7 to absorb messages from well-honed advertisements, it is vital that we know how to analyse and evaluate their validity - and to neutralise them where necessary."
These words interest me because they suggest there is reasonably credible evidence (well, as credible as psychology can be) out there to support legislating against rampant consumerism on the basis of social wellbeing and public health. My curisosity go tthe better of me and I googled Yair's name to see what he has published. This paper is particularly interesting as it appears to demonstrate that people afflicted by Learned Helplessness are more susceptible to the malevolent influence of marketing. LH sounds synonoymous with being a subject of the UK education system (pdf).

This paper, with the title "Who blogs? Personality predictors of blogging", is a giggle too. Fluffy, pseudoscientific word.

Oh- if you want access to the papers I can email you copies.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Natasha Chart is stupid

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Word.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

who wrecked Copenhagen?

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Two different perspectives as to who made the Copenhagen accord even more uselessly wishy-washy and fluffy than any reasonably skeptical observer would have imagined. Lynas' opinion is particularly revealing for the petty offense exhibited by the Chinese delegation.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

raging for christmas

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We did it! And raised at least £65,000 for the charity Shelter in direct donations alone. Awesome!

Now, if someone could just come up with an equally appealing motive for regaining democratic control of the country . . .

Saturday, December 19, 2009

humans are not rational . . .

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". . . and we should recognise that fact and maybe try to use that fact to work out ways of communicating and convincing people because this is real. This is the most serious threat we have ever faced in all of history."

This video is incredible and there are several more fantastic quotes in there. Eg:

"Imagine you read in the newspaper tomorrow that we find out that all the excess CO2 in the world was being released by Al Qaeda. Think about that. Would we react? Of course we would. We would spend any amount of money to fight that. We would spend a trillion dollars (which we just did)."

"We need to support global family planning. There's too many people on earth right now. This is typically a taboo subject in climate change but its going to be controlled one way or another and I just think we should do it the humane way."
I'm also struck, as I imagine most sentient observers would be, by the irony of having a Chevron add at the beginning. Such observers may also be struck by my positive opinion of a film which contains a sweeping endorsement of geoengineering; a topic I have previously condemned as "fucking stupid". However, Miller's endorsement is nuanced and heavily conditional upon being part of a multi-fronted strategy to simultaneously slash emissions and address social inequality.

more Tory climate change denialism

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Making the front page of The Express shouldn't make many people proud but the European Foundation, a Euroskeptic thinktank directed by a fistful of august Tory characters, have made it and also garnered column inches in The Telegraph too. The reason for this undesirable prominence in the mass media? The publication of their report, written by a political analyst, entitled "100 Reasons Why Global Warming Is Natural". Its probably redundant for me to observe that the list is a load of unicorn bollocks, but then both publications have form when it comes to CCD.

Rather wonderfully, a New Scientist journo has confronted this torrent of antiscience by rebutting the first 50 claims. Hat Tip to this guy.

Word.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

prosecuting war crimes on British soil

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Read what your government did in response to the issue of an arrest warrant for a suspected war criminal on British soil. Then read what they should have done. Spot the difference?

Monday, December 14, 2009

punkscience just bought a download of "killing in the name of"

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I don't care if Simon "cuntface" Cowell does own shares in Sony BMG. I'm happy to pay to have a song of rebellion and revolution forced upon the attention of the placid, gurning X-faktoid-watching herd.

If you aren't aware of this campaign a Facebook group has now got in excess of 700K people signed up to it pledging to buy copies of the RATM track named in the title of this post in order to topple cuntface's manufactured shite off the number one spot for xmas.

its nice when someone comprehensively affirms all of your preconceptions

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Hat-tip to John B, whose skeptical twittering drew this to my attention. I must read the report and think about this. It rings true in my heart but then trusting one's gut feelings is exactly what I spend hours railing against on these pages.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Catholic crocodile tears

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The Vatican said 'the Holy Father was deeply disturbed and distressed.' Well poor baby, but why was he not deeply disturbed and distressed before? Why did he not give a rat's ass while the report was in progress and the Vatican ignored all its questions? To say nothing of while the abuse and the cover-up of the abuse and the perpetuation of the abuse via refusal to do anything about it, were going on? Why is his distress so god damn late? Why is he bothering to do a Bernie Madoff, pretending to be all sorry and repentant after it is no longer possible to conceal and deny and hide?

''He wishes once more to express his profound regret at the actions of some members of the clergy who have betrayed their solemn promises to God, as well as the trust placed in them by the victims and their families, and by society at large.'' The Vatican said the Holy Father shared the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland, and that he was united with them in prayer at this difficult time in the life of the Church.

No he doesn't! [jumps up and down in fury until the windows rattle] He doesn't, he doesn't, he doesn't! It's all soothing oil, it's all sleazy self-exculpation. He does not share the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland because he and his Vatican are what the outrage, betrayal and shame are all about. He doesn't get to make himself another subject; he's the object. He's not one of the victims, he's the top perpetrator. He has an unbelievable gall claiming to feel all this sorrowful emotion when he is the head of an institution that did everything it could to protect itself and did nothing to protect children who were assaulted by its priests. He shouldn't be talking eyewash about his emotions, he should be saying the Vatican behaved like a criminal organization. He should resign. They should all resign. They should fold up their tents and go do something useful.

And knock off the 'Holy Father' crap, too. With a father like that, who needs enemies?

Word to Ophelia.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

climate change denial

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Its a blog analysing the title phenomenon. The first couple of posts I read were really well argued, although I take issue with the author's position that scientists need to communicate science better.
With the exception of a few outstanding communicators, they often make no attempt to speak to deeper values or make an emotional connection with the public – indeed they see that as contrary to their professional independence.
This is because scientists are scientists, not necessarily good "communicators" in the sense of dumbing their subject material down to the level of Joe Publik. And dumbing down is exactly what's needed because the public really do lack any appreciation of . . . well . . . any basic science, let alone the fiendishly complicated and interdisciplinary science that informs the IPCC. What is needed are professional science communicators who can do this for us. Scientists are already expected to be scientists, managers, secretaries, accountants, technicians, teachers, lecturers, mentors, tutors, etc. etc. etc. You can't keep adding strings to our bows and expecting us to play a perfect tune on it simultaneously with the other instruments in our repertoire.

It is important to remind anyone reading this that we live in a pseudo-democracy and a system exists to enact meaningful changes in policy to a sustainable model. All it will take is for the public to be convinced of this. As George Marshall, the author of CCD, observes:

The lay public, when presented with confusing data and competing arguments about climate change deploy the heuristic (a fancy word for a mentalof short cut) of believing the people they most trust. Trust in the communicator is therefore a crucial precondition for belief in climate change.

Unfortunately the three main climate change communicators: politicians, journalists and environmental campaigners, are among the least trusted people in society- fighting it out for bottom place in the ranking with lawyers and car salesmen. No one would pay any attention to them at all if they were not drawing on the aquifer of public trust in scientists.

So there. Its important and it needs investment. Real investment, not the glib, esoteric and devious pledges of a typical British budget or anything out of the mouth of Mandelscum.


Addition a few minutes later:

This blog is even better than I first thought:
. . . unless significant changes in how scientific knowledge is shared and distributed are achieved, geo-engineering simply cannot address climate change in an equitable way. To believe that the unprecedented power of geo-engineering will not be wielded by the rich and the powerful at the expense of the weak and the vulnerable is more than simply wide-eyed techno-optimism: It amounts to a comprehensive denial of political reality.

Addition 13-12-09:

I want to link to other rants that kind of tie-in to the subjects of public ignorance of science and the issue of functional democracy being utterly dependent upon voting choices being evidence-based and rational. This is, of course, not currently the case.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

why investment bankers aren't special

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More on the topic of socially useless bankers: Jim Bliss has written a fantastic little piece analysing what it is that investment bankers do and why they are paid such fantastic sums. Its great stuff but I want to go further into the nitty gritty of corporate pay packets and try to dissect which careers offer reasonable social return on the wages invested in these executives. What is the tax revenue like and at what point does their wealth reach the point where the substantial investment required to hire some top-flight tax avoidance experts produce a return? With people like the Arch-Plutocrat, Lord Ashcroft, buying elections its clear that there are a many ways to quantify the pros and cons of enabling individuals to accumulate vast wealth.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

weapons grade squeee

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Can't resist . . . too . . . cute . . .


Friday, December 04, 2009

true

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"The investment banking sector may have its role, but it is a marginal one. It is not directly responsible for the creation of anything that enhances human welfare in any way. Apart from trading financial assets, an entirely zero (at most) sum game, its role is simply a co-ordinating one. Investment bankers are responsible for setting up corporate finance for firms that want to start new projects or when firms merge or acquire other firms. They get paid well not because any of this is intrinsically very difficult – it's really a matter of having access to the right markets, knowing the right procedures and being known to the right people – but because the sums of money involved in these deals tend to be staggering. And payment in the financial sector tends to follow a "linear fee pattern", by which I mean that fees are usually some fairly consistent percentage of the size of any deal irrespective of the actual effort, skill or risk involved in setting it up."

Word.


Addition 04-12-09:

I have been reading through the comments below this article and there are several interesting points deriding Diarmid Weir's observation that investment banking being a zero sum game. I want to examine this further as it echoes Adair Turner’s recent characterisation of the city as “socially useless”. Investment banking involves the provision of capital to corporations in the form of loans, trading securities and managing corporate mergers and acquisitions. I imagine staff at such institutions specialise in one of these areas and immerse themselves in the arcane laws and regulation that govern such substantial transactions. As far as socially beneficial outcomes go, few examples of socially useful produce of the city are offered. One poster, “TraderTrader”, doesn't supply any appropriate examples but does point out that "[m]ost of the city runs very successful business models that contribute enormous sums of revenue for the UK economy and Treasury." This is true and is one of the reasons why the UK has been so profoundly affected by the fuckyounomic debacle so its hardly a supporting argument for our current dependence upon tax revenue from the finance sector.

One response to Weir comes from Zac Smith. Of course, it is quite possible for the government to make and example of RBS and prohibit bonus payments and force them to adopt ethical business practices. However, this would have no effect whatsoever upon all the other financial coporations out there which will simply snigger, employ the disgruntled talent that will flee RBS and undercut them in the market. RBS will collapse, taking all of our tax money with it. And probably the country too. Making scapegoats of the RBS bankers is simply stupid. We should be directing our efforts towards installing a political party that advocates fundamental revision of the economic system to produce a more egalitarian and socially productive system. Weir does allude to this in the title but spends much of his rant targeting the specific iniquities of RBS and Lloyds.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Will someone not save us from insane, warmongering fucktards?

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"Sanctions are idiot diplomacy. They are the last gasp of the "something must be done" brigade, before surrendering to the military/industrial complex and going to war. Bred in the ideological bone to intervene in the affairs of other states, these people cannot admit that sometimes nothing can be done, or that anything done might make matters worse. Yet more sanctions are the proclaimed policy of David Miliband."


Word.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

number ones

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Danny Chivers from A Daisy Through Concrete has tagged me with one of them there newfangled interweb meme things. It was started by The Chief Badger in response to one of Danny's own posts where he observed that Google searches for "ranting performance poetry video climate change bespectacled freak" would inevitably produce links to his work. Merrick then challenged a number of bloggers to present amusing Google search strings which would provide links to their blogs in the number one spot with particular merit to be awarded to those with sexually explicit elements, as such material is so very prevalent on the interwebs.

Now, as innovative profanity and sweary, political rants are very much the meat-and-veg of punkscience, I am somewhat proud to present the following Google (UK) searches which produce links to here in the top spot:

climate change denying goat cock
the uk government is shit
Mandelson donkey dicks
David Cameron pseudo green bullshit
Hazel Blears fraudulent cunt

I'm particularly proud that Googling 'Sir David King delusional nuclear cunt fetish' also puts PS at the top of the podium.

To extend the meme I will offer tags to Muhamad, Tampon Teabag, Rossinisbird and- with delicious anticipation- pigdogfucker.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

massive donkey dicks in Mandleson's ear

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Interweb freedom in the UK is facing the direst threat in its short history. That threat is called Peter Mandelson. Faced with the prospect of almost certain disempowerment in the coming election, this disgusting little gobshite is making sure he has friends in high (rich) places by selling out our digital liberty to the big entertainment companies by adding last-minute amendments to the already insanely tyrannical digital economy bill that will empower any future Secretary of State with the ability to enact legislation without debate or scrutiny. These new powers and those already set out are detailed by Cory Doctorow in the first and third links, respectively. Certain consequences of this legislation are described in the second link by Charles Arthur of The Guardian. May I suggest that you follow the links on BoingBoing to add your name to a petition to be sent to the High Cockweasel. Please also consider writing to your MP to implore them to support Early Day Motion 1997, introduced by Tom Watson MP, which explicitly condemns plans to disconnect internet users convicted of file sharing or other illegal activity.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

decarbonising the global transport system

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This guy is a bit if a cock but, paradoxically, awesome at the same time.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Anton Vowl is awesome

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Read his work. Read it and contemplate who you can vote for to best protect the diversity of media content available in this country.

surreal science moment

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I just happened upon a friend of mine carrying a tray of my sperm across campus. We found it rather amusing.

Here they are, BTW:


The sex chromosome in each nucleus has been FISH stained. Red means its a girl and greens are boys.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baronness Buscombe is a knobjill

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She proposes having bloggers regulated by the world's most useless self-regulatory body: The Press Complaints Commission. Read the letter of objection penned by Unity over at Liberal Conspiracy. And sign it.

I commented and signed. The support from bloggers across the intellectual and political spectrum is impressive.


Footnote: The term "knobjill" is a compounding of the colloquial term for a phallus and the term for a female weasel. Hence, 'a phallus of a female weasel'.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

peak oil

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"Wyn Evans, who runs a mixed farm of 170 acres, has been trying to reduce his dependency on fossil fuels since 1977. He has installed an anaerobic digester, a wind turbine, solar panels and a ground-sourced heat pump. He has sought wherever possible to replace diesel with his own electricity. Instead of using his tractor to spread slurry, he pumps it from the digester on to nearby fields. He's replaced his tractor-driven irrigation system with an electric one, and set up a new system for drying hay indoors, which means he has to turn it in the field only once. Whatever else he does is likely to produce smaller savings. But these innovations have reduced his use of diesel by only around 25%."
We are all fucked.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

US funding the same insurgents they are fighting

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Surely they're not that unbelievably stupid and sociopathic, you say? Sadly not. FF to 12:24:



Monday, November 09, 2009

the art of satire

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". . . if Melanie [Phillips]' crack-smoking, wackadoodle opinions were puppies, they would divide their days between sitting in their own faeces and repetitively banging their heads on walls. If her opinions were cars, they would explode like oversized petrol bombs when you turned the key in the ignition; if they were made of chocolate, they would be made of 100% Stupid As Fuck cocoa beans."

Snigger, chortle, chuckle.

peak oil gets anonymous endoresment from "senior IEA officials"

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"If the real [oil reserve] figures were to come out there would be panic on the stock markets … in the end that would suit no one."

As George has pointed out, its about time someone started asking searching questions of the UK government as to their plans to cope with this rapidly approaching phenomenon. At the moment the answer is "fuck all".

global opinion strongly against free-market capitalism

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"In the global poll for the BBC World Service, only 11% of those questioned across 27 countries said that it was working well. . . . . . Almost a quarter - 23% of those who responded - feel it is fatally flawed."

Sunday, November 08, 2009

information & communication

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Read this. Its a fascinating little polemic. I'm downloading the torrent of the film as I type, which- also interestingly- was released under a Creative Commons licence.

Its kind of related to this previous, information-related rant.


Addition 15-11-09:

The film is pretty cool. Its basically an endorsement of direct democracy, which I wholly support. It reminds me of the sci-fi system created by Alastair Reynolds for his Revelation Space Universe where the inhabitants of The Glitter Band, a community of thousands of habitats orbiting a planet, all participate in direct democracy via a real-time communication network wired into their peripheral consciousness. Although real-time applications wired into our consciousness are probably a few generations away there is nothing to prevent a more straightforward system being accessible via the House of Commons website. We could all have electoral identities allowing us to register votes on issues passing through the House, preventing our elected morons from misrepesenting us.

show me an honest banker . . .

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Will Hutton, former flag-bearer of capitalism, has changed his tune somewhat. I like it.

Sorry for the lack of any depth or originality in my recent posting. Life is pretty hectic at the moment for several reasons so I haven't the time to do any of these issues even the modestly profane justice I sporadically dish out.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I blame Bush, Blair et al.

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One hundred and thirty two more dead Iraqis to add to the million-or-more already "liberated" from their dreary lives by the actions of this bunch of war mongering religious fanatics.

Friday, October 16, 2009

positivity neurosis

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I am more than a little alarmed at the state of the nation. The new Kingsnorth coal plant got cancelled, the third runway at Heathrow is dead, two High Court judges have ordered the release of a seven-page summary of the circumstances surrounding MI5's role in Binyam Mohamed's torture and Trafigura got royally fucked (via ChickYog) by the nu media, thanks to a valiant blogging and twittering campaign. This many victories on the sanity-based policy front is more than a little alarming. I suppose the gods of universal justice are squeezing any extraneous goodness out system in preparation for five years of Tory government.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What are Carter-Ruck and the government hiding from you?

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In an unprecedented move The Graun has been gagged from reporting on an issue of parliament. One of the protagonists in this story are arch-SLAPPers and all-round defenders of the genocidal and corrupt, Carter-Ruck.

Little steps, people. Little steps.


Addition:

Chicken Yoghurt knows what's going on.

excellent blog

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Its called Information Is Beautiful.

Check it out.

"industry influence can lead to a focus on treatments for wealthier communities, rather than more common global diseases"

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Word.

The subject of research funding and the way it is allocated is a frequent subject of rantage for me. The original report is predictably damning of the way research funding policy is being dictated by vested interests and public interests are subsumed to corporate ones. Just another way in which corporations internalise profits and externalise costs such as R&D. Make no mistake, the intellectual property resulting from much research funded by the research councils will be securely in the hands of the corporations with not a hint of return for the public purse.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Google's world library

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I can't believe that a head of state would explicitly condemn the actions of Google's management team in attempting to digitise the world's library. Angela Merkel's statement is so bizarrely narrow-minded that I am instantly driven to seek an ulterior motive for it. Condemning the generation of such a library; that is accessible to all, that is so clearly of such enormous value to global society, and to place the income of publishing houses above it in value, is utterly disingenuous, baffling and inscrutable.

As a scientist I come across Google Books all the time. An incredible amount of knowledge and insight is contained within the "secondary literature" comprised of reference books and- in complete contrast to the "primary literature" of scientific journals- this knowledge is utterly inaccessible unless your local university hapens to have a hard copy of the title you seek. Even then, the material within the book is never searchable in an efficient way and you must rely exclusively on precises of the volume and lists of chapter headings to determine whether it contains anything of insight before wading into the text page-by-page. Obtaining the hard copy and leafing through it in search of your desired information or insight can consume hours. Prior, that is, to Google Books incredible digitising work. Nowadays, if I Google something as obscure as "polychaete osmolytes" I get a list of journal articles which might mention osmolytic function in specific polychaete species or even describe it in detail but which generally fail to provide an overview of the organic osmolytes polychaetes synthesise to regulate their osmotic potential. You may not care about the science but the point I am trying to make is that there are two Google Books hits in the first four pages of results that both provide a general overview of the diversity and function of endogenous osmolytes in different animals as well as a description of their synthesis. To collate this amount of information from individual papers would have taken a day's research or more and would have demanded that I reference a dozen papers. Now I can find the information in minutes and provide a couple of reference to the volumes in question. Ultimately, I didn't buy the volumes in question but someone else might come across my reference to it and do so themselves.

Reference books are expensive too, lets not forget. The reason that so many university libraries contain such a limited range of aging reference books is that these volumes can cost several hundreds of pounds each to buy. Whatever price you place on the knowledge within them, this makes their acquisition a problem and access to the information they contain often impossible. Punkscience has personally acquired a handful of cheaper volumes which have provided the foundation for his thesis.

I'm not sure how the contributors of these books profit from their work. I have been asked to contribute to book chapters by one supervisor and I have been warned away from it by another because it would be wasted time at this point in my career. Such books rarely generate big sales due to the inherently small target market. Therefore acclaim and profit are generally absent from scientific publishing unless you happen to be a leader in your field and have insight and passion for a broad field of biology that enables you to produce a definitive reference volume.

My point is this: In the above example, regardless of the value of the knowledge contained within the texts relating to polychaete osmolytes, I would never have bought those texts and they weren't contained within the university library. Google Books made the specific knowledge available to me at no cost. Despite the missing pages I was able to cobble together an understanding of the subject and write it into my thesis, even bookmarking the pages for later reference. Repeat that experience a hundred times over the coming year and my life is transformed. Productivity soars, effective research output increases. Try and imagine the same result repeated across the tens of thousands of researchers in this country and across the globe. Try and imagine how people searching for quotations or passages in works of literature feel being able to Google their search and have the appropriate page delivered to them instead of leafing through notes and indices. Imagine how literature fans feel being able to find that quote easily and simply instead of having to stew on it until the title and author come to them. Yes, the productivity benefits of some of these examples are dubious but others are not. This is a classic example of something with enormous potential to empower society being assaulted because its benefits are intangible and obscure but its- arguably tiny- losses are well defined and clear.

My point is that Angela Merkel needs to get some perspective. Her rejection of this development in information-handling is profoundly Luddite. If she has concerns about the effects of Google Books on the revenue of publishing houses then she should be negotiating with Google to secure appropriate remuneration, not decrying their work. It is the same mindset that refuses to comprhend that on-line file sharing is the new paradigm in media distribution. A work of art, entertainment or science is only valued for its inherent worth. If that work is unavailable to those who might legitimately exploit its value it is worthless. Merkel and her ilk wish to contain and constrict access to knowledge and culture. People like me believe it should be virtually freely available with only a small token price attached to each unit thereof.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

No, seriously. What the fuck?

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Via In Gaza, comes this report of serious betrayal by the Palestinian Authority of all of the victims of the Gazan genocide and the Palestinian Apartheid.

Seriously.

What. The. Fuck?

UK troops tortured and murdered Iraqis

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Via ChickYog & George.

Gods bless this cuntry.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

science rage

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Courtesy of Ben Goldacre.

Incidentally, all of his concerns about medical trials apply equally to many other scientific fields. including my own. I'm just lucky that billions of pounds of profits do not rest heavily on my research, providing an incentive for the institutionalisation of fraudulent behaviour, as seems to have occurred in biomedicine.

Or do they . . . . ?

Watch this space.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

geoengineering is fucking stupid

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"Scientists have proposed all sorts of geo-engineering solutions to global warming . . . . For instance, they have proposed spraying the upper atmosphere with aerosol particles that would reduce sunlight reaching the Earth, mitigating the warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide.

But these ideas miss the point. They will still allow carbon dioxide emissions to continue to increase – and thus the oceans to become more and more acidic. There is only one way to stop the devastation the oceans are now facing and that is to limit carbon-dioxide emissions as a matter of urgency."

Word.

Monday, September 28, 2009

George points out that rich cunts are far more of a threat to the climate than fecund peasants in developing countries

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My comment on George's insightful awesomeness:

George is bang on the money. Rich oiks are by far a greater threat to sustainability and climate change than fecund peasants in developing countries. Unfortunately, they have a far higher PR budget and own all of the mainstream media outlets apart from the BBC, which is under constant assault from them, their multitude of proxies and the retarded minority who believe their lies. I can point to the Spectator's recent cover story endorsing the climate change denialist Ian Plimer or Channel 4's airing of the Great Global Warming Swindle or the propaganda war funded by the petrochemical companies.
My pointing this out will make not a blind bit of difference, however, because democracy the world over is victim to their lies. Democracy only works when people vote rationally and hold their elected representatives to account for their actions. That hasn't happened in the UK in my lifetime and I don't see that changing in the near future. Gideon's paradox will make sure of that.
"however massive the dangers posed by climate change, their lack of immediate visibility in daily life means many people will do nothing concrete to tackle it; by the time they are prompted to action it will, by definition, be too late."

I freely admit that I am one of those people who freaks out about overpopulation. As I wrote, I think George is bang on. However, I don't think that we should ignore population growth because all those peasants firing out a dozen children and playing no role in the production of climate change gases are still being denied the same opportunities as the rest of us, which is monstrous. These people deserve the same standard of living and education as us and by the time they get it the climate may well be royally fucked even though they all end up voting Green (the obvious choice for educated, rational people) because of the massive inertia of the climate system. So you can't blame just the rich. If you spread their wealth and opportunities across all of the developing world the emissions would still be just as high. Both problems need addressing, yeah? Otherwise we're just replacing an unjust, self-destructive system with a just, equally self destructive one.

George rules .


Addition 29-09-09:

Please also read what this guy wrote elegantly criticising George's argument. Nice.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"If truth could be told, the true axis-of-evil is the United States and Israel."

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Don't forget that "Great" Britain is also a founding member of the Axis, Paul. Paul is awesome.

Via MJ's comment on Craig Murray's post.

Friday, September 25, 2009

rapid population growth undermines development efforts

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"the priority given to population issues has diminished compared with concerns about development. If population growth continues unabated, we fear the problems of development will be "solved" by rises in death rates. For this reason, efforts to slow population growth should be treated as a human rights issue."

Word.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

something for the weekend

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Following up on her previous awesomeness, Kat is upping her game to even more dizzying heights of ultrapure, honey-sweet, soulful wickedness with this little solo number:




And here's yet another awesome piece of her work.


I'm going to see Kat play at Sandsifter tomorrow with local boys Albenaza and London ska-hop outfit Imperial Leisure. The sun will be shining and its gonna be three foot and clean at Gwithian. So that's good music, tick; good company; tick; good weather; tick; good surf; check! Its gonna be so rad.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Trafigura and corporate killing

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So Trafigura are guilty as hell of dumping potentially lethal waste in a developing country (see this Guardian article and the attached communications file). Wikileaks also has a copy of a report from an environmental consultancy laying out in detail exactly what was hazardous in the slops landed from the MT Probo Koala and how it might effect anyone exposed to them. The predicted effects exactly match the symptoms reported in the press. This is merely a formalised laying-out of what the Trafigura execs already knew- that their waste was highly toxic- as is clear from their leaked communications.

Unfortunately, whilst the Trafigura executives responsible for this outrage can be prosecuted for infringing a number of minor treaties dealing with the transport of hazardous waste, there exists no appropriate corporate killing legislation under which they can be held accountable for the dozen or so deaths associated with this incident. This is clearly wrong and needs to be addressed. Corporate executives whose actions cost lives are as culpable as drunk drivers or incompetent surgeons. Whilst Trafigura offer a few million pounds to the victims of this incident they stood to make £7 million from each shipment of coker gasoline they cleaned up. The £30 million pound compensation plot is probably going to come from the company's coffers and not from the pockets of the men responsible. Any capacity to prosecute people like this should be extraterritorial so that EU citizens can't get away with dumping waste in the developing world in order to make a fast buck.

Friday, September 18, 2009

why not having children is awesome

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Thank you Julian Baggini. You rule.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

civic illiteracy, antiscience and anti-intellectualism

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This is a great article from ZNet. As with many criticisms of US culture you can apply much of it to the UK as well. The premise of the article is an articulation of something I have been trying to verbalise for some time. As usual I am too lazy and too imprecise in my language to write anything so concise and linear as the arguments in Giroux's article and so I will simply point to his work and say "what that guy said!" Essentially I feel that democracy is meaningless in any society as dumbed-down as the one we inhabit. Evidence based decision making is merely a dream of people like me. Science is regularly exploited for political or commercial purposes or is simply wilfully misrepresented with little opportunity for recourse and even less understanding of the importance of such recourse to the health of society. Research goals are being similarly subverted. The education system seems to be on a permanent slide to nowhere and the goal of producing well-rounded personalities seems to have been replaced with one of producing well-disciplined automata.

Don't get me wrong, this is very much a "this country's going to the dogs" kind of rant. I'd like to think though that there's a lot more evidence to support my argument, thanks to the likes of Giroux, than there is to support rants on the same topic by oiks like Richard Littlejohn or Melanie Phillips- who tend to blame the imigruntz and the ecoterrorists as opposed to their own industry, the government and the marketing and PR campaigns of big corporations. They, of course, are terrified of democracy because it clearly doesn't agree with them (yet!) and therefore they, like the "anti-democratic forces" Giroux refers to, have a vested interest in perpetuating and extending social illiteracy and the dumbing down of society so as to subvert democracy.


'The death of a democracy is not likely to be an assassination by ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference and undernourishment'.

"The object of the educational system, taken as a whole, is not to produce hands for industry or to teach the young how to make a living. It is to produce responsible citizens"

--Robert Maynard Hutchins


" . . . from this fractured society come the feral, illiterate, innumerate children of those broken homes, who have seen what society served their parents and are now so filled with hatred and confusion and incomprehensible rage, that they wander the streets in gangs looking for something to fuck or fight . . . "
- errorgorilla

“Ignorance is like cholera, it cannot be controlled by the individual alone: it requires the organised efforts of society.”

-- Sir Muir Gray


“ The affair seemed symptomatic of the dumbing-down of public life in this country and the collapse of education, which has turned large swathes of the populace into pap-brained, illiterate TV-addicted hysterics.”

Bruce Anderson

The Independent


"It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working-hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice."

- George Orwell, 1984

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

lies, damned lies and The Spectator

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Flying Rodent. What a guy.

I can't begin to summarise the post. Just read it. And laugh like a pissed hyena who knows that an incurable virus will render life on earth a savage, post-apocalyptic struggle for survival in three weeks but happens to have a conveniently booked appointment at the Dignitas clinic in two.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Plymsoul

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This is some fierce local talent in the shape of Kat Marsh:



Kat is awesome.

Friday, September 11, 2009

some of the Green Party Manifesto for A Sustainable Society was drawn up by antiscientific wankers

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From The Daily (Maybe) and Camden Kiwi. I refer to article ST252 of the MFSS:



A pledge to "respect the earth and life upon it"?? Are they fucking serious? Which shower of stupid cunts came up with that antiscientific wankery? And why do they pick on scientists and technologists? Why not businessmen? Why not politicians? Are the worlds' environmental problems solely the responsibility of scientists?

I could go on with the angry rhetoric but I think I've made the point. Whoever wrote that needs to be beaten about the head with hemp sandals and then throttled with a hair shirt.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

it always amuses me how "thesis" sounds so similar to "faeces"

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Here it is, kids. The whole chibang:

Hadley Freeman is super-awesome

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Rather predictably, I hate the idea of "fashion" and the elitist, mega-consumerism it incites. However, whilst being aware that the industry has a sleazy underbelly of exploitation I was not aware that it was quite as dark as Hadley reveals it to be. Her juxtaposition of this story and that of the slightly chubby model pictured on page xxxxx of some glossy, narcisisstic piece of pseudo-journalism reveals much about the mainstream media's prediliction for gossip over issues of social import. That the fashion industry itself has utterly failed to condemn Anand Jon Alexander's sexual predation is similar revealing of its inherent sociopathy.

I am quite pretentious. Yes.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Andrew Brown is a climate change denying fucktard

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Word.

My reply to his idiocy:

"if catastrophic global warming is to be averted people need to act now to avert terrible things which will otherwise happen after their deaths"

This is absolute rubbish. Terrible things have been happening as a result of climate change for decades. 95% of the coral in the Caribbean was killed off in the El Nino of 1998! Only an ignoramus could pen such a sentence.

You can go as far back into history as you like to find examples of humanities idiocy when it comes to abusing the ecosystems they inhabit. The Dust Bowls of Canada and the USA in the '30s are a perfect example.

If people like Andrew Brown continue to be allowed platforms from which to broadcast such absurd statements then the climate change debate is going to continue to be dominated by ignorance and bigotry as people struggle to ascertain the facts in the face of mass media propaganda. The first war in the battle to save our civilisation is being fought in the media. I truly hope George Monbiot serves Brown a deservedly fact-laden kicking in return.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

drugs prohibition is fucking stupid

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This is a favourite topic of mine. Simon "awesome" Jenkins repeats a few of the same old arguments.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

these people are scum

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Doctors and psychologists actively participated in CIA waterboarding sessions, monitoring the torture victims' health and physiology and taking notes that could be used to improve the technique. These people have broken the hippocratic oath and should be barred from practising. They should then be prosecuted under the Nuremberg Code and Geneva Conventions for war crimes. As should the UK and US cabinets responsible for the supreme crime of initiating wars of aggression.

Friday, August 28, 2009

antinatalism

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Yup. I hate people and wish there were fewer of them squeezed onto my little island. There's an interesting little ding-dong going on CiF at the moment below this article about the soaring birth rate in this country. There's some pretty good comments on there.

Please address all accusations of eugenics and population control to "Your Mum, My Bed, My Room, The Shag Palais, Devon". I thank you.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

the essence of manliness

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Its testosterone, of course. A paper covered in New Scientist found reduced levels in fathers and in older Senegalese men and higher levels in men with multiple wives. The conclusion was that fatherhood lowers levels. There's an interesting circle of casue and effect here that they might have got the wrong way round. Testosterone is associated with dominance in men (pdf), as anyone who has been threatened with a slap by a two metre wide bouncer knows. Could it be that the domestic servitude of diligent and conscientious fatherhood stifles our inherent manliness in a manner akin to the subordinate life of an omega-male and quenching release of the man-essence? (No sperm-related puns, please).


Addition 02-09-09:

Female gorillas imitate oestrus and engage in copulation when pregnant in order to obstruct fertile competitors mating with them.

manifest awesomeness

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

tragedy or triumph?

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New Scientist article from fluffy pseudo-scientist with a very positive message. I can't help but feel slightly sceptical. Especially when there's these sort of exchanges going on. My own personal gripe is with the first"i": Information. Van Vugt seems to think that if information is just made available to people then they will act upon it rationally and Western Democracy will give birth to Ecotopia. This ignores that little thing called "teh interweb" which currently supplies answers to pretty much any question you want to ask. The problem is that, unless you are dedicated enough to the pursuit of objective truth, it can also simply reinforce any and all of a peasant's prejudices. I am not in the least ashamed to voice my honest opinion that the vast majority of decisions made by humans across the globe are based upon misinformation, delusion and prejudice. Raising all children to be committed free thinkers is a goal which continues to elude our society to this day. The majority of the general public are still anally retentive, bigoted fucktards. Maybe Van Vugt should apply a little of his pseudo-science to this problem before trying to convince us that he's found a solution to all humanity's environmental problems.

Monday, August 24, 2009

UK government ignores potential of marine renewable generation in favour of coal

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As I keep pointing out, the UK government is shit. Particularly so when it comes to combating climate change. And even more so when it comes to marine renewable generation technology.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Q: What happens when the state fails to regulate polluters?

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A: Anarchy.


There is a lesson here for all governments.

smell the bullshit

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Today we have a special serving of Graun-flavoured BS:
"Coral reefs support a quarter of life on Earth"

No they don't. Don't be so fucking stupid.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

why peer review isn't perfect

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Listen to Doctor Ben now, children.

One of the jobs of a reviewer is to ascertain that, where claims are made in a manuscript, they are backed by reference to original research that contains evidence to support the claim. Where such evidence is not present- where there may be a hypothesis proposing what has been ascertained or where there is circumstantial evidence to support it- the claim must be challenged, the manuscript corrected prior to publication and the author rebuked. It happens in every manuscript. It has happened to me. If reviewers aren't scrupulous in researching the evidence for such claims then an unfounded assertion slips through into the empirical literature and becomes a foundation from which further assertions can be propagated. In my (limited) experience this is now far more common than it was twenty years ago. It is certainly the case that I see manuscripts published today that contain appalling errors of experimental design and incredibly poorly evidenced assertions which ignore the depth of empirical data and cherry pick sources to fit a preferred narrative. I can do nothing but promise to challenge such unscientific practices wherever I find them. Believe me when I say that when I rule the world it will all be much better.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Yes Men

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Never heard of these guys either either? Well, let New Scientist educate you. They have a film out which I am going to pay money to watch. If it comes to my town, that is.

The moral of this story?

"we need to change the rules that allow the market to reward bad behaviour"
Word.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

the UK government is not, quite, a complete and utter sack of useless shite

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Thirty years after the French showed how it should be done, the UK government has finally paid lipservice to the supremacy of high speed rail over short-haul flights in the national and global interest. Now we just have to wait another thirty years to see these words turned into action. Useless cints.


Addition:

And, unsurprisingly, the backlash from the airline industry is led by none other than the High Chief Sociopathic Wanker himself: Michael O'Leary, who brands Lord Adonis's proposals "insane". I can't be arsed to address the frothing hypocrisy of this moron's denunciation except to observe that airlines, unlike rail operators, don't pay tax on the enormous quantities of fuel their little rocket ships burn.

Monday, August 03, 2009

this is awesome

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From a list of "Products of The Year" on the New Scientist site comes this- your own personal cycle lane:


Cycle lanes are a good way of keeping bikes away from cars and minimising accidents, but they aren't available on every road.

Evan Gant at the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and Alex Tee of Altitude Inc in Somerville, Massachusetts, have designed a portable cycle "Light Lane" that straps to the back of a bike.

A laser projects an image of a cycle lane onto the road directly behind the cyclist to remind approaching cars to leave room.

Friday, July 31, 2009

UK body endorses Christian fundamentalist curriculum as equivalent to A-Level

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"Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

"Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

There are schools in the UK who teach this shit as fact and will get you an A-Level for your pains. When was lying to children in a manner which strongly influences their world view and social interactions (by making them look like a fucktard to the rest of society) not child abuse?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

John Harris on the impending threat of corporate dystopia

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Just had to link to this article. John Harris is pretty good most of the time but this is just excellent.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

punkscience is busy . . .

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Going to festivals, getting a new job and trying to finish his thesis. I fear you must look elsewhere for ranting hyperbole for now.

Word.

As an interesting closing comment, a friend nearly killed Karen O in a moshpit at the Secret Garden Party this weekend. I spent the rest of the festival looking for her to marry her but never found her again. He's a credible, upstanding sort of scoundrel so I believe his very word. Poor Karen. She will probably never get another opportunity to feel the punkscience power. Weak.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

comment of the year on CiF

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This is brilliant:

" Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which bankrupted thousands, worked so well because no one knows how to read financial records"

Bernie Madoff is not the only one with a Ponzi scheme and certainly not the most wicked one. Madoff's victims had a choice.

Compare that with the Ponzi scheme called National Insurance that successive governments have run. We all contributed to it in the belief that we would be looked after when we become frail and feeble. Successive governments took the money and wasted on their pet schemes instead of creating a fund to protect us. Now they say the cupboard is bare and have today tabled their idea for a new Ponzi Scheme.

The moral of the story is be it Madoff or the government we elect, they rely on our gullibility. At least Madoff got punished for his crime.

All that's missing is the observation that the uk government is shit.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

animal experimentation - do crabs have rights?

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"No" says Peter Fraser of the University of Aberdeen. So do I and would also like people who say they do to not be so fucking stupid. This sort of "rights creep" is a direct threat to much high quality research that makes use of the lack of authoritarian oversight of invertebrate experiments to do good and interesting science.

Put it this way: If I wanted to manipulate an organism's environment in the lab to test its responses to some stressor (eg. ocean acidification) I could do so with invertebrates (eg. crabs, mussels) without any bureaucratic oversight. The same experiment with vertebrate fish would require a home office licensed facility; a separate licence to be approved for the specific experiment; qualified and registered staff to conduct husbandry, sacrifice the animals and take biological sample and piles more bureaucratic fiff-faff. Now, I'm not saying that animal welfare is not a concern for scientists. I'm saying that some of the legislation designed to produce it is unnecessary and obstructive, costs an enormous amount of money and does not necessarily improve the welfare of the animals as no-one can explain in cold, hard terms exactly what this term means. Animals in the wild are typically perpetually hunted, starved and otherwise stressed to fuck. Putting fish in sterile tanks with no natural features whatsoever is kind of like locking your average human indefinitely in a single room with nice, soft, padded walls and providing them with regular meals but nothing else. And about as humane. Scientifically its absolute bollocks.

Unfortunately the alternative- called mesocosm experiments, where you try to replicate natural communites of organisms in a recreation of their natural habitat- is incredibly complicated and generally produces very complicated results that are difficult to interpret. Also, such experiments are an order of magnitude more space-, resource- and labour-intensive due to the need to study all of the different components of the community in sufficient detail to observe statistically robust differences. I fail to see how this is anything more than a challenge to scientists, however, as the underlying rationale for such experiments and the potential for real insight to be gained from them is clear. Resort to single species tests in sterile, unrealistic conditions is defeatist and cowardly. Unfortuantely the regulations for conducting such tests with vertebrates make mesocosm studies including them almost impossible to conduct robustly.

electoral obstruction in Norwich

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It looks like Craig is getting a steady stream of petty obstacles and even blatant barricades thrown into the path of his election campaign efforts in Norwich. I cannot decide whether I prefer him or the green candidate, Rupert Read. The best of luck to both of them! (via Rossinisbird)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Richard Alleyne is a lying piece of shit

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He has turned an MSc student's unpublished research (she hasn't even submitted her thesis!) into a torrent of lies about how women who dress provocatively, are outgoing and get drunk incite men to rape them. Ben Goldacre did his thing and revealed it all to be a pack of misogynistic lies. Alleyne and his editor should be pilloried for their role in demonising women.

is this the best music video evah?

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Karen O, dead dogs and kids with axes are all awesome.

Monday, July 06, 2009

painfully funny

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SO much sniggering my sides are aching really badly.




Addition:

This one is almost as good:

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Reith Lectures 2009

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In a follow up to the closely-related Leith Lectures (snigger) we have this year's Reith Lectures. I heard the last lecture on the radio the other day and its bloody good stuff. However, I have significant issues with Michael Sandel's out-of-hand rejection of technocracy. I think his criticisms are entirely worthy of the flawed technocracys he described but rejecting the underlying rationale behind attempting to place monetary values upon ecosystem services is bizarre. Just because many attempts to value ecosystem services fail hugely because of the complexity of the systems involved doesn't mean the practice should be rejected. It means that substantial research dollars need to be assigned to this field of research to hone it and develop accurate numbers to use when making decisions over the conservation and defence of ecosystem services and functions.

Alternatively we could deploy precautionary policy requiring regular assessment of indices of function and service provision and the exclusion of anthropic activity in any area where such systems are determined to be significantly compromised. Yeah, cos that will ever happen.

Finally, and most likely, we could just not care about long-term preservation of the systems that support life and compensate for our incredibly unnatural lifestyles and just let them degrade to the point that our way of life becomes intangible and society implodes. That's the choice of the grey parties.

No. I'm not drunk. No. Not at all.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Goldman Sachs fuckyounomic special

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In a follow-up post to this rare, lucid example I would like to point my reader in the direction of this forum thread and the text of Matt Taibbi's recent article on the investment bank for Rolling Stone that is contained within it.

"But this is it. This is the world we live in now. And in this world, some of us have to play by the rules, while others get a note from the principal excusing them from homework till the end of time, plus 10 billion free dollars in a paper bag to buy lunch. It's a gangster state, running on gangster economics, and even prices can't be trusted anymore; there are hidden taxes in every buck you pay. And maybe we can't stop it, but we should at least know where it's all going."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

swearing is awesome

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David Mitchell is too. Go and read his CiF eulogy for swearing. Cunting fuckbiscuit.

Friday, June 26, 2009

more evidence of unprovoked police violence at the Kingsnorth Climate Camp

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This is just outrageous. False imprisonment is the least these officers should be charged with. Their disdain for the law and brutal treatment of these three people should lose them their jobs, require them to hand over substantial damages to their victims and saddle them with lengthy spells of community service to remind them who they are meant to serve.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

punkscience goes to the beach . . . . in France!

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Packing shit and finishing touches to the van prior to boarding Brittany Ferryies' flagship Pont Avon (which nearly sank on its maiden voyage) at ten tonight. Fuck me dead I need a holiday.

Back in a week. Au revoir to both my regular readers and a big, hairy "fuck you" to the UK government, the BNP, the Tories, UKIP, Obama, Brendan O'Neill, all postmodernist cunts and the rest of the cockweasel fraternity.

Word.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flying Rodent: A delightfully acerbic liberal.

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Awesome comment from the great man on a thread at Liberal Conspiracy about the BNP being racist cunts. Via Jim Bliss.