Friday, November 11, 2011

okay Sunny, you're not an oik but you're still a sociopath


Correction 08-02-12: Corrected "pedagogy" to "demagogy" in 1st para. Idiot. 

When I read this reply from Sunny to my earlier crowing I had a moment of genuine contrition because he's done some really good work at Liberal Conspiracy building a forum for thinking people and there's some really great stuff posted there. Then I re-read Martin Robbins' original tweet and I thought, "No, fuck it. Martin's about as right as anyone can be." You see, Sunny is happy to purse the truth and to share it with the world as long as it furthers his agenda to put the Labour party back in power. Sunny's a Labour fanboi. He sucks on the teat of social democrat demagogy like a parched camel after two months in the desert. Its his oxygen. And that's why he, like all partisan hacks, is a part of the problem. He's fundamentally disinterested in the entirety of the gritty truth behind any issue. 

Lets dig a little deeper into the issue. Martin's tweet was responding to this one of Sunny's:

@sunny_hundal: First NHS hospital gets privatised - article avoids mentioning company's links to Tories

And yes, the article avoids mentioning the link to Tories' pockets, which have been well established and are broadly appreciated by anyone who has the time and wants to take an interest. That isn't news. We all know the Tories are the Nasty Party, in bed with big business and happy to use their positions of enormous responsibility to throw the interests of the UK population on the bonfire in order to profit personally. I'm happy to read about this sort of thing, despite being already too familiar with it because every time I read something like this it fuels the fire inside me. It drives me to seek justice and to challenge the pricks responsible wherever I find them. The thing is, I'm equally happy to crow about Martin's post because Labour did a hell of a lot to advance NHS privatisation before the Tory's picked up the baton and ran with it. I can't be arsed to research links to it now, my name's not Google. Start with PFI and George Monbiot's book 'Captive State'.

For a Labour slut like Sunny to point and shout at the Tories for doing the same is rank, steaming hypocrisy. That is the opposite of evidence-based politics and it should be scorned for the malignant sociopathy it enables and propagates. Worse still, its the sort of shameless, history-denying points-scoring crap that keeps the endless two-party system in the UK going. Coalition government? What coalition government? All I see are a pack of Tory cunts and neoliberal, populist slags. Split these scum however you want because I don't see a choice between the lesser of two evils as any choice at all. A plague on BOTH your houses.  

And an especially rich, florid 'Fuck You' to you, Sunny.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

on the use of the term "technocrat" as an epithet


I've seen this many times from people I respect and admire (eg)and I want to complain about it to the internets. This is where I do stuff like that so if you don't like it fuck off. 

Lets see what the word means:

"Technocracy is a form of government where technical experts are in control of decision making in their respective fields."
Hmmmmm, those nefarious technical experts, hey? I bet they mean those evil people like medical doctors, engineers, scientists and other degenerate sociopaths. Because they're great examples of 'technical experts' who exert broad control of decision making in their respective areas of policy. Right?

I hope you've noticed my sarcastic tone. 

The problem is that people who generally deploy the term as a pejorative do so in reference to the kinds of people who claim to be technical experts in their field. I'm talking about political researchers, sociologists, economists and other pseudoscientists whose work is about as scientifically robust as Sarah Palin and often just as ideologically driven. These people are not technocrats. They're cunts.

The concept of a technocracy is entirely acceptable to most rational people in the context of the fields I have mentioned. You wouldn't want Gillian McKeith in charge of nutritional health at the British Medical Association or Lord Monckton in charge of energy policy, would you? You'd much rather that those roles were carried out by people oozing with demonstrable technical expertise and insight into the subject.

So, people of the internets, when you next wish to disparage the crimes against reason and science being committed by some insane, dribbling ideologue in Westminster or The Beehive, please don't demean the work of yours truly (yes, I count myself as a technocrat) by calling them by that otherwise eminent and respectable term. 

Friday, November 04, 2011

here's why we're utterly fucked


No, not this. Well. Yes, that too, but also this:

Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Cyprus, Italy, Spain will all be insolvent unless growth is rapidly restored. Risk of Breakup

What you've got there is groupthink from someone who is lauded across the internets for his objective vision. This is a classic example of why economics as practised by the great majority of self-declared economists is pseudoscience (there are exceptions, of course). In the words of Professor Steve Keen “here’s a simple guide for the public: Anything the vast majority of economists believe is likely to be wrong.”

The crime committed here is abject failure to acknowledge that the endless pursuit of growth as a solution to all economic ills is as much a part of our economic woes as deregulation, regulatory capture, the bonus culture and tax havens. Alternatives theories exist but are almost uniformly ignored, even by "progressives". Roubini isn't alone in committing this crime against reason. Far from it: Here's Stiglitz doing the same thing last year.

Let me explain the implications. If your society isn't stable when the economy is stable then your economy is fucked. If you can't achieve a productive economy that can support a vibrant, fair and peaceful society without continually requiring it to grow then your model is unsustainable and you're heading straight up shit creek without a paddle. There's no arguing with this, you're up against the laws of thermodynamics. Its not just an issue of engaging with reality, however. There are decisions that affect the wellbeing of millions, maybe billions of people, taken every day that are based around this blind pursuit of growth. The refusal to consider alternatives means that these decisions are often made appallingly badly. As the super-awesome Andrew Simms of NEF has observed:
"The obsession with growth can lead to very bad decisions being taken, such as that to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow. Almost anything can be justified if all you have to do is demonstrate that it contributes to economic growth, regardless of whether it might be the nudge that pushes us over an ecological precipice."
When almost the entire popular economic commentary refuses to consider the genuine issues it faces what hope is there of progress out of the current fuckyounomic mire. That's why we're fucked.