Irrationality, Rant, Uncategorized

Dave’s Rants, Volume I: An Engineer’s Crusade Against Junk Science

DaveI consider myself a man of science and logic. I believe in things that are real, and generally don’t believe in things that are not.  I recognize that there are, in fact, things that we don’t yet understand, and things that we can’t explain right now, but I truely believe that most of these things will, in time, be explained. They used to think know that the Earth was flat, and that the sky was filled with Ether and that various humors controlled the way things worked. This was just plain established knowledge. Obviously it turned out to be a bunch of crap, and there’s a good chance that many of the things we know today will turn out to be very wrong, but there’s no harm in trying to come up with explanations. That’s why there are so few actual scientific LAWS out there.  Scientific laws define things like gravity. We know, basically, how it works and can mathematically prove and predict it, damn near all the time (with a few weird exceptions).  At the same time, there are plenty of things out there that CAN’T be 100% mathematically proven, but we know are true.  More on this later.  As someone who…you know…thinks, its frustrating to see so many people get swept up by things that are proven and known to be fake.  Can science explain away everything? No, but it’s doing a pretty good job so far…

So let’s take a look, shall we? Here’s a list of some of the things that people DO believe in, and shouldn’t, or DON’T believe in, but should


Do you STILL believe in magic?
Do you STILL believe in magic?

MagicOkay, I have no real problem with the guy at your little brother’s birthday party who makes balloon animals and pretends to saw you hot cousin in half…I’m talking about the bullshit people try to claim explains the unexplainable. Ever go to that science store at the mall where they sell robot kits and weird rocks and stuff? Well a store that prides itself on SCIENCE really shouldn’t be selling Magic Rocks, and Magic Robots and Magic Swimming Sea Monkeys.  If its SCIENCE, it really isn’t magic, now is it? If you want MAGIC, take yourself two stores down to the weird hippy lady who sells crystals at the Mineralistic. Oh, wait…its still magic, so its still BULLSHIT. Okay, for the three or four girls who saw The Craft and still believe in it somehow, I’ll clue  you in a little. It’s fake. Books don’t give you powers. Crystals don’t give you powers. Birds, bees and pieces of metal with dead people’s likenesses around your neck…they don’t give you powers. Similarly, there’s no such thing as a lucky charm. Maybe luck exists as an abstract concept…you can call having a bunch of fortunate and unlikely things happening to you luck, but there isn’t some supernatural force behind it. Rubbing the knob with your lucky rabbit’s nut doesn’t make the slot machine pay off. The random number that its computer generated made  you win. Or maybe Skinny Joey behind the terminal…but that deflated latex balloon from your grandson Jimmy’s 3rd birthday party will not.

Havent YOU always wanted a monkey?
Haven't YOU always wanted a monkey?

Evolution- It’s real, people. Get with the program. Okay, I can concede that you’d want to believe in a creator God. I’m fine with that, but be reasonable about it.  Why would God bury dinosaur bones to make us thing the world is older than it is? Does that really make any sense?  We are not apes, we did not come from apes. We came from a common ancestor. So we can still be the superior species and be related to them.  Take this into account, too. WE, HUMANS, FUCKING CAUSE EVOLUTION TO HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY. If you’re feeling especially dense today, re-read that sentence. We, humans, HAVE BEEN EVOLVING other animals for as long as we’ve known what animals are. Cows, pigs, goats, birds, dogs and cats….not to mention the CROPS we’ve been doing it to for 10,000 years. We bread the best with the best, and we get something better each time. Multiply by 1000 generations, and you have a species that looks totally different that it used to. Evolution, not natural, but still evolution. The best traits survive, and the worst ones don’t. (This always makes me wonder HOW people with glutin allergies have survived…you’d think that this gene would have died out a long time ago before we knew how to diagnose allergies and stuff).  Oh, while we’re on evolution, we need to STOP WORSHIPING DARWIN. Darwin was a pioneer in talking about natural selection, but he wasn’t quite right about alot of things. And other things he said still aren’t proven or solved. So Darwin shouldn’t be seen as the Scientist-Athiest’s God.  (If you, the Scientist-Athiest are looking for a messiah, I personally recommend Kurzweil. Read his books. Any and all you can get your hands on. And prepair for the singularity….).

Your music may be pretty cool, but I reaaally dont want you building a Tesla coil near me, Jack...
Your music may be pretty cool, but I reaaally don't want you building a Tesla coil near me, Jack...

Okay, more on science….TESLA- Tesla was a weird guy. He hated fat people, and was critical of how people dressed. He was also a pompass douche. And most of his machines were either useless or TOTALLY unfeasible.  All the indie-fucks out there will have you believe that he was bullied around by big-bad Thomas Edison.  Edison knew nothing of math. He discovered most of his great findings by simply trying over and over again. Tesla was the mathematical brains of the sector.  What the indie-fucks forget when they cry “TESLA WAS ROBBED!” is that TESLA WON THE WAR OF CURRENTS. If you have no idea what this is, please stop talking about Tesla, (and maybe stop talking about science in general). As for Tesla Coils, they are SUPER dangerous, and don’t have much practical use. So no, douche, don’t build one (and you’d sure as shit better not build one in my neighborhood…).  So please learn some engineering history before going off on something like this. Also, The Prestige was TERRIBLE.  An interesting side note about Tesla, Wikipedia tells us that:

In his later years Tesla became a vegetarian. In an article for Century Illustrated Magazine he wrote: “It is certainly      preferable to raise vegetables, and I think, therefore, that vegetarianism is a commendable departure from the established barbarous habit.” Tesla argued that it is wrong to eat uneconomic meat when large numbers of people are starving; he also believed that plant food was “superior to it [meat] in regard to both mechanical and mental performance”. He also argued that animal slaughter was “wanton and cruel”.

I like your bracelet, whats it made of, bullshit?
I like your bracelet, what's it made of, bullshit?

Magical Magnetic Medicine– It’s fake. The only things magnets are good for are Mag-Lev trains and erasing your floppy disks after you worked on that stupid 8th grade project for like, a whole day! There’s also evidence that Acupuncture is fake too, and that it’s all in your head. You know what DOES help people feel better? MEDICINE. So next time you’re sick, rather than letting nature take its course, take some damned pills and don’t get me sick. So medicine good, Scientology method to medicine, bad. Also, we know pot can help a lot of people with their conditions. The problem is that we have no idea HOW MUCH it helps, because its damned near impossible to do any research on it. Why? Because Pot Is Evil, even though its non-smoking uses are way more practical and most alternatives. Hemp rope, paper, biofuels…the whole nine yards…..

And it still isnt
And it still isn't

GAS-O-HOL- Oh man, every single time I’m at the gas station, this one drives me absolutely crazy.  Corn alcohol gasoline gives you lower miles per gallon, which then makes you burn MORE of it to go the same distance. Oh, and it costs more too…Also, corn is a horrible crop, its inefficient and harmful to grow. Why not switch to sawgrass or beets? Because the Corn Farmer Lobby is too strong. Google that one, there’s way too much information on this one for me to repeat here, but look into this one, you’ll be surprised. Slightly related are all of the other things we do that are “good for the environment” that are actually just as bad. Those Compact Fluroescent Bulbs? Full of mercury (PLEASE check out this picture). Your douchey Prius? Guess how much energy it too to build the thing, and how aweful it is to make the battery for it. Just look into things before you dive in head first. And use common sense…turn the damned light off, and walk to Wawa instead of driving there.

Babies cant lie.
Babies can't lie.

Second Hand Smoke – Okay, guys, it’s time to drop the charade. You know smoking is bad for you, it’s not just something big government made up.  So what about second hand smoke? Well we’re finding out more and more that second hand smoke is WAY bad for the people who have to deal with it (and the pets!), and that even THIRD HAND SMOKE is bad.  It makes sense…dirt, dust, chemicals and smoke really shouldn’t be in our lungs. But third hand smoke? Yeah, that smell that lingers on your coat because you had to go outside and smoke (aww, poor thing) actually makes us all sick too!

But ya know…I can look past believing in silly things, most of these things don’t really effect me at all. Go ahead and waste your time getting upset over dinosaur bones and corn-o-hol. My final bolded point tonight (and I could go on for days) is….and read this quick because our website might be taken down and our home burnt to the ground…..SCIENTOLOGY! A religion founded by a science fiction author. A REALLY BAD science fiction author. Seriously, his books are pretty bad. Elron made up a religion just to see if it could. Hmm..The Cult Awareness Network says they aren’t a cult…oh WAIT…The CAN is OWNED by the Cult of Scientology. They have an Attack the Attacker policy when it comes to criticism (goodbye, superdps.com), they brainwash and let people who trust them with their care die in squalor. But you’ve probably heard all of this….if you haven’t, and even if you have, check out this site and be prepaired to be disgusted. As a wiki page, I’m amazed that it hasn’t been taken down already. So I guess my point of this whole ramble is to BEG you, fair readers…Please put some thought into the things you believe in. And if you don’t want to think about them, at least wiki the thing to see if there’s any sort of complaint or controvery behind it. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Then again, I’m not a Scientologist, so if I were, I’d probably be a much happier and healthier person.

Goodbye world, goodbye interwebs. It was nice to know you.

-philameneto

*********

laura Well…. CFLs are a *bit* less bad than you say, given they have such a teeny-tiny bit of mercury…  Where is that article… ah, boo-yah.

*********

Alex For a scientific being, you certainly quickly sped over the speed-bumps of your THS argument. Even the Second Hand Smoking argument is at least a little skewed.

Perhaps a re-sniffing of your second-to-last-paragraph may be in order, because…there’s a little bullshit science still left behind.

Here’s some links! 🙂 Junkfood Science, REASON.com, The Daily Mail.

My personal favorite is the fear of “Fourth-Hand-Smoke”: someone sitting next to someone who is thinking about someone else smoking.

alexG.

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