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Your computer wants your job - sort of

Granted, the article talks about mining previous published research as opposed to the still all-too-human work of actually undertaking it, but still - anyone starting to feel just a bit inadequate because of this?

Another (apocalyptic) optimist heard from

Now, you would think that most people would correctly deem these guys as being the murderous, barbaric gang of killers that they in fact are. Unless you're Robbo, of course. In which case you're just having another bad day with regard to the rest of external reality.


It has been many, many moons since I've chosen to post (due to any number of mind-crunching reasons, not the least of which is work), but it just occurred to me that the suicide of Robin Williams - which has been brought up ad nauseam by practically every news outlet known to man (and probably insect as well) has also attracted the attention of any number of people who should know better but of course don't: namely, the wingnut brigade.

Keep in mind that you expect this from the USS Fatcrack, of course. When has he shied away from being wrong on an almost surreal level on anything as long as he keeps getting paid for it? But then you have such sterling examples of compassion and understanding as Joe Schimmel (who?), Robbo, Bryan Fischer and probable countless others who have decided that ignoring the real reasons behind his suicide is really, really good for business - as long as your business consists of feeding the lunacy of complete idiots, that is. In which case, you're fucking golden in terms of revenue stream.

Such is life in these United States.

Been busy myself, but......

...there's always room to relate some typically unfounded, slanderous crap generated by Alex Jones' exceedingly pointy little mind.

Now reading

Both of the following reasons were found via Ed Brayton's Dispatches from the Culture Wars, and both one of them are quite disturbing, to say the least:

A study concerning the level of knowledge among science teachers in Oklahoma on the very subjects they're supposed to be teaching proved that their supposed expertise is downright abysmal, and - unsurprisingly - the abysmal nature of that lack of knowledge extends straight down to the students they're supposed to be teaching. I could also go on about the AP/GfK poll that reveals some equally scary facts about the lack of acceptance of science in the American population at large, but enough people have already done that - but perhaps not loudly enough, though.

The most horrible thing revealed here is that Oklahoma - a state where I normally joke that "all the cool people I know from that state have escaped" (not quite true, but close enough) has had know-nothing idiots like Sally Kern and Josh Brecheen (feel free to look them up - I patently refuse to link to their own web sites for obvious reasons) trying to pass laws weakening science education in that state even further for decades. All in the name of getting the Yahoos to re-elect you over and over again, of course, and also to apparently produce a new generation of the Future Fry Chefs of America out of that vast mass of intellectually incurious high school graduates that they're effectively created.

The sad thing is that Neil deGrasse Tyson said it boldly a while ago, and not enough people listened. Not nearly enough. Which is why I'm reposting it again. For your kids' sakes, if no one else's.

Now Reading

The Book of Skulls by Robert Silverberg.

In Memoriam

The Rwanda genocide of 1994, as told by former Canadian Forces general Romeo Dallaire whose own experience running the UN's undermanned and outgunned Assistance Mission was just another reminder that even the highest-ranking soldiers can see far too much in terms of bloodbaths for their own good.  

Schadenfreude: Fred Phelps

Well, he's dead. And although he was one of the biggest assholes I have ever heard of in terms of the sheer amount of hatred and bile he spewed (selections of which are included here and here), death is not something I would even wish on him. The best punishment for him is, in a sense, far worse: a deathbed realization of how ethically empty, wrong and utterly pointless his life was in engaging in this sort of shit for decade after decade.