A quotidian mess

bsfree

Facebook appears to be the favoured dumping ground for usually soppy quotes by those who either harbour an agenda to mislead, or who are either too lazy to validate or just plain credulous. In the case of the former, these quotes are often misattributed to celebrated personalities. I have no doubt that Twitter experiences its fair share of quote dumping, but since I’m not a subscriber, I’ll limit myself to what I do see.

The innocuous quotes are reasonably acceptable, but annoying in that they occupy far too much Timeline real estate. The others are sinister and hide religious, political, cultural or other nasty agendas, and when spread around may case serious harm.

Off course there are quotes that are genuinely of a scientific, skeptical and educational nature that are beneficial and if humorous to boot, are quite acceptable. I’m also not averse to the odd salacious quote that exposes religious, political or social douchebaggery.

I can’t say that I’ve come across too many examples of quote mining, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if that sort of thing happens quite frequently in certain Facebook circles, especially those that promote religion and pseudo-science.

I often wonder what my Facebook friends think of me when I don’t like one of those soppy quotes they post. I have actually gotten into arguments when I commented negatively on some of them, so refrain from that sort of thing these days. The religiously inspired ones are particularly annoying. Sometimes in a fit of rage, I will repost them on my own Timeline with a snarky comment, but I try my best to control my ire. When I fail, I do hope it does not do too much damage to my Facebook friends’… er egos.

I am really pleased however that hardly any one of my Facebook friends have posted the unadulterated horse-shit that seems to be the make-up of Deepak Chopra. You could string together any of the words he spews out regularly, in random, and they will seemingly sound profound. I shit you not. Here are some examples:

Perception arises and subsides in cosmic success

The future exists as dimensionless balance

The unexplainable grows through subjective phenomena

Why not amuse yourself some more with this Random Quote Generator of the “enigmatic wisdom” of Deepak Chopra.

The evolution destroyer

proofevolution

His name is Joshua Feuerstein. Joshua must believe he’s an absolute genius because it took just three minutes for him to destroy hundreds of years of work by biological scientists.

That three minutes of assumed genius is contained in this video posted on his Facebook page.

The reality off course is that Joshua is a monumental ass. He preaches a very dangerous ideology that will wreck the future lives of potentially tens of thousands of children by tainting their education with pure unadulterated bullshit. Joshua wants science to be kept out of our classrooms. Here’s his starting point:

Evolution is not a science. Never has and never will be. Why? Because it cannot fit within the parameters and parentheses of science for one simple reason: It was never observed. That’s why it’s not science. That’s why it’s called the theory of evolution. One man’s theory.

By embracing such a fundamental misunderstanding of what a scientific theory is, its little wonder the rest of his blasé rant goes pear-shaped. A scientific theory is not something that a scientist just simply asserts. A scientific theory is “a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.” [one variation].

There’s really no point in debunking the rest of his bullshit, but it’s done fairly well here on Patheos.

If you value honesty and collecting just the facts, I advise that you steer well clear of this guy. And if your kids are going to any school that heeds the demented advice of such corrupters of the truth, get them the hell out.

The future is in science, not fairy tales.

Facebook Skepticism

I’ve been tempted a few times to prune my Facebook friend tree, but haven’t done so because in between all the bullshit that’s posted on my feed by the uncritical, there’s  the odd gem.

Besides, I have only a little over 100 Facebook friends, a fair number of whom are related to me in some way or the other, and I don’t want to risk a family feud.

I’m not so much annoyed by a lot of the posts that smack of credulity, as puzzled and bemused that otherwise seemingly bright people don’t care to check facts etc. before sharing guff stuff on their timeline. Anyway, I found this brilliant piece yesterday which kinda sums up what I’m talking about:

SkepticGlassesNow I’m pretty sure that some a lot of my posts, especially those of a political or irreverent nature must annoy a lot of them, but I don’t attempt to pass them off as facts. I expect bright people to know the difference between opinion or commentary and verifiable truths.

Mandela memorial and the speech that made it memorable

Mandela

Got the day off today – it was a generous gesture from the company I work for as they meant for us to use it to either attend the Nelson Mandela Memorial Service prior to his burial this coming Sunday, or at least to watch the live international broadcast on television.

See, I had no intention of braving the cold, wet weather, security clampdown, ill-disciplined ANC supporters, and the transport hassles to get to the stadium where it was being held. Nor did I have any intention of watching a bunch of pompous, disreputable politicians from Africa and around the world, blather on for hours about a man whose principles and values they defile on a daily basis. And I had very well-founded suspicions that the ANC were going to use this honourable event to further party political aims.

And so as I was frittering away time on social media, I saw an update about the Memorial. South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma was being roundly booed by the crowds as he entered the stadium with two of his wives, and then again when his image was shown on large screen televisions. This I had to see…

That was the impetus I needed to entice me to tune in to the live broadcast. And I’m glad I did – while still browsing through Facebook on the side off course.

Jacob Zuma is currently reviled in this country for his scandalous behaviour, many indiscretions and is regarded as a cunning scoundrel by many people. This act of booing was the first such indication that his iniquitous behaviour is more widely detested than I’d previously thought. Social commentary on this act of jeering turned out to be quite profound:

Are we burying two presidents today?

After enduring the announcements of the names of the visiting herds of state from Africa and around the world, constant appeals from the master of ceremonies for the crowds to behave responsibly, and suffering through the shallow speeches of dreary leaders, I was simply in awe of the speech delivered by US President Barack Obama. His was the only tribute that was delivered with a sense of honesty, integrity and articulately. It may perhaps go down in history as one of the great speeches from a leader.

That was also a moment that changed what was an insipid event, into something worth remembering. Up to that point, one had the sense that the whole event was being lead in a certain political direction. And to sum up, one of the comments on Facebook from a Black South African:

Obama should have been our President.

Jacob Zuma’s speech was as expected dull and lifeless. His rendition was equally abysmal. I fail to see how anyone could have been inspired by that load of drivel. He is undeniably an embarrassment and burden to this country. It was indeed a great pity that he had to be the one delivering the keynote address at such an important occasion.

And now onto the state funeral. I fervently hope that our disgraceful politicians don’t further damage our county’s reputation in the week leading up to Mandela’s interment.

A rare Saturday post: Uninspired

After partying out a 4-day weekend, I have had one of those rather inspirational weeks in which I strained to find anything worthy of posting.

And so, for the purposes of just putting pen to paper (so to speak), I leave you with this:

If you’re counting the calories in your daily food intake, I really feel for you. Yes, it may well be the healthy thing to do, but it is life-sucking all the same. For the record, I don’t indulge in calorie-counting, but I’ve lost a few kilos anyway – see I’m one of those lucky one’s.

But I guess it may be insensitive to those who are struggling with their weight. Therefore if you’re counting your calories and are still found wanting, think of it like this*:

caloriesBlaming those pesky nanobot seamstresses will not ease your plight, but laughing about it sure as hell will lighten up your world.

* With gracious thanks to a FB friend.

 

Facebook shows the finger to South African Government

It’s no secret that I despise authority, and they rarely come more contemptible than the SA government.

This week Facebook released the Global Government Requests Report which reveals that although they acceded to data requests from many governments around the world, they flipped the bird to our very own snoop-meisters. Understand that I loathe the act of releasing information on citizens to governments by social media, but in this one instance, I applaud Facebook for telling these bullies to “go fuck themselves.”

Here’s a sampling of figures from the report to give you an idea how we compared with other prominent countries, but you can also view the full report at the link above to see which countries got fucked the most:

From mybroadband

From mybroadband

 

 

Have a heart?

victim

You’ve probably seen this image or something similar, on any number of social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter on a regular basis. It is usually accompanied by an appeal to “like” or “share” or “pray” for the person/s pictured.

And it will invariably contain an exhortation such as “This will only be ignored by those who don’t have a heart,” or something to that effect.

DON’T heed the call. It is absolute bullshit!

Sometimes the appeal will state that for every “share” or “like,” some big corporation like Microsoft will donate a $1 or more towards medical care or otherwise for the hapless individual/s.

That’s even more bogus. DON’T believe it!

The particular image I chose above had attracted 1,085,499 “likes” and 85,128 “shares” at the time of posting. It had also garnered 78,254 comments, most of them sympathetic. There were those who expressed skepticism and some who were malicious, although for the life of me, I fail to understand why they even bothered wasting their time on this nonsense.

The reality is that no amount of “shares” or “likes” is going to do anything for the victim/s portrayed in the image. Neither is Microsoft or any other big corporation going to donate one red cent for any medical care or anything else. And you can pray until you’re red in the face, but it won’t change a thing either. All you achieve is to perpetuate irrational nonsense and fill the web with junk.

Some of the claims about the particular disease the individual/s in the image is/are suffering from can be corroborated via resources such as Snopes.com. In many cases, the alleged disease, causing the pitiful image is not mentioned at all, nor is the individual’s name given, so it is not always easy to validate. Those who originate the post, rely on the image to mess with your emotions.

Off course, they may be a few genuine cases of victims afflicted with life threatening illnesses posted on social media, but it is almost impossible to sift out among the cacophony of junk proliferating out there.

For those who are wondering, I do have a heart, but it’s quite preoccupied with pumping blood to my brain and body. That leaves no time for it to think or feel.

Feeling Good

Came across this exquisitely choreographed dance routine to the Michael Buble song Feeling Good, on Facebook recently. It’s performed by a couple known as Duo Flame, who stunned the judges at the Ukraine’s Got Talent show.

Glad I found it on YouTube. Enjoy!

The Creation scientists may be trying harder, but my pro-creationist readers are not…

Recently there has been a flurry of comments posted to a blog I wrote in February last year, I’ll give the Creationist’s this much: they’re certainly trying harder.

These comments are remarkable for one thing only: the utter deficiency of the basics of science. On the contrary, they’re crammed with non-facts, regurgitated from notorious Creation scientists… nearly all of which have been debunked at one time or other.

It is utterly astonishing that with the wealth of information at our disposal which demonstrate conclusively the authenticity of evolutionary science, these readers allow themselves to be drawn like zombies, to sources disseminating pure garbage. Attempts to point them to genuine sources of information such as TalkOrigins, are met with loathing and outright dismissal.

The distinct impression I get is that they don’t want to learn anything new, but rather seek the comfort of confirmation for their predisposed beliefs.

Anyway, I found this on my Facebook page today and leave it here for them to mull over… if that’s not asking too much.

evolution is

 

Rationalizing prayer

Hehehe! Saw this on my Facebook page and had to share…

prayer

So this is what the belief mongers have surrendered to? Rationalizing a totally ineffectual pursuit. It must be comforting playing heads I win, tails you lose.