Apparently, we are so ignorant, that there is actually an “ology” to study exactly how ignorant we are and how that ignorance is used against us. In fact, there is a whole book on it called “Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance” by Robert N. Proctor and Londa Schiebinger. Proctor actually coined the term. Hooray!
The definition of agnotology, as per Wikipedia, is “the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data.”
What does it say about our culture that we have a whole study on how incredibly gullible we are? The storm of “fake news” has made us gun shy in trying to find the truth and the age of the internet is leading us down rabbit holes filled with traps – by our own design.
While Trump continues to use our ignorance against us and for him, his supporters don’t seem to mind. His approval rating went up two points since his meeting with Vladimir Putin. Yeah, Vladimir Putin – the guy responsible for interfering in our 2016 election by using hackers to mislead the American public. Trump supporters in Michigan believe that the Russia investigation is fake news. I wonder what these people thought of Clinton and Nixon.
What’s sad is that this assault on our intelligence is working. During his campaign, Trump stated that he loved “the poorly educated”. And he should since they voted for him. Exit polls showed whites without a college degree voted overwhelmingly for Trump by a margin of 67-28. The question is – what does this bode for the American public?
Sadly, I see one direction if we cannot shake out the sillies. Idiocracy. Sorry, folks, but we’re heading in that direction.
(Graphic courtesy of sickchirpse.com)
For those of you who know me, you know I am an atheist. I simply do not believe in a god or gods. That’s essentially what an atheist is, but some folks think it’s much more and I just want to take a few moments to clear things up for you.
Theism is the claim that a god exists – it can be the Christian god, the Jewish god, the Islamic god, the Hindu gods, the Norse gods, whatever. Atheism is not a claim that none of these gods exist, it is merely the rejection that they do based on the evidence. Atheism, by and large, makes no claims at all and, in fact, many atheists will say that they would believe in a deity if sufficient evidence was presented to them. It’s not an epistemological (knowledge) claim like agnosticism which states that someone doesn’t know if a god exists or that it can never truly be known if a god exists. There’s a big difference there.
Picture a closed pantry door. Some dude comes up to you and says that the pantry is stocked with Double Stuff Oreos. The atheist says “I don’t believe you. Show me the evidence” while the agnostic says “The door is locked, so we’ll never know and I’m frankly not sure.” The theist would say “I don’t need to open the door; I’ll just have faith.” To confuse you, the agnostic atheist would say, “I don’t think we’ll ever know if there are Oreos in there and, quite frankly, I don’t believe there are based on the evidence you provided, dude.” See the difference?
Everyone, at some point, fits into one of those categories at one time or another. Christians believe in their god, but they do not believe in the Hindu gods. That makes them atheists in that respect. You will hear famous atheists like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins elaborate on this argument simply by saying that we are all atheists, except I believe in one less god than you do.
So, you may only be one step away.
In case you don’t know who David Frum is, he is a conservative commentator and former speech writer for GW Bush. Let’s just state for the record that I am not a fan of David Frum’s ideology, but I do respect his intelligence and the way he presents his case. I also love the way he has rejected Trump as not only a non-conservative that threatens his party’s values, but as an entity that threatens American values. In Sam Harris’s latest podcast, Frum brilliantly states this case for even the simplest among us. I’m even advocating for you to follow his Twitter feed, which is chock full of daily affirmations that the Trump presidency is a disaster for America.
What I like about his commentary, as I mentioned, is that he simplifies the issues in a nice, neat package and one-lines them so that they are easy to digest. He understands the long-term implications and, can easily relate them fairly to previous administrations. For example, he will state that he never voted for Obama and never would, but he at least saw him as a man of integrity. In Trump, he sees no such thing.
He also sends a clearer, more hopeful message – that we can have intelligent debates about policy and ideology by discussing facts and by being mature; we can talk about issues without being tribal and over protective of our egos. This is an important message especially for all of those conservatives who got on the gold-plated Trump train and are now heading off the cliff they see coming miles away. They probably figure Trump can make a deal with gravity. That’s how dug in they are.
I would love to get back to a time and place where that can happen again, but I only see it getting worse in the future and I blame it on our short attention spans and our love for reality TV. We no longer like to think for ourselves and think critically about anything. We just want information fed to us and we want to lay back, be simpletons, and let the Idiocracy take over. Sad!
Behold the Northern Mockingbird. You can identify him by his long, dark tail feathers, gray body and white stripes across his wings when he unfolds them. Even when you can’t see him, you will know he’s there when you hear the calls of a dozen or more birds sung in rapid succession from a singular source at one of the topmost parts of the tallest tree for hours at a time. A wondrous feat of which some are not enamored, especially since this singing can oftentimes start at midnight and go well into the wee hours of the morning. i have a few living in my immediate area, so believe ne when I say that the mockingbird is relentless.
Speaking of relentless…
These birds are fucking crazy and I’m not just saying that because of the audible mockery. They are actual brutal defenders of their territory, the likes of which I have seldom seen (but, I’m also sheltered). I saw my local mockingbird chase a squirrel throughout my yard and across the street, endlessly dive-bombing the poor rodent until he was able to get his fluffy tail tucked under an Elephant Ear Hosta. This was not a one-time occurrence, either. How did that squirrel offend? I do not know.
The mockingbird (who I think I should actually name) attacks the usual suspects, too. Robins do not stand a chance. He will go right for them, screeching like a banshee as he heads at them, beak first into a puff of brown and gray feathers. The robins do not stand a chance, but they put up a decent fight. They always end up separating and no one gets hurt, apparently coming to a new understanding of one another.
I even saw a mockingbird chase a trio of crows from a nearby rooftop. Each crow was easily three to four times the size of the little gray ogre, but you’d be damned wrong if you bet any crow flicked him away like a sparrow. Nope, those crows flew away, mockingbird in tow, cawing as they fled the scene of whatever crime they had committed.
So, you’re probably asking – “What is the point of this post?”. None. None at all. It was just what I was thinking at the time.
If you weren’t aware, an adult body is made up of about 60% water. We are told to drink about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (sometimes more) to replenish our bodies so we do not dehydrate, especially in hot weather or after heavy activity. One estimate is that we drink 200 billion bottles of water globally per year.
Water also makes up about 70% of the Earth’s surface. Ironically, this makes the majority of the planet inhospitable for us, but it serves other purposes that we are reliant on – such as rain. I’m not going to go through the whole process as to how that happens, so you’ll just have to trust me.
The bottom line is we need water. And we need it clean. But, this is not a post about the Trump administrations efforts to kill us through ignoring climate change. This post is about an asshole named Peter Popoff who actively sells “miracle water” that, after imbibing, can heal you, send you money, get you a job and find you a love match – so this douchebag claims.
I’m torn on who to blame for this. On one hand, I think that Popoff should be flogged. Maybe, even have his nuts removed for being such a low-life scumbag who preys on the weak-minded. On the other hand, I want to slap the shit out of the people who try this stuff and actually believe it works. It’s fucking water.
These people, Popoff and his idiot followers, are allowed to vote. They are allowed to hold jobs, maybe even teach your children. They can’t be trusted to take their own lives seriously, so how can they be trusted to be out in the world and affect others?
Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Everyone has a right to be a moron and I shouldn’t be an elitist. Well, fuck that. If you are being stupid, I have just as much of a right to let you know as you are to be so.
Don’t be a moron.
(Graphic courtesy of businessinsider.com)
Nope, never enough thoughts and prayers can be thrown around after a massive shooting where people get hurt or die. Nope, never enough…because they don’t fucking work. We prove it over and over again that they don’t, yet we persist in submitting to the notion without doing anything of actual impact.
Albert Einstein famously said –
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Sound familiar? It should. We are insane to think that we can pray our way out of the next mass shooting, so stop it.
This is a binary argument. We either reduce or get rid of guns or we increase their presence. To say that reducing gun ownership in the US would not eliminate gun violence is to also admit that increasing ownership wouldn’t either. It’s the difference between being proactive and reactive. Rather than trying to reduce the availability, we increase the availability so we can defend ourselves when the shooting starts. How about stopping the shooting before it even happens? What happened to that idea?
Before all you NRA nuts get all pissed off, let me acknowledge this – YES, there are millions of responsible gun owners in the US who are properly licensed, practice safety and have legitimate uses for gun ownership. Congrat-u-fucking-lations. I see you. But, there are plenty of people who are not doing what you are and you need to acknowledge it so we can come to an agreement. I am NOT looking to take YOUR guns away, so stop saying it. I just want guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. For example, people on the “No Fly” list can still buy a gun in this country. Yes, of course, there may be people who shouldn’t be on the list, but the answer is not to let everyone on the list be a threat to our lives. The answer is to make the list better. Why the hell can’t you see that?
Or can you? I can only hope and pray that you do.
(Image courtesy of hennesyview.com)
I recently had someone submit a comment on my last blog post and, due to its content, I denied publishing the test. Basically, it was anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi bullshit and was totally unrelated to my “Divorce is Messy” post, so I marked the user as spam and moved on.
Let me be clear – This Ain’t No Free Speech Zone. I don’t have to allow you to post wicked or unrelated comments. I am not the government, so I don’t have to afford you that right. In fact, that disclaimer is on my home page:
This site is of the person, for the person and by the person and is, therefore, owned and operated solely by that person. That person is me, TJ. If you make any comments that I don’t like, I will remove them. This is not a free speech zone for everybody. So nana nana na na, poopface!
I purposely make it mandatory that all posts get approved by me for specifically this scenario. The troll scenario. I don’t like trolls and I refuse to feed them here. So, go elsewhere if you’re hungry.
And I don’t care if you don’t like it. Tough shit. If you want to have an honest debate, then let’s have it. If you want to peddle your alternative facts or bigotry, then I ain’t buying and there is nothing that says I have to.