Inspired by this interesting survey.

Discussion (29)¬

  1. Laripu says:

    Yup, that pretty much describes how I think I’ll be accused.

    If there’s a world wide conspiracy to control the earth, then I insist that I get my share… but no-one’s even told me where I can get the forms to fill to request it.

    I’m not asking for much, maybe a nice villa in Perpignan walking distance to the train station Dali painted.

  2. Eylenn says:

    Author: of course “he” denies it?

  3. M27Holts says:

    Jesus, a “Red sea Pedestrian” ? I reckon he was really Gandalf the grey…

  4. Son of Glenner says:

    From my (slightly limited) knowledge of Jewish people, I think they would do a far better job of running the planet than the lizard people who are in charge at present.

  5. postdoggerel says:

    roses are reddish
    violets are bluish
    mohammed was muslim

  6. Shaughn says:

    If it weren’t for christmas
    We’d all be jewish

    Good old Benny Hill 😀

  7. M27Holts says:

    Didn’t the Hitch state that victory of the religious Jews over the Hellenistic Jews was the start of the decline into the dark ages?

  8. Laripu says:

    M27, that’s funny. :). Was he consciously making a joke?

    I’ve heard of Jews blamed for just about everything from economic collapse to killing Christian children, but never for causing the Dark Ages!

    I guess I’ll have to start working on the decision of whether I should cause a Big Crunch or heat death. No time to lose (but I’ll have to work on that phrase in either eventuality). 😉 😀

  9. M27Holts says:

    I don’t think he was. I think he was pointing out a point in history when rationiality was crushed by religious loon bombs…

  10. postdoggerel says:

    No one expects the Dark Ages, but here in the USA we have had premonitions of late.

  11. M27Holts says:

    The Carl Sagan book…””Demon Haunted World” is well worth a read too…

  12. Donn says:

    The wikipedia article on “The Demon-Haunted World” mentions a complaint from a review – after going on about how important the scientific method is, he declares that people have a natural predisposition towards science … but he neglects to support that claim with any scientific basis. I guess no one is perfect.

  13. M27Holts says:

    Strange. When I read the book I took from it that the majority of people are naturally predisposed to beleive in bollocks…due to the evolutionary development ofvthe brain to detect agency where there is none and thus avoid getting eaten by an ambush preditor…

  14. M27Holts says:

    Donn are you suggesting that Carl Sagan is a bad scientist? Sometimes I feel that you are definately a theologian who thinks he knows more than some of the finest brains in the 20th century?

  15. Laripu says:

    M27, the religious loons will always be with us.

    Postdog, you’re right. The aforementioned loons are hard at work every day in the US. I live in Florida where the governor wants to remake university education in his own image.

    In other states they want to class some fields of knowledge as “only theories” and then not allow them to be taught.

    Among the offending ideas: evolution, early history of the universe, oppression of black people, knowledge about religions other than Christianity.

  16. jb says:

    As a scientist Sagan was nothing special. Not fake or anything, but no really important accomplishments. He made his mark primarily as a science popularizer. (To be fair, Sagan’s scientific accomplishments do greatly outweigh those of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who fills the same popularizer role today but seems to have done very little actual science after getting his degree).

    BTW, I met Sagan once, at a social function. We exchanged a few words, but nothing worth remembering.

  17. Rrr says:

    jb: But maybe Sagan found some nugget in what YOU said?
    You should scourge through his collected works to see if anything seems familiar. 😉

  18. Mr Exist says:

    I don’t believe in a secret cabal of elites that conspire to control the planet. What I do believe, is that most people have ideas about how to make the world a more ideal place, they simply don’t have the means to do so.

    When you’re a billionaire, you can just throw a few million dollars at some people and get that idea chugging along. It’s not secretive, there’s just no requirement to hold a press conference when you start a SuperPAC.

    Wealthy people are just like you and me, except that they tend to think of others as far less than deserving of rights, and have the ability to put their landscape-altering goals into motion.

  19. M27Holts says:

    I didn’t class Sagan with true Genius, just in the pack of fine minds who stand on the shoulders of Giants….

  20. jb says:

    Rrr — What do you mean? I’m unlikely to start researching decades old pop science books to figure it out, but I’m interested, so could enlighten me?

  21. Rrr says:

    Nah, don’t bother. Just an attempt to change perspectives. After all, he COULD have perceived you to be more profound and interesting than you him.

  22. jb says:

    Ah, I see. I missed your point, but I get it now.

  23. M27Holts says:

    Anyway another good book. Why is sex fun…by Jared Diamond…

  24. Rrr says:

    I read Diamond’s fascinating book (tome) detailing, i.a., how plate tectonics had influenced the selective evolution of species and particularly the advent of human civilisation. But to my mind he quashed all his well-earned respect when he got caught spamming his own book with fake reviews. Lost integrity, lost interest.

    Too bad really. Diamond in the raw, with promise.

  25. Donn says:

    Weird story – Jared “Guns, Germs and Steel” Diamond need review padding? – so I cast around a little for info. And didn’t find it. But (according to wikipedia)

    Fifteen archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, and historians from the American Anthropological Association criticized Diamond’s methods and conclusions, working together with the larger association to publish the book Questioning Collapse as a counter to Diamond’s claims. In response, Diamond, as an editor at the time for the journal Nature, published an official review in the journal negatively covering the book without mentioning that the book was meant to be a critique of his own works. The authors and the publisher, Cambridge University Press, called out Diamond for his conflict of interest on the subject.

    So, a questionable review, but not of his own book, and in my view the charge is not nearly as grievous. Possibly the event you were thinking of?

  26. Laripu says:

    Whether he planted positive reviews of his own book or anonymously wrote a negative review of the book that was critical of his, either way that’s dishonest and shameful.

    I liked Guns, Germs, and Steel, but I learned later on that North American native populations were largely in decline for years even before Europeans arrived. Europeans didn’t help, of course, but they accelerated a process that had already begun.

    Morally, of course, Europeans were completely guilty. They did actively and consciously wipe out populations that they felt were “savages”. They had another advantage beside guns, germs, and steel: a false certainly that a god was in their side. Therefore no compunctions about committing murder.

  27. Donn says:

    Diamond’s review wasn’t anonymous. Here it is: Two views of collapse

  28. Rrr says:

    Donn: Yes, that was probably the controversy that I vaguely recalled. Thanks.

  29. Gus says:

    Jared Diamond belongs to a special category of charlatan with scientific credentials, which includes Pinker, Harari, and a few others. I think he is the worst of the lot though. He has engaged in every possible sort of misconduct, starting from the fact that the he usually presents himself as an anthropologist and his training is actually in ornithology. I see him as a modern day Margaret Mead (you may know her from her corpus of fabrications about life in Samoa, but she also gave us gems like successfully lobbying to incorporate the American Association for Parapsychology into the AAAS in the 1970s). Diamond, Pinker and Harari are great storytellers (allegedly, I find them all horribly boring), but less than committed to hard, verifiable facts. They also push very obvious agendas, that’s why you will always find rave reviews of their books in The New York Times, or praised to the sky in the Oprah book club, or by Bill Clinton, Obama, Bill Gates, etc. In other words, not the vehicles for great social or economic change, but rather for justification of the status quo…


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