Values

Once upon a time

the products of high

technology – pottery,

swords, carriages,

furniture, bicycles,

wireless sets – were

valued and

treasured; kept in

good repair for

many years, decades,

passed on

from generation to

generation. Now mobile

phones, ipads, tv sets, video

games, cars, houses

even, end up in landfill

after months, days,

hours sometimes.

11/11/1918

Just think

what all those dead

young men could have done

in the years after 1918.

Think of the advances

in Art, Literature,

Music, Science. Think of

the leaders who might

have steered their countries

into a better new age.

And think of the

potential of their

descendants, never born.

Because politicians,

and Generals, thought

nothing of those things,

and happily sent

them off to die.

For nothing.

A visitor from outside science

I see the Daily Mail has picked up the story that “Oumuamua”, the “visiting” rock whose origins lay outside our solar system, might be an alien artefact with a light sail, say a couple of scientists. This kind of “science” is science fake news, tabloid science. Bad enough when it is based on poor reporting by some ignorant journalist, but outrageous when scientists do it themselves. It seems to  be happening more and more frequently as scientists chase research dollars and media ntoriety (even if only for 15 minutes(, but it must stop, it is contributing to public distrust of science.

Down down, IQ is down

After seventy-odd (and seventy odd) years of life I keep thinking I have seen and heard  all the worst of human stupidity. But then I read something said by a woman in a red cap, or a crackpot fundamentalist (of any religion), or a loopy flat earther, or a mad-brained creationist, or a Dunning-Kruger climate change denier, or a lobster-potted Peterson follower, or an addled anti-vaxxer, and I realise there is absolutely no depth to which human stupidity cannot sink.

Harder than the common cold

If religion was purely a matter of individual private belief it could be just dumped in with all the other irrational thought patterns that so bedevil Homo sapiens (and presumably sapiens ancestors, though the other apes seem to be purely rational), a curiosity for psychological investigation perhaps. The problem is that one essential part of the religion virus causes its carrier to attempt to force all the other carriers of slightly different religion viruses (or none) to switch their beliefs, by force if necessary (and it usually is). This makes it as lethal as any of the other killer viruses that have haunted human history – Black Death, Smallpox, Cholera, Polio, Typhoid fever. Unfortunately, while we have vaccinations for these other killers, a search for immunity to religion has so far proved unsuccessful.