Tuesday, September 30

A gay politician is still a politician

This is the sort of non-joined up thinking that makes me unsurprised that politicians let the economy get in such a mess.

The BBC quotes some Tory that Gays 'have a duty to vote Tory' - because apparently Cameron has stopped the party from selected only straight white men, but also because homosexuals are 'net contributors to the taxes because they don't have children'.

Right. And they all top themselves at 65, do they? While you don't want too many children - this country is currently in an environmentally unsustainable mode, and more people makes that harder to fix - you do want there to be a certain number so they can run the services and earn money that pays your pensions once you've retired.

Wednesday, September 17

Beats the face on Mars anyday

The human brain is great at pattern recognition. One problem is that it is so good, it sees things that aren't there. Apart from a dirt track, there's not a lot at the coordinates of 50.01,-110.11 that isn't natural, but...

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Gone to the dogs

The Kennel Club is getting a bit sniffy that the BBC dare broadcast a documentary to suggest that the Kennel Club's rules are not good for dogs.

The Kennel Club being - in my opinion - deluded about what they are doing (they think they are doing the right thing, but they're not) have even accused the BBC of being "biased against dogs".

Rubbish. The Kennel Club are not dogs, dogs are not the Kennel Club. One can be very pro-dog indeed and disagree with the Kennel Club.

You only have to look at photos of what the Kennel Club's ideas have turned the bulldog into. It's hardly a surprise that there could be health problems there. In the wikipedia article on bulldogs, it states that the Bulldog Club "In 1891 the two top bulldogs, Orry and Dockleaf, competed in a contest to see which dog could walk the farthest". How would a modern bulldog compare to the average mongrel in that contest?

Monday, September 15

Sir Tim looks at his creation

As the creator of html and thus the World Wide Web as we know it, Sir Tim Berners-Lee is entitled to a certain paternalistic view every now and then. Particularly when he has a point.

The web is a great means for exchanging information. This does not mean that the information is right. TBL was talking about the bizarre popularity of the claims that the Large Hadron Collider could produce a black hole that would swallow the Earth - he also highlighted the MMR myths, which have led to a resurgence of measles (and thus caused actual physical harm). He didn't mention climate change, but could easily have done - the web has a very different ratio between acceptors of the mainstream view : sceptics : flat out deniers than the science community has.

In practice, I'm not sure how the labelling would work. The Corporate Interests lobby in the US has shown time and time again its ability to set up seemingly academically based institutes to push their own interests. They'd be a danger that this could easily go the same way.