Go Read Merchants of Doubt

25/06/2020

Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, is a must read. As one of the testimonies on the cover of my copy says, if there is one nonfiction book you read this year, it is the one to go for (obviously try to read more than one, but make Merchants of Doubt a priority). It follows a number of stories that mar the history of scientific progress by telling them from the perspectives of actors we often don’t hear from in the modern “debates”: the scientists themselves.

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Defunding the Police and Changing Focus

21/06/2020

There is a post going around at the moment that is supposedly meant to paint the police in a positive light during the recent global protests again police violence towards native peoples and people of colour. Honestly, it really sounds like the author (unknown, at least I’ve not seen a name with it) is telling the population to submit to power because… it’s power.

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Politics Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Like the Planet

30/05/2020

I’ve made the observation before that a lot of what we consider to be political issues are, in fact, a collection of other issues given a controversial spin that generally leads nowhere but a breakdown in discourse and understanding. The main example I used at the time was that abortion was a healthcare and women’s rights issue, not political, and certainly not religious. The most impactful on a global scale is, of course, climate change.

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Report Truth, Not Views

23/05/2020

The idea of journalism being an adversarial “pillar of democracy” is laughable, as I have written a few times on this site before. One of the books I am reading at the moment, Merchants of Doubt, provides examples of how the “fairness” and “balance” aspects of journalism, however desirable in theory, are corrupt and abused in practice. As “conservative intellectuals” of the Internet age love to say, facts don’t care about your feelings, folks.

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The Purpose of Science

21/05/2020

Controversial opinion on a site with “anarchist” in the name, but I don’t think science should be commercialised and portrayed as a product for consumers. Scientific research and exploration should transcend material goals, particularly monetary ones, and should strive to reach a forever receding horizon of knowledge.

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Should Morrison Resign?

05/01/2020

It is question that has been circulating online for a couple of days now, with a video of a firefighter telling him to stand down and the hashtag “#ResignMorrison”. While it is certainly a sentiment I can get behind, that, or a “libspill” (another hashtag that has shown up a fair bit in the last 12 months), might have immediate benefits, to a degree, in the long run it could be extremely problematic.

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Shame on Deb Frecklington

30/12/2019

Queensland LNP Leader, Deb Frecklington, has been rightfully under fire the past few days for her wretched comments about QLD Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. This included some vile attempt of appearing superior – sorry, “grounded” – for having children, while the Premier does not have any. Unbeknownst to me before the backlash, there are very public reasons as to why that is – and they are what has me invested enough to write this.

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Religious Discrimination Bill Is Just Hypocrisy and Contradiction

14/12/2019

Having read the latest draft of the Religious Discrimination Bill, the Amendments made since the first draft, and rights groups/media reports on it, it is safe to say that the intent of this Bill is not to defend religious people against discrimination. Instead, it is a Bill designed to defend religious individuals and bodies in their own discrimination against others, using religion as a shield to do so. I will refer to Christianity/Catholicism in most examples, given they are the majority and are certainly the intended beneficiaries of this Bill.

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Divided Opinion: Postnatal Depression

09/12/2019

EDIT: I mixed up the wording – I had put “neonatal” instead of postnatal depression. This has now been corrected, so thank you to the friend who pointed it out to me.

I don’t often do so, but here I feel it prudent preface this piece by acknowledging the fact I am a male, and in this case also childless – hence I would defer any and all serious discussion on this topic to females, particularly mothers, and especially those who have experienced postnatal depression. I observed a conversation a few of my friend’s family members (all female) had, which was quite tense, relating to a family friend who took custody of a child due to the mother having had postnatal depression. I’ll leave out most of the details and stick to the relevant ones for this piece – spoiler alert, the man was entirely in the wrong here.

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Do We Need Children to Be “Fulfilled”?

19/11/2019

I saw something online earlier this week that basically said that people cannot be truly happy without children. Life would feel incomplete or empty without the apparent joy that a child can bring to you. However, the short answer to the question is simply no. This is simply projecting your lived experiences and ideas about how to live onto everyone.

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