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.
Continue reading “Go Read Merchants of Doubt”
While I had a kindling interest in politics before finding the Friendlyjordies channel on YouTube in (I want to say) 2014? It was through him I heard about Noam Chomsky, and from that bizarre link I stumbled into anarchism and that minor interest became a greater focus as the years went by. Created by Jordan Shanks, the Friendlyjordies channel has been a counter to the mainstream media narrative here in Australia, with the clear aim of showcasing Coalition failures and giving a platform to the usually neglected or misconstrued Labor Party (with, you know, actual evidence to support his claims and views). It’s been a long ride, but he’s getting too big to ignore.
Continue reading “Friendlyjordies Tapping at The Mainstream”
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.
Continue reading “Politics Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, Like the Planet”
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.
Continue reading “Report Truth, Not Views”
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.
Continue reading “The Purpose of Science”
I am currently reading Merchants of Doubt, a 2010 book written by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway about how a number of global issues have been corrupted by a small number of “experts” and powerful special interests. The topics covered are quite varied, from smoking, to environmental concerns like acid rain, to Reagan’s Star Wars plans, etc. Probably the most important one is climate change, which I have not reached yet, but it’s an obvious one. But why? The free market loving capitalists should be flocking to support renewable energy, not because they give a shit about the planet, but because it could be the freest market ever created.
Continue reading “Is Renewable Energy Not the Capitalist Dream?”
When I first heard of Bernie Sanders near the end of 2015, it was rather exciting. My knowledge of politics (in hindsight) was tragic, particularly regarding the US circus, but I knew enough to understand that Sanders was an upheaval to their “business as usual” manner. Since, he’s run for and dropped out of two Presidential campaigns, bringing together probably the most significant grassroots movement in that country’s history. Now, some of his supporters are turning against him.
Continue reading “Bernie Sanders and the Movement He Started”
I am partway through Daniel DeNicola’s Understanding Ignorance: The Surprising Impact of What We Don’t Know, and while it has been interesting (if, at times, stumbling over seemingly simple questions as philosophy often does), there are a few lines that have really stood out for me. Lines that instantly made me draw connections with other works and ideas, prompting some questions I thought worth exploring.
Continue reading “Ignorance, Instruction and Rhetoric”
I saw a comment earlier today on a Greens related social media page that said, “if you have so little respect for the office of Prime Minster, you certainly never deserve to occupy the position”. Someone responded by saying the office is fine, but that Morrison himself was worthy of the insults he gets. This may come as a shock, but I say to hell with both.
Continue reading “Respect the Prime Minister? Perhaps Not”
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.
Continue reading “Should Morrison Resign?”