Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize and other random nonsense

with 15 comments

upside_down_house

I haven’t written lately because I have been sinking into despair at the state of the world. Or more specifically at the general state of mental acuity in the world, especially what I see in the USA. I did some research recently and discovered that 15% of American’s think the government was complicit in 9/11. OK, well, that’s not too alarming. Some 40-50% of Americans believe in ghosts, UFOs, or Bigfoot. OK, that’s a little alarming, since there is zero empirical evidence for the existence of any of these. And then the kicker, about 60% of Americans have doubts about the Theory of Evolution. Yes, you read that right, we’re doomed.

Clearly the American educational system has failed in a  big way. Evolution is easily one of the most well supported scientific theories ever. More than a century of observation and experiment has established Evolution so firmly that there aren’t even any competing scientific theories. (“God did it” isn’t a scientific theory, no matter how much scientific jargon is used.) I didn’t look it up, but judging from what I read on line, there is also similar disbelief about the Big Bang Theory. And while the Big Bang is not as well established as Evolution, again, it’s the best theory we currently have that explains the evidence we observe in the universe around us.

What’s worse, is that there just seems to generally be a wave of anti-intellectual and anti-science sentiment sweeping the nation. I remember as a kid when science was almost worshipped and Americans were proud of our scientific achievements. Granted it’s not a good thing to accept anything blindly, including the pronouncements of scientists. Still, without science we’d still be living in some version of the middle ages where if one kid out of three grew up you were lucky, and if you saw your sixtieth birthday it was almost a miracle. Is that really what people want? Apparently some do. Jesus is my health care plan. Sigh.

I blame the TV and the Internet myself. Despite its promise, I am starting to think that the Internet is the greatest mass dumbing down device in history. Idiotic ideas that never would have made it past the fliers-stuck-on-your-windshield stage now get world wide exposure … and adherents. And the mainstream media has played right into this with a plethora of shows like “Ghost Hunter” that dress up silly posturing as “science.” News flash people, if you see it on TV, it’s fake. Calling something a “reality show” doesn’t make it real for God’s sake.

Sometimes I am starting to think I wandered through some interdimensional portal into an alternate Earth where everything is the opposite of sensible. Then I wake up and turn on my computer … and Obama has won the Nobel Peace prize. I’m sure Obama was equally surprised, though I see he had no trouble taking the ball and running with it.  Granted this is going to drive the Rush Limbaugh crowd wild, but anything about Obama drives them wild. Is this proof of a terrible liberal conspiracy? I mean, Bush bombed people and invaded countries and did exactly what Obama has done for the past nine months for eight years, how come he didn’t get the Nobel Peace Prize? Who knows. What I do know, is this is no big deal. In fact it’s a wonderful example of how committees will often make far riskier decisions that if a single person calls the shots. It sounds counter-intuitive, but tons of research has borne it out, a committee member will often back a far riskier idea than they would if there was no committee, because the risk of failure is spread out among the entire committee. And anyhow, the Nobel Prize organization is a private organization, they can give the prize to anyone. Well, good for Obama, let’s hope he lives up to it.

Speaking of liberal conspiracies, the worst liberal conspiracy of all has been uncovered. Liberals, not content with using a time machine to insert Obama’s birth announcement into Hawaiian newspapers in 1961, have pulled off an even greater feat. Yes, they actually went hundreds of years into the past and inserted liberal and socialist jargon into the bible! Proof of this is that the bible contained socialist jargon hundreds of years before socialism was invented! No, I’m not making this up, well, not most of it. I did make up the time machine part, but some conservatives have actually started to rewrite the bible to eliminate its liberal bias. My mind, formerly reeling, boggles uncontrollably. The absurdity of rewriting your own holy book to conform to your own ideology is so obvious and transcendent that it hardly needs comment. Hopefully this won’t start a  trend. What’s next? The Walmart Bible?

Have a great weekend everyone.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit and it’s use here in no way interferes with the copyright holders commercial use of the image, arguably the opposite. It’s a picture of an upside down house built by Polish artist Daniel Czapiewski in Szymbark. Poland. Credit and copyright: Javno. As final proof that the world is upside down today, while writing this post I dopped a piece of toast on the floor … where it landed … butter side up! I rest my case.)

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Written by unitedcats

October 9, 2009 at 11:12 am

15 Responses

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  1. “15% of American’s think the government was complicit in 9/11″
    I would bet its more than that….Norad doesn’t just fall asleep at the wheel,
    a building does not collapse from “fire” into its own footprint, nor does it do it at freefall and finnaly, fire does not pulverize tons of concrete into FINE dust. Anybody who believes otherwise, is an idiot.

    The whole 911 investigation was a farce,
    and it took a foriegn scientist to find CIA grade nanothermite in the dust, lets see? How did binladin get a hold of some of that? Did we it to him when he worked for the U.S.? No? How did he get it into the three buildings that collapsed?
    What about Barry Jennings? he’s dead now…..Why did we ship off binladins entire family right after, when every other plane in the U.S. was grounded?
    Lot of unanswered questions!
    http://www.ae911truth.org

    Pyrodin123321

    October 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm

  2. And tell me these aren’t beautiful.

    Mike Goldman

    October 9, 2009 at 5:20 pm

  3. Yes, at times it is as if all ‘news’ on the internet was written by “the Onion” :)

    ET

    October 10, 2009 at 7:52 am

  4. A million people filling for bankruptcy & 1 in 10 are on food stamps in a recovery. The winner of the Noble Peace prize is waging two wars & is the head of a country that spends more on the military than the planet combined & also the 1st country ever to bomb the freaken moon! .
    The P/E ratio on reported earnings is at its highest levels in recorded history of nearly 140x, which is three times the levels prevailing during the height of the tech bubble.

    Everything is fine folks! Absurdity rules in the USA… day after freaking day.

    ET

    October 10, 2009 at 8:13 am

  5. The zombie link I posted in the twitter feed covers it nicely: the dollar, our economy, institutions, government, foreign policy are all long dead and bankrupt … but they just keep shambling along animated by taxpayer money. It can’t last forever, but it’s going to get a lot weirder before the corpses finally topple.

    unitedcats

    October 10, 2009 at 8:33 am

  6. Excellent article. I do want to say that the Big Bang isn’t nearly as well established as evolution is. There are other competing theories that explain different parts of the evidence in different ways, including the solid state theory. There are several aspects of the universe that are difficult to fit into the Big Bang model, including the apparent mass of the universe … the Big Bang simply doesn’t work without postulating something like “dark matter” that makes up more than 90% of the universe.

    The Big Bang does explain a good chunk of what we observe, but there are significant gaps and “assumptions” built into the theory that are un-provable at the moment. No competing theory explains all the evidence as well, but several do attempt to explain the gaps in Big Bang and do a pretty good job. “Dark matter” is far less of an issue in solid state theories, for example.

    But great article otherwise :)

  7. nice post doug, and thanks for the link to the zombie article.

    I agree the internet provides a forum for any wacko with a computer, however their is also lots of solid information on the net, scientific and otherwise. I’m not sure the net is the problem, many people are just to lazy and self centered to be bothered with such complex theories such as the big bang or evolution with their piles of factual data and intellectual analysis. In today’s America everything is bite sized, if you can’t fit it into a twitter feed and read it on you’re cell phone (most likely while driving) it will be ignored by the masses. You often talk about the growing divide in the US between the wealthy and everybody else, i also think their is a growing divide between the intelligent and the gullible and I don’t think it’s unintentional or unrelated.

    josh V.

    October 11, 2009 at 11:01 am

  8. I guess my previous post got deleted or didn’t make it in the first place, considering the content of the post, I HOPE it was the later. I would like think that you don’t do that sorta stuff…
    Oh well…I understand if you do….

    Peace

    Pyrodin123321

    October 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm

  9. It’s extremely rare for me to delete a post, you would have had to go way over the top. In this case, never saw it, the spam filter might have blocked it for some reason, I’ll check … and there it is. — Doug

    unitedcats

    October 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    • Thank you! ;) I knew you were a tolerant chap!

      Peace

      Pyrodin123321

      October 14, 2009 at 9:08 am

      • Too many naughty words in there I guess….
        CIA, nanothermite, Norad, 911 investigation, Barry Jennings. Might block this one too…lets see…

        peace

        Pyrodin123321

        October 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

    • Here is my left wing perspective conspiracy: in the post WWII feel good/ civil rights era , there was a massive influx of government money at fed and state levels into the public education system, wiht money for GIS, newly integrateing school systems, etc. Then in the 70s the right/ the wealthy discovered what happens when they have to compete on a level playing field. The sons of factory workers and the daughters of trailer dwellers work hard and smart and provide too much competition– and when they enter academia they start to teach “multiculturalism.” Along come Reagan and his tax busters, and public funding for education has fallen drastically. “Specialty” teacher positions (art, music, science, librarians) are cut back, and teachers salaries stop keeping pace with inflation (in my area, teachers would make 23% more if COLA raises were in effect). So people with valid math and science degrees pick no longer go into teaching. So schools cut back their graduation requirement to only 2 science courses in HS. Less serious science teaching by less qualified people = ignorance.

      Barbara Simerka

      October 15, 2009 at 4:53 am

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