Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Doug’s Darkworld Banned in France, Martian SUVs, and My Favourite Cultists

with 10 comments

 

gendarme.jpg
French gendarmes.

Good news everyone. If I read this link correctly, my blog could become illegal in France if a law limiting the actions of citizen journalists is enacted. Yes, this law will make it illegal for anyone other than professional journalists to film or broadcast acts of violence. Can this possibly be true? Will I be arrested in Paris on my next grocery run for publishing images like this? Unfortunately, no, the world will have to wait for YouTube images of Doug going down amid a phalanx of baton wielding gendarmes, bloodied and broken baguettes flying everywhere. Probably for the best, the world probably isn’t ready for that, and frankly neither am I.

No, the law is intended to ban such violent images used for fun, IE kids filming bullying and passing around the images and other such things. Still, it is censorship, and I find censorship deeply troubling. Especially in the west, where so many insist on the right to publish things that are deeply offensive to Muslims…while at the same time banning things that are offensive to Jews. Clearly a double standard there, nu? In any event, readers won’t be seeing any images on Doug’s Darkworld of Mohammed or holocaust denials, because I don’t wish to offend my Muslim and Jewish friends. If every Christian had more Muslim and Jewish friends I think the world would be a better place.

And after finding the image of the gendarmes above, maybe being arrested by the French authorities wouldn’t be so bad. Moving right along, some random tidbits in the news that are amusing or disturbing or both depending on one’s perspective and current medications. OK, only one random tidbit when it came right down to it, a perpetual favourite, global warming:

Global Warming on Mars! Yes, many people, including the esteemed Drudge Report are now claiming that global warming on Mars proves that global warming on Earth is caused by the sun, and not SUVs, because of course there are only two SUVs on Mars. Well, that settles it then. Millions of SUVs on Earth, two SUVs on Mars, what more proof could one possibly need that tens of thousands of scientists and decades of research are completely utterly wrong?

(And no, my lawyers have also assured me that I am not liable for eyestrain injuries causing by excessive rolling of the eyes upwards, so don’t even ask.)

Before moving on to generalities, a few specifics. Compared to Earth, we basically know nothing about the climate of Mars. There was supposed to be a Mars Climate Orbiter, but alas since the USA is so terrified of foreign anything it’s the only country on Earth that hasn’t adopted the metric system, a billion dollars worth of weather satellite is now lost in space. (Yes, I will be blogging on why Americans are the laughing stock of the world because we are apparently too stupid to know the difference between a mile and a kilometre at some point, trust me.) So basically we know little or nothing about the climate on Mars*. So how is it that the very same people who claim we don’t know enough about Earth to conclude that global warming is man made, are willing to completely and uncritically accept evidence on a planet about which we know basically nothing to bolster their case?

I’ll say how. It’s because global warming deniers are rapidly moving into the realm of 911 conspiracists, evolution deniers, and imminent rapturists. There’s a fascinating social mechanism where people who hold an unpopular opinion get together and convince themselves that they have special knowledge, that they are a persecuted minority, and that the truth will be revealed soon. The manifest similarity between such groups pretty much speaks for itself, unless of course one is a hard-core member of such a group, in which case this blog is further proof that you are in a persecuted and misunderstood minority.

Sigh. And now that I have offended my few remaining friends and just about everyone else on the planet (ain’t freedom of speech grand?) let me conclude with the codicil that I could be wrong. Maybe security videos of Dick Cheney planting explosives in the Two Towers will hit CNN tomorrow. Maybe someone will discover that Darwin faked his research and evolution was just a big hoax after all. Maybe I will walk outside this morning and see my neighbours ascending bodily to heaven. Maybe all of the above, in which case I will skip work for the day and keep blogging.

However, until such proof is offered, I’m sticking to my guns. So what I am really trying to say is: if a person cannot admit the possibility that their view may be in error, they have simply become a cultist reciting dogma.

————————————————————————

* We do know that Mars has a far more eccentric orbit than Earth and thus is more affected by the Sun than Earth as its distance from the Sun varies. And the news about Mars may allow us to further refine our understanding of how much the sun is affecting the earth’s climate. The sun is most certainly part of the cause of global warming, just the evidence so far indicates it’s a relatively minor part of the problem.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit, it is sort of vaguely central to the subject of the post, and I’m a straight male and thus am biologically compelled to occasionally post tasteful pictures of women.)

Written by unitedcats

March 7, 2007 at 11:32 am

10 Responses

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  1. This blog may require a license in France !

    LOL !

    ET

    March 8, 2007 at 7:29 am

  2. I love how there’s just this “faith” that global warming can’t possibly be caused by humans. And remember, science and fact and math and numbers, mean nothing in the face of “faith”.

    revmanny

    March 8, 2007 at 11:23 am

  3. Hi Doug, I’ve been busy with other projects, but I couldn’t resist popping over to comment on the lastest “Global Warming” post. Let me first say that I am not a denier, nor a true-believer. I do not think that we have nearly enough baseline data, nor do we have any way of quantitatively measuring the (CO2 producing) effect of human activity on the Earth. Anyway, I saw an attractive young woman (no, it doesn’t matter, I just found it interesting) from PETA on the news this morning poking at Algore (pbuh) for using so much electricity (even if it is from “Greeen” sources) and eating meat. Yes, eating meat contributes to “Global Warming” because of the waste products from food animals. Apparently these hapless animals produce 130x the amount of waste that humans do, thus contributing to “Global Warming” and, of course, massive environmental damage from pollution. Sigh.

    Too much rhetoric for these pet causes and their Federal Grant Money, not enough real information. I suspect that (just like the “Global Warming” Deniers are financed by folks that have a stake in petroleum products-)even if the “Global Warming” paranoiacs found out that it wasn’t so bad, they would not tell us, because then their money and talking head status would go away.

    Thanks for the inspiring work.

    Shoulung

    March 8, 2007 at 12:29 pm

  4. Hi Doug!

    I’m still in that “denier” category. :) I’ve seen “science” change its mind so many times in my lifetime that I have come to view it as the “NEW and improved opiate for the masses.” It seems that people buy into whatever makes them feel good, (or bad if they prefer–this almost bi-polar vacillation between self-loathing and self-loving is something I have never quite grasped), and I guess I am just too darn old to panic about anything anymore.

    There IS something that contemporary scientists and those who enjoy science seem to have forgotten–consesus is not science. If we start dealing in supermajorities as a basis for scientific fact, we would still think the earth was flat, the universe revolves around the world, and splitting the atom would vaporize the earth’s atmosphere. Another majority that everyone seems to miss is that most scientists who study man-made global warming are either working for governments or are funded by government. It is easy to dismiss what the “denier” scientist who work for Exxon, but why aren’t people consistent with that philosophy when there are obvious conflict of interest on the other side. (I think you answered that question about the people who embrace the Mars warming theory:) Can you imagine what would happen to the scientists who up and said, “There is global warming, its not particularly man-made, it is a natural cycle the earth has gone through for eons of time.” They would be out of a job or see their grant money disappear.

    Another majority one might consider is that the issue is often split down ideological lines. The majority of left-leaning individuals in the world believe this with unerring and unquestioning faith. What about the other majority of right leaning individuals who have a differing opinion?

    Isn’t it scary too that another major consensus seems to be governments? We know what governments are about don’t we! At least the Inuit are openly honest about their attempts at extortion.

    Doug, I am by no means a practicing scientist, although my first college degree was in electrical engineering (something I never pursued), but I do understand scientific method, and what is being promoted as science looks a little fuzzy to me.

    I DO have doubts about reports issued by political bodies, films produced by people who create internets, or “facts” presented by grant-funded scientists. All of which make me the equivalent of a “holocaust denier” (as Ellen Goodman of the Boston Globe put it) or as you say, “911 conspiracists, evolution deniers, and imminent rapturists”

    I don’t mind, though, because I have been called much worse in my lifetime! ha!

    Hope you are well, and keep up the fun and thought provoking posts!

    -Jack

    bereans

    March 8, 2007 at 1:07 pm

  5. […] Related post and comments here. Posted in Philosophy & Religion, News and politics. […]

  6. […] Favourites Doug’s Darkworld Banned in France, Martian SUVs, and My Favourite Cultists […]

  7. I think to some extent, censorship is necessary. I’ve been reading this literary article by Susan Sontag called “Regarding the pain of others,” and she says that by viewing violence all the time through popular media sources, it desensitizes us and we ignore it. So in that aspect, it can cease to affect us. But on the flip side there are violent films and graphic videogames that should be censored because so many young kids watch them and are affected by them. I feel those violent images could be a reason for school shootings.

    Light

    lightcontrast

    March 9, 2007 at 10:49 am

  8. All: So many thoughtful comments, so little time. I definitely will be posting more about global warming, but I do note that the skeptics are more and more falling back on specious arguments like attacking Al Gore or claiming it’s all a conspiracy. I’ll see if I can come up with a post about the basic science involved, if someone can shoot holes in that, I could be persuaded.

    Light: Yes, there is absolutely no doubt that media violence does contribute to some real violence. I don’t think that is a justification for censorship, more a price we have to pay for living in a free society. But it does trouble me, and I can only hope people look for ways to minimize this without censorship.

    Sholung. Thanks for the link, I spent my teen years playing hex based board wargames, if you were so afflicted you have my sympathy. :)

    As always, thanks for the thoughtful comments.
    —Doug

    unitedcats

    March 9, 2007 at 11:33 am

  9. Hi Doug,

    Looking forward to the science of it being explained in lay-person’s terms. I am not privy to a lot of the data that these scientists have, so I have to rely on summary information. But in defense of my Al Gore comments – Al Gore is mother nature’s self-proclaimed spokesperson and defender, so I guess naturally he will come under the microscope. Peta just recently hit him about meat consumption and the fact that cows produce more CO2 than all cars combined–questioning his consistency (http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/38332.html). Also, although he has recently bought into a more “green” energy for his mansion (that consumes more energy in a year–greenhouse producing energy–than most houses consume in a lifetime), he is guilty of warming the planet more than most consumers he preaches to. I feel it is healthy to question these people just like we question the Swaggarts and Bakers who preach one thing and practice another. Also, I find Al Gore quoted often on most blogger sites, so it is only natural to believe that much of what the left believes comes from his bully pulpit.

    I don’t dismiss conspiracy theories either if they have a bit of evidence to back them up–at least not in their entirety. Conspiracy theories abound concerning the Bush Administration, Cheney, etc., but I don’t discount those either–although by many they are accepted as gospel truth. One has to keep in mind the first thing that happened after any “scientific report” is a “call to action”. In the case of the U.N. report, France immediately called for taxation on the United States, the Inuit used a false report about the extinction of polar bears (which they hunt) to say that America needs to compensate them (when the polar bear population is at its highest in the last century and increasing), etc., etc. Mighty convenient to be just “conspiracy theories” is my thought, but then they could be just coincidental. THEN…what are always the suggested remedies for the mm global warming problems? Taxation and regulation. Nothing more, nothing less. A quick study of Plato will put the purpose of these two (T&R) in perspective.

    Doug, I am not saying that we should not behave responsibly toward our environment, I just view with some skepticism “crises” that require “immediate attention” or the sky will fall down upon us all type scenarios. They put me in mind of the fundamentalist preachers of yesteryear who preached hellfire and damnation without repentance accompanied by self-flagellation. To me (not speaking of yourself, mind you!) it seems like todays’ “religious fundamentalists” originate on the left side this debate, and I find myself being more “liberal of thought” than those who once fancied themselves “broad-minded” to have closed themselves completely off to any opposing idea or debate. Personally I have friends who seem to embrace with absolute faith what the preachers and priests of global warming are saying. (BTW, I have always been a pain in the rear to any minister I have been under also. I loved to shoot holes in their theology, but I seriously doubt I ever changed their minds. ha!)

    I DO look forward to your breakdown for us, though! And definitely keep up the GW posts–they are very interesting, keep things lively. I also enjoy the reader feedback.

    Take care,

    -Jack

    bereans

    March 9, 2007 at 2:01 pm

  10. More “conspiracy theory stuff”, Doug :)

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070312/wl_uk_afp/britainpolitics_070312082025

    -Jack

    bereans

    March 12, 2007 at 8:48 am


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