April 2010 Blog Posts

Copypastianity: a neologism I'd like used more

Copypastianity (noun): The tendency, during online debates, for christians to immediately google up the first apologetic website that suits their argument, and to paste the text wholesale into the comment thread, thus executing a perfect Gish Gallop without any of that tedious thinking and typing.

I know a story...

I know a story of a remarkable man whose deeds were legend. He constantly impressed his companions with his insights, and they often came to him for advice - as did complete strangers. He travelled, solving dilemmas, performing great deeds, advising both rich and poor and spreading his fame, far and wide.   His advice was always good, though often it seemed gnomic and mysterious when first bestowed. He possessed insight far beyond that of an ordinary man. The years of his youth are shrouded in mystery, but his adulthood is very well documented, in personal testimony, copies of which are found...

Quack Quack!

"That Meryl!" Episodes 5 and 6 are here

Episode 5 Episode 6  Yes, it's true. Meryl is an HIV denier too. She's tried to paint herself as an honest questioner, but after she's been handed evidence and research and is still asking the questions that research has answered, the only applicable label is "denialist". So, there we have it. Meryl Dorey: conspiracy theorist and AIDS denialist. Ooooooh, That Meryl!

Shirt, tie and jacket: Corporate voodoo

[Here's a post I wrote and never published a while ago. My job has since changed, but you can't escape the voodoo] I'll get this out of the way immediately. I do not like formal "business dress". Shirts, ties and proper trousers shit me to tears. I feel uncomfortable and as a result I am less effective. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. I also don't trust "suits" as far as I can throw them. I work in IT. I do complicated magic with computer software, for which I'm paid quite a lot of money. I've been doing this for...

More whinging from the Theist Front of NSW

Ethics Trial a Rees Throwback: Catholics A telling headline if I've ever seen one, as a representative of the local Catholic lobby attempts to tie the NSW Secular Ethics education trial, which has just begun, to Nathan Rees's premiership. The implication is of course that since Rees was forced out by a secret ballot orchestrated by the current party faithful, that obviously this is somehow a "bad" policy of a "failed' premiership that's only snuck through by the skin of its teeth. The truth, of course, is far from the fantasy promoted by Mr Robert Haddad and the church generally*. The ethics trial...

Skepticator For Mobile Devices pilot version hits the web

Yes, if you have a mobile device, hit up http://m.skepticator.net/ to view the latest news from the skeptisphere. GWT will be added later, as will search capability. Here we see it running on my slightly battered HTC Touch Pro. It's the basic basic theme as its big brother, with the rounded corner fripperies removed and the left-hand navigation gone, ad it also cuts down on showing the opening paragraphs of stories, just the title, where it's from and when it appeared. It's also the first of my sites to go out on .NET 4.0. At the moment, it's ad-free as I've not yet...

Two posts on Meryl's fail in one day?

Well, yes. There's that much fail. Meryl tweeted a few hours ago. Here's what she had to say: Yes, Meryl. That's totally new research. Completely. Except that... oh, wait... let's look at the article, shall we? There's no date at the top. The Daily Fail does that. But look at the comments. The most recent is from.... ... - Helen, London, 13/6/2006 17:56 Wait, what? Yep, that's right. Meryl is trying to vindicate the work of the discredited, unethical, censured quack Andrew Wakefield with an article from 2006, nearly four years previous to the GMC decision that has seen Wakefield's public disgrace. Nice work Meryl. Oh, and that research? The...

Meryl, Sanskrit and Epic Fail

Meryl Dorey recently had this to say on twitter: Skeptics - when I said that measles in Sanskrit is gift from a goddess - I meant the SANSKRIT word for measles - work it out for yourselves! Yeah, obviously it was us misunderstanding your statement, not you being wrong. For the record, here's Meryl's original statement, which she's repeated several times: Did you know: Measles in Sanskrit translates as "Gift from a Goddess" because huge developmental and growth spurts often followed infection. Protip, Meryl. The only places I can find that "fact" is antivax websites. You're just repeating, verbatim, the usual way. Here's what...

Theists to NSW MPs: "But we neeeeeed our monopoly on children's minds!"

It's come to my attention that the god-bothering population of NSW is currently engaged in a letter writing campaign in a poorly thought-out and somewhat transparent attempt to stymie the planned Secular Ethics class trial currently kicking off in NSW. Our theistic Premier, Kristine Keneally, has already, it seems, decided that churches are qualified to "vet" a secular ethics class, despite this being far from their specialist subject. Now the churches are attempting a grassroots DDoS campaign to convince MPs that secular ethics are evil and must be stopped. Chrys Stevenson writes:  Important for Australian atheists/secularists - the Christian rent-a-crowd have been busy...

Hardware/Software as mind/body dualism metaphor

This was retweeted to me by good ol' @DrNancyMalik*  this evening. Of course you, my dear readers, being smart, well educated and (may I say) extremely attractive people, can see right through this bollocks, right? Still, for the hard of thinking, let's expand a little. This is a very badly written paraphrase of an argument I've run into repeatedly - that is, the invocation of dualism and some kind of refutation of the atheist, materialist position. That I've had it pushedmy way by a homeopath is a mildly unusual platform, but it's the same old tired claim nonetheless. I have a simple answer for it, which...

Homeopaths really, really wind me up

Most of the time, they're just funny and a little dumb. @DrNancyMalik is usually funny and dumb. Sometimes, though, things bubble to the surface that just make me angry. C0nc0rdance, recently, has triggered that. C0ncordance is one of the good guys, but his videos have poked me and reminded me of the Gloria Thomas Sam case, a case that happened in my chosen home city.       So don't come round here and ask me how homeopathy can be harmful.

Australian Vaccination Network: 407A Notification of Cessation of Business

There are people in this pub looking at me funny.

The thing is, I just actually laughed out loud at an item on my laptop screen, and now I'm the weird guy with the computer. Here's the background. @DrNancyMalik is a homepath that trolls the crap out of twitter trying to justify her existence. For one thing, she's not a doctor, even though she plays one on twitter. She has a Bachelor's Degree from a homeopathy school (which is exactly as valid as my Doctorate in Divinity and Masters in New Media). For another thing, homeopathy itself is just water. Here's what she retweeted  BethanyBlack you are my new hero. If you haven't got the...

Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program