Thursday, March 25, 2010

In God's Country

Wingnuts

Quarter of Republicans think Barack Obama is 'the Antichrist'

The survey showed that 24 per cent of Republican respondents agreed with the statement that the president might be the Antichrist, and 38 per cent thought he was "doing many of the things Hitler did."

According to the poll 67 per cent of Republicans thought President Obama was a socialist, 57 per cent thought that he was secretly a Muslim, 42 per cent believed he was "racist," and 61 per cent thought that he wants to abolish gun ownership.

It also found that 51 per cent of Republicans thought that he wants to turn over the US to a single world government, and 22 per cent believed "he wants the terrorists to win."

In fairness it's an online survey, so hopefully is all bollox, but still if you have to ask...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

If God Will Send His Angels

It would appear that articles by church apologist in chief at The Irish Times, Breda O'Brien, no longer invite reader comments.

Must be all those weeks of having her arguments torn to shreds by anyone with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Deny

Journalists, generally, are Arts graduates. Most of the time they have little or no education in the topic being discussed (unless it's history, politics or the arts etc). But, back in the pre-internet, pre-24 hour rolling insta-news days, newspapers and their hacks could take the time to investigate, research, analyse and explain the events of the day.

Now, however, we have journalism via Google and, worse, the journalism of relativism. The journalists that don't just quote press releases nevertheless just form ill-informed opinions, then search the internet for any evidence that legitimises those opinions. Worse, every story has to have two sides, there's no right and wrong, just opinions and 'experts' are always 'divided'; no one person's opinion being more or less valid than anyone else's.

Genuine experts are ridiculed or unfairly tarred with brushes. Doctors and scientists with years or decades of learning and research are placed on the same pedestal as a listener to the Joe Duffy show who *knows* that coffee enemas cured her cancer. People who use their learning to explain nuanced argument to the masses are routinely accused of arrogance, or, worse, having a vested interest. Your departed food correspondent Tom Doorley once blogged against GM food, then stated that he wouldn't entertain any comments from scientists because, ipso facto, they would be vested interests! But opinions from people who think genes are garments you wear were fine!

People form opinions then type them into Google to find validation, regardless of the source or quality of the evidence they have just found - anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, alternative medicine believers, anti windmill NIMBYs... One of the comments above states that Economists didn't see this crash coming. Nonsense, most did. It's just that no one wanted to listen to them and those that could shout loudest managed to drown the genuine experts out with their 'talking down the economy' rubbish.

We now live in the ridiculous world where the people who are more effective at getting their message across, i.e. those who shout the loudest, set the agenda. And that is what happened with our property boom. And that is why we will always be destined to repeat our mistakes because not only has Joe Public completely lost respect for people of (learned) authority he now only respects celebrity voices who are themselves too stupid to know the difference between fame and authority.
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