Now that we're in another of those periods when everybody starts doing a end of the year/decade round-up - and the verdict is in that this was (as I've always said) a "Decade From Hell" - I finally want to take a few posts to defend my (rightly) "negative" and mostly-unread-or-referenced little blog by saying, "I told you so". This is Part I:
The Scientific Mind: Clearly Defined
I think people first started calling me a "genius" when I was about 6 years old, but it never really became a big problem until around the year 2000. After that (like a child star discovering he ain't cute no more) it became quite obvious the designation of "genius" is a double-edged sword, because while, on the one hand, the word "genius" means I can be really smart, on the other hand it means A) I can get on people's nerves, and B) I have to spend the rest of my life with people I find to be over-the-top stupid. And unfortunately, for a genuis, "over-the-top stupid" describes almost anyone who accepts conventional wisdom - and, folks, there's a lot of really gullible, non-thinking and absolutely vicious idiots out there.
Oh - and I forgot to mention the worst, which is C) no matter how they try my patience, I'm expected to be "nice" to all of them.
Along with all that, what best defines "over-the-top-stupid" to me now'a'days is pretty much anyone who doesn't possess the ability to merely admit when they're wrong. Rush Limbaugh talks about this phenomena from time-to-time: how stupid people will seriously hate on anyone who knows something - not believes, but actually knows something - like I know NewAge. And those people will bring out the knives, especially, if the person that knows something doesn't have a college degree to back him up. (I think it was James Randi - hero to scientists, and critical thinkers, alike - who first said a PhD was merely a piece of paper that allowed idiots to pop-off at the mouth,...) One thing I've learned over the last 10 years: Groupthink, in the hands of the college educated - who, like gang members, are the most likely to engage in it - is a truly dangerous thing.
Of course, the ultimate symbol for this has to be the AGW "scientists", furiously doing anything - anything - not to be found out as being the fools and liars that they actually are. Oh, the conventional wisdom was so sure of global warming - based not on science but a belief. We saw millions of Americans, recently, willing to attempt wrecking the entire U.S. economy over it. (Think about that: they were willing to destroy the financial system of not only the greatest country on earth but the one they live in - without any real proof it was necessary. Now that's over-the-top-stupid.) Almost anyone who had a bumpersticker that read, "There's a village missing an idiot" during the Bush years (and there were a lot of them) is probably guilty of being a fool for the AGW scam. I talked to a lot of online scientists after I started this blog and almost all of them - Orac of Respectful Insolence, P.Z. Meyers of Pharyngula, and Mark Hoofnagle of the (just all together wrong) Denialism blog - all of them acted like idiots when confronted with my black ass, an actual skeptic. Every one of them - in defense of science, logic, and reason - was revealed by me to be an embarrassment to science, logic, and reason. But their supporters were even worse:
Not one of them questioned what these online "science" jokers were telling them. But rather, as a group, they were determined to bury anyone who questioned them - and they had a field day on me - or they'd refer me to one of those pre-approved climate websites, in the same manner that Michael Mann and Phil Jones did the "idiots" who questioned them. Very creepy - and cultish. They did the same thing regarding Barack Obama:
I'd ask them to explain his political platform, since they were so gun-ho behind it, and they'd either say what they hope he meant or refer me to his website.
They just couldn't admit (and probably still can't) that there is no "there" there.
That's, partially, what made this a "Decade From Hell" - there was no reasoning with supposedly-smart people. They were just like cult members: They'd cuss, and scream, and do anything else they had to, to sideline their critics - anything but to try and actually listen and understand. To discover it was happening offline, as well as on, was really disillusioning. (I've noticed Orac and Co. haven't said much, if anything, about the AGW scam since the East Anglia files were released - the true sign of dishonest cowards,....people should be on their asses for it.) It's just like when I told Orac (and Mark Hoofnagle) homeopathy was a cult, and Orac and his readers repeatedly gave me grief for it, only to see him adopt my language, later, without giving me a word of credit for his turn-around. No, the "scientific" way, now, is to ignore people who are willing to correct your findings, and there's no way Orac could appear to be fallible to his "followers". Better to pretend it never happened, or make it appear as though he came to the Homeopathy=cult conclusion on his own. (Yea, that's the ticket!)
What a Loser.
Why (now that I'm thinking about Orac and, that idiot, Hoofnagle) the online science community's behavior over the last few years, regarding me and science and what true skepticism means, has been a lot like what George W. Bush faced with a certain Islamic cult leader and his group,....at least the emotions were the same.