Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Twisting, Tumbling and Rapidly Expanding Space-Time

This is the sort of news that excites me.  It's when there's a huge revelation towards advances in science that shows some hard progress.  It's the sort of thing that, when I read it, makes me think humanity isn't entirely 120% doomed.  I mean, this coupled with the additional pleasant news that Fred Phelps won't likely be alive that much longer (fingers crossed for Pat Robertson to follow along next)...  it's like there is some reason to get up in the morning and not feel unbounded shame for being considered part of the species Homo Sapiens.  I'm talking about the news regarding the direct evidence of the Inflation hypothesis.

I will warn you, that as a science geek, I'm going to get a little involved here, but I'm going to avoid getting all too technical, as I am merely a geek, and not an actual student of astrophysics.  My level of understanding of the actual mathematics down to its nitty-gritty details is nowhere near that of someone who is actually in the field.  That said, I am more aiming to take it down to some level of detail in the interest of putting those details out in a way that should be somewhat understandable to a novice.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dialogues with Hopeless Delusional Idiots ep. 3

This is a little switch from the prior entries in the series, but still fitting in the theme.  My previous two episodes involved religion and religious beliefs as the core topics of discussion.  This one is more on the alt-med end of the spectrum, mainly regarding anti-vaccine and autism-related nuttery.  Nonetheless, I'm still dealing with a hopeless delusional idiot here.  Let that be a reminder that idiocy of this scale is not limited to religion alone, and that this blog is about all kinds of stupidity.  It's things like this that make it bear mentioning that the moniker of "grumpy anti-theist" isn't enough by itself.  I'm "anti-" all kinds of insufferable stupidity.

There are several sub-movements within the set of alternative "medicine" believers, with a relatively minor amount of crossover between them.  It's not necessarily the case that someone who is anti-vaccine is also a believer in Ayurveda, or that someone who buys into homeopathy is also a reiki healing fanatic.  That's not to say, though, that such people don't exist.  In this case, I'm dealing with one such person.  It is pretty clear as things carry on that this person wasn't drawn to alternative "medicine" (read : quackery) because he really found them believable on their own terms, but because he was so staunchly opposed to real medicine that anything that was different was inherently better.

This conversation was taking place on an online forum for a site that is ostensibly about video games (one for which I was formerly a contributing editor for their press outlet back when I was still working in the games industry), but like many forums, they have sections dedicated to "off-topic" or "general" discussion, and topics like politics, current events, "new cool stuff" was always going around.  While I'm no longer super-active with this forum or the site that owns it, I still appear now and then.  This one started with a guy who was posting a lot of anti-medicine nonsense shortly after Steve Jobs died...  I ignored it for a while, and the thread carried on, but after a few posts in, it also started including some anti-vaccine and all the vaccines-cause-autism bullcrap that rested on the outlandish idea that a former Playboy bunny knows more about human biochemistry than all medical doctors in the world combined.